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China vs. Afghanistan

Introduction

ChinaAfghanistan
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 Communist Party of China 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 but political controls remain tight. Since the early 1990s, China has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations.
Ahmad Shah DURRANI unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the British and Russian Empires until it won independence from notional British control in 1919. A brief experiment in democracy ended in a 1973 coup and a 1978 communist countercoup. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan communist regime, touching off a long and destructive war. The USSR withdrew in 1989 under relentless pressure by internationally supported anti-communist mujahidin rebels. A series of subsequent civil wars saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the country's civil war and anarchy. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, a US, Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering Usama BIN LADIN.
A UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001 established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution, a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005. In December 2004, Hamid KARZAI became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan, and the National Assembly was inaugurated the following December. KARZAI was reelected in August 2009 for a second term. The 2014 presidential election was the country's first to include a runoff, which featured the top two vote-getters from the first round, Abdullah ABDULLAH and Ashraf GHANI. Throughout the summer of 2014, their campaigns disputed the results and traded accusations of fraud, leading to a US-led diplomatic intervention that included a full vote audit as well as political negotiations between the two camps. In September 2014, GHANI and ABDULLAH agreed to form the Government of National Unity, with GHANI inaugurated as president and ABDULLAH elevated to the newly-created position of chief executive officer. The day after the inauguration, the GHANI administration signed the US-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement and NATO Status of Forces Agreement, which provide the legal basis for the post-2014 international military presence in Afghanistan.
Despite gains toward building a stable central government, the Taliban remains a serious challenge for the Afghan Government in almost every province. The Taliban still considers itself the rightful government of Afghanistan, and it remains a capable and confident insurgent force despite its last two spiritual leaders being killed; it continues to declare that it will pursue a peace deal with Kabul only after foreign military forces depart.

Geography

ChinaAfghanistan
LocationEastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran
Geographic coordinates35 00 N, 105 00 E
33 00 N, 65 00 E
Map referencesAsia
Asia
Areatotal: 9,596,960 sq km
land: 9,326,410 sq km
water: 270,550 sq km
total: 652,230 sq km
land: 652,230 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than the US
almost six times the size of Virginia; slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundariestotal: 22,457 km
border countries (14): 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) 4,133 km, Russia (northwest) 46 km, Tajikistan 477 km, Vietnam 1,297 km
regional border(s) (2): Hong Kong 33 km, Macau 3 km
total: 5,987 km
border countries (6): China 91 km, Iran 921 km, Pakistan 2,670 km, Tajikistan 1,357 km, Turkmenistan 804 km, Uzbekistan 144 km
Coastline14,500 km
0 km (landlocked)
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
none (landlocked)
Climateextremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north
arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers
Terrainmostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east
mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 1,840 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,848 m (highest peak in Asia and highest point on earth above sea level)
mean elevation: 1,884 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Amu Darya 258 m
highest point: Noshak 7,492 m
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), arable land
natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 54.7%
arable land 11.3%; permanent crops 1.6%; permanent pasture 41.8%
forest: 22.3%
other: 23% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 58.07%
arable land 20.5%; permanent crops 0.37%; permanent pasture 79%
forest: 2.07%
other: 39.86% (2014 est.)
Irrigated land690,070 sq km (2012)
32,080 sq km (2012)
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
damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains; flooding; droughts
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; coastal destruction due to land reclamation, industrial development, and aquaculture; deforestation and habitat destruction; poor land management leads to soil erosion, landslides, floods, droughts, dust storms and desertification; trade in endangered species
limited natural freshwater resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil degradation; overgrazing; deforestation (much of the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building materials); desertification; air and water pollution
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: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation
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 peak above sea level
landlocked; the Hindu Kush mountains that run northeast to southwest divide the northern provinces from the rest of the country; the highest peaks are in the northern Vakhan (Wakhan Corridor)
Population distributionoverwhelming majority of the population is found in the eastern half of the country; the west, with its vast mountainous and desert areas, remains sparsely populated; though ranked first in the world in total population, overall density is less than that of many other countries in Asia and Europe; high population density is found along the Yangtze and Yellow River valleys, the Xi Jiang River delta, the Sichuan Basin (around Chengdu), in and around Beijing, and the industrial area around Shenyang
populations tend to cluster in the foothills and periphery of the rugged Hindu Kush range; smaller groups are found in many of the country's interior valleys; in general, the east is more densely settled while the south is sparsely populated

Demographics

ChinaAfghanistan
Population1,379,302,771 (July 2017 est.)
34,124,811 (July 2017 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 17.15% (male 127,484,177/female 109,113,241)
15-24 years: 12.78% (male 94,215,607/female 82,050,623)
25-54 years: 48.51% (male 341,466,438/female 327,661,460)
55-64 years: 10.75% (male 74,771,050/female 73,441,177)
65 years and over: 10.81% (male 71,103,029/female 77,995,969) (2017 est.)
0-14 years: 40.92% (male 7,093,980/female 6,869,737)
15-24 years: 22.22% (male 3,859,696/female 3,723,679)
25-54 years: 30.35% (male 5,273,969/female 5,082,972)
55-64 years: 3.92% (male 659,635/female 678,942)
65 years and over: 2.59% (male 407,437/female 474,764) (2017 est.)
Median agetotal: 37.4 years
male: 36.5 years
female: 38.4 years (2017 est.)
total: 18.8 years
male: 18.8 years
female: 18.9 years (2017 est.)
Population growth rate0.41% (2017 est.)
2.36% (2017 est.)
Birth rate12.3 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
37.9 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate7.8 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
13.4 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Net migration rate-0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
-0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.15 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.17 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 12 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 12.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
total: 110.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 118 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 102.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 75.7 years
male: 73.6 years
female: 78 years (2017 est.)
total population: 51.7 years
male: 50.3 years
female: 53.2 years (2017 est.)
Total fertility rate1.6 children born/woman (2017 est.)
5.12 children born/woman (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
<.1% (2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Chinese (singular and plural)
adjective: Chinese
noun: Afghan(s)
adjective: Afghan
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.)
Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, other (includes smaller numbers of Baloch, Turkmen, Nuristani, Pamiri, Arab, Gujar, Brahui, Qizilbash, Aimaq, Pashai, and Kyrghyz)
note: current statistical data on the sensitive subject of ethnicity in Afghanistan are not available, and ethnicity data from small samples of respondents to opinion polls are not a reliable alternative; Afghanistan's 2004 constitution recognizes 14 ethnic groups: Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Baloch, Turkmen, Nuristani, Pamiri, Arab, Gujar, Brahui, Qizilbash, Aimaq, and Pashai (2015)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
7,500 (2016 est.)
ReligionsBuddhist 18.2%, Christian 5.1%, Muslim 1.8%, folk religion 21.9%, Hindu < 0.1%, Jewish < 0.1%, other 0.7% (includes Daoist (Taoist)), unaffiliated 52.2%
note: officially atheist (2010 est.)
Muslim 99.7% (Sunni 84.7 - 89.7%, Shia 10 - 15%), other 0.3% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
<500 (2016 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 Uygur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet)
Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 80% (Dari functions as the lingua franca), Pashto (official) 47%, Uzbek 11%, English 5%, Turkmen 2%, Urdu 2%, Pashayi 1%, Nuristani 1%, Arabic 1%, Balochi, Shughni, Pamiri, Hindi, Russian, German, French <.5% each, don't know/refused <1%
note 1: data represent most widely spoken languages; shares sum to more than 100% because there is much bilingualism in the country and because respondents were allowed to select more than one language
note 2: the Turkic languages Uzbek and Turkmen, as well as Balochi, Pashayi, Nuristani, and Pamiri are the third official languages in areas where the majority speaks them (2017 est.)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.4%
male: 98.2%
female: 94.5% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 38.2%
male: 52%
female: 24.2% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: Japanese encephalitis
soil contact disease: hantaviral hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) (2016)
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria (2016)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2015)
total: 11 years
male: 13 years
female: 8 years (2014)
Education expendituresNA
3.4% of GDP (2015)
Urbanizationurban population: 57.9% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 2.3% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
note: data do not include Hong Kong and Macau
urban population: 27.6% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 3.77% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 97.5% of population
rural: 93% of population
total: 95.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.5% of population
rural: 7% of population
total: 4.5% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 78.2% of population
rural: 47% of population
total: 55.3% of population
unimproved:
urban: 21.8% of population
rural: 53% of population
total: 44.7% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 86.6% of population
rural: 63.7% of population
total: 76.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 13.4% of population
rural: 36.3% of population
total: 23.5% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 45.1% of population
rural: 27% of population
total: 31.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 54.9% of population
rural: 73% of population
total: 68.1% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationShanghai 23.741 million; BEIJING (capital) 20.384 million; Chongqing 13.332 million; Guangdong 12.458 million; Tianjin 11.21 million; Shenzhen 10.749 million (2015)
KABUL (capital) 4.635 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate27 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
396 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight3.4% (2010)
25% (2013)
Health expenditures5.5% of GDP (2014)
8.2% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density1.49 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
0.3 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density3.8 beds/1,000 population (2011)
0.5 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate6.2% (2016)
5.5% (2016)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 37.7
youth dependency ratio: 24.3
elderly dependency ratio: 13.3
potential support ratio: 7.5
data do not include Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 88.8
youth dependency ratio: 84.1
elderly dependency ratio: 4.7
potential support ratio: 21.2 (2015 est.)

Government

ChinaAfghanistan
Country name"conventional long form: People's Republic of China
conventional short form: China
local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
local short form: Zhongguo
abbreviation: PRC
etymology: English name derives from the Qin (Chin) rulers of the 3rd century B.C., who comprised the first imperial dynasty of ancient China; the Chinese name Zhongguo translates as ""Central Nation""
"
"conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
conventional short form: Afghanistan
local long form: Jamhuri-ye Islami-ye Afghanistan
local short form: Afghanistan
former: Republic of Afghanistan
etymology: the name ""Afghan"" originally referred to the Pashtun people (today it is understood to include all the country's ethnic groups), while the suffix ""-stan"" means ""place of"" or ""country""; so Afghanistan literally means the ""Land of the Afghans""
"
Government typecommunist party-led state
presidential Islamic republic
Capital"name: 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: Kabul
geographic coordinates: 34 31 N, 69 11 E
time difference: UTC+4.5 (9.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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
34 provinces (welayat, singular - welayat); Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamyan, Daykundi, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghor, Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabul, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar, Kunduz, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nimroz, Nuristan, Paktika, Paktiya, Panjshir, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-e Pul, Takhar, Uruzgan, Wardak, Zabul
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)
19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)
National holidayNational Day (anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China), 1 October (1949)
Independence Day, 19 August (1919)
Constitutionseveral previous; latest promulgated 4 December 1982; amended several times, last in 2004 (2016)
history: several previous; latest drafted 14 December 2003 - 4 January 2004, signed 16 January 2004, ratified 26 January 2004
amendments: proposed by a commission formed by presidential decree followed by the convention of a Grand Council (Loya Jirga) decreed by the president; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Loya Jirga membership and endorsement by the president (2017)
Legal systemcivil law influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; note - in early 2017, the National People's Congress took the first step in adopting a new civil code by passing the General Provisions of the Civil Law
mixed legal system of civil, customary, and Islamic law
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 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 Premiers ZHANG Gaoli (since 16 March 2013), LIU Yandong (since 16 March 2013), MA Kai (since 16 March 2013), WANG Yang (since 16 March 2013)
cabinet: State Council appointed by National People's Congress
elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected by National People's Congress for a 5-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; National People's Congress vote - 2,952 ; LI Yuanchao elected vice president with 2,940 votes
chief of state: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf GHANI Ahmadzai (since 29 September 2014); CEO Abdullah ABDULLAH, Dr. (since 29 September 2014); First Vice President Abdul Rashid DOSTAM (since 29 September 2014); Second Vice President Sarwar DANESH (since 29 September 2014); First Deputy CEO Khyal Mohammad KHAN; Second Deputy CEO Mohammad MOHAQQEQ; note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf GHANI Ahmadzai (since 29 September 2014); CEO Abdullah ABDULLAH, Dr. (since 29 September 2014); First Vice President Abdul Rashid DOSTAM (since 29 September 2014); Second Vice President Sarwar DANESH (since 29 September 2014); First Deputy CEO Khyal Mohammad KHAN; Second Deputy CEO Mohammad MOHAQQEQ
cabinet: Cabinet consists of 27 ministers appointed by the president, approved by the National Assembly
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held in 2 rounds on 5 April and 14 June 2014 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: Ashraf GHANI elected president in the second round; percent of vote in first round - Abdullah ABDULLAH (National Coalition of Afghanistan) 45%, Ashraf GHANI (independent) 31.6%, Zalmai RASSOUL 11.4%, other 12%; percent of vote in second round - Ashraf GHANI 56.4%, Abdullah ABDULLAH 43.6%
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (2,987 seats; members indirectly elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses, and the People's Liberation Army; members serve 5-year terms); note - in practice, only members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), its 8 allied parties, and CCP-approved independent candidates are elected
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 by party - 2,987
description: bicameral National Assembly consists of the Meshrano Jirga or House of Elders (102 seats; 34 members indirectly elected by district councils to serve 3-year terms, 34 indirectly elected by provincial councils to serve 4-year terms, and 34 nominated by the president of which 17 must be women, 2 must represent the disabled, and 2 must be Kuchi nomads; members serve 5-year terms) and the Wolesi Jirga or House of People (249 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
note: the constitution allows the government to convene a constitutional Loya Jirga (Grand Council) on issues of independence, national sovereignty, and territorial integrity; it can amend the provisions of the constitution and prosecute the president; it consists of members of the National Assembly and chairpersons of the provincial and district councils; no constitutional Loya Jirga has ever been held, and district councils have never been elected; the president appointed 34 members of the Meshrano Jirga that the district councils should have indirectly elected
elections: Meshrano Jirga - last held 10 January 2015 (next to be held in 2018); Wolesi Jirga - last held on 18 September 2010 (next originally scheduled on 15 October 2016 but postponed to 7 July 2018)
election results: Meshrano Jirga - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; Meshrano Jirga - percent of vote by party NA; seats by party - NA
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); note - in late December 2016, the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth circuit courts of the Supreme People's Court began operation
judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the People's National Congress (NPC); limited to 2 consecutive 5-year-terms; other justices and judges nominated by the chief justice and appointed by the Standing Committee of the NPC; term of other justices and judges determined by the NPC
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 late 2014, China unveiled planned judicial reforms
highest court(s): Supreme Court or Stera Mahkama (consists of the supreme court chief and 8 justices organized into criminal, public security, civil, and commercial divisions or dewans)
judge selection and term of office: court chief and justices appointed by the president with the approval of the Wolesi Jirga; court chief and justices serve single 10-year terms
subordinate courts: Appeals Courts; Primary Courts; Special Courts for issues including narcotics, security, property, family, and juveniles
Political parties and leadersChinese Communist Party or CCP [XI Jinping]
note: China has 8 nominally independent small parties ultimately controlled by the CCP
note - the Ministry of Justice licensed 57 political parties as of September 2016
Political pressure groups and leadersno substantial political opposition groups exist
religious groups, tribal leaders, ethnically based groups, Taliban
International organization participationADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, Arctic Council (observer), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, BRICS, CDB, CICA, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-24 (observer), G-5, 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, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
ADB, CICA, CP, ECO, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), SAARC, SACEP, SCO (dialogue member), UN, UNAMA, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador CUI Tiankai (since 3 April 2013)
chancery: 3505 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 495-2266
FAX: [1] (202) 495-2138
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco
chief of mission: Ambassador Hamdullah MOHIB (since 17 September 2015)
chancery: 2341 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-6410
FAX: [1] (202) 483-6488
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC
Diplomatic representation from the US"chief of mission: Ambassador Terry BRANSTAD (since 12 July 2017)Charge d""Affaires Johnathan FRITZ (acting)(since 5 June 2017)
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
"
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Special Charge d'Affaires Hugo LLORENS (since December 2016)
embassy: Bibi Mahru, Kabul
mailing address: U.S. Embassy Kabul, APO, AE 09806
telephone: [00 93] 0700 108 001
FAX: [00 93] 0700 108 564
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 China
"three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), red, and green, with the national emblem in white centered on the red band and slightly overlapping the other 2 bands; the center of the emblem features a mosque with pulpit and flags on either side, below the mosque are numerals for the solar year 1298 (1919 in the Gregorian calendar, the year of Afghan independence from the UK); this central image is circled by a border consisting of sheaves of wheat on the left and right, in the upper-center is an Arabic inscription of the Shahada (Muslim creed) below which are rays of the rising sun over the Takbir (Arabic expression meaning ""God is great""), and at bottom center is a scroll bearing the name Afghanistan; black signifies the past, red is for the blood shed for independence, and green can represent either hope for the future, agricultural prosperity, or Islam
note: Afghanistan had more changes to its national flag in the 20th century - 19 by one count - than any other country; the colors black, red, and green appeared on most of them
"
National anthem"name: ""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: ""Milli Surood"" (National Anthem)
lyrics/music: Abdul Bari JAHANI/Babrak WASA
note: adopted 2006; the 2004 constitution of the post-Taliban government mandated that a new national anthem should be written containing the phrase ""Allahu Akbar"" (God is Greatest) and mentioning the names of Afghanistan's ethnic groups
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)dragon, giant panda; national colors: red, yellow
lion; national colors: red, green, black
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: least one parent must be a citizen of China
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: while naturalization is theoretically possible, in practical terms it is extremely difficult; residency is required but not specified
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must have been born in - and continuously lived in - Afghanistan
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

ChinaAfghanistan
Economy - overview"Since the late 1970s, China has moved from a closed, centrally planned system to a more market-oriented one that plays a major global role. China has implemented reforms in a gradualist fashion, resulting in efficiency gains that have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Reforms began with the phaseout 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 continues to pursue an industrial policy, state support of key sectors, and a restrictive investment regime. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis that adjusts for price differences, China in 2016 stood as the largest economy in the world, surpassing the US in 2014 for the first time in modern history. China became the world's largest exporter in 2010, and the largest trading nation in 2013. Still, China's per capita income is below the world average.

After keeping its currency tightly linked to the US dollar for years, China in July 2005 moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. From mid-2005 to late 2008, the renminbi appreciated more than 20% against the US dollar, but the exchange rate remained virtually pegged to the dollar from the onset of the global financial crisis until June 2010, when Beijing announced it would allow a resumption of gradual liberalization. From 2013 until early2015, the renminbi (RMB) appreciated roughly 2% against the dollar, but the exchange rate fell 13% from mid-2015 until end-2016 amid strong capital outflows in part stemming from the August 2015 official devaluation; in 2017 the RMB resumed appreciating against the dollar – roughly 7% from end-of-2016 to end-of-2017. From 2013 to 2017, China had one of the fastest growing economies in the world, averaging slightly more than 7% real growth per year. In 2015, the People’s Bank of China announced it would continue to carefully push for full convertibility of the renminbi, after the currency was accepted as part of the IMF’s special drawing rights basket. However, since late 2015 the Chinese Government has strengthened capital controls and oversight of overseas investments to better manage the exchange rate and maintain financial stability.

The Chinese Government faces numerous economic challenges including: (a) reducing its high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic household consumption; (b) managing its high corporate debt burden to maintain financial stability; (c) controlling off-balance sheet local government debt used to finance infrastructure stimulus; (d) facilitating higher-wage job opportunities for the aspiring middle class, including rural migrants and college graduates, while maintaining competitiveness; (e) dampening speculative investment in the real estate sector without sharply slowing the economy; (f) reducing industrial overcapacity; and (g) raising productivity growth rates through the more efficient allocation of capital and state-support for innovation. Economic development has progressed further in coastal provinces than in the interior, and by 2016 more than 169.3 million migrant workers and their dependents had relocated to urban areas to find work. One consequence of China’s population control policy known as the “one-child policy” - which was relaxed in 2016 to permit all families to have two children - 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 urbanization. The Chinese Government is seeking to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil, focusing on natural gas, nuclear, and clean energy development. In 2016, China ratified the Paris Agreement, a multilateral agreement to combat climate change, and committed to peak its carbon dioxide emissions between 2025 and 2030.

The government's 13th Five-Year Plan, unveiled in March 2016, emphasizes the need to increase innovation and boost domestic consumption to make the economy less dependent on government investment, exports, and heavy industry. However, China has made more progress on subsidizing innovation than rebalancing the economy. Beijing has committed to giving the market a more decisive role in allocating resources, but the Chinese Government’s policies continue to favor state-owned enterprises and emphasize stability. Chinese leaders in 2010 pledged to double China’s GDP by 2020, and the 13th Five Year Plan includes annual economic growth targets of at least 6.5% through 2020 to achieve that goal. 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. Chinese leaders also have undermined some market-oriented reforms by reaffirming the “dominant” role of the state in the economy, a stance that threatens to discourage private initiative and make the economy less efficient over time. The slight acceleration in economic growth in 2017—the first such uptick since 2010—gives Beijing more latitude to pursue its economic reforms, focusing on financial sector deleveraging and its Supply-Side Structural Reform agenda, first announced in late 2015.
"
Afghanistan is gradually recovering from decades of conflict. Before 2014, the economy had sustained nearly a decade of strong growth, largely because of international assistance. Since 2014, however, the economy has slowed, in large part because of the withdrawal of nearly 100,000 foreign troops that had artificially inflated the country’s economic growth. Despite improvements in life expectancy, incomes, and literacy since 2001, Afghanistan is extremely poor, landlocked, and highly dependent on foreign aid. Much of the population continues to suffer from shortages of housing, clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs. Corruption, insecurity, weak governance, lack of infrastructure, and the Afghan Government's difficulty in extending rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to future economic growth. Afghanistan's living standards are among the lowest in the world.

The international community remains committed to Afghanistan's development, pledging over $83 billion at ten donors' conferences between 2003 and 2016. In October 2016, the donors at the Brussels conference pledged an additional $3.8 billion in development aid annually from 2017 to 2020. Despite this help, the Government of Afghanistan will need to overcome a number of challenges, including low revenue collection, anemic job creation, high levels of corruption, weak government capacity, and poor public infrastructure.

In 2017 Afghanistan's growth rate was only marginally above that of the 2014-2016 average. The drawdown of international security forces that started in 2012 has negatively affected economic growth, as a substantial portion of commerce, especially in the services sector, has catered to the ongoing international troop presence in the country. Afghan President Ashraf GHANI Ahmadzai is dedicated to instituting economic reforms to include improving revenue collection and fighting corruption. However, the reforms will take time to implement and Afghanistan will remain dependent on international donor support over the next several years.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$23.12 trillion (2017 est.)
$21.66 trillion (2016 est.)
$20.3 trillion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$69.51 billion (2017 est.)
$67.81 billion (2016 est.)
$66.25 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - real growth rate6.8% (2017 est.)
6.7% (2016 est.)
6.9% (2015 est.)
2.5% (2017 est.)
2.4% (2016 est.)
1.3% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$16,600 (2017 est.)
$15,700 (2016 est.)
$14,800 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$1,900 (2017 est.)
$2,000 (2016 est.)
$2,100 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 8.2%
industry: 39.5%
services: 52.2%
(2017 est.)
agriculture: 22%
industry: 22%
services: 56%
note: data exclude opium production (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line3.3%
note: in 2011, China set a new poverty line at RMB 2300 (approximately US $400)
(2016 est.)
35.8% (2011 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 31.4%
note: data are for urban households only (2012)
lowest 10%: 3.8%
highest 10%: 24% (2008)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.8% (2017 est.)
2% (2016 est.)
6% (2017 est.)
4.4% (2016 est.)
Labor force806.7 million
note: by the end of 2012, China's population at working age (15-64 years) was 1.004 billion (2017 est.)
7.983 million (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 28.3%
industry: 29.3%
services: 42.4%
(2015 est.)
agriculture: 78.6%
industry: 5.7%
services: 15.7% (FY08/09 est.)
Unemployment rate4% (2017 est.)
4% (2016 est.)
note: data are for registered urban unemployment, which excludes private enterprises and migrants
35% (2008 est.)
40% (2005 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $2.672 trillion
expenditures: $3.146 trillion (2017 est.)
revenues: $1.992 billion
expenditures: $6.636 billion (2016 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; fertilizer; consumer products (including footwear, toys, and electronics); food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, railcars and locomotives, ships, aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellites
small-scale production of bricks, textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, apparel, food products, non-alcoholic beverages, mineral water, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper
Industrial production growth rate6.2% (2017 est.)
2.4% (2014 est.)
Agriculture - productsworld leader in gross value of agricultural output; rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, apples, cotton, pork, mutton, eggs; fish, shrimp
opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins, poppies
Exports$2.157 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.99 trillion (2016 est.)
$619.2 million (2016 est.)
$580 million (2015 est.)
note: not including illicit exports or reexports
Exports - commoditieselectrical and other machinery, including computers and telecommunications equipment, apparel, furniture, textiles
opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems
Exports - partnersUS 18.2%, Hong Kong 13.8%, Japan 6.1%, South Korea 4.5% (2016)
Pakistan 46.3%, India 37.6% (2016)
Imports$1.731 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.495 trillion (2016 est.)
$6.16 billion (2016 est.)
$7.034 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditieselectrical and other machinery, including integrated circuits and other computer components, oil and mineral fuels; optical and medical equipment, metal ores, motor vehicles; soybeans
machinery and other capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products
Imports - partnersSouth Korea 10%, Japan 9.2%, US 8.5%, Germany 5.4%, Australia 4.4% (2016)
Iran 19.3%, Pakistan 18.3%, China 16.7%, Kazakhstan 9.5%, Uzbekistan 6.1%, Turkmenistan 5.4%, Malaysia 4% (2016)
Debt - external$1.649 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.467 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.28 billion (FY10/11)
$2.7 billion (FY08/09)
Exchange ratesRenminbi yuan (RMB) per US dollar -
6.7588 (2017 est.)
6.6445 (2016 est.)
6.2275 (2015 est.)
6.1434 (2014 est.)
6.1958 (2013 est.)
afghanis (AFA) per US dollar -
67.87 (2016 est.)
67.87 (2016 est.)
67.87 (2015)
61.14 (2014 est.)
57.25 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
21 December - 20 December
Public debt18.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
16.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: official data; data cover both central government debt and local government debt, including debt officially recognized by China's National Audit Office report in 2011; data exclude policy bank bonds, Ministry of Railway debt, and China Asset Management Company debt
8.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
9.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$3.194 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.098 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.477 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.232 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance$162.5 billion (2017 est.)
$196.4 billion (2016 est.)
$999 million (2017 est.)
$1.372 billion (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$11.94 trillion (2016 est.)
note: because China's exchange rate is determined 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
$21.06 billion (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$7.321 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$8.188 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$6.005 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$NA
Commercial bank prime lending rate4.4% (31 December 2017 est.)
4.35% (31 December 2016 est.)
15% (31 December 2016 est.)
15% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$26.87 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$23.02 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$-240.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$-240.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$8.16 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$7.001 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.644 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$6.192 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of broad money$25.24 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$22.3 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.945 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$6.544 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues22.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
9.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-4% of GDP (2017 est.)
-22.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 39.1%
government consumption: 14.6%
investment in fixed capital: 43.3%
investment in inventories: 1.1%
exports of goods and services: 19.6%
imports of goods and services: -17.7% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 108.6%
government consumption: 12.8%
investment in fixed capital: 18.2%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 6.6%
imports of goods and services: -46.2% (2014 est.)
Gross national saving45.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
45.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
47.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
22.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
25.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
21.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

Energy

ChinaAfghanistan
Electricity - production6.142 trillion kWh (2016 est.)
1.034 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - consumption5.92 trillion kWh (2016 est.)
4.741 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - exports18.91 billion kWh (2016 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports6.185 billion kWh (2016 est.)
3.779 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Oil - production3.981 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports6.167 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Oil - exports32,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Oil - proved reserves25.62 billion bbl (1 January 2017 es)
0 bbl (1 January 2017 es)
Natural gas - proved reserves5.194 trillion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
49.55 billion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
Natural gas - production138.4 billion cu m (2016 est.)
189 million cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - consumption210.3 billion cu m (2016 est.)
816 million cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - exports3.243 billion cu m (2015 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports75.1 billion cu m (2016 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity1.646 billion kW (2016 est.)
599,100 kW (2015 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels64% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
44.7% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants20.2% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
55.1% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels2% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources13.7% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
0.2% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production10.85 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption11.75 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
130,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports709,900 bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports971,900 bbl/day (2014 est.)
127,200 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy9.135 billion Mt (2014 est.)
7.4 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 1,200,000
electrification - total population: 99.9%
electrification - urban areas: 100%
electrification - rural areas: 99.8% (2016)
population without electricity: 18,999,254
electrification - total population: 43%
electrification - urban areas: 83%
electrification - rural areas: 32% (2012)

Telecommunications

ChinaAfghanistan
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 206.624 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 15 (July 2016 est.)
total subscriptions: 114,192
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2016 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 1,364.934 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 99 (July 2016 est.)
total: 21,602,982
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 65 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: domestic and international services are 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 (2016)
domestic: interprovincial fiber-optic trunk lines and cellular telephone systems have been installed; mobile-cellular subscribership is increasing rapidly; the number of Internet users now over 50% of the population; a domestic satellite system with several earth stations is in place (2016)
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: limited fixed-line telephone service; an increasing number of Afghans utilize mobile-cellular phone networks
domestic: aided by the presence of multiple providers, mobile-cellular telephone service continues to improve rapidly; the Afghan Ministry of Communications and Information claims that more than 90 percent of the population live in areas with access to mobile-cellular services
international: country code - 93; multiple VSAT's provide international and domestic voice and data connectivity (2016)
Internet country code.cn
.af
Internet userstotal: 730,723,960
percent of population: 53.2% (July 2016 est.)
total: 3,531,770
percent of population: 10.6% (July 2016 est.)
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 broadcast; increasingly, Chinese turn to online television to access Chinese and international films and television shows (2017)
state-owned broadcaster, Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA), operates a series of radio and television stations in Kabul and the provinces; an estimated 150 private radio stations, 50 TV stations, and about a dozen international broadcasters are available (2007)

Transportation

ChinaAfghanistan
Roadwaystotal: 4,577,300 km
paved: 4,046,300 km (includes 123,500 km of expressways)
unpaved: 531,000 km (2015)
total: 42,150 km
paved: 12,350 km
unpaved: 29,800 km (2006)
Waterways110,000 km (navigable waterways) (2011)
1,200 km; (chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to 500 DWT) (2011)
Pipelinesgas 70,000 km; crude oil 22,900 km; refined petroleum products 25,500 km; water 710,206 km (2015)
gas 466 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Dalian, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin
river port(s): Guangzhou (Pearl)
container port(s) (TEUs): Dalian (9,591,000), Guangzhou (17,097,000), Ningbo (20,636,000), Qingdao (17,323,000), Shanghai (36,516,000), Shenzhen (24,142,000), Tianjin (13,881,000)(2015)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Fujian, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong, Shanghai, Tangshan, Zhejiang
river port(s): Kheyrabad, Shir Khan
Airports507 (2013)
43 (2016)
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 (2017)
total: 25
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2017)
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: 18
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 5 (2016)
Heliports47 (2013)
9 (2013)
National air transport systemnumber of registered air carriers: 56
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 2,890
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 436,183,969
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 19.806 billion mt-km (2015)
number of registered air carriers: 4
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 20
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,929,907
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 33,102,038 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefixB (2016)
YA (2016)

Military

ChinaAfghanistan
Military branchesPeople's Liberation Army (PLA): Army, Navy (PLAN, includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (Zhongguo Renmin Jiefangjun Kongjun, PLAAF, includes airborne forces), Rocket Force (strategic missile force), and Strategic Support Force (space and cyber forces); People's Armed Police (Renmin Wuzhuang Jingcha Budui, PAP); PLA Reserve Force (2016)
Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF): Afghan National Army (includes Afghan Air Force), Afghan National Police, Afghan Local Police (2016)
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 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2016)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP1.9% of GDP (2016)
1.95% of GDP (2015)
1.9% of GDP (2014)
1.85% of GDP (2013)
1.84% of GDP (2012)
0.89% of GDP (2016)
0.99% of GDP (2015)
1.33% of GDP (2014)
1.06% of GDP (2013)
1.14% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

ChinaAfghanistan
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 most contentious of which lie in Bhutan's west along China's 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; the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands are also claimed by China and Taiwan; 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
Afghan, Coalition, and Pakistan military meet periodically to clarify the alignment of the boundary on the ground and on maps and since 2014 have met to discuss collaboration on the Taliban insurgency and counterterrorism efforts; Afghan and Iranian commissioners have discussed boundary monument densification and resurvey; Iran protests Afghanistan's restricting flow of dammed Helmand River tributaries during drought; Pakistan has sent troops across and built fences along some remote tribal areas of its treaty-defined Durand Line border with Afghanistan which serve as bases for foreign terrorists and other illegal activities; Russia remains concerned about the smuggling of poppy derivatives from Afghanistan through Central Asian countries
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; more people believed to be convicted and executed for drug offences than anywhere else in the world, according to NGOs
world's largest producer of opium; poppy cultivation increased 10 percent, to 201,000 hectares in 2016, while eradication declined significantly; the 2016 crop yielded an estimated 4,800 mt of raw opium, a 43% increase over 2015; the Taliban and other antigovernment groups participate in and profit from the opiate trade, which is a key source of revenue for the Taliban inside Afghanistan; widespread corruption and instability impede counterdrug efforts; most of the heroin consumed in Europe and Eurasia is derived from Afghan opium; Afghanistan is also struggling to respond to a burgeoning domestic opiate addiction problem; a 2015 national drug use survey found that roughly 11% of the population tested positive for one or more illicit drugs; vulnerable to drug money laundering through informal financial networks; illicit cultivation of cannabis and regional source of hashish
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 317,098 (Vietnam); undetermined (North Korea) (2016)
IDPs: undetermined (2014)
refugees (country of origin): 59,737 (Pakistan) (2016)
IDPs: 1.553 million (mostly Pashtuns and Kuchis displaced in the south and west due to natural disasters and political instability) (2016)

Source: CIA Factbook