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China (also see separate Hong Kong and Taiwan entries) Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: People's Republic of China
    conventional short form: China
    local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
    local short form: Zhong Guo
    abbreviation: PRC

    Data code: CH

    Government type: Communist state

    Capital: Beijing

    Administrative divisions: 23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions* (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities** (shi, singular and plural); Anhui, Beijing**, Chongqing**, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi*, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol*, Ningxia*, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanghai**, Shanxi, Sichuan, Tianjin**, Xinjiang*, Xizang* (Tibet), Yunnan, Zhejiang
    note: China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entry for the special administrative region of Hong Kong

    Independence: 221 BC (unification under the Qin or Ch'in Dynasty 221 BC; Qing or Ch'ing Dynasty replaced by the Republic on 12 February 1912; People's Republic established 1 October 1949)

    National holiday: National Day, 1 October (1949)

    Constitution: most recent promulgation 4 December 1982

    Legal system: a complex amalgam of custom and statute, largely criminal law; rudimentary civil code in effect since 1 January 1987; new legal codes in effect since 1 January 1980; continuing efforts are being made to improve civil, administrative, criminal, and commercial law

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President JIANG Zemin (since 27 March 1993) and Vice President HU Jintao (since 16 March 1998)
    head of government: Premier ZHU Rongji (since 18 March 1998); Vice Premiers QIAN Qichen (since 29 March 1993), LI Lanqing (29 March 1993), WU Bangguo (since 17 March 1995), and WEN Jiabao (since 18 March 1998)
    cabinet: State Council appointed by the National People's Congress (NPC)
    elections: president and vice president elected by the National People's Congress for five-year terms; elections last held 16-18 March 1998 (next to be held NA March 2003); premier nominated by the president, confirmed by the National People's Congress
    election results: JIANG Zemin reelected president by the Ninth National People's Congress with a total of 2,882 votes (36 delegates voted against him, 29 abstained, and 32 did not vote); HU Jintao elected vice president by the Ninth National People's Congress with a total of 2,841 votes (67 delegates voted against him, 39 abstained, and 32 did not vote)

    Legislative branch: unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (2,979 seats; members elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses to serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held NA December-NA February 1998 (next to be held late 2002-NA March 2003)
    election results: percent of vote—NA; seats—NA

    Judicial branch: Supreme People's Court, judges appointed by the National People's Congress

    Political parties and leaders: Chinese Communist Party or CCP [JIANG Zemin, General Secretary of the Central Committee]; eight registered small parties controlled by CCP

    Political pressure groups and leaders: no meaningful political opposition groups exist

    International organization participation: AfDB, APEC, AsDB, BIS, CCC, CDB (non-regional), ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MINURSO, NAM (observer), OPCW, PCA, UN, UN Security Council, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNOMSIL, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (applicant)

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador LI Zhaoxing
    chancery: 2300 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 328-2500
    consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador James R. SASSER
    embassy: Xiu Shui Bei Jie 3, 100600 Beijing
    mailing address: PSC 461, Box 50, FPO AP 96521-0002
    telephone: [86] (10) 6532-3831
    FAX: [86] (10) 6532-6422
    consulate(s) general: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang

    Flag description: red 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

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)