Capital City: Beijing
Chinese Flag: The red color of the flag of the People's Republic of China symbolizes revolution.  The large star symbolizes the Communist Party (which rules China) and the smaller stars represent the people of China.
Population: 1.3 billion (as of 2004)
Climate: mainly continental monsoon climate
Territorial seas: the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, and the South China Sea
People: Han Chinese (93.3%), plus 55 ethnic groups (e.g., Miao, Li, Mongolian)
Language: Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua) based on Beijing dialect, plus local dialects
Religion: officially atheist, Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam (over 22 million), Catholicism (over 4 million) and Protestantism (over 10 million)
Administrative demarcations: 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities, and 2 Special Administrative Regions
Area: 9,600,000 sq km

Text and photos courtesy of Yan Jie

Welcome to The People's Republic of China!

Map of China

Today, China is on her road of a rapid development.  We have been leading a better life since we claimed independence in 1949.  There appear quite a few of big cities in the eastern part of the country, especially the areas facing the Pacific Ocean.  People in these areas have formed a close connection with other parts around the world; as a result, their life style is changing into one that is almost as similar as that of some other big cities in Japan, Britain, and USA, etc.

Well, at the same time, the traditional convention still has a strong influence which sometimes creates a contradiction with the requirements of development.  The life of kids is the best representation.  They like surfing for the interesting stuff on the Internet, playing computer games which the kids of Korea, US play too, enjoying the Football World Cup games and cheering for the goal by his or her favorite star.  On the other hand, they have a rather heavy school work, because the educational tradition in China always stresses a hard work with the emphases on memorizing and calculating.  However, kids in these areas have more chance to learn according to their own pace and interest, for the continuous improvement in both schooling and citizen's perspective.

Compared with the kids in the western part of the country, they are much luckier and happier.  The western part of China is less developed for it is quite far into the continent.  Most people there lead a relatively simple life.  The kids there are not able to enjoy as good educational condition as that of eastern part, fortunately, the Internet is playing a more positive part in connect them with the world.

You don't have to worry that you couldn't be understood when you come to China.  All the kids in China learn English as their main foreign language.  He or she would talk with you, make friend with you and also invite you to his or her home to have a taste of the traditional snacks, and if you like, he or she could even become your Chinese language teacher too.

China will also host the 2008 Olympic Games, when people all around the world will have a tour in China, watching sports matches, as well as having a close touch with the friendly Chinese people and the Chinese traditional culture.  Welcome to China, and you are also welcome to make friends with us Chinese kids through either Internet or postcards.  I'm pretty sure you will find that you would have made a good choice.


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