China Overview

By | October 29, 2020

China is the third largest on the surface and the largest country in the world in terms of population. Traveling to China was for a long time reserved for only a few Westerners, but is today a popular destination that attracts both culture and nature.

China flagChina 2

Capital: Beijing
Biggest city: Shanghai
State: People’s Republic
Language: Chinese
Religion: Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism
Surface: 9 596 960 km²
Population: 1,365 million (2013)
Population density: 139 residents per km²
Life expectancy: 73 years
Illiteracy: 9%
Currency: yuan (CNY)
1 yuan = 1.27 kr
GDP per capita: $ 7,200 (2010)
Time difference: +7 hours
Electricity: 220 V AC, 50Hz
National Day: 1 October
Country area code: 86
2-Letter country abbreviation: CN (See more abbreviations on Abbreviationfinder)
Business: agriculture 74%, industry 14%, service sector 12%
Climate: very varied; subtropical in the southwest, temperate in the east, cold and dry on the Tibetan plateau in the southwest, dry in the northern deserts, cold temperate in the northeast

China’s culture is one of the oldest in the world. The country had a developed social system already 4,000 years ago and it is in China that many great inventions have seen the light of day, such as paper and the art of printing, porcelain, gunpowder and the compass.

China has a land area that is almost as large as the whole of Europe. The eastern parts are very densely populated, while the western areas, especially Tibet, Qinghai and Xinjiang, are sparsely populated with large wastelands, mountain areas and deserts. To the west is also the Tian Shan mountain range, which is connected to the Himalayas to the south.

China counts the island of Taiwan off the east coast as an integral part of the country, and also claims thousands of small islands and atolls in the South China Sea, of which the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands are the most controversial. The country’s border with Russia in the northeast and with India in the southwest has also been questioned from time to time.

In addition to Taiwan, China is divided into 22 provinces, five autonomous territories, two special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macao) and four urban municipalities (Chongqing, Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin) with provincial status.

The Seven New Wonders of the World is a modern, alternative list to the seven wonders of antiquity. These were voted for by 100 million people in a global vote, and according to the result, the Great Wall of China became one of the seven new wonders.


The following objects in China are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The year in which the item was added to the list is indicated in parentheses.

  • Imperial Palace, Forbidden City from the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1987)
  • First Qinke emperor’s mausoleum (1987)
  • The Moga Caves (1987)
  • Berget Taishan (1987)
  • The Beijing Man’s Site in Zhoukoudian (1987)
  • Great Wall of China (1987)
  • Berget Huangshan (1990)
  • Huanglong Area (1992)
  • Jiuzhaigou Valley (1992)
  • Wulingyuan Area (1992)
  • Temple and tomb of Confucius and the residence of the Kong family in Qufu (1994)
  • The Mountain Residence and Temples in Chengde (1994)
  • Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet (1994)
  • Ancient buildings in the Wudang Mountains (1994)
  • Lushan National Park (1996)
  • Mount Emeishan, with giant Buddha in Leshan (1996)
  • Lijiang Old Town (1997)
  • The Classic Gardens of Suzhou (1997)
  • Old City of Pingyao (1997)
  • Summer Palace with Gardens, Beijing (1998)
  • Temple of Heaven, Beijing (1998)
  • The Rock Sculptures in Dazu (1999)
  • Berget Wuyishan (1999)
  • Qincheng Mountain and Duijangyan Irrigation System (2000)
  • Longmen Temple Area with cave temples and rock sculptures (2000)
  • Imperial tombs from the Ming and Qing dynasties (2000)
  • The villages of Xidi and Hongcun in southern Anhui (2000)
  • The Yungang Caves, the Rock Temples in Yungang (2001)
  • The Three Parallel Rivers National Park (2003)
  • Archaeological remains from Koguryoriket (2004)
  • Archaeological remains from the Shang Dynasty, Yinxu (2006)
  • Sichuan Giant Panda Protected Area (2006)
  • Kaiping Diaolou (2007)
  • Karst landscapes in Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi (2007)
  • Sangingshanberg National Park (2008)
  • Fujian Tulou, 46 Buildings (2008)
  • Wutai Mountains with 53 Buddhist monasteries (2009)
  • Danxia, ​​nature reserve in southern China (2010)
  • Historical monuments in Dengfeng (2010)
  • The landscape around the West Lake in Hangzhou (2011)
  • Xanadu (2012)
  • Chengjiang, fossil site (2012)
  • Cultural landscape Honghe Hani (2013)
  • Xinjiang Tianshan (2013)
  • Silk Road (2014)
  • The Imperial Channel (2014)


Electricity and electrical outlets in China

Voltage: 220 V

Frequency: 50 Hz

Type of plug: A, G, I

Need an adapter: Yes, Swedes need an adapter.


Weather in Beijing

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Christmas Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature °C -4 -2 5 14 20 24 27 25 20 13 5 -2
Day °C 2 4 11 20 26 30 31 30 26 19 10 3
Night °C -9 -7 -1 7 13 18 22 20 14 7 0 -7
Rain (mm) 3 6 9 26 29 71 176 182 49 19 6 2
Rainy days 2 3 4 5 6 9 14 12 7 6 5 2
Soltim / day 8 9 9 10 12 12 11 10 10 9 9 8


Guangxi is an autonomous region in southern China, made up of sandstone and limestone. In some places there is a very strange karst landscape with narrow, sugar-top-shaped mountains, partly underground watercourses, natural stone bridges and extensive cave systems.

Guangxi was declared an autonomous region for the Zhuang people in 1958, but other minorities also exist. The area has a subtropical monsoon climate with high summer rainfall and a twelve-month growing season. Nanning is the capital.

Inner Mongolia

Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region in northern China, and as a geographical and political concept has been separated from Outer Mongolia (present-day Mongolia) since the 17th century. After the Chinese Revolution of 1911, Inner Mongolia remained part of China, and in 1947 it became an autonomous territory.

The area is for the most part a steppe plateau. The climate is distinctly continental with cold, dry and windy winters and hot summers, when almost all of the year’s precipitation falls. In eastern Inner Mongolia the annual rainfall is 500600 mm and in the Gobi Desert and other desert areas in the west less than 250 mm.


Ningxia is an autonomous region in northern China, slightly larger than Lithuania, where a large part of the population belongs to the Hui Muslim ethnic group.

The area is mountainous and dry, where it is located between the Gobi Desert and the Ordos Desert. Yinchuan is the capital.


Tibet is an autonomous region in western China, and is also called the “Roof of the World”. The area consists mainly of the world’s largest plateau at an altitude of over 4000 meters, surrounded by the huge mountain ranges Himalayas, Karakorum and Kunlun.

The climate on the northern plateau is extremely harsh with excruciating winds and severe cold all year round. Only in the deepest river valleys is there forest and arable land. The population is ethnically homogeneous, if one disregards the Chinese who have settled in the area since the occupation.

The Tibetans are descended from the nomads of Central Asia, and feed mainly as herdsmen on the high plateau with their herds of yaks, goats and sheep, or as farmers in the valleys.


Xinjiang is an autonomous region in northwestern China. The population is mainly Turkish-speaking, Muslim ethnic groups, of which the Uighurs – an ethnic group in China that are quite different in appearance from “ordinary” Chinese – are the largest.

Xinjiang has a very inhospitable landscape with both deserts and high mountain ranges. It is one of China’s largest and most sparsely populated areas, with about 20 million residents on an area four times larger than Sweden.


According to Countryaah, Beijing is the capital of China and has 7.6 million residents (2007). The entire metropolitan area has a population of 17 million, and is about the size of Belgium.

Beijing is China’s political and cultural center, while China’s most populous city, Shanghai, can still be said to be the country’s economic center, in fierce competition with Hong Kong. Throughout its long history, Beijing has developed a diverse and unique cultural heritage. Most well-known are the Gate of Heavenly Peace and the Imperial Palace and Temples of the Forbidden City, which since 1987 have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The World Heritage List also includes the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, the Yonghegong Lama Temple, and the Confucius Temple.

Outside the city, but still within its political boundaries, there are also a number of magnificent cultural heritage sites, such as the Great Wall of China to the north and northwest, and the Ming Tombs. The Chinese state has its own list of national, historical monuments and cultural treasures under state protection, which contains 98 buildings, facilities and objects.

Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics. An Olympic district has sprung up just north of the city center. The majority of the sports activities took place there, although some branches were held in other cities.


Located in southwestern China, Chengdu is the country’s fourth largest city after Chongqing, Shanghai and Beijing. The entire urban area has 10.6 million residents (2004). About half of the residents live in the city itself. The city’s history stretches back 2,300 years and Chengdu has a rich cultural heritage and many sights. Chengdu is generally regarded as the most important city in southwest China and is a regional center of industry, trade, education and culture.


Chongqing is a city in central China. The city municipality “Chongqing Shi”, which is an administrative unit directly under the central government of Beijing, has an area of ​​about 82,300 square kilometers and 31 million residents (2005).

The city municipality is often designated as “the world’s largest city”, which rhymes poorly with what is normally called a city, as its area is comparable to one of the two smaller parts of Sweden. At the census in 2000, only a third of the city municipality’s residents were counted as urban population.

The central area of ​​the city municipality consists of fifteen districts which in 2000 had a total of 10.5 million residents. Chongqing is also known as the “Foggy City” or “Mountain City”, and is one of the few major Chinese cities without extensive cycling.


Dali is a city in southwestern China that falls under the autonomous prefecture of the same name. The city is located on a fertile plateau between the Cangshan Mountains in the west and Erhaisjön in the east. It has traditionally been inhabited by Bai and Yin minorities. It is also the capital of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture. The city has 521,169 residents (2000).

Dali is the ancient capital of both the Baiku kingdom of Nanzhao which had its heyday in the area around the 700s and 800s, and the kingdom of Dali, which existed between 937 and 1253. The Panthayre rebels had Bali as their center between 1856 and 1863.

Dali is known for its marble manufacturing, to the extent that the Chinese word for marble is “the Dalist”. The city is today a major tourist attraction, along with Lijiang, for tourists both inside and outside China.


Guangzhou is a sub-provincial city in southern China and the capital of Guangdong Province. Guangzhou is located in the extremely fast-growing and economically expanding area around the Pearl River Delta, which is considered one of the world’s fastest growing metropolitan regions. Central Guangzhou has about 5 million residents, while the entire sub-provincial metropolitan area has 10 million residents.


Guilin is a city in China with 1.3 million residents. The city is known for its natural beauty and is a popular tourist destination.


Hangzhou is a Chinese city and the administrative capital of Zhejiang Province. The city is located about 180 kilometers southwest of Shanghai and is known for its beautiful location on Lake Xihu (West Lake). Central Hangzhou has 1.4 million residents (2000).


Harbin is a city in northeastern China, on the south bank of the Songhua River, with 4.7 million residents. There are 9.8 million residents in the entire metropolitan area. The city was founded by Russians in 1898, but after the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05, Russia’s influence over the area diminished. During the Russian Revolution, many Tsarist Russians fled to Harbin and the city still has a Russian minority population.


Kunming is a city in southern China, southeast of Chongqing. It is the capital of Yunnan Province and has 3 million residents (2000). Kunming is located on a high plateau, about 1,900 meters above sea level. The city is often called the city of eternal spring, as it is never too hot or too cold there.


Lhasa is the largest city in Tibet, and was formerly the capital of the Tibetan government under the Dalai Lama. The city has 257,400 residents (2004). It is located at the foot of Mount Gephel, at about 3,650 meters above sea level, and is thus one of the highest cities in the world.

Lhasa has many historical sites, including the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple, the Serak Monastery, the Zhefang Temple, the Drepung Monastery and Norbulingka. However, many of these places were damaged during the Cultural Revolution.

According to the region’s authorities, 1.1 million people visited Tibet in 2004. The Chinese authorities have an ambitious plan for tourism: to increase the number of visits to 10 million a year by 2020. The visitors are expected to be mainly ethnic Chinese. Independence zealots are worried that this could lead to the erosion of Tibetan culture, mainly in terms of renovations around historic sites, such as the Potala Palace, which is a World Heritage Site.


Nanjing is a city in eastern China located on the Changjiang River, about 240 kilometers west of Shanghai. The city is the capital of Jiangsu Province and has 4.4 million residents (2000).

The city is more than 2000 years old and has had several names throughout history – Jinling, Danyang, Jiangnan and after 1368 Nanjing. The name means “southern capital” and is so named as the city has been the capital of China three times, 317-582, 1368-1403 and 1928-49. For a long time, even after it ceased to be the capital, the city was a difficult competitor to Beijing due to its superiority in industry, trade and population.


Shanghai is China’s largest city, with over 18 million residents. After the Opium War of 183942, Shanghai was opened to trade with the West and became China’s most important port city. In the so-called concessions, areas ruled by foreigners, Shanghai’s internationally infamous entertainment was conducted. The central parts of the city are crossed by massive traffic routes on several levels above ground level.


Shenzhen is a city in southeastern China. It is located in a wide belt several miles along the coast directly north of the New Territories in Hong Kong, about 30 minutes by train from Hong Kong city center. The city’s population is growing very fast and Shenzhen had just over 7 million residents at the last census (2000) compared to 1.7 million residents at the previous census (1990).

Shenzhen was founded by Deng Xiaoping in 1979 as an economic free zone and as an alternative to Hong Kong. At that time, the area consisted only of countryside and a few villages, while Shenzhen today is more populous than its neighbor to the south. As in Hong Kong, large areas of the sea are being filled to win land. There is now a bridge from the Nanshan district to Hong Kong.


Suzhou is one of the most famous cities in China. It is located in the lower reaches of the Yangtze and along the shores of Lake Taihus in Jiangsu Province. The city is part of the Golden Triangle and has an advantageous geographical location and excellent communications. The city has 2.3 million residents (2005). The metropolitan area has over 6 million residents.

The classic garden in Suzhou was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997.


Xi’an is an ancient city with a history that stretches over 3,100 years back in time. The current name was given to the city during the Ming Dynasty. Outside the city is the tomb of the first emperor Shi Huangdi from the 200s BC. with the so-called terracotta army which consists of 8,000 sculptures in burnt clay. The city also has a well-preserved city wall from the Ming Dynasty and China’s first mosque from the 6th century during the Tang Dynasty – the Great Mosque in Xi’an.