Antique yet up-to-the-minute, familiar yet unrecognizable, outwardly urban but quintessentially rural, conservative yet path-breaking, space-age but old-fashioned, China is a land of mesmerizing and eye-opening contradictions. The People's Republic of China was proclaimed in 1949. Since then, it's been commanded by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). More than 4000 years old, China remains also the most populous country in the world. One fifth of the world's population is Chinese! It is also the third largest country on the planet, after Russia and Canada.
Officially communist country, the People's Republic of China adopted a «socialist market economy», where economic liberalism and political control come together in a specific formula. In January 2005, China has officially reached 1.3 billion people, making it the most populous state in the world, ahead of India. It is also estimated that 130 million Chinese live with less than one euro a day. China is a mosaic of 56 different ethnic groups, the main ones being the Han, Tibetans and Uighurs. Their equality is –officially- guaranteed in the constitutional law of the country.