China is a vast country. It's the worlds third biggest in area, only succeeded by their neighbor Russia and then Canada. In population, as you know, it's by far the biggest. In 2002 it was estimated to have almost 1.3 billion inhabitants.

The country holds lowlands, highlands, mountain area as well as desserts. In the north they have tempered climate and in the far south it's tropical.

land: 9,326,410 sq km
pop: 1,298,847,624


per capita
(Purshase power in US$)
Life Expectancy
(People living on less than 2 US$/day, in %)
Literacy rate
(ages above 15,  in %)
Infant mortality rate
Tuberculosis cases
(per 100,000 people)
Human Development Index
(of 177 nations)
China 4,580 71 47 91 3.1 272 94
Russia 8,230 67 -- 99 1,8 181 57
Tanzania 580 43 60 77 10,4 472 162
Sweden 26,050 80 -- n.a. 0,3 4 2
Those figures are from United Nations "Human Development Report 2004"

Most people find statistical numbers boring. Anyway I brought you some. Looking at the table above, in short you could say, that China at the time being belongs to the lower mid class economies. The common health is nor good nor bad and at least they live a long life. 

On the other hand, China has had an extra ordinary development. The economical breakthrough came in the late 70th when Deng Xiao Ping came to power and introduced market economy.  The GDP has been increased by 9% each year for the last decade. Next year they have announced that it will "only" be 8.x %. I don't think the world has ever seen a development like this. 



In this diagram you could follow the economical development in relation to health since the revolution 1949. I have randomly chosen some countries for comparison. 



There are a lot of things going on in the society. During my stay in China following happened: 

Political talks on a high level between China and  Russia, discussing economical exchange and cooperation. China and Russia has not been on speaking terms for a long time, now they are reaching out hands towards each other.

Lots of discussions about international security and economical development. Like the CCTV had serious discussions about matters as, European security policy, international trading, the danger of economical overheating in China, the war in Iraq, etcetera. It's obvious that no one likes GW Bush and American foreign politic.

Private property rights discussed and also reforms on social security and funds for retired people. Those are two really important but controversial issues.  

Two or three satellites were lunched and placed in orbit. While Russian space program is on hold, the NASA is facing security problem, China is now in advance.

This year is the "French cultural year" in China, and Jean Michel Jarre made the most spectacular show at the Tiananmen square.

Tennis Grand Prix was played in China for the first time. And there was a lot of talk about golf and golf courses. Both of with are really not  "Chinese" sports. They usually stick to team sports. They are communists, you know.

Formula One race executed in Shanghai and some NBL basketball teams was visiting China for friendly games.