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Overview of China

Country and Citizen Names

China's formal name is People’s Republic of China; in Chinese: zhonghua renmin gong he guo (Zhonghua Renmin Gonghe Guo).

The short form of its name is China; in Chinese: zhong guo (Zhongguo).

The term for its Citizen(s) is Chinese (singular and plural); in Chinese: huaren (Huaren).

Capital and Major Cities

The Capital city of China is Beijing; in Chinese: beijing (Beijing).

Based on 2000 census data, the largest cities are the four centrally administered municipalities, which include dense urban areas, suburbs, and large rural areas: Chongqing (30.5 million), Shanghai (16.4 million), Beijing (13.5 million), and Tianjin (9.8 million). Other major cities are Wuhan (5.1 million), Shenyang (4.8 million), Guangzhou (3.8 million), Chengdu (3.2 million), Xi’an (3.1 million), and Changchun (3 million). China has 12 other cities with populations of between 2 million and 2.9 million and 20 or more other cities with populations of more than 1 million persons.


The outbreak of revolution on October 10, 1911, signaled the collapse of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911), which was formally replaced by the government of the Republic of China on February 12, 1912. The People’s Republic of China was officially established on October 1, 1949, replacing the Republic of China government on mainland China.

Public Holidays

The official national holidays are New Year’s Day (January 1); Spring Festival or Lunar New Year (movable dates—three days—in January and February), Labor Day (May 1), and National Day (two-day observance on October 1–2). Also commemorated are International Women’s Day (March 8), Youth Day (May 4), Children’s Day (June 1), Chinese Communist Party Founding Day (July 1), Army Day (August 1), and Teachers’ Day (September 10).

Flag of ChinaFlag

The flag of China is red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner. The color red symbolizes the spirit of the revolution, and the five stars signify the unity of the people of China under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. The flag was officially unveiled in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on October 1, 1949, the formal announcement of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

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