The official name: People's Republic of China (PRC).
Government: unitary one-party republic.
Head of State (2021): Xi Jinping.
Official language: Chinese.
On 1 October 1949, the People's Republic of China was proclaimed in the city of Beijing. The proclamation follows the end of World War II and the Chinese Civil War.
The constitutions declaring China a people's democratic republic were adopted in 1954, 1975, 1978, and 1982. The current Constitution was adopted on 4 December 1982. According to the current constitution, the People's Republic of China is a socialist state governed by a people’s democratic dictatorship that is led by the working class and based on an alliance of workers and peasants. The Constitution of 1982 was amended several times (1988, 1993 and 2004). The latest amendments recognize the right to own private property and other measures for the development of the non-state sector of the economy, as well as proclaim human rights.
In 1949–1956, basic industries were created, industry was nationalized, and agriculture was collectivized.
In May 1958, a course that resulted in the policy of the "great leap forward" and "communization" (1958–1966) was proclaimed, leading to the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). The idea of the Cultural Revolution was to preserve Chinese communism by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society.
In December 1978, the course was redirected to a socialist market economy, that combined features of two systems: planned-distribution system and market system with mass attraction of foreign investment, greater economic independence of enterprises, reducing the share of the public sector in the economy, opening free economic zones, overcoming poverty, and developing science and technology.
By the early 1990s, China managed to solve completely the issue of providing the population with food, to develop high rates of GDP growth and industrial production, and to raise people’s living standards.
Officially, the post of President of the People's Republic of China was restored in 1982, before that, the country and the party had usually been led by the chairmen of the Central Military Council of the CCP Central Committee.
Thus, the Presidents of the People's Republic of China were:
- Mao Zedong (20 March 1943 – 9 September 1976) – the creator and the first President of the People's Republic of China, the main theorist of Maoism, an outstanding leader and revolutionary.
- Liu Shaoqi (28 April 1959 – 11 October 1968) – the second President of the People's Republic of China, officially recognized as the heir of Mao Zedong, a prominent Communist figure.
- Dong Biwu (31 October 1968 – 17 January 1975) – one of the founders of the Communist Party of China.
- Soong Ching-ling (the Vice President of the PRC, 31 October 1968 – 24 February 1972) – founder of the Chinese League of Human Rights, Honorary Chairman of the All-China Federation of Women, holds the status of Honorary President of the People's Republic of China, awarded to her shortly before death.
- Li Xiannian (18 June 1983 – 8 April 1988) – Honorary Chairman of the Foundation for the Development of the Poorest Regions of China, an active political figure.
- Yang Shangkun (8 April 1988 – 27 March 1993) – political figure, former CCP leader, one of the"Eight Immortals of the CCP".
- Jiang Zemin (27 March 1993 – 15 March 2003) – party worker and political leader, brought the Chinese economy to the seventh place in the world, strengthened the country's economic and military potential.
- Hu Jintao (15 March 2003 – 14 March 2013) – strengthened China's status as an economic superpower, introduced the concept of "Eight virtues and eight vices".
- Xi Jinping (14 March 2013 – present time) – political and party leader, took large-scale measures to strengthen party discipline and ensure internal unity, strengthened the ideological discourse, advocates a firmer foreign policy.
The Constitution of the People's Republic of China provides for a three-stage administrative division of the country into provinces, counties and townships. In fact, there are five levels of local government in the PRC: province, district, county, township, and village. The administrative division of Taiwan is similar to the division of the People's Republic of China; there is no division into provinces or districts.
There are 34 administrative divisions in the PRC, including 23 provinces (one of them (Taiwan) has an uncertain political status), 5 autonomous regions, 4 cities of central subordination and 2 special administrative regions.
According to statistics, in 2017 the total number of administrative divisions is 43,104. These include 44 provincial-level units, 349 district-level units, 2,847 county-level units, and 39,864 township-level units.