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Background of China China is believed to have the oldest continuous civilization which has over 4000 years of verifiable history Beijing is the capital of China and is the focal point for the country The official language is standard Chinese which is derived from the Mandarin dialect Most business people speak English Though there are nearly 200 dialects in China there is only one written language The Peoples Republic of China is a socialist country under the leadership of the Communist Party of China The Chinese government promotes atheism although the constitution guarantees freedom of religion The Chinese practice a variety of religions and the three main religions are Buddhism Taoism or Daoism and Confucianism And there are also a small number of Christians Islam and several others China is the most densely populated country in the world with approximately 13 billion people And most of the populations are Han Chinese However the growth rate has slowed to less than 1 per year due largely to laws limiting children to one per couple In an effort to control the population growth couples are allowed to have only one child Second children are possible but at a very high penalty This policy has had success in the large cities and more affluent areas where monitoring and control is more manageableIn areas further away from Beijing and in the more remote the area it has had less success Everyone in China is entitled to 9 years mandatory education and adult literacy is nearly 81 There are about 961000 schools at all levels And there are approximately 1080 universities and colleges many of which have on-line websites Economic Overview In late 1978 the Chinese leadership began moving the economy from a sluggish Soviet-style centrally planned economy to a more market-oriented system Whereas the system operates within a political framework of strict Communist control the economic influence of non-state organizations and individual citizens has been steadily
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