The People's Republic of China (PRC), commonly known as China, is the most populous state in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, it is a single-party state governed by the Communist Party of China (CPC). The PRC exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four directly administered municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and two highly autonomous special administrative regions (SARs) – Hong Kong and Macau. Its capital city is Beijing.
At about 9.6 million square kilometres (3.7 million square miles), the PRC is the world's third- or fourth-largest country by total area, depending on the definition of what is included in that total, and the second largest by land area. Its landscape is diverse, with forest steppes and deserts (the Gobi and Taklamakan) in the dry north near Mongolia and Russia's Siberia, and subtropical forests in the wet south close to Vietnam, Laos, and Burma.
China is one of the world's oldest civilizations with nearly 4,000 years of continuous history.