China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), has the third largest land area of any country on earth. Only Russia and Canada are larger. Topographically, China has a land area of 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 square miles).
China's population of 1.265 billion is the largest on earth, about 22 percent of the earth's total population. Population distribution is very uneven. Large areas of mountain and desert have few people, fewer than 10 persons per square kilometer. The highest population concentration is along the east and south coast , where population density averages more than 400 persons per square kilometer (1,040 persons per square mile).
The government is led by the Communist Party of China (CPC). Since the founding of China's modern state in 1949, the Communist Party of China has led a system of consultation and cooperation with the many diverse entities within China. In recent years, China's economy has been growing rapidly. This has brought an improving standard of living to most Chinese, especially those who live in China's rapidly growing cities.