Officially the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is a sovereign state in East Asia. It is the world’s most populous country, with a population of over 1.35 billion. The capital city is Beijing. China consists of 23 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chongqing), and two mostly self-governing special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau).
Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers, China is the world’s third-largest country by land area. China’s landscape is vast and diverse, ranging from forest steppes and the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts in the arid north to tropical forests in the wetter south.
China had the largest and most complex economy in the world for most of the past two thousand years, during which it has seen cycles of prosperity and decline. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China has become one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies. As of 2014, it is the world’s second-largest economy by nominal total GDP and largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). China is also the world’s largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods.
Agriculture is a vital industry in China, employing nearly 300 million farmers. China ranks first in worldwide farm output, primarily producing rice, wheat, potatoes, tomato, sorghum, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, cotton, oilseed and soybeans. Although China’s agricultural output is the largest in the world, only about 15% of its total land area can be cultivated. China’s arable land, which represents 7% of the total arable land in the world, supports over 22% of the world’s population. Of this approximately 1.2 million square kilometers of arable land, only about 1.2%.
China is home to rich plant and animal resources. There are thousands of crop varieties plus their close wild relatives, including over 1200 plant cultivars of cereals, fruits, vegetables, grasses, flowers and natural rubber, about twenty animal species of swine, chicken, goose, yellow cattle, buffalo and others with a total of 576 breeds, and more than 20,000 recorded waterborne organisms including more than 3800 types of fishes, 300 reptiles, 40 water mammals, and 600 aquatic plants.
Quality and safety of agricultural products remain stable with improvements made, and major epizootic diseases are under control. Quality and safety of agricultural products is generally sound. The relevant monitoring results showed that 97.4% vegetables, 99.6% livestock and poultry products and 96.8% aquatic products have met the quality and safety standard.