What are the entrance exams of the People's Government
China is located in East Asia and is the third largest country in the world (after Russia and Canada); measured by its population, it ranks number one in the world. The People's Republic of China borders Mongolia and Russia in the north, Russia and North Korea in the northeast, the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea in the east, the South China Sea, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, India, Bhutan and Nepal, in the south West to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan and to the northwest to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. China has more than 3,400 islands off the coast. Hainan in the South China Sea is the largest Chinese island. The total area of China is 9,571,300 square kilometers, National China, officially known as the Republic of China (please refer Taiwan) is not included. The capital of China is Beijing; however, the largest city in the country is Shanghai.
More than a fifth of the world's total population lives within China's borders. China is the cradle of one of the earliest civilizations on earth; Zhonghua, the Chinese name for the country, means Empire of the middle and at the same time proves the Chinese belief that their country is the geographic center of the earth and the only real civilization. In the 19th century, China went through a politically and economically weak phase and was ruled by foreign powers. The takeover of power by a communist government in 1949 is one of the most important events in Chinese history. In a remarkably short period of time, both the Chinese economy and society changed radically. Since 1970, China has tried to break through its self-imposed isolation within the international community and seeks connection to modern economic structures.
In China there is a great variety of landscapes and the natural resources of the country are correspondingly different. The higher mountain ranges with some of the highest mountains on earth are predominantly in western China. Three of these mountains, Tian Shan, Kunlun and Tsinling, date from the time of the Paleozoic orogeny, which began in the late Carboniferous and ended in the Permian, when the land masses of the earth merged into a single large continent, Pangea (please refer Geology: geological age). A fourth, the Himalayas, is of more recent origin. It formed when the sediments deposited in the Mesozoic Sea, the Tethys, were pressed together and pushed up when the Indian and Eurasian plates collided. This process took place in the Oligocene, a period of the Tertiary, about 40 million years ago. In the Quaternary, the geologically youngest section, tectonic activity manifests itself primarily in the form of earthquakes, which occur in particular along a broad arc that extends from the western edge of the Sichuan Basin (Red Basin) to the northeast towards Bo Hai and the Gulf the north coast of the Yellow Sea.
The country's numerous mountain ranges enclose various plateaus and basins that contain considerable water reservoirs and mineral resources. The climate can also be divided into different zones; these range from sub-arctic to tropical conditions, including large areas of alpine habitats and deserts. According to the climatic differences, the country offers an enormous variety of flora and fauna.
43 percent of the Chinese land area is mountainous, a further 26 percent is occupied by the plateaus, while 19 percent consists of basins and hilly terrain in predominantly dry regions. Only twelve percent of the country can be described as levels.
China can be divided into six main geographical areas, with the individual regions showing considerable topographical differences.
This region consists of two basins, the Djungarian Basin (Junggar Pendi) in the north and the Tarim Basin in the south, as well as the high-lying Tian Shan. The Tarim Basin includes the vast sandy desert Takla Makan (Taklimakan Shamo), the driest desert in Asia. The dunes in their interior reach heights of up to 100 meters. The Turfan Plain (Turpan Pendi) is up to 154 meters below sea level. The Djungarian Basin also contains sand and stone deserts, but it is a predominantly fertile region that is irrigated and used for agriculture.
The Mongolian border region
The Mongolian border region lies in the north of central China. This plateau area consists mainly of sandy, stony or gravel-covered deserts that extend east into a fertile steppe region. This flat to sloping plain is divided by various table mountains. On its eastern border lies the forested highlands of the Great Chingan (Da Hinggan Ling).
It covers all of Manchuria in the east of the Great Chingan. The northeast region includes the Manchurian Plain (Bongbai Pingyuan) and the surrounding highlands. The plain has wide, fertile soils. The high areas are hilly to mountainous and criss-crossed by numerous wide valleys and gentle slopes. The Liaodong Peninsula, which has some natural harbors, extends to the south.
This region lies between the Mongolian border region in the north and the Yangtze River in the south. The area can be divided into different topographical units. The loess plateau in the northwest consists of an accumulation of loess blown by the wind. The loosely layered loess soil is exposed to constant erosion, which is why the surface is criss-crossed by sunken roads, valleys and numerous gorges. The area has many terraces and is used for agriculture. The North China Plain, the largest flat land in China, consists of fertile soils that have developed on loess. Most of the regions are intensively farmed. The Shandong highlands in the east on the peninsula of the same name are made up of two different mountain regions flanked by boulders. The rocky coast of the peninsula contains some natural harbors. In the south-west, the central mountains form a stately barrier against all north-south directed air mass movements.
The region includes the Yangtze River Valley and the various topographical regions in the south. The Yangtze River Valley consists of a series of basins with fertile alluvial soil. These plains are crossed by natural and man-made waterways. There are also numerous lakes here. The Sichuan Basin (Red Basin) in the west is enclosed by jagged rocky outcrops of the central highlands and forms a relatively remote, hilly terrain. The area is known for its wide, agriculturally used terraces. The plateaus of southern China extend from the Tibetan Plateau to the east to the sea. The deeply eroded Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in the west is framed by various mountain ranges, which are separated from each other by deep valleys and steep gorges. One of the most bizarre landscapes can be found in eastern Guizhoue, where the terrain is characterized by tall mud mountains with columnar peaks. To the east are the largely cleared and heavily eroded Nan-Ling hills. The rugged southeastern plateaus stretch along the coast. The many offshore islands have numerous natural harbors. To the south of the Nan Ling Hills is the Xi Jiang Basin. This predominantly hilly region is endowed with fertile soils; The river valleys are also rich in nutrients and used for agriculture. The wide river delta of the Xi Jiang is also called the canton delta.
The Tibetan plateau
The Tibetan Plateau lies in the remote extreme southwest of China. The rugged mountain region is one of the highest plateau regions in the world. The average altitude is 4,510 meters. The plateau is bounded in the south by the Himalayas, in the west by the Pamir and the Karakoram and in the north by the Kunlun and Qilian Shan mountains. There are several salt lakes and marshlands on the plateau; In addition, it is crossed by various mountain ranges and contains the sources of the most important South and East Asian rivers, e. B. the Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Mekong, Yangtze and Huang He (Yellow River). The landscape is barren and rocky.
rivers and lakes
The country's three longest rivers, the Yangtze, Huang He and Xi Jiang, flow into the Pacific; only a small part of the country drains to the Indian Ocean. The Huang He flows through the Loessbergland and flows into the East China Sea; Because of the amount of loess transported, it was given the name "Yellow River". The Xi Jiang flows into the South China Sea. The most important river in the far north of the country is the Amur (Heilong Jiang), which represents the north-eastern border with Russia over a long stretch. The Songhua (Sungari) and Liaoe with their tributaries drain most of the Manchurian Plain and the surrounding highlands. The Qinghai Hu is one of the largest lakes in China. Most of China's great lakes are in the middle and lower Yangtze River Valley. Dongting Hu and Poyang Hu are among the largest in the middle reaches of the river. In summer, the water levels in the lakes rise sharply and they are used for irrigation purposes. The largest salt lake on the Tibetan Plateau is the Qinghai Hu (Koko Nor) in the lower northeast; other salt lakes of similar size are located on the high plateau. Over 2,000 water storage systems have been built in China, primarily for irrigation and flood control purposes. Most of these facilities are relatively small, but the largest on Huang He has a capacity of 35.4 billion cubic meters.
The climate in China is very different depending on the region; temperate temperatures prevail in the semi-arid regions of the west, while tropical conditions predominate in the extreme south. Strong continentality with cold winters and hot summers is characteristic of large parts of the country.
The Asian monsoon has a large impact on the country's climate. In winter, cold, dry winds flow from the extensive high pressure area over central Siberia to China. This leads to low temperatures in all areas north of the Yangtze and brings drought to the entire country. In the summer, warm, moist air flows in from the Pacific, creating precipitation and cyclonic storms. On the leeward side of the mountains, precipitation decreases with increasing distance from the sea. The basins in the northwest receive little rainfall. Summer temperatures are remarkably constant across the country; in winter, however, there is an extreme temperature gradient between north and south.
In southeast China, south of the Yangtze River Valley, the climate is generally subtropical, and in the extreme south it is even tropical. Summer temperatures in this region are on average 26 ° C. In winter, temperatures drop to 17.8 ° C in the tropical south and 3.9 ° C along the Yangtze. The mountain plateaus and basins in the southwest also have a subtropical climate with considerable regional differences. The summers are cooler because of the altitude, and the winters are relatively mild thanks to the protection from north winds. In the Sichuan Basin (Red Basin), the growing season lasts eleven months due to the high level of humidity with frequent fog formation. Precipitation is particularly high in summer; in almost all parts of southern China they are more than 1,000 millimeters per year.
Northern China does not contain a mountain range that protects against the ingress of cold air from Siberia, which is why the winters here are cold and dry. Temperatures in January range from 3.9 ° C in the south to –10 ° C in the north of Beijing and in the higher elevations of the west. In July, temperatures are generally around 26 ° C and even reach 30 ° C in the North China Plain. Almost all of the annual precipitation of around 760 millimeters is concentrated in summer. In the northwest it is less humid because there is a dry steppe climate here. Precipitation varies greatly from year to year in these areas. This fact, along with the occasional sandstorms and hail showers, make farming a difficult business. There is dense fog around 40 days a year, and on the coast sometimes even 80 days.
Manchuria's climate is similar to that of northern China, but colder. In January the mean temperatures in the Manchurian Plain are -17.8 ° C, in July 22.2 ° C. The annual precipitation is between 510 and 760 millimeters in the east and 300 millimeters in the west; The main rainy season is summer.
In the north-western border areas with Mongolia there is a predominantly desert and steppe climate. With the exception of the milder Tarim Basin, average temperatures in January are around -10 ° C. In July they are around 20 ° C. The annual precipitation is between 100 and 250 millimeters.
Because of the altitude, the Tibetan Plateau has an arctic climate; the temperatures stay below 15 ° C all year round. The air is clear and dry all year round. With the exception of the extreme south-east, annual rainfall is less than 100 millimeters everywhere.
Due to the different climatic and topographical conditions, the flora of China has a great diversity of species. Much of the original vegetation, however, has been destroyed during centuries of settlement and intensive agricultural use. Natural forests only thrive in the remote mountain regions.
Dense tropical rainforests grow in the region south of the Xi Jiang Valley. These consist of broad-leaved deciduous trees more than 50 meters high and a few palm trees. Subtropical vegetation thrives in the north of the Yangtze River Valley and in the west of the Tibetan Plateau. In this zone, the biodiversity is particularly rich and includes oaks, ginkgos, bamboo groves, pine trees, azaleas and camellias. Forests of laurel trees and magnolias as well as dense undergrowth made of smaller bushes and bamboo thickets can also be found here. Conifers and mountain plants predominate in the higher elevations.
In the north of the Yangtze River Valley there is a very pristine forest of broad-leaved deciduous trees. The main species represented here are oak, ash, elm and maple; Linden and birch trees grow in northern Manchuria. The most important wood reserves are in the mountains of northern Manchuria, where there are still large areas of larch forests. The Manchurian Plain, which is cultivated today, was formerly occupied by grass steppe with scattered stands of trees.
Prairie or steppe landscapes with drought-resistant grasses are common in the border area with Mongolia. However, the vegetation of this region decreased sharply due to overgrowth and soil erosion. The barren areas in the northwest are characterized by bushes of herbaceous plants. Tundra vegetation made of grass and flowers grows in large parts of the Tibetan highlands. In the more favorable locations of the arid regions, taller bushes and trees also thrive; In many mountain areas there are spruce and fir forests.
The different habitats in China also ensure a diverse fauna. This ranges from arctic species in Manchuria to rich tropical wildlife in southern China. Some species that are already extinct elsewhere have survived in China. These include the sword sturgeon from the Yangtze River, certain alligator and salamander species, the giant panda (only lives in southwest China) and the Chinese water deer (only exists in China and Korea).
In the tropical south there are many primates, including gibbons and macaques, as well as various other species of monkeys. Larger predators, such as bears, tigers and leopards, are only represented in limited numbers and only native to remote areas. Leopards live in northern Manchuria, Tibet is the habitat of the snow leopard. Smaller predators, including fox, wolf and raccoon, are numerous in many regions. Antelopes, gazelles, chamois, wild horses and other ungulates inhabit the mountain regions and valleys in the west, the elk is common in northern Manchuria. The birds can also be found in a wide variety of species: Pheasants, peacocks, parrots, herons and cranes live in China.
Domestic animals also include the water buffalo, which is used as a draft animal in the south, the camel, which is used as a pack animal in the arid north and west, and the yak, a semi-domesticated high mountain cattle that is used in the Tibetan highlands.
Marine life, especially on the south coast, is abundant. Flounder, cod, tuna, octopus, crabs, shrimp and dolphins can be found here. The rivers of China provide habitat for different species of carp, salmon, trout, sturgeon, catfish and the Chinese river dolphin. Many inland waters in China are used for fish farming.
The population of China consists of 93 percent Chinese (Han Chinese). The Chinese are predominantly of Mongolian descent and do not differ within China by different origins, but by linguistic variations.Seven percent of the population belong to national minorities, who, however, inhabit about 60 percent of the total area of China. In this way, the national minorities become even more important than the percentage of the population suggests.
More than 70 million people belong to the 56 national minorities. Most of these groups differ from the Chinese in language or religion rather than in ethnic characteristics. The largest minorities include the Thais-related Zhuang (14.6 million, mostly in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), the Hui (7.9 million Chinese Muslims in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region), the Gansu and Qinghai, the Turkish-speaking Uyghur (6.5 million in Singkiang Autonomous Region), Yi indigenous people (5.9 million in Sichuan, Yunnan and Guangxi), Miao indigenous people (5.5 million in Guizhou, Hunan and Yunnan), Tibetans (4, 3 million in Tibet and Qinghai Autonomous Region) and the Mongols (3.7 million in Inner Mongolia, Gansu and Singkiang). Other groups include Koreans, Bonyei, and Manchu. The Manchu descend from the ethnic group who conquered China in the 17th century and founded the Ching or Manchu dynasty; they can hardly be distinguished from the Han Chinese.
The first national census since the Communists came to power in 1953 attempted to record human resources for the first five-year plan. At that time, the Chinese population was 585.5 million. A second census from 1964 showed an increase to 694.6 million and the third census from 1982 showed a population of just over a billion (excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan). The population has now risen to around 1.2 billion. The annual population growth is 1.3 percent.
The decline in the birth rate between 1950 and 1980 was due in large part to government efforts to advocate late marriages and, more recently, to require Chinese families to have only one child. This program was coupled with the continuous expansion of medical care facilities that provide information about birth control and provide contraceptives for low remuneration or free of charge. Official estimates in 1984 showed that 70 percent of all married couples of childbearing age use contraception and 24 million couples have formally agreed not to have more than one child. Abortion is legal in China and social pressures to interrupt pregnancy are particularly high for those women who have already given birth to one or more children. The national minorities were generally excluded from the birth control program. This is to maintain a policy that offers all people who do not belong to the Han Chinese the greatest possible independence.
With a total population of around 1.2 billion people, the population density is 124 inhabitants per square kilometer. However, these numbers only show the average of a very uneven geographic distribution. The majority of the population lives in the 19 eastern provinces, the historic heartland of China. This is shown by the different historical land use and settlement patterns of the Chinese in the east and the non-Han Chinese peoples in the west. The Chinese government has been promoting settlement in the western provinces and autonomous regions since 1960.
Despite industrialization, China is still a rural agricultural nation. Although important city centers existed in China before the time of the Roman Empire, the proportion of the population living in cities increased only slowly. About 79 percent of the population live in the countryside.
Spontaneous resettlements from the countryside to the cities were banned in the mid-1950s, as there was a lack of productive power to build additional living space in the city. This ban also sprang from Mao Tse-tung's belief that the class difference between urban and rural populations is one of the causes of social inequality in China. During the 1960s and first half of the 1970s, the Chinese devoted considerable energies to a concept of sending the educated city youth to the countryside for several years or even for permanent settlement. This movement was intended to transport the skills acquired in the cities to rural areas and to dampen the peasants' interest in moving to the cities. This land development program was discontinued after Mao's death in 1976 and completely abandoned at the end of 1978. At that time, migration to the cities increased. Changes of residence within the cities are also restricted by the government. If you want to move, you must have an official permit and provide proof of residence and a job. Nevertheless, the change of residence within the big cities has led to the demolition of many old houses, in their place of which four- or five-story buildings were erected.
The first cities in China emerged around 1,500 BC. At the time of the Shang dynasty. At that time, the cities predominantly fulfilled sovereign (administrative or semi-religious) functions and served both for the supply of materials to the Chinese court and as important marketplaces. In the 20th century, and especially since the 1950s, Chinese cities have achieved great importance as industrial and production centers. But even today the cities have sovereign importance, which is cultivated by the communist government.
There are 40 cities in China with a population of over a million. The largest cities in terms of population include Shanghai (7.5 million), the largest city in the country with the most important port, Beijing (5.8 million), the capital and cultural center of China; Tientsin (4.6 million), port city at the confluence of the Hai and the Imperial Canal; Shenyang (3.6 million); Wuhan (3.3 million), port city at the confluence of the Han and Yangtze Rivers and Canton (Guangzhou) (2.9 million), port city on the Xi Jiang.
The Chinese writing is over 3,000 years old. Although the Chinese language has more than a dozen spoken dialects, some of which are difficult to understand, all Chinese write using the same script or characters. The uniformity of the script reflects the historical unity of the Chinese people since the Shang Dynasty.
One of the most ambitious efforts of the Chinese communist government since 1949 has been to change the Chinese language. The official language of the Chinese is Putonghua. This dialect from northern China is also known in the west as Mandarin. The dialect was declared the official language at the National Conference on Reforming the Chinese Written Language in 1955. The use of simpler traditional characters with fewer strokes or in some form of shorthand has become more common. Most of the efforts have been made to reduce illiteracy.
In 1977, the Chinese submitted a formal request to the United Nations to use the spoken language Pinyin to enable a Latin naming of geographical locations in China. This transmission technology was invented by the Chinese at the end of the 1950s and has been subject to constant changes since then. Some Chinese officials want Pinyin to replace the Chinese characters completely soon, but this will certainly not be feasible in the near future.
The approximately 70 million members of the minorities in China have their own languages. These include, for example, Mongolian, Tibetan, Miao, Tai, Uighur and Kazakh. In the past, many of the minority languages did not have a written form. The Chinese government has encouraged the use of pinyin to define a script for these languages as well. The minorities were also supported in continuing their traditions and thus promoting knowledge of their ethno-linguistic origins. The Mandarin dialect is mostly taught as a second language in schools, which is why it is known almost all over China. Please refer Chinese language.
One of the first acts of the Chinese Communist Party after it came to power in 1949 was the official abolition of organized religions. Until then, the dominant religions in China were Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. Because of the semi-worldly nature of Confucianism, and because most Chinese are drawn to all three faiths, there was little resistance from the population to this party's project.
The formal religions in China include Buddhism and Taoism as well as Christianity and Islam. Most of the temples and schools of these four religions were given secular purposes. It was not until the constitution of 1978 that the spread of formal religions in China received greater support again. However, the constitution also stipulated that the Chinese people had the right to disbelief and were allowed to propagate atheism.
With religious rights now guaranteed, the activities of Christian Buddhist groups increased again sharply. The Chinese Muslims or Hui, as well as the Muslim minorities of the Uyghurs, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz, have always remained loyal to Islam and can now practice their religion more openly again.
As is customary in socialist countries, the government of China bears responsibility for the well-being of the people. The social welfare program was an essential element in the party's takeover. The most important social measures include housing and job creation, health care, retirement provision and the assumption of funeral costs.
The main reforms were achieved in the area of health care. In 1949, life expectancy in China was 45 years. It has now risen to 68 years for men and 71 years for women. During the same period, the number of physicians has risen sharply; Despite the rapid population increase, there is now one doctor for every 650 inhabitants. In 1949 the ratio was one doctor per 27,000 inhabitants. Clinics have been set up at the village and district level, while the large cities and counties are provided with hospitals. If a patient visits a clinic, a small fee is charged. Either the job or the government pays for more intensive treatments in city or provincial hospitals.
One of the most significant changes in the health system in recent times is the renewed interest in traditional Chinese medicine, for example in medication with local herbs, folk medicine and acupuncture. Such treatment methods are now more common in China than in western countries. In rural areas, four fifths of the drugs administered are homeopathic. So-called barefoot doctors also play an important role in providing medical care for the population. These doctors are mainly trained in hygiene, preventive medicine, acupuncture and the treatment of common diseases. They are particularly effective in rural areas, where there is a lack of both Chinese doctors and specialists who are familiar with Western methods.
Large-scale health care campaigns have been carried out in China. For example, child vaccinations have been stepped up and common leech diseases and venereal diseases eliminated. Successful campaigns have also been carried out against tuberculosis, malaria, filariasis and other common diseases. When it comes to family planning through birth control, the government initially took a rather indecisive stance. A birth control program has been vigorously promoted since the Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s. The policy of the one-child family is even anchored in the constitution.
In the event of incapacity for work, maternity, severe disability and old age, the government takes care of those affected.
Education and culture
China has a long and rich cultural tradition; Upbringing has always played an important role. During the imperial era (221 BC to 1912 AD), only educated people were given a position in the social and political leadership elite. 124 BC The first university arose at which future civil servants were taught Confucianism and Chinese Classics. Historically, however, only a few Chinese have had the opportunity to study the complex language and related literature. It is estimated that 80 percent of all Chinese were illiterate in 1949. For the Chinese communists, illiteracy represented an insurmountable blockade in the implementation of their political programs.
Education and school system
One of the most ambitious programs of the Communist Party is the establishment of a comprehensive education system for large sections of the population. In the first two years of the new government (1949-1951), 60 million peasants enrolled in the "winter schools" for lessons that were held during the period of unemployment for farm workers. Mao made it the primary goal of education to reduce class differences. This should be achieved by abolishing the social classification between manual and mental labor, between urban and rural residents or factory workers and farmers.
However, the most radical developments in education in China took place between 1966 and 1978. During the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1969, all classrooms in China were closed. The gates remained closed for the 131 million young people who were already enrolled in elementary and secondary schools. Primary and secondary schools only slowly reopened in 1968 and 1969, but higher education remained closed from 1970 to 1972.
Government policy changed dramatically with regard to education during this period. The traditional 13 years to twelfth grade have been replaced by a nine- or ten-year plan for elementary and middle schools. Universities with study periods of four to five years switched to three-year cycles. Part of the time gained was used in productive work to support the school or to an area of the respective subject. For most middle school graduates who wanted to attend university, two years of practical training also became compulsory.
After Mao's death in 1976, this policy was largely revised again. Thanks to this restructuring, and because of a growing interest in the development of the sciences in Chinese education, the timetables have returned to those that existed before the Cultural Revolution. Elementary and middle school programs were gradually being brought back into line with twelve years of study, and college candidates no longer had to do two years of farm labor to be accepted into universities.
A major change in the educational system was the reintroduction of standardized entrance exams. Before the Cultural Revolution, these exams were an essential tool for social advancement in China. In the time of the revolutionary experiments, the entrance examinations were abolished with the argument that this would benefit an elite that already had a family intellectual tradition. When the universities reopened after their closure between 1970 and 1972, many politically opportune applicants received admission permits. These selection criteria were revised in 1977 when the Chinese started their new campaign Four modernizations started. The government wanted to achieve rapid modernization of agriculture, industry, defense, and science and technology. This required a high level of education. In order to stabilize the educational programs required for this, the foundations for theoretical and formal training had to be developed. Political attitude and revolutionary spirit were no longer in the foreground.
The higher education in China can be explained today by a "point system". The most promising students are placed in the best schools capable of educating an academic elite. Middle school graduates can also attend universities and various technical schools and vocational schools. The most famous universities in China include Peking University (1898), Hangzhou University (1952), Fudan University in Shanghai (1905) and the University of Science and Technology of China (1958) in Hefei. The higher schools in China are free of charge. A novelty in Chinese education is the television university (see below under media).
However, the educational goals of the Chinese communist government were not limited to school education. During the sixties and seventies it was recognized that plays, operas, literature and music also exert an educational influence.
When the cultural exchange with foreign countries increased in the mid-1970s, the official ambitions regarding propaganda in art increasingly faded into the background.Foreign literature, banned since the 1960s, was allowed to be published again in China. In 1978 and 1979, around 200 foreign works were translated at Verlag der Volksliteratur, including novels from the West.
In folk music, a government report officially noted the new trends. In the early 1980s, new titles came up because the Chinese were "tired of the old political songs and slogans from their youth". The Chinese government also recognized that art provided a meaningful social outlet. The cinemas were mostly sold out, and traveling acrobats, circus performers and jugglers were just as popular with the audience as ballet and opera. In the small towns and communities, the performances took place in full houses. In the 1980s, the Chinese stages also opened up for classical pieces or pop musicians from the West.
The climate for cultural performances in China remains unpredictable as government attitudes can change at any time. 1957, during the Hundred Flower Movement writers and intellectuals were encouraged to speak up and develop perspectives on government policy and the needs of the people. The resulting criticism was so vehement that the government decided to turn around immediately. Many intellectuals have been persecuted for their opinions. Fear of similar "mood swings" in the late 1970s and early 1980s led Chinese artists, authors, composers and filmmakers to be reluctant to respond to the government's desire to indulge in free and independent artistic creation.
Beijing, Shanghai and Canton play a leading cultural role in China. This is where most of the famous museums and theaters are located and where most of the cultural performances are staged.
Beijing is the nation's cultural heart. Close to the famous Tiananmen Square is the Forbidden City, formerly an imperial residence and now a museum open to the public, as well as the Mao Tse-tung Memorial Hall and the Museum of the Chinese Revolution. In Beijing there was also the famous "Wall of Democracy" and the posters with the large signs on which public opinion about government policy after Mao's death in 1976 could be expressed. The wall was banned in the late 1970s. The Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, the Ming Dynasty Tombs and the Great Wall of China are all located near Beijing. These great monuments of the Ming and Ching dynasties form a cultural center for the increasingly mobile population of China.
Shanghai is home to the Museum of Art and History, which houses one of China's most valuable art collections, and the Museum of Natural Sciences. The Mandarin Yu's garden is also located here. This can be cited as an example of the government's support for art. After 1949, the communist government opened many former private homes, gardens and parks of the wealthy to the public and turned them into museums. Today these places are very popular with the population. They serve as meeting points for drinking tea, for walking, and for talking to friends and strangers. Here you can still understand the class difference between rich and poor that existed in the country before 1949.
One of the largest zoos in China, the Guangzhou Museum, the Sun Yatsen Memorial Hall, the Yuexiu Park with the Zhenhai Pagoda from the Ming Dynasty, the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees and the Huaisheng are located in Canton (Guangzhou). Mosque from the year 627. One of the most impressive works of Chinese antiquity has been discovered near Xi'an (Sian); a terracotta army with more than 6,000 life-size figures was found in the tomb of the Qin Dynasty Emperor Shih Huang Ti. He died in 210 BC. Chr.
The national awareness that has been promoted since the 1949 revolution has resulted in some kind of cultural monument to this development in China being erected in almost every city. In those cities where there are no official museums, former estates have been converted into a public garden or tea house. This gave the cities an increasingly urban character.
The Chinese communist government paid great attention to radio when it came to gaining support for the new policy in the early 1950s. Loudspeakers were installed in public places and factories from 1950 to 1970. Gradually, the population got used to the media presence in their lives. The commercial broadcasting system introduced in southern China in 1986 can be seen as a symbol of the freer economic climate in the mid-1980s.
The Central People's Channel for Television was established in Beijing in 1958. In the same year, the first Chinese television sets were manufactured in the state-owned radio factory in Tientsin. In Beijing, the standard program of the Central People's Broadcaster was expanded to include two additional channels. Local broadcasting stations were set up in many cities and provinces.
The television university under the administration of the Central Popular Broadcaster is another aspect in the communication network of China. In Beijing, nine hours of television lessons are offered every day. Hundreds of thousands of students have enrolled in the programs of this type of distance university. This facility is particularly useful for China, because the proportion of the population of study age is extremely high here.
Over 200 daily newspapers have a total daily circulation of 50 million. The most popular newspaper is the one in Beijing Renmin Ribao (People's newspaper). It is under the direct control of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. The daily circulation is five million. Most of the news comes from Xinhua (China's New News Agency). Foreign observers use this agency as the first source of information from China. Other important newspapers and magazines are Guangming Ribao (Daily newspaper Kuangming), Jiefang Ribao (Liberation), Renmin Huabao (People's Illustrated) and Tiyu Kexue (Sports scoreboard).
The publishing industry in China is very active. The government's intention to achieve as universal an education as possible led to funding in the field of fiction and non-fiction. In addition, translations of foreign works have been commissioned.
Postal and telecommunications services are subject to government oversight. The telephone network is well developed in almost all parts of the country, but only a few households have their own connections.
Administration and politics
Since the Shang dynasty 1726 BC China has an organized form of government, which is why the country is one of the oldest nations on earth. Historically, the large Chinese population has been ruled by some strong local governments. In addition, the capital and the court each played a different political role. Since the Chinese Communists came to power on October 1, 1949, there has been an increasing tendency towards a centralized national government based in Beijing. This unity was achieved in large part through the personal authority and leadership of Mao and through the governance structure established under the Communist Party. This modern concept was first enshrined in the Chinese Constitution of 1954 and later modified in the Constitution of 1975. A third constitution was drafted in 1978 (and came into force on January 1, 1980). This constitution clearly shows the changes in government policy after Mao's death. In 1982 a new constitution was passed.
Since the 1982 constitution, the president has been elected by the National People's Congress for a five-year term. However, the office of president consists largely of representative duties. The executive power lies in the hands of the Council of Ministers, which is presided over by the first chairman. The Council of Ministers is charged with managing the various areas of state affairs. National military command is in the hands of the Central Military Commission. The positions of the greatest authority within the Chinese government are divided between the Prime Minister and the General Secretary of the Communist Party. Authority also depends heavily on the personalities in these positions. At the moment, however, Deng Xiaoping, who no longer holds any official positions, is the most important politician in China.
The National People's Congress is the highest organ of state power in China. Its members are elected in several ballots for a term of five years. Each province elects one representative (or MP) for every 400,000 residents to Congress. In this way, each province is represented by at least ten MPs. The Fifth National People's Congress was elected in 1978 and consisted of 3,497 members. Half of the congress was made up of workers and peasants. The Sixth National People's Congress was convened in June 1983 and had 2,978 delegates. The seventh People's Congress was elected in March 1988 and the eighth in March 1993.
The National People's Congress can pass laws, amend the constitution, approve the state budget, and approve economic plans. He also has the power to appoint and dismiss the members of the Council of Ministers (cabinet). The Council of Ministers is the most powerful instrument of the Chinese government.
In practice, however, the National People's Congress has only limited powers. Because of its almost unmanageable size, the congress only meets for management at irregular intervals. When Congress is not in session, a standing committee conducts business. The Standing Committee also represents Congress in a variety of government functions, including receiving foreign envoys and ratifying or canceling treaties with foreign governments.
The Council of Ministers is the central government instrument of the National People's Congress. This is headed by the first chairman and his deputy. The individual ministries, commissions and offices are accountable to the Council of Ministers.
The Chinese tradition of jurisprudence differs considerably from that of Western nations. Civil order has been sustained through history through family, neighborhood, or community accountability. Generally speaking, the Chinese judiciary has mostly tried to understand the context of an individual crime in order to eliminate the causes. The development of a formal legal system was far from her. With the 1978 constitution, however, China made great efforts to bring the system of jurisdiction and laws into line with Western models. The 1982 constitution guarantees the right to a defense. The Chinese legal system consists of three components: a system of courts of law, a public security department or the police and the public law enforcement agency. The highest body of the judiciary is the Supreme People's Court. This monitors compliance with the constitution and the laws of the Council of Ministers. These three judicial institutions have offices in all provinces and municipalities. The police have distributed their precincts to the individual districts.
Another reason China's efforts to develop a more formal legal network is that the Communist Party has served as an intermediary in many more serious civil criminal cases. This role has given the party an important role in dealing with daily routine matters in Chinese society. The resolution of neighborly conflicts, divorces, family disputes and minor thefts was particularly strongly influenced by this superordinate mediation. The local party secretary was usually in the position of mediator in these cases. Occasional public trials met with strong interest.
The local government structure in China is organized on three levels: provinces, districts and cities or villages. The first level is directly subordinate to the central government; it consists of 23 provinces, five autonomous regions and the three directly governed cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Tientsin. The prefectures, districts and municipalities are located on the second level and municipalities, towns and villages on the third level. Special autonomous administrative units are also set up at each of these levels, provided that the area in question is predominantly inhabited by non-Chinese minorities.
From the end of the 1950s to the 1970s, the administration of towns and villages in most regions was replaced by municipalities, which serve as administrative base units. The municipalities were in turn divided into production brigades. In 1985, a five-year plan was finalized to reduce 56,000 rural communities.
Although each level of administration is accountable to the level above, the small local units have always been given a great deal of personal responsibility. That was one of the reasons for the success of the Chinese communists. The government invested considerable energies in establishing these local governments as a discussion forum and in maintaining a basic structure that was consistent from the bottom up.
According to the 1982 Constitution, China's form of government is a socialist dictatorship of the proletariat, led by the Communist Party on the basis of a united front that includes other democratic parties. In practice, however, the communist party only determines national political events. Most important government posts are occupied by party members.
The Chinese Communist Party has more than 52 million members (4.5 percent of the total population) and is the largest communist party in the world. The first national party congress was held in 1921. At that time only 57 members took part. The membership exceeded the 10 million mark in 1956. The organization and functions of the communist party are elaborated in the party's policy programs. The sixth party statute was adopted in 1982 at the 12th Congress. What is noteworthy about the latest developments is that the party's leadership role has been downgraded; the former first chairman received the title of general secretary. The National Party Congress is the highest organ of the party. The Central Committee, elected by the National Party Congress, in turn elects the Politburo and the Standing Committee as well as the General Secretary of the party. The highest decision-making bodies over the party apparatus are the Politburo and the Standing Committee.
Various smaller political parties and mass organizations are also active in China. These include the Chinese Democratic League, the Chinese Sports Association and the Chinese Women's Association. The only party with potential political influence, however, is the Communist Youth League, with more than 50 million members. This organization plays an important role in the recruitment of young politicians for the communist party after the age of 18.
In the Constitution of 1978, China first introduced measures to protect the environment. This is all the more noteworthy as the country up until this point had pursued a policy of rigorous growth in national production. An environmental protection office was set up under the responsibility of the State Council, but it has no competencies. Only proposed solutions to environmental problems are coordinated here. The National Institute for the Protection of the Environment oversees the use of chemicals, herbicides and insecticides. The focus of environmental protection efforts is on reforestation, erosion control and water protection. Extensive projects are planned for all of the country's major river systems to maintain water quality. The terrace systems play an important role in environmental protection in China. Together with the planting of trees and the establishment of small water reservoirs in the form of ponds, the creation of terraces is one of those methods of agricultural use that has been successfully practiced for centuries. These techniques offer an excellent opportunity to limit soil erosion and to hand over the maintenance of water quality to local responsibility.
The Chinese constitution of 1982 transferred the highest authority over the armed forces to the Central Military Commission. The country's military forces have been known as the People's Liberation Army since 1946. The army, navy and air force are subordinate to the People's Liberation Army. This includes around three million soldiers, making it the largest military power in the world. Of these, around 240,000 are in the Navy, including 25,000 at Navy Air Force Bases and another 6,000 in the Marines. The army is supported by a national militia of around twelve million Chinese and a security police of around 1.8 million members.The Navy has 1,700 ships, some of which are armed with nuclear missiles. The air force is equipped with 5,000 combat aircraft. China has made significant strides in developing nuclear weapons, but its arsenal is on the small side when compared to the United States or the former Soviet Union. The People's Liberation Army also plays an important role in economic production and in the construction of technical facilities such as dams, irrigation systems and land reclamation projects. The army was a key state organ during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1969) and suppressed the pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing in June 1989.
For more than 2,000 years, the Chinese economy was based on some kind of feudal system; the land was in the hands of a relatively small group of people who lived on the dues of the peasant tenants. In addition, the farmers had to pay taxes to the imperial government and were exposed to natural disasters such as drought and floods. Agriculture could not develop under these circumstances. It was split up into the smallest areas and used the most primitive means to maintain its own needs. After the end of the Opium Wars in 1860, a period of Western influence began, which originated primarily from the trading ports. Railroad tracks and roads were built and the first forms of industrial development began. However, these activities were of little importance to the general Chinese economy. China became embroiled in a number of colonial conflicts of interest and was under various influences. Above all, Japan tried to transfer its economic spirit to China. As a result, however, only isolated centers of modern economy developed in the country.
In the mid-1920s, the Chinese Communist Party emerged during an economic crisis largely due to foreign intervention and the growing influence of landowners in rural areas. During the following two decades the party was able to expand its influence by introducing an agricultural program in large parts of the rural areas that controlled the taxes and put an end to usury. A farmers' association was founded for this purpose. On October 1, 1949, the Communist Party succeeded for the first time since the German Empire in 1912 in establishing a united national government and a common economic policy. From 1949 to 1952, policy efforts focused on containing inflation, providing food for the population and reducing unemployment. The new government initiated land reform; Land was distributed to over 300 million poor farmers. In the course of the first five-year plan (1953-1957), 92 percent of the rural population were organized in cooperatives. In 1958 the first rural communes came into being. These played a dominant role in Chinese agriculture until the early 1980s. The communes were based on collective ownership of the land and all major machines. Production was based on goals set by the state and the workers were remunerated depending on the fulfillment of the target. A basic livelihood, however, was guaranteed to all members.
In the urban-industrial sector too, state ownership was gradually extended to include industrial factories and trading companies. Industry grew steadily during the first five-year plan, also thanks to corresponding state investments, and the state-owned sector thus gained ever greater importance. The second five-year plan was introduced in 1958. In the summer of this year, the regime began its much-heralded economic offensive. This program was marked by large investments in heavy industry. In addition, smaller branches of industry, such as steel processing, were set up in this phase. However, the program also caused great irritation in economic management and in actual economic growth. In 1960 it had to be canceled. The Chinese economy went through a period of consolidation, but by 1965 production in many areas returned to the levels of the late 1950s. The third five-year plan began in 1966, but both agricultural and industrial production were severely curtailed by the effects of the Cultural Revolution. The fourth five-year plan was introduced in 1971 when the economy was slowly recovering.
After the traces of the Cultural Revolution had been removed by around 1976, the Chinese leadership decided to intensify economic support in order to make up for the setback of the previous ten years. The fifth five-year plan began in 1976 but was interrupted in 1978 when the program of four modernizations was launched. This program called for a complete overhaul of agriculture, industry, national defense, and science and technology by the end of the century. This should make China one of the world's leading economies. The ten-year plan from 1976 to 1985 sought to improve economic management, trying to bring the privately and collectively owned (as opposed to the nationalized) companies to the fore. This program has been replaced by a more modest ten-year plan for the 1981-1990 period. Efforts to attract Western technology and investment continued, however, as did a program of incentives to encourage agricultural production. The policy begun in October 1984 advocated a further decentralization of economic planning and greater reliance on the forces of the free market in determining the price of consumer goods. The five-year plan from 1986 to 1990 was based on the assumption of annual economic growth of seven percent, but economic development slowed after the political crisis in 1989. However, this economic weakening was only temporary. At the beginning of the 1990s, the Chinese economy expanded enormously as the government increasingly relaxed economic restrictions. In 1992 growth of 13 percent was already recorded. But even this rapid growth created problems such as high inflation rates in the cities.
Agricultural production (which also includes some smaller industries in rural areas, forestry and fishing) accounts for 27 percent of total national income, while industrial production (manufacturing, mining, power generation and construction) accounts for more than 45 percent. Between 1965 and 1979 production grew by 6.4 percent per year and between 1980 and 1988 an increase of 10.3 percent per year was recorded. In 1989 the growth rate fell below the four percent mark, but recovered to ten percent annually in the early 1990s. A growth rate of around 6 percent has been achieved over the past few years.
The number of people in employment is estimated at around 550 million people. Unemployment and underemployment have dampened labor productivity and income growth. These problems are directly related to the enormous size and rapid growth of the population. In the early 1980s, a third of the population was 15 years old or younger. This shows that a large number of young people have to be integrated into the work process each year. Although around 60 percent of the workforce goes into the agricultural sector, the government's job creation program does not include rural areas. Here the new workers must be absorbed by the collective economy and by the individual households. The farming families receive around three quarters of their income from the collective farm, the remaining quarter is earned from secondary employment.
The traditional mainstay of the Chinese economy is still agriculture today. It feeds a large part of the population. About ten percent of the total area of China is agriculturally usable (especially the east of the country) and large areas are cultivated. About half of the cultivated land is supplied with irrigation systems. In no country in the world is this proportion so high. Despite the large growth in annual production since 1949, per capita income has increased significantly less due to the rapid increase in population. Between 1952 and 1979, for example, grain production grew by 103 percent per year, but per capita income only grew by 20 percent. In 1979 new areas were also made available for agriculture (especially in Manchuria and northwest China). However, the loss of farmed land for non-agricultural purposes was even greater, and with the large population increase, the national average fell from 0.18 hectares per capita in 1949 to 0.11 hectares.
The steadily increasing production and harvest in China can be partly attributed to the increasing effectiveness. By 1979, China's 838 million farmers were organized into around 52,000 municipalities. The communes were socio-economic units that received production targets from the state and ensured that these were met. A municipality was usually divided into several brigades, which in turn were divided into working groups. Each of these different units could receive land, machines or other means of production from the common pool of the municipality and each carried out different tasks. About six million working groups formed the basis of this system.
The communal system offered the opportunity to plan the agricultural cultivation and the structure of the planting on a large scale. So wheat could be grown in those areas where the soil and other circumstances were best suited for it. The irrigation systems could also be built on a sensible scale. Although the land was collectively owned, each rural household was entitled to a small parcel for private use. Furthermore, the working groups were guaranteed autonomy and the individual households could market the products themselves, the quantities of which were above the official target.
In the early 1980s, the government wanted to remedy the recurring food shortage, so allowed a higher average per capita consumption and restructured the agricultural sector. The system of communes and brigades was largely abolished and instead the households now assumed the important position of the smallest unit in agricultural production. Under this new "system of responsibility", each household concluded a contract with the local authorities on the quota of a certain grain to be produced. In addition, the families can sell any harvest yields they have made on the open market. The sales generated from this amounted to 60 percent of China's agricultural production at the end of the 1980s.
Because of the enormous importance of agriculture in China, planning a rational land use is of the utmost importance. For example, an overproduction of grain in the 1960s and 1970s led to a reduction in the cultivation areas of some crops, orchards and trees, as well as to neglect of animal husbandry and environmental damage. The government has since promoted cultivation that is in harmony with the natural conditions.
Agricultural mechanization is actively pursued, although it is still in its infancy and has proven impractical in regions with relatively small acreages. The control of floods and the creation of irrigation systems, such as the construction of dams and canals, have been carried out on a large scale since the 1950s. During the same period, the structure of agricultural cultivation was also significantly changed. Due to the increasing water reservoirs and the more intensive use of artificial fertilizers, a second harvest per year could be produced in the three river valleys of the North China Plain. The yields in the middle and low elevations of the Yangtze Valley, already an area with two harvests per year at that time, could be increased to three annual harvests. Recently, however, the return to the two-yearly harvest has been discussed, since the third harvest results in high expenditure on artificial fertilizers and the cultivation plan is extremely tight.
To supplement agricultural production, the various government agencies operate an additional 2,000 state farms. These large farms serve both for experiments in the agricultural sector and for the production of certain foods for urban markets or for export. These farms are mostly located on newly reclaimed agricultural land, where the rural population is relatively small and the modern machines can be used effectively.
About 80 percent of China's agricultural area is used for the production of food. One of the most important harvest products is rice, which is cultivated on around a third of the total area under cultivation. The main cultivation areas are the southern valley of the Huai, the middle and eastern valley of the Yangtze River, the delta of the Xi Jiang near Canton and the Red Basin of Sichuan.
The country's second most important crop is wheat, which is mainly grown north of the Huai. The main growing areas for wheat are in the North China Plain and the valleys of the Wei and Fen rivers in the loess region. Although the areas for growing wheat are almost as large as those for rice, the crop yield is still lower.
Kaoliang (a type of coffee millet) and millet are also important food products in northern China and Manchuria. Kaoliang is also used as fodder and is a raw material for the production of alcoholic beverages. The stalks are used to make paper and to cover roofs. Maize is grown on around 20 percent of the arable land. In Inner Mongolia and in the west, especially in Tibet, oats also play an important role.
Other foods are also grown, such as sweet potatoes, white potatoes, various types of fruit and vegetables. The sweet potatoes predominate in the south, while the white potatoes in the north. The most common types of fruit include tropical fruits such as pineapples and bananas, which grow mainly on Hainan Island, and apples and pears in the northern provinces of Liaoning and Shandong. Citrus fruits, oranges and mandarins are the main products in southern China.
Oil seeds also play an important role in Chinese agriculture. They are used to manufacture industrial oils and make up a large share of exports. Soybeans are an important source of edible oil; they are grown on around eight percent of the total agricultural area, predominantly in northern China and Manchuria. In terms of soybean production, China ranks third in the world. With 5.9 million tons, China is also one of the leading countries in the production of peanuts. Peanuts are grown in Shandong and Hebei. Other important oil crops are sesame and sunflower seeds as well as rapeseed. A valuable oil can also be obtained from the tung tree. More than half of the total volume of tung oil is extracted in Sichuan.
The tea is a traditional export good from China. Even today, the country is one of the largest tea producers. China accounts for 20 percent of the total harvest. The annual harvest is 566,000 tons. The largest tea plantations are located on the hills in the middle of the Yangtze River Valley and in the southeastern provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang.
In China, sugar is obtained from both sugar cane and sugar beet. The annual sugar production is 5.1 million tons. Sugar cane cultivation is concentrated in the provinces of Guangdong and Sichuan. The sugar beets have only recently been harvested, with the focus on the Manchurian province of Heilongjiang and the irrigated regions of Inner Mongolia.
The communist government of China has paid great attention to the development of fiber products for the textile industry. Above all, cotton ranks here with an annual production of 4.2 million tons. This makes China the world's leading cotton producer.
There are large numbers of livestock in China. Pig breeding is of particular importance. The country is one of the leading exporters of pig bristles. In the western regions, the nomadic herdsmen ranching their livestock is the main agricultural activity. Most of the herds here consist of sheep, goats and camels. In the Tibetan highlands, the yak is a source of food and fuel (the dung is burned). His hair and skin are raw materials for the manufacture of clothing.
China's forest reserves are relatively limited due to centuries of deforestation; the wood was used as firewood or building material. The reforestation programs increased the tree population from eight percent of the total area in 1949 to more than twelve percent by the end of the 1980s. Nevertheless, the lumber deliveries are low.
The distribution of forests in China is very uneven.Half of all forest areas in the country and three quarters of the resources are in the northeast and southwest. The main tree species are pine, spruce, larch, oak and, in the extreme south, teak and mahogany. Other commercially used species are tung tree, lacquer tree, camphor tree and bamboo. The nationwide tree-planting campaigns are carried out by both state projects and collectively organized associations. The trees were planted near settlements, along roads and waterways, and near farms. One of the most important projects is a program to establish a forest belt on the north-western border of the steppe regions, in the North Chinese Plain and in western Manchuria.
The catching of fish and molluscs as well as the gathering of mussels has developed into an important economic factor in China. The breeding of freshwater fish also plays an important role. The government promoted fish farming in ponds and water reservoirs along the agricultural areas. The main fish farming regions are located near the urban markets in the middle and lower Yangtze River Valley and the Xi-Jiang Delta. The carp ponds, a traditional Chinese food source for thousands of years, make up a significant proportion of total production.
Unlike freshwater fishing, marine fishing is underdeveloped. Most fishermen were resettled in coastal fishing communities in the 1960s and encouraged to develop agricultural activities in addition to fishing. These communities also ran fish farms in the sea.
China has rich natural resources, including large deposits of minerals that are important for industrial use.
China's coal mining is the largest in the world; There are many small local mines scattered across the country, but the main centers are in the north of the Yangtze, especially in Shanxi. Coal is one of the leading fuel sources for industry and private households. It also takes up a large proportion of rail freight.
The rapid development of the oil industry since the 1950s has made China one of the most important producers in this area as well. China has been self-sufficient in gasoline since 1963, and exports of both crude oil and refined oil products have been possible since 1973. The Daqing Oil Field in Heilongjiang Province was discovered and developed in the late 1950s. Today it is one of the most productive oil fields in the country. The nation's largest oil reserves are in the Tarim Basin in the Sinkiang Uigur Autonomous Region.
The production of iron ore has increased enormously since the 1970s. China is also a world leader in the extraction of graphite.
The industrial sector in China is divided into manufacturing, mining, electric power generation and construction for reasons of government planning. Between 1965 and 1988, the share of industry in the gross domestic product rose from 39 percent to 46 percent, with heavy industry accounting for the largest share of growth. The industrial companies form independent but integrated regional structures. The large and medium-sized cities, and in some cases even the smaller ones, have established important industrial centers.
In the late 1970s, the government reconsidered industrial goals and tried to find a remedy for problems that had arisen due to poor planning. A certain complacency had set in in many cities at the expense of specialization, and many industries continued to perform long outdated functions. Rapid growth in heavy industry had in part damaged the urban environment and attracted funds that were lacking in agriculture, light industry, or the improvement of urban facilities. Technological development also stagnated.
The corrective program called for slower growth in heavy industry, while light industry was given more resources to develop. These investments should pay off in a relatively short time and thus finance your own expansion. Investments were also made in the construction industry in order to improve the living conditions of the city dwellers and to create new jobs for the unemployed in the cities.
Another new reform is the guarantee of autonomy for all state-owned companies in relation to the question of what to do with the surplus production, sales and profits that remain after the state objectives have been met. In addition, numerous professors, managers and technicians were sent abroad to learn about modern management techniques and technical innovations. Foreign technologies were imported in the form of new and complete plants.
The iron and steel industry has been a priority in China since 1949. The country now produced a wide variety of steel products, such as: B Tungsten steel, stainless steel, heavy steel plates and seamless tubes. The main production areas for this are Manchuria, Northern China and the Yangtze River Valley.
Important iron and steel works are located in Anshan, Benxi, Beijing, Baotou, Taiyuan, Wuhan, Maanshan, Panzhihua, Chongqing, Shanghai and Tientsin. The production of iron and crude steel could be continuously expanded.
Other heavy industries in China include shipbuilding and the manufacture of locomotives, vehicles, tractors, mining equipment, power generation equipment, oil rigs, and refinery machinery.
The petrochemical industry has plants in most of the provinces and autonomous regions, with the main ones in Beijing, Shanghai, Lanzhou, Shengli, Yueyang, Anqing and Canton. The products include synthetic fibers, plastics and pharmaceutical fabrics. Unique in the Chinese petrochemical industry is the widespread use of small factories for the production of nitrogen fertilizers. This technique was developed in China.
The Chinese textile industry employs more than four million workers. Most of the new textile factories have been set up in the cotton planting regions of Hubei (Hupeh), Hunan, Hebei and Shaanxi. Nevertheless, despite increasing capacity since 1949, the industry could not produce enough clothing for the entire population. For this reason, cotton fabrics had to be rationed.
Other important products are cement, paper and cardboard, bicycles, televisions, seeders and motor vehicles.
Sales of goods in China used to be controlled by central planning and are now largely left to the forces of the market. Between 1978 and 1984 sales in the state-controlled retail sector fell from 90.5 to 45.8 percent. In the same period the collectives were able to increase their shares from 7.4 to 39.6 percent and the private companies from 2.1 to 14.6 percent.
Until the end of the 1970s, the raw materials and equipment required by the state-owned companies were not acquired by them, but made available to the companies by the government. After the production was completed, the government took over the distribution of the goods. The government sold consumer goods that were needed by the rural population through state-organized delivery cooperatives. The most important goods, such as grain, oil, meat, sugar and cotton fabrics, were rationed. For example, the grain was distributed to the peasant households and served as remuneration for the work of the peasants.
Since 1979, state-owned companies have been able to keep some of their goods and bring the products to market themselves. The use of advertising as an information medium could also be recognized for the first time at this point in time. In the urban centers, the reorganization of trade led to a rapid increase in collective and private businesses, such as restaurants, teahouses, inns, hairdressers, photo studios, tailors' workshops and all kinds of repair and handicraft services. The farmers' markets were reopened, at which private households could sell their surplus products or purchase other goods.
Currency and banking
The Chinese currency unit is the yuan. The banking system is under full government control. The People's Bank of China is the central financial authority and issues the currency. However, the Bank of China, which has 50 branches, including offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and London, is responsible for international lending and financial transactions with foreign countries. There are also three other important banks in China: the International Chinese Property and Investment Company, which sets up funds for investments in China and joint ventures between China and overseas, the People's Construction Bank China, which trades in funds for basic construction, and the Agricultural Bank of China, which is responsible for bonds in the agricultural sector of the economy.
Foreign trade in China is subject to the state monopoly. In 1979, China eased certain foreign trade restrictions to stimulate relatively low foreign investment and trade activity. After a long period of negative trade balance, income from exports and expenditure on imports are roughly balanced. The main Chinese exports are crude and refined oil, cotton fabrics, silk, clothing, rice, pork, shrimp and tea. Major imports include machinery, steel products, other metals, automobiles, synthetics, agricultural chemicals, rubber, wheat, and ships. Japan ranks first among Chinese trading partners, followed by Hong Kong and the United States. China also has intensive trade relations with Germany, Taiwan and Singapore. Trade relations with the United States were threatened in 1993 when the United States considered not renewing the most-favored nation clause for China until human rights were guaranteed in China. In May 1994, however, the United States renewed the most-favored nation clause for China, even though the Chinese government had done little to improve human rights.
The railroad is the main mode of transport in China. About two thirds of passenger traffic and half of freight traffic are handled by rail. The rail network has doubled since 1949 and is now 76,000 kilometers long. The two most important north-south routes (Canton-Beijing and Shanghai-Beijing) as well as routes to the north-east to Mongolia and Russia as well as to the south-east have been expanded. The most important east-west connection leads from Lianyungang to Lanzhou and is now also connected to Ürümqi in the far northwest. The new routes have made the densely populated and economically important regions of northeast, central and southwest China more accessible. As soon as the Lanzhou – Lhasa (Tibet) line is completed, all provinces and autonomous regions of China can be reached by rail.
The Chinese roads and highways have been significantly expanded since 1949. However, only the cities of the commercial ports and the immediate hinterland are connected to the road network. The road system, which is around 1,028,000 kilometers long, is 85 percent paved. The roads connect Beijing with all the capitals of the provinces and the autonomous regions, as well as with the main port cities and the railway hubs. The network also extends into the rural areas and most places are accessible by road. Motorized individual traffic is increasing in the cities; However, short distances are still mostly covered by bike. China produces 500,000 motor vehicles per year; however, this does not meet the needs of an increasingly mobile population.
The waterways that are accessible for shipping cover a total length of 170,000 kilometers in the interior of China. Inland shipping takes over a fifth of the transport of goods within the country. The potential for increasing development is still great here. The most important inland waterway route is the Yangtze, the fourth longest river in the world. Over a length of 18,000 kilometers, the Yangtze and its tributaries are navigable for steamboats. Chongqing, Yichang and Wuhan are the largest ports on the Yangtze River. However, the most widely used inland waterway is the Imperial Canal, which extends from Beijing to Yangtze River. The southern part of the canal is integrated into a local system of canals and lakes, which means that the cities of Suzhou, Wuxi and Tschangtschou have developed into important inland ports. In the rural parts of China, the irrigation canals are also used by the farmers as inland waterways.
Due to the most important industrial locations on the coast, coastal shipping has increased in importance. International shipping has played an increasingly important role since 1970. The Chinese merchant fleet comprises over 1,000 freighters calling at ports in more than 100 countries. Most of these ships were built in China.
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