China BrE AmE
the largest country in eastern Asia. Population: 1,321,851,888 (2007). Capital: Beijing. China's population is the largest of any country in the world. It also has one of the oldest ↑ civilization s in the world. For over 2000 years, China was ruled by a series of powerful families called dynasties (↑ dynasty ). In 1912 it became a ↑ republic and in 1949, after a long war between the Nationalists and the Communists, it became a Communist state, known as the People's Republic of China (PRC), which was led for many years by Mao Zedong. More recently, under the leadership of Deng Xiaping and Jiang Zemin, China has achieved a very fast rate of economic development, and it is now one of the most important economic and industrial powers in the world.