Home

China vs. United States

Introduction

ChinaUnited States
BackgroundFor centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the communists under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, MAO's successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically and the room for personal choice has expanded, yet political controls remain tight. Since the early 1990s, China has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations.Britain's American colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 and were recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the North American continent and acquired a number of overseas possessions. The two most traumatic experiences in the nation's history were the Civil War (1861-65), in which a northern Union of states defeated a secessionist Confederacy of 11 southern slave states, and the Great Depression of the 1930s, an economic downturn during which about a quarter of the labor force lost its jobs. Buoyed by victories in World Wars I and II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US remains the world's most powerful nation state. Since the end of World War II, the economy has achieved relatively steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid advances in technology.

Geography

ChinaUnited States
LocationEastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and VietnamNorth America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico
Geographic coordinates35 00 N, 105 00 E38 00 N, 97 00 W
Map referencesAsiaNorth America
Areatotal: 9,596,960 sq km
land: 9,326,410 sq km
water: 270,550 sq km
total: 9,826,675 sq km
land: 9,161,966 sq km
water: 664,709 sq km
note: includes only the 50 states and District of Columbia, no overseas territories
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than the USabout half the size of Russia; about three-tenths the size of Africa; about half the size of South America (or slightly larger than Brazil); slightly larger than China; more than twice the size of the European Union
Land boundariestotal: 22,457 km
border countries: Afghanistan 91 km, Bhutan 477 km, Burma 2,129 km, India 2,659 km, Kazakhstan 1,765 km, North Korea 1,352 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,063 km, Laos 475 km, Mongolia 4,630 km, Nepal 1,389 km, Pakistan 438 km, Russia (northeast) 4,139 km, Russia (northwest) 40 km, Tajikistan 477 km, Vietnam 1,297 km
regional borders: Hong Kong 33 km, Macau 3 km
total: 12,048 km
border countries: Canada 8,893 km (including 2,477 km with Alaska), Mexico 3,155 km
note: US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is leased by the US and is part of Cuba; the base boundary is 28 km
Coastline14,500 km19,924 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: not specified
Climateextremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in northmostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest; low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains
Terrainmostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in eastvast central plain, mountains in west, hills and low mountains in east; rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska; rugged, volcanic topography in Hawaii
Elevation extremeslowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m (highest point in Asia)
lowest point: Death Valley -86 m
highest point: Mount McKinley (Denali) 6,194 m (highest point in North America)
note: the peak of Mauna Kea (4,207 m above sea level) on the island of Hawaii rises about 10,200 m above the Pacific Ocean floor; by this measurement, it is the world's tallest mountain - higher than Mount Everest (8,850 m), which is recognized as the tallest mountain above sea level
Natural resourcescoal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, rare earth elements, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest)coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, rare earth elements, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber
note: the US has the world's largest coal reserves with 491 billion short tons accounting for 27% of the world's total
Land usearable land: 11.62%
permanent crops: 1.53%
other: 86.84% (2011)
arable land: 16.29%
permanent crops: 0.26%
other: 83.44% (2011)
Irrigated land629,380 sq km (2006)266,440 sq km (2007)
Natural hazardsfrequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence
volcanism: China contains some historically active volcanoes including Changbaishan (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu, or P'aektu-san), Hainan Dao, and Kunlun although most have been relatively inactive in recent centuries
tsunamis; volcanoes; earthquake activity around Pacific Basin; hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts; tornadoes in the Midwest and Southeast; mud slides in California; forest fires in the west; flooding; permafrost in northern Alaska, a major impediment to development
volcanism: volcanic activity in the Hawaiian Islands, Western Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and in the Northern Mariana Islands; both Mauna Loa (elev. 4,170 m) in Hawaii and Mount Rainier (elev. 4,392 m) in Washington have been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Pavlof (elev. 2,519 m) is the most active volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Arc and poses a significant threat to air travel since the area constitutes a major flight path between North America and East Asia; St. Helens (elev. 2,549 m), famous for the devastating 1980 eruption, remains active today; numerous other historically active volcanoes exist, mostly concentrated in the Aleutian arc and Hawaii; they include: in Alaska: Aniakchak, Augustine, Chiginagak, Fourpeaked, Iliamna, Katmai, Kupreanof, Martin, Novarupta, Redoubt, Spurr, Wrangell; in Hawaii: Trident, Ugashik-Peulik, Ukinrek Maars, Veniaminof; in the Northern Mariana Islands: Anatahan; and in the Pacific Northwest: Mount Baker, Mount Hood
Environment - current issuesair pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain; China is the world's largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; deforestation; estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1949 to soil erosion and economic development; desertification; trade in endangered speciesair pollution resulting in acid rain in both the US and Canada; large emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers; limited natural freshwater resources in much of the western part of the country require careful management; desertification
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes
Geography - noteworld's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US) and largest country situated entirely in Asia; Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peakworld's third-largest country by size (after Russia and Canada) and by population (after China and India); Mt. McKinley is highest point in North America and Death Valley the lowest point on the continent
Total renewable water resources2,840 cu km (2011)3,069 cu km (2011)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 554.1 cu km/yr (12%/23%/65%)
per capita: 409.9 cu m/yr (2005)
total: 478.4 cu km/yr (14%/46%/40%)
per capita: 1,583 cu m/yr (2005)

Demographics

ChinaUnited States
Population1,355,692,576 (July 2014 est.)318,892,103 (July 2014 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 17.1% (male 124,340,516/female 107,287,324)
15-24 years: 14.7% (male 105,763,058/female 93,903,845)
25-54 years: 47.2% (male 327,130,324/female 313,029,536)
55-64 years: 11.3% (male 77,751,100/female 75,737,968)
65 years and over: 9.6% (male 62,646,075/female 68,102,830) (2014 est.)
0-14 years: 19.4% (male 31,580,349/female 30,221,106)
15-24 years: 13.7% (male 22,436,057/female 21,321,861)
25-54 years: 39.9% (male 63,452,792/female 63,671,631)
55-64 years: 12.6% (male 19,309,019/female 20,720,284)
65 years and over: 14.5% (male 20,304,644/female 25,874,360) (2014 est.)
Median agetotal: 36.7 years
male: 35.8 years
female: 37.5 years (2014 est.)
total: 37.6 years
male: 36.3 years
female: 39 years (2014 est.)
Population growth rate0.44% (2014 est.)0.77% (2014 est.)
Birth rate12.17 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)13.42 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Death rate7.44 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)8.15 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Net migration rate-0.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)2.45 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.11 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.16 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 14.79 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 14.93 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.63 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
total: 6.17 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.75 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.56 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 75.15 years
male: 73.09 years
female: 77.43 years (2014 est.)
total population: 79.56 years
male: 77.11 years
female: 81.94 years (2014 est.)
Total fertility rate1.55 children born/woman (2014 est.)2.01 children born/woman (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.1% (2012 est.)0.6% (2009 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Chinese (singular and plural)
adjective: Chinese
noun: American(s)
adjective: American
Ethnic groupsHan Chinese 91.6%, Zhuang 1.3%, other (includes Hui, Manchu, Uighur, Miao, Yi, Tujia, Tibetan, Mongol, Dong, Buyei, Yao, Bai, Korean, Hani, Li, Kazakh, Dai and other nationalities) 7.1%
note: the Chinese government officially recognizes 56 ethnic groups (2010 est.)
white 79.96%, black 12.85%, Asian 4.43%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.18%, two or more races 1.61% (July 2007 estimate)
note: a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean persons of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin including those of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican Republic, Spanish, and Central or South American origin living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.); about 15.1% of the total US population is Hispanic
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS780,000 (2012 est.)1.2 million (2009 est.)
ReligionsBuddhist 18.2%, Christian 5.1%, Muslim 1.8%, folk religion 21.9%, Hindu < .1%, Jewish < .1%, other 0.7% (includes Daoist (Taoist)), unaffiliated 52.2%
note: officially atheist (2010 est.)
Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths26,000 (2009 est.)17,000 (2012 est.)
LanguagesStandard Chinese or Mandarin (official; Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)
note: Zhuang is official in Guangxi Zhuang, Yue is official in Guangdong, Mongolian is official in Nei Mongol, Uighur is official in Xinjiang Uygur, Kyrgyz is official in Xinjiang Uyghur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet)
English 82.1%, Spanish 10.7%, other Indo-European 3.8%, Asian and Pacific island 2.7%, other 0.7% (2000 census)
note: the US has no official national language, but English has acquired official status in 28 of the 50 states; Hawaiian is an official language in the state of Hawaii
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.1%
male: 97.5%
female: 92.7% (2010 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2012)
total: 17 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2011)
Education expendituresNA5.4% of GDP (2010)
Urbanizationurban population: 50.6% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 2.85% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 82.4% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 1.14% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 98.4% of population
rural: 84.9% of population
total: 91.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1.6% of population
rural: 15.1% of population
total: 8.1% of population (2012 est.)
improved:
urban: 99.4% of population
rural: 98% of population
total: 99.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.6% of population
rural: 2% of population
total: 0.8% of population (2012 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 74.1% of population
rural: 55.8% of population
total: 65.3% of population
unimproved:
urban: 25.9% of population
rural: 44.2% of population
total: 34.7% of population (2012 est.)
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2012 est.)
Major cities - populationShanghai 20.208 million; BEIJING (capital) 15.594 million; Guangzhou 10.849 million; Shenzhen 10.63 million; Chongqing 9.977 million; Wuhan 9.158 million (2011)New York-Newark 20.352 million; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana 13.395 million; Chicago 9.676 million; Miami 6.061 million; Philadelphia 5.927 million; WASHINGTON, D.C. (capital) 4.705 million (2011)
Maternal mortality rate37 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)21 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight3.4% (2010)1.3% (2004)
Health expenditures5.2% of GDP (2011)17.9% of GDP (2011)
Physicians density1.46 physicians/1,000 population (2010)2.42 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Hospital bed density3.8 beds/1,000 population (2011)3 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate5.7% (2008)33% (2008)
Contraceptive prevalence rate84.6% (2006)76.4%
note: percent of women aged 15-44 (2010)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 37.4 %
youth dependency ratio: 24.9 %
elderly dependency ratio: 12.5 %
potential support ratio: 8 (2014 est.)
total dependency ratio: 51 %
youth dependency ratio: 29.4 %
elderly dependency ratio: 21.6 %
potential support ratio: 4.6 (2014 est.)

Government

ChinaUnited States
Country nameconventional long form: People's Republic of China
conventional short form: China
local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
local short form: Zhongguo
abbreviation: PRC
conventional long form: United States of America
conventional short form: United States
abbreviation: US or USA
Government typeCommunist stateconstitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition
Capitalname: Beijing
geographic coordinates: 39 55 N, 116 23 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
note: despite its size, all of China falls within one time zone; many people in Xinjiang Province observe an unofficial "Xinjiang time zone" of UTC+6, two hours behind Beijing
name: Washington, DC
geographic coordinates: 38 53 N, 77 02 W
time difference: UTC-5 (during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November
note: the 50 United States cover six time zones
Administrative divisions23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities (shi, singular and plural)
provinces: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang; (see note on Taiwan)
autonomous regions: Guangxi, Nei Mongol (Inner Mongolia), Ningxia, Xinjiang Uygur, Xizang (Tibet)
municipalities: Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin
note: China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau
50 states and 1 district*; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Affiliation(also see separate Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan entries)(territories of the US)
Independence1 October 1949 (People's Republic of China established); notable earlier dates: 221 B.C. (unification under the Qin Dynasty); 1 January 1912 (Qing Dynasty replaced by the Republic of China)4 July 1776 (declared); 3 September 1783 (recognized by Great Britain)
National holidayanniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, 1 October (1949)Independence Day, 4 July (1776)
Constitutionseveral previous; latest promulgated 4 December 1982; amended several times, last in 2005 (2005)previous 1781 (Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union); latest drafted July - September 1787, submitted to the Congress of the Confederation 20 September 1787, submitted for states' ratification 28 September 1787, ratification completed by nine states 21 June 1788, effective 4 March 1789; amended many times, last in 1992 (2014)
Legal systemcivil law influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; note - criminal procedure law revised in early 2012common law system based on English common law at the federal level; state legal systems based on common law except Louisiana, which is based on Napoleonic civil code; judicial review of legislative acts
Suffrage18 years of age; universal18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President XI Jinping (since 14 March 2013); Vice President LI Yuanchao (since 14 March 2013)
head of government: Premier LI Keqiang (since 16 March 2013); Executive Vice Premier ZHANG Gaoli (since 16 March 2013); Vice Premier LIU Yandong (since 16 March 2013); Vice Premier MA Kai (since 16 March 2013); Vice Premier WANG Yang (since 16 March 2013)
cabinet: State Council appointed by National People's Congress
elections: president and vice president elected by National People's Congress for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 5-17 March 2013 (next to be held in March 2018); premier nominated by president, confirmed by National People's Congress
election results: XI Jinping elected president by National People's Congress with 2,952 votes; LI Yuanchao elected vice president with 2,940 votes
chief of state: President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president with Senate approval
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by a college of representatives who are elected directly from each state; president and vice president serve four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 6 November 2012 (next to be held on 8 November 2016)
election results: Barack H. OBAMA reelected president; electoral votes - Barack H. OBAMA 332, ROMNEY 206; percent of popular vote - Barack H. OBAMA 50.6%, Mitt ROMNEY 47.9%, other 1.5%
Legislative branchunicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (2,987 seats; members elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses, and People's Liberation Army to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held in December 2012-February 2013 (next to be held in late 2017 to early 2018)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - 2,987
note: in practice, only members of the CCP, its eight allied parties, and CCP-approved independent candidates are elected
bicameral Congress consists of the Senate (100 seats, 2 members elected from each state by popular vote to serve six-year terms; one-third elected every two years) and the House of Representatives (435 seats; members directly elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held on 4 November 2014); House of Representatives - last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held on 4 November 2014)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 54, Republican Party 45, independent 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 201, Republican Party 234
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme People's Court (consists of over 340 judges including the chief justice, 13 grand justices organized into a civil committee and tribunals for civil, economic, administrative, complaint and appeal, and communication and transportation cases)
judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the People's National Congress; term limited to two consecutive 5-year terms; other justices and judges nominated by the chief justice and appointed by the Standing Committee of the People's National Congress; term of other justices and judges NA
subordinate courts: Higher People's Courts; Intermediate People's Courts; District and County People's Courts; Autonomous Region People's Courts; Special People's Courts for military, maritime, transportation, and forestry issues
note - in October 2012, China issued a white paper on planned judicial reform
highest court(s): US Supreme Court (consists of 9 justices - the chief justice and 8 associate justices)
judge selection and term of office: president nominates, and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoints Supreme Court justices; justices appointed for life
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal (includes the US Court of Appeal for the Federal District and 12 regional appeals courts); 94 federal district courts in 50 states and territories
note: the US court system consists of the federal court system and the state court systems; although each court system is responsible for hearing certain types of cases, neither is completely independent of the other, and the systems often interact
Political parties and leadersChinese Communist Party or CCP [XI Jinping]
eight nominally independent small parties ultimately controlled by the CCP
Democratic Party [Debbie Wasserman SCHULTZ]
Green Party
Libertarian Party [Mark HINKLE]
Republican Party [Reince PRIEBUS]
Political pressure groups and leadersno substantial political opposition groups existenvironmentalists; business groups; labor unions; churches; ethnic groups; political action committees or PACs; health groups; education groups; civic groups; youth groups; transportation groups; agricultural groups; veterans groups; women's groups; reform lobbies
International organization participationADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, CDB, CICA, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-24 (observer), G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZCADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), ANZUS, APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CD, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CICA (observer), CP, EAPC, EAS, EBRD, EITI (implementing country), FAO, FATF, G-20, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAFTA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Max Sieben BAUCUS (since 21 February 2014)
embassy: 55 An Jia Lou Lu, 100600 Beijing
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 50, FPO AP 96521-0002
telephone: [86] (10) 8531-3000
FAX: [86] (10) 8531-3300
consulate(s) general: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Wuhan
none (territories of the US)
Flag descriptionred with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner; the color red represents revolution, while the stars symbolize the four social classes - the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, and the national bourgeoisie (capitalists) - united under the Communist Party of China13 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars; the 50 stars represent the 50 states, the 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies; the blue stands for loyalty, devotion, truth, justice, and friendship; red symbolizes courage, zeal, and fervency, while white denotes purity and rectitude of conduct; commonly referred to by its nickname of Old Glory
note: the design and colors have been the basis for a number of other flags, including Chile, Liberia, Malaysia, and Puerto Rico
National anthemname: "Yiyongjun Jinxingqu" (The March of the Volunteers)
lyrics/music: TIAN Han/NIE Er
note: adopted 1949; the anthem, though banned during the Cultural Revolution, is more commonly known as "Zhongguo Guoge" (Chinese National Song); it was originally the theme song to the 1935 Chinese movie, "Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm"
name: "The Star-Spangled Banner"
lyrics/music: Francis Scott KEY/John Stafford SMITH
note: adopted 1931; during the War of 1812, after witnessing the successful American defense of Fort McHenry in Baltimore following British naval bombardment, Francis Scott KEY wrote the lyrics to what would become the national anthem; the lyrics were set to the tune of "The Anacreontic Song"; only the first verse is sung
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCtwithdrew acceptance of compulsory ICJ jurisdiction in 2005; withdrew acceptance of ICCt jurisdiction in 2002

Economy

ChinaUnited States
Economy - overviewSince the late 1970s China has moved from a closed, centrally planned system to a more market-oriented one that plays a major global role - in 2010 China became the world's largest exporter. Reforms began with the phasing out of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, growth of the private sector, development of stock markets and a modern banking system, and opening to foreign trade and investment. China has implemented reforms in a gradualist fashion. In recent years, China has renewed its support for state-owned enterprises in sectors considered important to "economic security," explicitly looking to foster globally competitive industries. After keeping its currency tightly linked to the US dollar for years, in July 2005 China moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. From mid 2005 to late 2008 cumulative appreciation of the renminbi against the US dollar was more than 20%, but the exchange rate remained virtually pegged to the dollar from the onset of the global financial crisis until June 2010, when Beijing allowed resumption of a gradual appreciation and expanded the daily trading band within which the RMB is permitted to fluctuate. The restructuring of the economy and resulting efficiency gains have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis that adjusts for price differences, China in 2013 stood as the second-largest economy in the world after the US, having surpassed Japan in 2001. The dollar values of China's agricultural and industrial output each exceed those of the US; China is second to the US in the value of services it produces. Still, per capita income is below the world average. The Chinese government faces numerous economic challenges, including: (a) reducing its high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic consumption; (b) facilitating higher-wage job opportunities for the aspiring middle class, including rural migrants and increasing numbers of college graduates; (c) reducing corruption and other economic crimes; and (d) containing environmental damage and social strife related to the economy's rapid transformation. Economic development has progressed further in coastal provinces than in the interior, and by 2011 more than 250 million migrant workers and their dependents had relocated to urban areas to find work. One consequence of population control policy is that China is now one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world. Deterioration in the environment - notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table, especially in the North - is another long-term problem. China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and economic development. The Chinese government is seeking to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil, focusing on nuclear and alternative energy development. Several factors are converging to slow China's growth, including debt overhang from its credit-fueled stimulus program, industrial overcapacity, inefficient allocation of capital by state-owned banks, and the slow recovery of China's trading partners. The government's 12th Five-Year Plan, adopted in March 2011 and reiterated at the Communist Party's "Third Plenum" meeting in November 2013, emphasizes continued economic reforms and the need to increase domestic consumption in order to make the economy less dependent in the future on fixed investments, exports, and heavy industry. However, China has made only marginal progress toward these rebalancing goals. The new government of President XI Jinping has signaled a greater willingness to undertake reforms that focus on China's long-term economic health, including giving the market a more decisive role in allocating resources.The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $49,800. In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products. At the same time, they face higher barriers to enter their rivals' home markets than foreign firms face entering US markets. US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers and in medical, aerospace, and military equipment; their advantage has narrowed since the end of World War II. The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. Since 1996, dividends and capital gains have grown faster than wages or any other category of after-tax income. Imported oil accounts for nearly 55% of US consumption. Crude oil prices doubled between 2001 and 2006, the year home prices peaked; higher gasoline prices ate into consumers' budgets and many individuals fell behind in their mortgage payments. Oil prices climbed another 50% between 2006 and 2008, and bank foreclosures more than doubled in the same period. Besides dampening the housing market, soaring oil prices caused a drop in the value of the dollar and a deterioration in the US merchandise trade deficit, which peaked at $840 billion in 2008. The sub-prime mortgage crisis, falling home prices, investment bank failures, tight credit, and the global economic downturn pushed the United States into a recession by mid-2008. GDP contracted until the third quarter of 2009, making this the deepest and longest downturn since the Great Depression. To help stabilize financial markets, in October 2008 the US Congress established a $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The government used some of these funds to purchase equity in US banks and industrial corporations, much of which had been returned to the government by early 2011. In January 2009 the US Congress passed and President Barack OBAMA signed a bill providing an additional $787 billion fiscal stimulus to be used over 10 years - two-thirds on additional spending and one-third on tax cuts - to create jobs and to help the economy recover. In 2010 and 2011, the federal budget deficit reached nearly 9% of GDP. In 2012 the federal government reduced the growth of spending and the deficit shrank to 7.6% of GDP. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan required major shifts in national resources from civilian to military purposes and contributed to the growth of the budget deficit and public debt. Through 2011, the direct costs of the wars totaled nearly $900 billion, according to US government figures. US revenues from taxes and other sources are lower, as a percentage of GDP, than those of most other countries. In March 2010, President OBAMA signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a health insurance reform that was designed to extend coverage to an additional 32 million American citizens by 2016, through private health insurance for the general population and Medicaid for the impoverished. Total spending on health care - public plus private - rose from 9.0% of GDP in 1980 to 17.9% in 2010. In July 2010, the president signed the DODD-FRANK Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a law designed to promote financial stability by protecting consumers from financial abuses, ending taxpayer bailouts of financial firms, dealing with troubled banks that are "too big to fail," and improving accountability and transparency in the financial system - in particular, by requiring certain financial derivatives to be traded in markets that are subject to government regulation and oversight. In December 2012, the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) announced plans to purchase $85 billion per month of mortgage-backed and Treasury securities in an effort to hold down long-term interest rates, and to keep short term rates near zero until unemployment drops below 6.5% or inflation rises above 2.5%. In late 2013, the Fed announced that it would begin scaling back long-term bond purchases to $75 billion per month in January 2014 and reduce them further as conditions warranted; the Fed, however, would keep short-term rates near zero so long as unemployment and inflation had not crossed the previously stated thresholds. Long-term problems include stagnation of wages for lower-income families, inadequate investment in deteriorating infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, energy shortages, and sizable current account and budget deficits.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$13.39 trillion (2013 est.)
$12.43 trillion (2012 est.)
$11.54 trillion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
$16.72 trillion (2013 est.)
$16.47 trillion (2012 est.)
$16.02 trillion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - real growth rate7.7% (2013 est.)
7.7% (2012 est.)
9.3% (2011 est.)
1.6% (2013 est.)
2.8% (2012 est.)
1.8% (2011 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$9,800 (2013 est.)
$9,100 (2012 est.)
$8,300 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
$52,800 (2013 est.)
$52,400 (2012 est.)
$51,400 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 10%
industry: 43.9%
services: 46.1%
(2013 est.)
agriculture: 1.1%
industry: 19.5%
services: 79.4%
(2013 est.)
Population below poverty line6.1%
note: in 2011, China set a new poverty line at RMB 2300 (approximately US $3,630)
(2013)
15.1% (2010 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 30%
note: data are for urban households only (2009)
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 30% (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.6% (2013 est.)
2.6% (2012 est.)
1.5% (2013 est.)
2.1% (2012 est.)
Labor force797.6 million
note: by the end of 2012, China's population at working age (15-64 years) was 1.0040 billion (2013 est.)
155.4 million
note: includes unemployed (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 33.6%
industry: 30.3%
services: 36.1%
(2012 est.)
farming, forestry, and fishing: 0.7%
manufacturing, extraction, transportation, and crafts: 20.3%
managerial, professional, and technical: 37.3%
sales and office: 24.2%
other services: 17.6%
note: figures exclude the unemployed
(2009)
Unemployment rate4.1% (2013 est.)
4.1% (2012 est.)
note: data are for registered urban unemployment, which excludes private enterprises and migrants
7.3% (2013 est.)
8.1% (2012 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index47.3 (2013)
47.4 (2012)
45 (2007)
40.8 (1997)
Budgetrevenues: $2.118 trillion
expenditures: $2.292 trillion (2013 est.)
revenues: $2.849 trillion
expenditures: $3.517 trillion
note: for the US, revenues exclude social contributions of approximately $1.0 trillion; expenditures exclude social benefits of approximately $2.3 trillion (2013 est.)
Industriesworld leader in gross value of industrial output; mining and ore processing, iron, steel, aluminum, and other metals, coal; machine building; armaments; textiles and apparel; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizers; consumer products (including footwear, toys, and electronics); food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, rail cars and locomotives, ships, aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satelliteshighly diversified, world leading, high-technology innovator, second largest industrial output in world; petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, mining
Industrial production growth rate7.6% (2013 est.)2.5% (2013 est.)
Agriculture - productsworld leader in gross value of agricultural output; rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed; pork; fishwheat, corn, other grains, fruits, vegetables, cotton; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish; forest products
Exports$2.21 trillion (2013 est.)
$2.049 trillion (2012 est.)
$1.575 trillion (2013 est.)
$1.561 trillion (2012 est.)
Exports - commoditieselectrical and other machinery, including data processing equipment, apparel, radio telephone handsets, textiles, integrated circuitsagricultural products (soybeans, fruit, corn) 9.2%, industrial supplies (organic chemicals) 26.8%, capital goods (transistors, aircraft, motor vehicle parts, computers, telecommunications equipment) 49.0%, consumer goods (automobiles, medicines) 15.0%
Exports - partnersHong Kong 17.4%, US 16.7%, Japan 6.8%, South Korea 4.1% (2013 est.)Canada 18.9%, Mexico 14%, China 7.2%, Japan 4.5% (2012)
Imports$1.95 trillion (2013 est.)
$1.818 trillion (2012 est.)
$2.273 trillion (2013 est.)
$2.303 trillion (2012 est.)
Imports - commoditieselectrical and other machinery, oil and mineral fuels; nuclear reactor, boiler, and machinery components; optical and medical equipment, metal ores, motor vehicles; soybeansagricultural products 4.9%, industrial supplies 32.9% (crude oil 8.2%), capital goods 30.4% (computers, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines, electric power machinery), consumer goods 31.8% (automobiles, clothing, medicines, furniture, toys)
Imports - partnersSouth Korea 9.4%, Japan 8.3%, Taiwan 8%, United States 7.8%, Australia 5%, Germany 4.8% (2013 est.)China 19%, Canada 14.1%, Mexico 12%, Japan 6.4%, Germany 4.7% (2012)
Debt - external$863.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$737 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$15.68 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
$15.51 trillion (31 December 2011)
note: approximately 4/5ths of US external debt is denominated in US dollars; foreign lenders have been willing to hold US dollar denominated debt instruments because they view the dollar as the world's reserve currency
Exchange ratesRenminbi yuan (RMB) per US dollar -
6.2 (2013 est.)
6.3123 (2012 est.)
6.7703 (2010 est.)
6.8314 (2009)
6.9385 (2008)
British pounds per US dollar: 0.6324 (2012 est.), 0.624 (2011 est.), 0.6472 (2010), 0.6175 (2009), 0.5302 (2008)
Canadian dollars per US dollar: (2013 est.), 1.001 (2012 est.), 0.9895 (2011 est), 1.0302 (2010 est.), 1.1431 (2009), 1.0364 (2008)
Chinese yuan per US dollar: (2012 est.), 6.311 (2012 est.), 6.4615 (20111 est.), 6.7703 (2010 est.), 6.8314 (2009), 6.9385 (2008)
euros per US dollar: 0.7838 (2012 est.), 0.7185 (2011 est.), 0.755 (2010 est.), 0.7198 (2009), 0.6827 (2008)
Japanese yen per US dollar: 79.42 (2012 est.), 79.81 (2011 est.), 87.78 (2010), 93.57 (2009), 103.58 (2008)
Fiscal yearcalendar year1 October - 30 September
Public debt22.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
26.1% of GDP (2012)
note: official data; data cover both central government debt and local government debt, which China's National Audit Office estimated at RMB 10.72 trillion (approximately US$1.66 trillion) in 2011; data exclude policy bank bonds, Ministry of Railway debt, China Asset Management Company debt, and non-performing loans
71.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
70% of GDP (2012 est.)
note: data cover only what the United States Treasury denotes as "Debt Held by the Public," which includes all debt instruments issued by the Treasury that are owned by non-US Government entities; the data include Treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data exclude debt issued by individual US states, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of Treasury borrowings from surpluses in the trusts for Federal Social Security, Federal Employees, Hospital Insurance (Medicare and Medicaid), Disability and Unemployment, and several other smaller trusts; if data for intra-government debt were added, "Gross Debt" would increase by about one-third of GDP
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$3.821 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$3.388 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
$150.2 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$148 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Current Account Balance$182.8 billion (2013 est.)
$215.4 billion (2012 est.)
-$360.7 billion (2013 est.)
-$440.4 billion (2012 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$9.33 trillion
note: because China's exchange rate is determine by fiat, rather than by market forces, the official exchange rate measure of GDP is not an accurate measure of China's output; GDP at the official exchange rate substantially understates the actual level of China's output vis-a-vis the rest of the world; in China's situation, GDP at purchasing power parity provides the best measure for comparing output across countries (2013 est.)
$16.72 trillion (2013 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$1.344 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
$1.232 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
$2.815 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.651 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$541 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$531.9 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$4.854 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$4.453 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$6.499 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$5.753 trillion (31 December 2012)
$3.389 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
$18.67 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
$15.64 trillion (31 December 2011)
$17.14 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
Central bank discount rate2.25% (31 December 2013 est.)
2.25% (31 December 2012 est.)
0.5% (31 December 2010)
0.5% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate5.73% (31 December 2013 est.)
6% (31 December 2012 est.)
3.3% (31 December 2013 est.)
3.25% (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$11.79 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$10.02 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
$16.97 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$16.17 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of narrow money$5.532 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$4.911 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
$2.612 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.311 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of broad money$18.15 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$15.5 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
$12.99 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
$12.07 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
Taxes and other revenues19.4% of GDP (2013 est.)17% of GDP
note: excludes contributions for social security and other programs; if social contributions were added, taxes and other revenues would amount to approximately 22% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-2.1% of GDP (2013 est.)-4% of GDP (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 36.3%
government consumption: 13.7%
investment in fixed capital: 46%
investment in inventories: 1.2%
exports of goods and services: 25.1%
imports of goods and services: -22.2%
(2013 est.)
household consumption: 68.6%
government consumption: 18.6%
investment in fixed capital: 15.3%
investment in inventories: 0.4%
exports of goods and services: 13.4%
imports of goods and services: -16.3%
(2013 est.)
Gross national saving50% of GDP (2013 est.)
51.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
50.1% of GDP (2011 est.)
13.5% of GDP (2013 est.)
12.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
11.4% of GDP (2011 est.)

Energy

ChinaUnited States
Electricity - production5.398 trillion kWh (2013)4.099 trillion kWh (2011 est.)
Electricity - consumption5.322 trillion kWh (2013)3.886 trillion kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - exports18.67 billion kWh (2013)12 billion kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity - imports7.438 billion kWh (2013)59.26 billion kWh (2012 est.)
Oil - production4.197 million bbl/day (2013 est.)11.11 million bbl/day (2012 est.)
Oil - imports5.664 million bbl/day (2013 est.)9.213 million bbl/day (2010 est.)
Oil - exports33,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)41,640 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Oil - proved reserves17.3 billion bbl (1 January 2013 est.)20.68 billion bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves3.1 trillion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)9.459 trillion cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Natural gas - production117.1 billion cu m (2013 est.)681.4 billion cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas - consumption150 billion cu m (2013 est.)689.9 billion cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas - exports2.4 billion cu m (2013 est.)45.84 billion cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas - imports53 billion cu m (2013 est.)88.77 billion cu m (2012 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity1.247 billion kW (2013 est.)1.039 billion kW (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production9.371 million bbl/day (2012 est.)18.45 million bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption9.79 million bbl/day (2011 est.)18.84 million bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports664,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)2.311 million bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports922,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)2.58 million bbl/day (2010 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy10 billion Mt (2013 est.)5.491 billion Mt (2011 est.)

Telecommunications

ChinaUnited States
Telephones - main lines in use278.86 million (2012)139 million (2012)
Telephones - mobile cellular1.1 billion (2012)310 million (2012)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: domestic and international services are increasingly available for private use; unevenly distributed domestic system serves principal cities, industrial centers, and many towns; China continues to develop its telecommunications infrastructure; China in the summer of 2008 began a major restructuring of its telecommunications industry, resulting in the consolidation of its six telecom service operators to three, China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom, each providing both fixed-line and mobile services
domestic: interprovincial fiber-optic trunk lines and cellular telephone systems have been installed; mobile-cellular subscribership is increasing rapidly; the number of Internet users exceeded 564 million by the end of 2012; a domestic satellite system with several earth stations is in place
international: country code - 86; a number of submarine cables provide connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the US; satellite earth stations - 7 (5 Intelsat - 4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean; 1 Intersputnik - Indian Ocean region; and 1 Inmarsat - Pacific and Indian Ocean regions) (2012)
general assessment: a large, technologically advanced, multipurpose communications system
domestic: a large system of fiber-optic cable, microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and domestic satellites carries every form of telephone traffic; a rapidly growing cellular system carries mobile telephone traffic throughout the country
international: country code - 1; multiple ocean cable systems provide international connectivity; satellite earth stations - 61 Intelsat (45 Atlantic Ocean and 16 Pacific Ocean), 5 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region), and 4 Inmarsat (Pacific and Atlantic Ocean regions) (2011)
Internet country code.cn.us
Internet users389 million (2009)245 million (2009)
Internet hosts20.602 million (2012)505 million (2012); note - the US Internet total host count includes the following top level domain host addresses: .us, .com, .edu, .gov, .mil, .net, and .org
Broadcast mediaall broadcast media are owned by, or affiliated with, the Communist Party of China or a government agency; no privately owned TV or radio stations; state-run Chinese Central TV, provincial, and municipal stations offer more than 2,000 channels; the Central Propaganda Department lists subjects that are off limits to domestic broadcast media with the government maintaining authority to approve all programming; foreign-made TV programs must be approved prior to broadcast4 major terrestrial TV networks with affiliate stations throughout the country, plus cable and satellite networks, independent stations, and a limited public broadcasting sector that is largely supported by private grants; overall, thousands of TV stations broadcasting; multiple national radio networks with many affiliate stations; while most stations are commercial, National Public Radio (NPR) has a network of some 600 member stations; satellite radio available; overall, nearly 15,000 radio stations operating (2008)

Transportation

ChinaUnited States
Railwaystotal: 86,000 km
standard gauge: 86,000 km 1.435-m gauge (36,000 km electrified) (2008)
total: 224,792 km
standard gauge: 224,792 km 1.435-m gauge (2007)
Roadwaystotal: 4,106,387 km
paved: 3,453,890 km (includes 84,946 km of expressways)
unpaved: 652,497 km (2011)
total: 6,586,610 km
paved: 4,304,715 km (includes 76,334 km of expressways)
unpaved: 2,281,895 km (2012)
Waterways110,000 km (navigable waterways) (2011)41,009 km (19,312 km used for commerce; Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, is shared with Canada) (2012)
Pipelinescondensate 9 km; gas 48,502 km; oil 23,072 km; oil/gas/water 31 km; refined products 15,298 km; water 9 km (2013)natural gas 1,984,321 km; petroleum products 240,711 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Dalian, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin
river port(s): Guangzhou (Pearl)
container port(s) (TEUs): Dalian (6,400,300), Guangzhou (14,260,400), Ningbo (14,719,200), Qingdao (13,020,100), Shanghai (31,739,000), Shenzhen (22,570,800), Tianjin (11,587,600)(2011)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Putian, Shanghai, Shenzhen
cargo ports (tonnage): Baton Rouge, Corpus Christi, Hampton Roads, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Plaquemines, Tampa, Texas City
container port(s) (TEUs): Hampton Roads (1,918,029), Houston (1,866,450), Long Beach (6,061,091), Los Angeles (7,940,511), New York/New Jersey (5,503,485), Oakland (2,342,504), Savannah (2,944,678), Seattle (2,033,535)(2011)
cruise departure ports (passengers): Miami (2,032,000), Port Everglades (1,277,000), Port Canaveral (1,189,000), Seattle (430,000), Long Beach (415,000) (2009)
oil terminals: LOOP terminal, Haymark terminal
LNG terminal(s) (import): Cove Point (MD), Elba Island (GA), Everett (MA), Freeport (TX), Golden Pass (TX), Hackberry (LA), Lake Charles (LA), Neptune (offshore), Northeast Gateway (offshore), Pascagoula (MS), Sabine Pass (TX)
LNG terminal(s) (export): Kenai (AK)
Merchant marinetotal: 2,030
by type: barge carrier 7, bulk carrier 621, cargo 566, carrier 10, chemical tanker 140, container 206, liquefied gas 60, passenger 9, passenger/cargo 81, petroleum tanker 264, refrigerated cargo 33, roll on/roll off 8, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 23
foreign-owned: 22 (Hong Kong 18, Indonesia 2, Japan 2)
registered in other countries: 1,559 (Bangladesh 1, Belize 61, Cambodia 177, Comoros 1, Cyprus 6, Georgia 10, Honduras 2, Hong Kong 500, India 1, Indonesia 1, Kiribati 26, Liberia 4, Malta 6, Marshall Islands 14, North Korea 3, Panama 534, Philippines 4, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 65, Sao Tome and Principe 1, Sierra Leone 19, Singapore 29, South Korea 6, Thailand 1, Togo 1, Tuvalu 4, UK 7, Vanuatu 1, unknown 73) (2010)
total: 393
by type: barge carrier 6, bulk carrier 55, cargo 51, carrier 2, chemical tanker 30, container 84, passenger 18, passenger/cargo 56, petroleum tanker 35, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 27, vehicle carrier 26
foreign-owned: 85 (Australia 1, Bermuda 5, Denmark 31, France 4, Germany 5, Malaysia 2, Norway 17, Singapore 16, UK 4)
registered in other countries: 794 (Antigua and Barbuda 7, Australia 2, Bahamas 109, Belgium 1, Bermuda 26, Canada 10, Cayman Islands 57, Comoros 2, Cyprus 5, Georgia 1, Greece 8, Honduras 1, Hong Kong 44, Indonesia 2, Ireland 2, Isle of Man 1, Italy 23, Liberia 53, Malta 34, Marshall Islands 200, Netherlands 16, Norway 10, Panama 90, Portugal 4, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 18, Singapore 36, South Korea 8, Togo 1, UK 14, Vanuatu 2, unknown 6) (2010)
Airports507 (2013)13,513 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 463
over 3,047 m: 71
2,438 to 3,047 m: 158
1,524 to 2,437 m: 123
914 to 1,523 m: 25
under 914 m: 86 (2013)
total: 5,054
over 3,047 m: 189
2,438 to 3,047 m: 235
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1,478
914 to 1,523 m: 2,249
under 914 m: 903 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 44
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m:
18 (2013)
total: 8,459
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 140
914 to 1,523 m: 1,552
under 914 m:
6,760 (2013)
Heliports47 (2013)5,287 (2013)

Military

ChinaUnited States
Military branchesPeople's Liberation Army (PLA): Ground Forces, Navy (PLAN; includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (Zhongguo Renmin Jiefangjun Kongjun, PLAAF; includes Airborne Forces), and Second Artillery Corps (strategic missile force); People's Armed Police (Renmin Wuzhuang Jingcha Budui, PAP); PLA Reserve Force (2012)United States Armed Forces: US Army, US Navy (includes Marine Corps), US Air Force, US Coast Guard; note - Coast Guard administered in peacetime by the Department of Homeland Security, but in wartime reports to the Department of the Navy (2013)
Military service age and obligation18-24 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with a 2-year service obligation; no minimum age for voluntary service (all officers are volunteers); 18-19 years of age for women high school graduates who meet requirements for specific military jobs; a recent military decision allows women in combat roles; the first class of women warship commanders was in 2011 (2012)18 years of age (17 years of age with parental consent) for male and female voluntary service; no conscription; maximum enlistment age 42 (Army), 27 (Air Force), 34 (Navy), 28 (Marines); service obligation 8 years, including 2-5 years active duty (Army), 2 years active (Navy), 4 years active (Air Force, Marines); DoD is eliminating prohibitions restricting women from assignments in units smaller than brigades or near combat units (2013)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 385,821,101
females age 16-49: 363,789,674 (2010 est.)
males age 16-49: 73,270,043
females age 16-49: 71,941,969 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 318,265,016
females age 16-49: 300,323,611 (2010 est.)
males age 16-49: 60,620,143
females age 16-49: 59,401,941 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 10,406,544
female: 9,131,990 (2010 est.)
male: 2,161,727
female: 2,055,685 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP1.99% of GDP (2012)
2% of GDP (2011)
1.99% of GDP (2010)
4.35% of GDP (2012)
4.75% of GDP (2011)
4.35% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

ChinaUnited States
Disputes - internationalcontinuing talks and confidence-building measures work toward reducing tensions over Kashmir that nonetheless remains militarized with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas); India does not recognize Pakistan's ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964; China and India continue their security and foreign policy dialogue started in 2005 related to the dispute over most of their rugged, militarized boundary, regional nuclear proliferation, and other matters; China claims most of India's Arunachal Pradesh to the base of the Himalayas; lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to resolve territorial disputes arising from substantial cartographic discrepancies, the largest of which lie in Bhutan's northwest and along the Chumbi salient; Burmese forces attempting to dig in to the largely autonomous Shan State to rout local militias tied to the drug trade, prompts local residents to periodically flee into neighboring Yunnan Province in China; Chinese maps show an international boundary symbol off the coasts of the littoral states of the South China Seas, where China has interrupted Vietnamese hydrocarbon exploration; China asserts sovereignty over Scarborough Reef along with the Philippines and Taiwan, and over the Spratly Islands together with Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Brunei; the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea eased tensions in the Spratlys but is not the legally binding code of conduct sought by some parties; Vietnam and China continue to expand construction of facilities in the Spratlys and in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord on marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands; China occupies some of the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; China and Taiwan continue to reject both Japan's claims to the uninhabited islands of Senkaku-shoto (Diaoyu Tai) and Japan's unilaterally declared equidistance line in the East China Sea, the site of intensive hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation; certain islands in the Yalu and Tumen rivers are in dispute with North Korea; North Korea and China seek to stem illegal migration to China by North Koreans, fleeing privations and oppression, by building a fence along portions of the border and imprisoning North Koreans deported by China; China and Russia have demarcated the once disputed islands at the Amur and Ussuri confluence and in the Argun River in accordance with their 2004 Agreement; China and Tajikistan have begun demarcating the revised boundary agreed to in the delimitation of 2002; the decade-long demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary was completed in 2009; citing environmental, cultural, and social concerns, China has reconsidered construction of 13 dams on the Salween River, but energy-starved Burma, with backing from Thailand, remains intent on building five hydro-electric dams downstream despite regional and international protests; Chinese and Hong Kong authorities met in March 2008 to resolve ownership and use of lands recovered in Shenzhen River channelization, including 96-hectare Lok Ma Chau Loop;the US has intensified domestic security measures and is collaborating closely with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, to monitor and control legal and illegal personnel, transport, and commodities across the international borders; abundant rainfall in recent years along much of the Mexico-US border region has ameliorated periodically strained water-sharing arrangements; 1990 Maritime Boundary Agreement in the Bering Sea still awaits Russian Duma ratification; Canada and the United States dispute how to divide the Beaufort Sea and the status of the Northwest Passage but continue to work cooperatively to survey the Arctic continental shelf; The Bahamas and US have not been able to agree on a maritime boundary; US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay is leased from Cuba and only mutual agreement or US abandonment of the area can terminate the lease; Haiti claims US-administered Navassa Island; US has made no territorial claim in Antarctica (but has reserved the right to do so) and does not recognize the claims of any other states; Marshall Islands claims Wake Island; Tokelau included American Samoa's Swains Island among the islands listed in its 2006 draft constitution
Illicit drugsmajor transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia; growing domestic consumption of synthetic drugs, and heroin from Southeast and Southwest Asia; source country for methamphetamine and heroin chemical precursors, despite new regulations on its large chemical industry (2008)world's largest consumer of cocaine (shipped from Colombia through Mexico and the Caribbean), Colombian heroin, and Mexican heroin and marijuana; major consumer of ecstasy and Mexican methamphetamine; minor consumer of high-quality Southeast Asian heroin; illicit producer of cannabis, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine; money-laundering center
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): estimated 30,000-50,000 (North Korea) (2012); 300,896 (Vietnam) (2013)
IDPs: 90,000 (2010)
refugees (country of origin): the US admitted 69,926 refugees during FY2013 including: 19,488 (Iraq); 16,299 (Burma); 9,134 (Bhutan); 7,608 (Somalia); 4,205 (Cuba); 2,578 (Iran); 1,824 (Eritrea)

Source: CIA Factbook