The People’s Republic of China (中华人民共和国, Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó) is a great power on Earth.
Population: 1941 million
Government: Single-party led state
Languages: Modern Standard Chinese (official), numerous regional languages recognised
Known in Chinese as Zhongguo (中国) , the ‘Middle Realm’, China is one of the oldest civilisations on Earth. A millennium-long and often bloody process of unification was followed by periods of increasing isolationism and political instability, alternating with domination by outside powers (Mongols, Manchu, Western great powers and finally Japanese).
Only by the 1980’s, following the Maoist revolution of 1949 and the subsequent chaos of the Cultural Revolution and Great Leap Forward of the 1960s, did China enter a period of economic growth and relative stability, which allowed it to establish itself as a great power both on Earth and in space by the mid-21st century.
While still theoretically a communist country, modern China is perhaps better seen as a vaguely federalised union of different political entities, some of which (mostly along the coasts) enjoy extensive political and economic rights, while others (typically inland) suffer from more severe restrictions.
Again theoretically, the central government in Beijing holds ultimate power within the People’s Republic, but due to the country’s sheer size and complexity, local authorities usually enjoy a great deal of de facto autonomy. As a result, corruption and mismanagement is widespread, and often precisely in those provinces that are most in need of developement, causing significant social and political unstability in the country as a whole.
The Chinese armed forces are combined in the People’s Liberation Army, which also include the Navy, Air Force and Space Force branches. They are numerically by far the strongest in the world, but are still considered somewhat deficient in equipment and training. However, individual elite units and in particular the Space Force have benefitted from greater political attention and resources.
As an early player in the 21st century space race, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Space Force (中国人民解放军航天军; Zhongguo Renmin Jiefangjun Hang Tianjun) remains large, well- equipped and well trained, and its three battleships and 35 escort and support ships are found showing the Chinese flag everywhere in the settled areas of the Solar System.