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Generally refers to the country referred to as the People's Republic of China, a country in E Asia. With a surface area of 3,691,502 sq. mi. (9,560,990 sq. km). The current Capital is Beijing. It is the world's second-largest country by land area, and the third- or fourth-largest in total area, depending on the definition of total area. The People's Republic of China is a single-party state governed by the Communist Party of China. It exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four directly controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and two mostly self-governing special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau). China's landscape is vast and diverse, with forest steppes and the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts occupying the arid north and northwest near Mongolia and Central Asia, and subtropical forests being prevalent in the wetter south near Southeast Asia. The terrain of western China is rugged and elevated, with the Himalaya, Karakoram, Pamir and Tian Shan mountain ranges separating China from South and Central Asia.

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