China is the world's most populous state, with a population of over 1.381 billion. The state is governed by the Communist Party of China based in the capital of Beijing. It exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, andChongqing), two mostly self-governing special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau), and claims sovereignty over Taiwan.As of 2014, it is the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). China is also the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons stateand has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget.
China is rapidly developing its education system with an emphasis on science, mathematics and engineering; in 2009, it produced over 10,000 Ph.D. engineering graduates, and as many as 500,000 BSc graduates, more than any other country. China is also the world's second-largest publisher of scientific papers, producing 121,500 in 2010 alone, including 5,200 in leading international scientific journals.Chinese technology companies such as Huawei and Lenovo have become world leaders in telecommunications and personal computing, and Chinese supercomputers are consistently ranked among the world's most powerful. China is furthermore experiencing a significant growth in the use of industrial robots; from 2008 to 2011, the installation of multi-role robots in Chinese factories rose by 136 percent.
In 2003, China became the third country to independently send humans into space, with Yang Liwei's spaceflight aboard Shenzhou 5; as of 2015, ten Chinese nationals have journeyed into space, including two women. In 2011, China's first space station module, Tiangong-1, was launched, marking the first step in a project to assemble a large manned station by the early 2020s. In 2013, China successfully landed the Chang'e 3 probe and Yutu rover onto the Moon; China plans to collect lunar soil samples by 2017.
China is developing its own satellite navigation system, dubbed Beidou, which began offering commercial navigation services across Asia in 2012, and is planned to offer global coverage by 2020.
China's high-speed rail (HSR) system, built entirely since the early 2000s, had 11,028 kilometers (6,852 miles) of track in 2013 and was the longest HSR network in the world. The network includes the Beijing–Guangzhou–Shenzhen High-Speed Railway, the single longest HSR line in the world, and the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway, which has three of longest railroad bridges in the world. The HSR track network is set to reach approximately 16,000 km (9,900 mi) by 2020. The Shanghai Maglev Train, which reaches 431 km/h (268 mph), is the fastest commercial train service in the world.