The World Factbook Database consists of information gathered entirely from the United States Central Intelligence Agency's World Factbook. This annual report details the vital statistics of countries in the world and are arranged into these categories: Geography, People, Government, Economy, Communications, Transportation, Military and Transnational Issues.

This database is copied directly from the World Factbook, as it is in the public domain.

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China

Contents

Introduction
Background For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communists under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, his successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically and the room for personal choice has expanded, yet political controls remain tight.
Back to Top China Introduction
Geography
Location Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
Geographic coordinates 35 00 N, 105 00 E
Map references Asia
Area
  • total: 9,596,960 sq km
  • land: 9,326,410 sq km
  • water: 270,550 sq km
Area- comparative slightly smaller than the US
Land boundaries
  • total: 22,117 km
  • border countries: Afghanistan 76 km, Bhutan 470 km, Burma 2,185 km, India 3,380 km, Kazakhstan 1,533 km, North Korea 1,416 km, Kyrgyzstan 858 km, Laos 423 km, Mongolia 4,677 km, Nepal 1,236 km, Pakistan 523 km, Russia (northeast) 3,605 km, Russia (northwest) 40 km, Tajikistan 414 km, Vietnam 1,281 km regional borders: Hong Kong 30 km, Macau 0.34 km
Coastline 14,500 km
Maritime claims
  • territorial sea: 12 nm
  • contiguous zone: 24 nm
  • exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
  • continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north
Terrain mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east
Elevation extremes
  • lowest point: Turpan Pendi 154 m below sea- level
  • highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m above sea- level
Natural resources coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest)
Land use
  • arable land: 14.86%
  • permanent crops: 1.27%
  • other: 83.87% (2005)
  • irrigated land: 545,960 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence
Environment - current issues air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; deforestation; estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1949 to soil erosion and economic development; desertification; trade in endangered species
Environment - international agreements party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note world's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US); Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak
Back to Top China Geography
People
Population 1,313,973,713 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure
  • 0-14 years: 20.8% (male 145,461,833/female 128,445,739)
  • 15-64 years: 71.4% (male 482,439,115/female 455,960,489)
  • 65 years and over: 7.7% (male 48,562,635/female 53,103,902)
(2006 est.)
Median age
  • total: 32.7 years
  • male: 32.3 years
  • female: 33.2 years
(2006 est.)
Population growth rate 0.59% (2006 est.)
Birth rate 13.25 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate 6.97 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate -0.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio
  • at birth: 1.12 male(s)/female
  • under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
  • 15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
  • total population: 1.06 male(s)/female
(2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate
  • total: 23.12 deaths/1,000 live births
  • male: 20.6 deaths/1,000 live births
  • female: 25.94 deaths/1,000 live births
(2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
  • total population: 72.58 years
  • male: 70.89 years
  • female: 74.46 years
(2006 est.)
Total fertility rate 1.73 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 840,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths 44,000 (2003 est.)
Nationality
  • noun: Chinese (singular and plural)
  • adjective: Chinese
Ethnic groups Han Chinese 91.9%, Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean, and other nationalities 8.1%
Religions
  • Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%- 4%, Muslim 1%- 2%
  • note: officially atheist
(2002 est.)
Languages Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages
Literacy
  • definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  • total population: 90.9%
  • male: 95.1%
  • female: 86.5%
(2002)
Back to Top China People
Government
Country name
  • conventional long form: People's Republic of China
  • conventional short form: China
  • local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
  • local short form: Zhongguo
  • abbreviation: PRC
Government type Communist state
Capital Beijing
Administrative Divisions 23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities (shi, singular and plural)
  • provinces: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang
  • autonomous regions: Guangxi, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Xinjiang, Xizang (Tibet)
  • municipalities: Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin
  • note: China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau
Independence
  • 221 BC (unification under the Qin or Ch'in Dynasty)
  • 1 January 1912 (Manchu Dynasty replaced by a Republic)
  • 1 October 1949 (People's Republic established)
National holiday Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China, 1 October (1949)
Constitution most recent promulgation 4 December 1982
Legal system based on civil law system; derived from Soviet and continental civil code legal principles; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislation; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
  • chief of state:
    • President HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003)
    • Vice President ZENG Qinghong (since 15 March 2003)
  • head of government:
    • Premier WEN Jiabao (since 16 March 2003)
    • Executive Vice Premier HUANG Ju (since 17 March 2003)
    • Vice Premiers
      • WU Yi (17 March 2003)
      • ZENG Peiyan (since 17 March 2003)
      • HUI Liangyu (since 17 March 2003)
  • cabinet: State Council appointed by the National People's Congress (NPC)
  • elections: president and vice president elected by the National People's Congress for a five-year term (eligible for a second term)
    • elections last held 15-17 March 2003 (next to be held mid-March 2008)
    • premier nominated by the president, confirmed by the National People's Congress
  • election results:
    • HU Jintao elected president by the 10th National People's Congress with a total of 2,937 votes (four delegates voted against him, four abstained, and 38 did not vote)
    • ZENG Qinghong elected vice president by the 10th National People's Congress with a total of 2,578 votes (177 delegates voted against him, 190 abstained, and 38 did not vote)
    • two seats were vacant
Legislative branch unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (2,985 seats; members elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses to serve five-year terms)
  • elections: last held December 2002-bFebruary 2003 (next to be held late 2007-February 2008)
  • election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - NA
Judicial branch
  • Supreme People's Court (judges appointed by the National People's Congress)
  • Local Peoples Courts (comprise higher, intermediate, and local courts)
  • Special Peoples Courts (primarily military, maritime, and railway transport courts)
Political parties and leaders
  • Chinese Communist Party or CCP [HU Jintao]
  • eight registered small parties controlled by CCP
Political pressure groups and leaders no substantial political opposition groups exist, although the government has identified the Falungong spiritual movement and the China Democracy Party as subversive groups
International organization participation AfDB, APEC, APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BCIE, BIS, CDB, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), ONUB, OPCW, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, UN, UN Security Council, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOVIC, UNOCI, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US
  • chief of mission: Ambassador ZHOU Wenzhong
    • chancery: 2300 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    • telephone: [1] (202) 328-2500
    • FAX: [1] (202) 328-2582
  • consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco
  • consulate(s): Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the US
  • chief of mission: Ambassador Clark T. RANDT, Jr.
    • embassy: Xiu Shui Bei Jie 3, 100600 Beijing
    • mailing address: PSC 461, Box 50, FPO AP 96521-0002
    • telephone: [86] (10) 6532-3831
    • FAX: [86] (10) 6532-3178
  • consulate(s) general: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau, Shanghai, Shenyang
Flag description red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner
Back to Top China Government
Economy
Economy - overview China's economy during the last quarter century has changed from a centrally planned system that was largely closed to international trade to a more market-oriented economy that has a rapidly growing private sector and is a major player in the global economy. Reforms started in the late 1970s with the phasing out of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, the foundation of a diversified banking system, the development of stock markets, the rapid growth of the non-state sector, and the opening to foreign trade and investment. China has generally implemented reforms in a gradualist or piecemeal fashion. The process continues with key moves in 2005 including the sale of equity in China's largest state banks to foreign investors and refinements in foreign exchange and bond markets. The restructuring of the economy and resulting efficiency gains have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, China in 2005 stood as the second-largest economy in the world after the US, although in per capita terms the country is still lower middle-income and 150 million Chinese fall below international poverty lines. Economic development has generally been more rapid in coastal provinces than in the interior, and there are large disparities in per capital income between regions. The government has struggled to: (a) sustain adequate job growth for tens of millions of workers laid off from state-owned enterprises, migrants, and new entrants to the work force; (b) reduce corruption and other economic crimes; and (c) contain environmental damage and social strife related to the economy's rapid transformation. From 100 to 150 million surplus rural workers are adrift between the villages and the cities, many subsisting through part-time, low-paying jobs. One demographic consequence of the "one child" policy is that China is now one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world. Another long-term threat to growth is the deterioration in the environment - notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table, especially in the north. China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and economic development. China has benefited from a huge expansion in computer Internet use, with more than 100 million users at the end of 2005. Foreign investment remains a strong element in China's remarkable expansion in world trade and has been an important factor in the growth of urban jobs. In July 2005, China revalued its currency by 2.1% against the US dollar and moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. Reports of shortages of electric power in the summer of 2005 in southern China receded by September-October and did not have a substantial impact on China's economy. More power generating capacity is scheduled to come on line in 2006 as large scale investments are completed. Thirteen years in construction at a cost of $24 billion, the immense Three Gorges Dam across the Yangtze River will be essentially completed in 2006 and will revolutionize electrification and flood control in the area. The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party in October 2005 approved the draft 11th Five-Year Plan and the National People's Congress is expected to give final approval in March 2006. The plan calls for a 20% reduction in energy consumption per unit of GDP by 2010 and an estimated 45% increase in GDP by 2010. The plan states that conserving resources and protecting the environment are basic goals, but it lacks details on the policies and reforms necessary to achieve these goals.
GDP (purchasing power parity) $8.859 trillion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate) $2.225 trillion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 9.9% (official data) (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP) $6,800 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
  • agriculture: 12.5%
  • industry: 47.3%
  • services: 40.3%
  • note: industry includes construction (2005 est.)
Labor force 791.4 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
  • agriculture: 49%
  • industry: 22%
  • services: 29% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate 9% official registered unemployment in urban areas in 2004; substantial unemployment and underemployment in rural areas; an official Chinese journal estimated overall unemployment (including rural areas) for 2003 at 20% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line 10% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
  • lowest 10%: 2.4%
  • highest 10%: 30.4% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index 44 (2002)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 1.8% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed) 44.4% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget
  • revenues: $392.1 billion
  • expenditures: $424.3 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Public debt 24.4% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish
Industries mining and ore processing, iron, steel, aluminum, and other metals, coal; machine building; armaments; textiles and apparel; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizers; consumer products, including footwear, toys, and electronics; food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, rail cars and locomotives, ships, and aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellites
Industrial production growth rate 29.5% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production 2.19 trillion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source
  • fossil fuel: 80.2%
  • hydro: 18.5%
  • nuclear: 1.2%
  • other: 0.1% (2001)
Electricity - consumption 2.17 trillion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports 10.6 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports 1.546 billion kWh (2003)
Oil - production 3.504 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption 6.391 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - exports 340,300 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports 3.226 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves 18.26 billion bbl (2004)
Natural gas - production 35.02 billion cu m (2003)
Natural gas - consumption 33.44 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports 2.79 billion cu m (2004)
Natural gas - imports 0 cu m (2004)
Natural gas - proved reserves 2.53 trillion cu m (2004)
Current account balance $160.8 billion (2005 est.)
Exports $752.2 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities machinery and equipment, plastics, optical and medical equipment, iron and steel
Exports - partners US 21.4%, Hong Kong 16.3%, Japan 11%, South Korea 4.6%, Germany 4.3% (2005)
Imports $631.8 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment, oil and mineral fuels, plastics, optical and medical equipment, organic chemicals, iron and steel
Imports - partners Japan 15.2%, South Korea 11.6%, Taiwan 11.2%, US 7.4%, Germany 4.6% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold $825.6 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external $252.8 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient $NA
Currency (code) yuan (CNY); note - also referred to as the Renminbi (RMB)
Currency code CNY
Exchange rates yuan per US dollar - 8.1943 (2005), 8.2768 (2004), 8.277 (2003), 8.277 (2002), 8.2771 (2001)
Fiscal year calendar year
Back to Top China Economy
Communications
Telephones - main lines in use 311.756 million (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular 334.824 million (2004)
Telephone system
  • general assessment: domestic and international services are increasingly available for private use; unevenly distributed domestic system serves principal cities, industrial centers, and many towns
  • domestic: interprovincial fiber-optic trunk lines and cellular telephone systems have been installed; a domestic satellite system with 55 earth stations is in place
  • international: country code - 86
  • satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region) and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean regions)
  • several international fiber-optic links to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Russia, and Germany (2000)
Radio broadcast stations
  • AM 369
  • FM 259
  • shortwave 45
(1998)
Radios 417 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations 3,240 (of which 209 are operated by China Central Television, 31 are provincial TV stations, and nearly 3,000 are local city stations) (1997)
Televisions 400 million (1997)
Internet country code .cn
Internet hosts 187,508 (2005)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 3 (2000)
Internet users 111 million (2005)
Back to Top China Communications
Transportation
Airports 489 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways
  • total: 389
  • over 3,047 m: 54
  • 2,438 to 3,047 m: 120
  • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 139
  • 914 to 1,523 m: 23
  • under 914 m: 53
(2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways
  • total: 89
  • over 3,047 m: 4
  • 2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
  • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
  • 914 to 1,523 m: 29
  • under 914 m: 36
(2005)
Heliports 30 (2005)
Pipelines
  • gas 15,890 km
  • oil 14,478 km
  • refined products 3,280 km
(2004)
Railways
  • total: 74,408 km
  • standard gauge: 74,408 km
  • gauge: 1.435-m
  • electrified: 19,303 km
(2004)
Roadways
  • total: 1,809,829 km
  • paved: 1,447,682 km
    • at least 29,745 km of expressways
  • unpaved: 362,147 km
(2003)
Waterways 123,964 km (2003)
Merchant marine
  • total: 1,700 ships (1000 GRT or over) 20,441,123 GRT/30,808,417 DWT
  • by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 367, cargo 709, chemical tanker 37, combination ore/oil 1, container 146, liquefied gas 29, passenger 8, passenger/cargo 84, petroleum tanker 255, refrigerated cargo 32, roll on/roll off 9, specialized tanker 8, vehicle carrier 13
  • foreign-owned: 14 (Hong Kong 7, Japan 2, South Korea 3, UK 1, US 1)
  • registered in other countries: 1,018 (The Bahamas 5, Bangladesh 1, Belize 71, Cambodia 75, Cyprus 10, Honduras 3, Hong Kong 259, India 1, Liberia 35, Malaysia 1, Malta 15, Mongolia 1, Norway 3, Panama 370, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 106, Singapore 20, Tuvalu 13, unknown 29)
(2005)
Ports and terminals Dalian, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai
Back to Top China Transportation
Military
Military branches
  • People's Liberation Army (PLA):
  • Ground Forces
  • Navy (includes marines and naval aviation)
  • Air Force (includes Airborne Forces)
  • II Artillery Corps (strategic missile force)
  • People's Armed Police (PAP)
  • Reserve and Militia Forces
(2006)
Military service age and obligation
  • 18-22 years of age for compulsory military service, with 24-month service obligation
  • no minimum age for voluntary service (all officers are volunteers)
  • 17 years of age for women who meet requirements for specific military jobs
(2004)
Manpower available for military service
  • males age 18-49: 342,956,265
  • females age 18-49: 324,701,244
(2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service
  • males age 18-49: 281,240,272
  • females age 18-49: 269,025,517
(2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually
  • males age 18-49: 13,186,433
  • females age 18-49: 12,298,149
(2005 est.)
Military expenditures - total ($US) $81.48 billion (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP ($US) 4.3% (2005 est.)
Back to Top China Military
Transnational Issues
Disputes - international in 2005, China and India began drafting principles to resolve all aspects of their extensive boundary and territorial disputes together with a security and foreign policy dialogue to consolidate discussions related to the boundary, regional nuclear proliferation, and other matters; recent talks and confidence-building measures have begun to defuse tensions over Kashmir, site of the world's largest and most militarized territorial dispute with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas); India does not recognize Pakistan's ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964; about 90,000 ethnic Tibetan exiles reside primarily in India as well as Nepal and Bhutan; China asserts sovereignty over the Spratly Islands together with Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" has eased tensions in the Spratlys but is not the legally binding "code of conduct" sought by some parties; Vietnam and China continue to expand construction of facilities in the Spratlys and in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord on marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands; China occupies some of the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; China and Taiwan have become more vocal in rejecting both Japan's claims to the uninhabited islands of Senkaku-shoto (Diaoyu Tai) and Japan's unilaterally declared equidistance line in the East China Sea, the site of intensive hydrocarbon prospecting; certain islands in the Yalu and Tumen rivers are in an uncontested dispute with North Korea and a section of boundary around Mount Paektu is considered indefinite; China seeks to stem illegal migration of tens of thousands of North Koreans; China and Russia prepare to demarcate the boundary agreed to in October 2004 between the long-disputed islands at the Amur and Ussuri; demarcation of the China-Vietnam boundary proceeds slowly and although the maritime boundary delimitation and fisheries agreements were ratified in June 2004, implementation has been delayed; environmentalists in Burma and Thailand remain concerned about China's construction of hydroelectric dams upstream on the Nujiang/Salween River in Yunnan Province
Refugees and internally displaced persons refugees (country of origin): 299,287 (Vietnam) estimated 30,000-50,000 (North Korea) (2005)
Illicit drugs major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle; growing domestic drug abuse problem; source country for chemical precursors and methamphetamine
Back to Top China Transnational Issues
 
Hong Kong
Contents
Introduction
Background Occupied by the UK in 1841, Hong Kong was formally ceded by China the following year; various adjacent lands were added later in the 19th century. Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and the UK on 19 December 1984, Hong Kong became the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on 1 July 1997. In this agreement, China has promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system will not be imposed on Hong Kong and that Hong Kong will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs for the next 50 years.
Back to Top Hong Kong Introduction
Geography
Location Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China
Geographic coordinates 22 15 N, 114 10 E
Map references Southeast Asia
Area
  • total: 1,092 sq km
  • land: 1,042 sq km
  • water: 50 sq km
Area - comparative six times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
  • total: 30 km
  • regional border: China 30 km
Coastline 733 km
Maritime claims territorial sea: 3 nm
Climate subtropical monsoon; cool and humid in winter, hot and rainy from spring through summer, warm and sunny in fall
Terrain hilly to mountainous with steep slopes; lowlands in north
Elevation extremes
  • lowest point: South China Sea 0 m below sea level
  • highest point: Tai Mo Shan 958 m above sea level
Natural resources outstanding deepwater harbor, feldspar
Land use
  • arable land: 5.05%
  • permanent crops: 1.01%
  • other: 93.94%
(2001)
Irrigated land 20 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards occasional typhoons
Environment - current issues air and water pollution from rapid urbanization
Environment - international agreements party to: Marine Dumping (associate member)
Geography - note more than 200 islands
Back to Top Hong Kong Geography
People
Population 6,940,432 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure
  • 0-14 years: 13.5% (male 488,607/female 445,593)
  • 15-64 years: 73.7% (male 2,495,679/female 2,620,336)
  • 65 years and over: 12.8% (male 413,031/female 477,186)
(2006 est.)
Median age
  • total: 40.7 years
  • male: 40.4 years
  • female: 40.9 years
(2006 est.)
Population growth rate 0.59% (2006 est.)
Birth rate 7.29 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate 6.29 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate 4.89 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio
  • at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
  • under 15 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
  • 15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
  • total population: 0.96 male(s)/female
(2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate
  • total: 2.95 deaths/1,000 live births
  • male: 3.13 deaths/1,000 live births
  • female: 2.75 deaths/1,000 live births
(2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
  • total population: 81.59 years
  • male: 78.9 years
  • female: 84.5 years
(2006 est.)
Total fertility rate 0.95 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 2,600 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths less than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality
  • noun: Chinese/Hong Konger
  • adjective: Chinese/Hong Kong
Ethnic groups
  • Chinese 95%
  • other 5%
Religions
  • eclectic mixture of local religions 90%
  • Christian 10%
Languages
  • Chinese (Cantonese)
  • English

both are official

Literacy
  • definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
  • total population: 93.5%
  • male: 96.9%
  • female: 89.6%
(2002)
Back to Top Hong Kong People
Government
Country name
  • conventional long form: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
  • conventional short form: Hong Kong
  • local long form: Xianggang Tebie Xingzhengqu
  • local short form: Xianggang
  • abbreviation: HK
Dependency status special administrative region of China
Government type limited democracy
Administrative divisions none (special administrative region of China)
Independence none (special administrative region of China)
National holiday
  • National Day (Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China)
  • 1 October (1949)

note - 1 July 1997 is celebrated as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day

Constitution Basic Law, approved in March 1990 by China's National People's Congress, is Hong Kong's "mini-constitution"
Legal system based on English common law
Suffrage direct election 18 years of age; universal for permanent residents living in the territory of Hong Kong for the past seven years; indirect election limited to about 200,000 members of functional constituencies and an 800-member election committee drawn from broad regional groupings, municipal organizations, and central government bodies
Executive branch
  • chief of state: President of China HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003)
  • head of government: Chief Executive Donald TSANG (since 24 June 2005)
  • cabinet: Executive Council consists of 14 official members and 15 non-official members
  • elections: previous chief executive TUNG Chee-hwa was elected to second five-year term in March 2002 by 800-member election committee dominated by pro-Beijing forces, resignation accepted 12 March 2005
  • Donald TSANG acted as chief executive between 12 March 2005 and 25 May 2005
  • Henry TANG acted as chief executive between 25 May 2005 and 24 June 2005
  • TSANG was elected on 16 June 2005 to fill final two years of TUNG's term (next election to be held in March 2007)
Legislative branch
  • unicameral Legislative Council or LEGCO (60 seats; in 2004 30 seats indirectly elected by functional constituencies, 30 elected by popular vote; members serve four-year terms)
  • elections: last held 12 September 2004 (next to be held in September 2008)
  • election results:
    • percent of vote by party
      • pro-democracy group 62%
    • seats by party
      • (pro-Beijing 34)
        • DAB 12
        • Liberal Party 10
        • independents 11
        • FTU 1
      • (pro-democracy 25)
        • independents 11
        • Democratic Party 9
        • CTU 2
        • ADPL 1
        • Frontier Party 1
        • NWSC 1
  • non-voting LEGCO president: 1
Judicial branch Court of Final Appeal in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Political parties and leaders
  • Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood or ADPL [Frederick FUNG Kin-kee]
  • Citizens Party [Alex CHAN Kai-chung]
  • Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong or DAB [MA Lik]
  • Democratic Party [LEE Wing-tat]
  • Frontier Party [Emily LAU Wai-hing]
  • Liberal Party [James TIEN Pei-chun]
note: political blocs include: pro-democracy - ADPL, Democratic Party, Frontier Party; pro-Beijing - DAB, Liberal Party
Political pressure groups and leaders
  • Article 45 Concern Group (pro-democracy)
  • Chinese General Chamber of Commerce (pro-China)
  • Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong
  • Confederation of Trade Unions or CTU (pro-democracy) [LAU Chin-shek, president; LEE Cheuk-yan, general secretary]
  • Federation of Hong Kong Industries
  • Federation of Trade Unions or FTU (pro-China) [CHENG Yiu-tong, executive councilor]
  • Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movement in China [Szeto WAH, chairman]
  • Hong Kong and Kowloon Trade Union Council (pro-Taiwan)
  • Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce
  • Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union [CHEUNG Man-kwong, president]
  • Neighborhood and Workers' Service Center or NWSC (pro-democracy)
  • The Alliance [Bernard CHAN, exco member]
International organization participation APEC, AsDB, BIS, ICC, ICFTU, IHO, IMF, IMO (associate), IOC, ISO (correspondent), UPU, WCL, WCO, WMO, WToO (associate), WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US none (special administrative region of China)
Diplomatic representation from the US
  • chief of mission: Consul General James B. CUNNINGHAM
  • consulate(s) general: 26 Garden Road, Hong Kong
  • mailing address: PSC 461, Box 1, FPO AP 96521-0006
  • telephone: [852] 2523-9011
  • FAX: [852] 2845-1598
Flag description red with a stylized, white, five-petal bauhinia flower in the center
Back to Top Hong Kong Government
Economy
Economy - overview Hong Kong has a free market, entrepot economy, highly dependent on international trade. Natural resources are limited, and food and raw materials must be imported. Gross imports and exports (i.e., including reexports to and from third countries) each exceed GDP in dollar value. Even before Hong Kong reverted to Chinese administration on 1 July 1997, it had extensive trade and investment ties with China. Hong Kong has been further integrating its economy with China because China's growing openness to the world economy has made manufacturing in China much more cost effective. Hong Kong's reexport business to and from China is a major driver of growth. Per capita GDP is comparable to that of the four big economies of Western Europe. GDP growth averaged a strong 5% from 1989 to 2005, but Hong Kong suffered two recessions in the past eight years because of the Asian financial crisis in 1997-1998 and the global downturn in 2001-2002. Although the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 also battered Hong Kong's economy, a solid rise in exports, a boom in tourism from the mainland because of China's easing of travel restrictions, and a return of consumer confidence resulted in the resumption of strong growth from late 2003 through 2005.
GDP (purchasing power parity) $227.3 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate) $172.6 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 7.3% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP) $32,900 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
  • agriculture: 0.1%
  • industry: 9.2%
  • services: 90.6%
(2005 est.)
Labor force 3.61 million (October 2005)
Labor force - by occupation
  • manufacturing 7.5%
  • construction 2.9%
  • wholesale and retail trade, restaurants, and hotels 43.9%
  • financing, insurance, and real estate 19.6%
  • transport and communications 7.1%
  • community and social services 18.8%

note: above data exclude public sector (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate 5.5% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share
  • lowest 10%: NA%
  • highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income - Gini index 43.4 (1996)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 0.9% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed) 20.8% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget
  • revenues: $31.31 billion
  • expenditures: $32.3 billion; including capital expenditures of $5.9 billion
(2005 est.)
Public debt 1.8% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products fresh vegetables; poultry, pork; fish
Industries textiles, clothing, tourism, banking, shipping, electronics, plastics, toys, watches, clocks
Industrial production growth rate -0.6% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production 37.3 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source
  • fossil fuel: 100%
  • hydro: 0%
  • nuclear: 0%
  • other: 0%
(2001)
Electricity - consumption 39.22 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports 3.086 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports 9.84 billion kWh (2004)
Oil - production 0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption 293,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports NA bbl/day
Oil - imports NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production NA cu m
Natural gas - consumption 692.2 million cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports 0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports 71.15 million cu m (2004 est.)
Current account balance $19.7 billion (2005 est.)
Exports $286.3 billion f.o.b., including reexports (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities electrical machinery and appliances, textiles, apparel, footwear, watches and clocks, toys, plastics, precious stones, printed material
Exports - partners
  • China 45%
  • US 16.1%
  • Japan 5.3%
(2005)
Imports $291.6 billion (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities raw materials and semi-manufactures, consumer goods, capital goods, foodstuffs, fuel (most is re-exported)
Imports - partners
  • China 45%
  • Japan 11%
  • Taiwan 7.2%
  • Singapore 5.8%
  • US 5.1%
  • South Korea 4.4%
(2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold $124.3 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external $72.04 billion (2005 est.)
Currency (code) Hong Kong dollar (HKD)
Currency code HKD
Exchange rates Hong Kong dollars per US dollar - 7.7773 (2005), 7.788 (2004), 7.7868 (2003), 7.7989 (2002), 7.7988 (2001)
Fiscal year 1 April - 31 March
Back to Top Hong Kong Economy
Communications
Telephones - main lines in use 3,763,300 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular 8.214 million (2004)
Telephone system
  • general assessment: modern facilities provide excellent domestic and international services
  • domestic: microwave radio relay links and extensive fiber-optic network
  • international: country code - 852; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean)
  • coaxial cable to Guangzhou, China
  • access to 5 international submarine cables providing connections to ASEAN member nations, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Middle East, and Western Europe
Radio broadcast stations AM 5, FM 9, shortwave 0 (2004)
Radios 4.45 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations 55 low power stations

note: two TV networks, each one broadcasting on two channels (2006)

Televisions 1.84 million (1997)
Internet country code .hk
Internet hosts 859,926 (2005)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 17 (2000)
Internet users 4,878,713 (2005)
Back to Top Hong Kong Communications
Transportation
Airports: 3 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways
  • total: 3
  • over 3,047 m: 1
  • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
  • under 914 m: 1
(2005)
Heliports 3 (2005)
Roadways
  • total: 1,831 km
  • paved: 1,831 km
(1999)
Merchant marine
  • total: 895 ships (1000 GRT or over) 29,662,934 GRT/50,199,048 DWT
  • by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 485, cargo 122, chemical tanker 39, combination ore/oil 6, container 122, liquefied gas 21, passenger 6, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 72, roll on/roll off 2, specialized tanker 4, vehicle carrier 8
  • foreign-owned: 534 (Belgium 3, Canada 23, China 259, Denmark 6, France 3, Germany 7, Greece 28, Indonesia 3, Japan 64, South Korea 12, Monaco 1, Norway 22, Philippines 15, Singapore 25, Taiwan 8, UAE 1, UK 35, US 19)
  • registered in other countries: 407 (The Bahamas 7, Belgium 1, Belize 8, Bermuda 6, Cambodia 10, China 7, Cyprus 1, French Southern and Antarctic Lands 3, Honduras 2, India 1, Isle of Man 1, Liberia 40, Malaysia 14, Malta 2, Marshall Islands 8, Norway 50, Panama 168, Philippines 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 6, Singapore 53, Taiwan 3, Tuvalu 7, Venezuela 1, unknown 6)
(2005)
Ports and terminals Hong Kong
Back to Top Hong Kong Transportation
Military
Military branches no regular indigenous military forces; Hong Kong garrison of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) includes elements of the PLA Ground Forces, PLA Navy, and PLA Air Force; these forces are under the direct leadership of the Central Military Commission in Beijing and under administrative control of the adjacent Guangzhou Military Region
Military service age and obligation 18 years of age (2004)
Manpower available for military service
  • males age 18-49: 1,743,972
  • females age 18-49: 1,904,967
(2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service
  • males age 18-49: 1,403,088
  • females age 18-49: 1,527,278
(2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually
  • males age 18-49: 40,343
  • females age 18-49: 38,234
(2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure Hong Kong garrison is funded by China; figures are NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP NA
Military - note defense is the responsibility of China
Back to Top Hong Kong Military
Transnational Issues
Disputes - international none
Illicit drugs makes strenuous law enforcement efforts, but faces difficult challenges in controlling transit of heroin and methamphetamine to regional and world markets; modern banking system provides conduit for money laundering; rising indigenous use of synthetic drugs, especially among young people
Back to Top Hong Kong Transnational Issues
 
Japan
Contents
Introduction
Background: In 1603, a Tokugawa shogunate (military dictatorship) ushered in a long period of isolation from foreign influence in order to secure its power. For 250 years this policy enabled Japan to enjoy stability and a flowering of its indigenous culture. Following the Treaty of Kanagawa with the US in 1854, Japan opened its ports and began to intensively modernize and industrialize. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan became a regional power that was able to defeat the forces of both China and Russia. It occupied Korea, Formosa (Taiwan), and southern Sakhalin Island. In 1931-32 Japan occupied Manchuria, and in 1937 it launched a full-scale invasion of China. Japan attacked US forces in 1941 - triggering America's entry into World War II - and soon occupied much of East and Southeast Asia. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an economic power and a staunch ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, actual power rests in networks of powerful politicians, bureaucrats, and business executives. The economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s following three decades of unprecedented growth, but Japan still remains a major economic power, both in Asia and globally. In 2005, Japan began a two-year term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Back to Top Japan Introduction
Geography
Location: Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula
Geographic coordinates: 36 00 N, 138 00 E
Map references: Asia
Area:
  • total: 377,835 sq km
  • land: 374,744 sq km
  • water: 3,091 sq km
note: includes Bonin Islands (Ogasawara-gunto), Daito-shoto, Minami-jima, Okino-tori-shima, Ryukyu Islands (Nansei-shoto), and Volcano Islands (Kazan-retto)
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than California
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 29,751 km
Maritime claims:
  • territorial sea: 12 nm; between 3 nm and 12 nm in the international straits - La Perouse or Soya, Tsugaru, Osumi, and Eastern and Western Channels of the Korea or Tsushima Strait
  • contiguous zone: 24 nm
  • exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north
Terrain: mostly rugged and mountainous
Elevation extremes:
  • lowest point: Hachiro-gata -4 m
  • highest point: Mount Fuji 3,776 m
Natural resources: negligible mineral resources, fish
Land use:
  • arable land: 11.64%
  • permanent crops: 0.9%
  • other: 87.46%
(2005)
Irrigated land: 25,920 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: many dormant and some active volcanoes; about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors) every year; tsunamis; typhoons
Environment - current issues: air pollution from power plant emissions results in acid rain; acidification of lakes and reservoirs degrading water quality and threatening aquatic life; Japan is one of the largest consumers of fish and tropical timber, contributing to the depletion of these resources in Asia and elsewhere
Environment - international agreements: party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
Geography - note: strategic location in northeast Asia
Back to Top Japan Geography
People
Population: 127,463,611 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
  • 0-14 years: 14.2% (male 9,309,524/female 8,849,476)
  • 15-64 years: 65.7% (male 42,158,122/female 41,611,754)
  • 65 years and over: 20% (male 10,762,585/female 14,772,150)
(2006 est.)
Median age:
  • total: 42.9 years
  • male: 41.1 years
  • female: 44.7 years
(2006 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.02% (2006 est.)
Birth rate: 9.37 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate: 9.16 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
  • at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
  • under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
  • 15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
  • total population: 0.95 male(s)/female
(2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
  • total: 3.24 deaths/1,000 live births
  • male: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births
  • female: 2.97 deaths/1,000 live births
(2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
  • total population: 81.25 years
  • male: 77.96 years
  • female: 84.7 years
(2006 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.4 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 12,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 500 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
  • noun: Japanese (singular and plural)
  • adjective: Japanese
Ethnic groups: Japanese 99%, others 1% (Korean 511,262, Chinese 244,241, Brazilian 182,232, Filipino 89,851, other 237,914)

note: up to 230,000 Brazilians of Japanese origin migrated to Japan in the 1990s to work in industries; some have returned to Brazil (2004)

Religions: observe both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)
Languages: Japanese
Literacy:
  • definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  • total population: 99%
  • male: 99%
  • female: 99%
(2002)
Back to Top Japan People
Government
Country name:
  • conventional long form: none
  • conventional short form: Japan
Government type: constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government
Capital: Tokyo
Administrative divisions: 47 prefectures; Aichi, Akita, Aomori, Chiba, Ehime, Fukui, Fukuoka, Fukushima, Gifu, Gunma, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Hyogo, Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Iwate, Kagawa, Kagoshima, Kanagawa, Kochi, Kumamoto, Kyoto, Mie, Miyagi, Miyazaki, Nagano, Nagasaki, Nara, Niigata, Oita, Okayama, Okinawa, Osaka, Saga, Saitama, Shiga, Shimane, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Tokushima, Tokyo, Tottori, Toyama, Wakayama, Yamagata, Yamaguchi, Yamanashi
Independence: 660 B.C. (traditional founding by Emperor JIMMU)
National holiday: Birthday of Emperor AKIHITO, 23 December (1933)
Constitution: 3 May 1947
Legal system: modeled after European civil law system with English-American influence; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
  • chief of state: Emperor AKIHITO (since 7 January 1989)
    head of government: Prime Minister Junichiro KOIZUMI (since 26 April 2001)
  • cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
  • elections: Diet designates prime minister; constitution requires that prime minister commands parliamentary majority; following legislative elections, leader of majority party or leader of majority coalition in House of Representatives usually becomes prime minister; KOIZUMI's term as leader of the LDP is scheduled to end in September 2006; a new prime minister may be chosen at that time; monarch is hereditary
Legislative branch:
  • bicameral Diet or Kokkai consists of the House of Councillors or Sangi-in (242 seats - members elected for six-year terms; half reelected every three years; 146 members in multi-seat constituencies and 96 by proportional representation) and the House of Representatives or Shugi-in (480 seats - members elected for four-year terms; 300 in single-seat constituencies; 180 members by proportional representation in 11 regional blocs)
  • elections: House of Councillors - last held 11 July 2004 (next to be held in July 2007); House of Representatives - last held 11 September 2005 (next election by September 2009)
  • election results: House of Councillors - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LDP 115, DPJ 82, Komeito 24, JCP 9, SDP 5, others 7; distribution of seats as of January 2006 - LDP 112, DPJ 83, Komeito 24, JCP 9, SDP 6, others 8
  • House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - LDP 47.8%, DPJ 36.4%, others 15.8%; seats by party - LDP 296, DPJ 113, Komeito 31, JCP 9, SDP 7, others 24; distribution of seats as of January 2006 - LDP 294, DPJ 112, Komeito 31, JCP 9, SDP 7, others 27
(2006)
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (chief justice is appointed by the monarch after designation by the cabinet; all other justices are appointed by the cabinet)
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party of Japan or DPJ [Ichiro OZAWA]; Japan Communist Party or JCP [Kazuo SHII]; Komeito [Takenori KANZAKI]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Junichiro KOIZUMI]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [Mizuho FUKUSHIMA]
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: AfDB, APEC, APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, LAIA, MIGA, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMOVIC, UNRWA, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
  • chief of mission: Ambassador Ryozo KATO
  • chancery: 2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 238-6700
  • FAX: [1] (202) 328-2187
  • consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Agana (Guam), Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Portland (Oregon), San Francisco, Seattle
  • consulate(s): Anchorage, Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
  • chief of mission: Ambassador J. Thomas SCHIEFFER
  • embassy: 1-10-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420
  • mailing address: Unit 45004, Box 258, APO AP 96337-5004
  • telephone: [81] (03) 3224-5000
  • FAX: [81] (03) 3505-1862
  • consulate(s) general: Naha (Okinawa), Osaka-Kobe, Sapporo
  • consulate(s): Fukuoka, Nagoya
Flag description: white with a large red disk (representing the sun without rays) in the center
Back to Top Japan Government
Economy
Economy - overview: Government-industry cooperation, a strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, and a comparatively small defense allocation (1% of GDP) helped Japan advance with extraordinary rapidity to the rank of second most technologically powerful economy in the world after the US and the third-largest economy in the world after the US and China, measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. One notable characteristic of the economy is how manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors work together in closely-knit groups called keiretsu. A second basic feature has been the guarantee of lifetime employment for a substantial portion of the urban labor force. Both features are now eroding. Japan's industrial sector is heavily dependent on imported raw materials and fuels. The tiny agricultural sector is highly subsidized and protected, with crop yields among the highest in the world. Usually self sufficient in rice, Japan must import about 60% of its food on a caloric basis. Japan maintains one of the world's largest fishing fleets and accounts for nearly 15% of the global catch. For three decades, overall real economic growth had been spectacular - a 10% average in the 1960s, a 5% average in the 1970s, and a 4% average in the 1980s. Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s, averaging just 1.7%, largely because of the after effects of overinvestment during the late 1980s and contractionary domestic policies intended to wring speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets and to force a restructuring of the economy. From 2000 to 2003, government efforts to revive economic growth met with little success and were further hampered by the slowing of the US, European, and Asian economies. In 2004 and 2005, growth improved and the lingering fears of deflation in prices and economic activity lessened. Japan's huge government debt, which totals 170% of GDP, and the aging of the population are two major long-run problems. Some fear that a rise in taxes could endanger the current economic recovery. Internal conflict over the proper way to reform the financial system will continue as Japan Post's banking, insurance, and delivery services undergo privatization between 2007 and 2017.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $4.018 trillion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $4.664 trillion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.7% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $31,500 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
  • agriculture: 1.7%
  • industry: 25.8%
  • services: 72.5%
(2005 est.)
Labor force: 66.4 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
  • agriculture: 4.6%
  • industry: 27.8%
  • services: 67.7%
(2004)
Unemployment rate: 4.4% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
  • lowest 10%: 4.8%
  • highest 10%: 21.7%
(1993)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 37.9 (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): -0.3% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 23.2% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
  • revenues: $1.429 trillion
  • expenditures: $1.775 trillion; including capital expenditures (public works only) of about $71 billion
(2005 est.)
Public debt: 158% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products: rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit; pork, poultry, dairy products, eggs; fish
Industries: among world's largest and technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles, processed foods
Industrial production growth rate: 1.5% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production: 1.017 trillion kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source:
  • fossil fuel: 60%
  • hydro: 8.4%
  • nuclear: 29.8%
  • other: 1.8%
(2001)
Electricity - consumption: 946.3 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production: 120,700 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption: 5.578 million bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports: 93,360 bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports: 5.449 million bbl/day (2001)
Oil - proved reserves: 29.29 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production: 2.814 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 86.51 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 77.73 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 39.64 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance: $165.6 billion (2005 est.)
Exports: $550.5 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities: transport equipment, motor vehicles, semiconductors, electrical machinery, chemicals
Exports - partners: US 22.9%, China 13.4%, South Korea 7.8%, Taiwan 7.3%, Hong Kong 6.1% (2005)
Imports: $451.1 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, fuels, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, raw materials (2001)
Imports - partners: China 21%, US 12.7%, Saudi Arabia 5.5%, UAE 4.9%, South Korea 4.7%, Australia 4.4%, Indonesia 4% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $835.5 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external: $1.545 trillion (31 December 2004)
Economic aid - donor: ODA, $8.9 billion (2004)
Currency (code): yen (JPY)
Currency code: JPY
Exchange rates: yen per US dollar - 110.22 (2005), 108.19 (2004), 115.93 (2003), 125.39 (2002), 121.53 (2001)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
Back to Top Japan Economy
Communications
Telephones - main lines in use: 58.788 million (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 91,473,900 (2004)
Telephone system:
  • general assessment: excellent domestic and international service
  • domestic: high level of modern technology and excellent service of every kind
  • international: country code - 81; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region), and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean regions); submarine cables to China, Philippines, Russia, and US (via Guam)
(1999)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 215 plus 370 repeaters, FM 89 plus 485 repeaters, shortwave 21 (2001)
Radios: 120.5 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 211 plus 7,341 repeaters

note: in addition, US Forces are served by 3 TV stations and 2 TV cable services (1999)

Televisions: 86.5 million (1997)
Internet country code: .jp
Internet hosts: 21,304,292 (2005)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 73 (2000)
Internet users: 86.3 million (2005)
Back to Top Japan Communications
Transportation
Airports: 173 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
  • total: 142
  • over 3,047 m: 7
  • 2,438 to 3,047 m: 39
  • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 37
  • 914 to 1,523 m: 29
  • under 914 m: 30
(2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
  • total: 31
  • over 3,047 m: 1
  • 914 to 1,523 m: 4
  • under 914 m: 26
(2005)
Heliports: 15 (2005)
Pipelines: gas 2,719 km; oil 170 km; oil/gas/water 60 km (2004)
Railways:
  • total: 23,577 km (16,519 km electrified)
  • standard gauge: 3,204 km 1.435-m gauge (3,204 km electrified)
  • narrow gauge: 77 km 1.372-m gauge (77 km electrified); 20,265 km 1.067-m gauge (13,227 km electrified); 11 km 0.762-m gauge (11 km electrified)
(2004)
Roadways:
  • total: 1,177,278 km
  • paved: 914,745 km (including 6,946 km of expressways)
  • unpaved: 262,533 km
(2002)
Waterways: 1,770 km (seagoing vessels use inland seas) (2006)
Merchant marine:
  • total: 683 ships (1000 GRT or over) 10,468,077 GRT/12,050,990 DWT
  • by type: barge carrier 5, bulk carrier 127, cargo 30, chemical tanker 21, container 12, liquefied gas 53, passenger 14, passenger/cargo 154, petroleum tanker 157, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 50, vehicle carrier 56
  • registered in other countries: 2,351 (Australia 1, The Bahamas 51, Belize 5, Burma 4, Cambodia 2, China 2, Cyprus 17, French Southern and Antarctic Lands 4, Honduras 4, Hong Kong 64, Indonesia 4, Isle of Man 4, Liberia 100, Malaysia 1, Malta 1, Marshall Islands 5, Norway 1, Panama 1,921, Philippines 25, Portugal 9, Singapore 93, Sweden 2, Thailand 4, Vanuatu 26, unknown 1)
(2005)
Ports and terminals: Chiba, Kawasaki, Kiire, Kisarazu, Kobe, Mizushima, Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, Yohohama
Back to Top Japan Transportation
Military
Military branches: Japanese Defense Agency (JDA): Ground Self-Defense Force (Rikujou Jietai, GSDF), Maritime Self-Defense Force (Kaijou Jietai, MSDF), Air Self-Defense Force (Koukuu Jietai, ASDF) (2006)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
  • males age 18-49: 27,003,112
  • females age 18-49: 26,153,482
(2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
  • males age 18-49: 22,234,663
  • females age 18-49: 21,494,947
(2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
  • males age 18-49: 683,147
  • females age 18-49: 650,157
(2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $44.31 billion (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1% (2005 est.)
Back to Top Japan Military
Transnational Issues
Disputes - international: the sovereignty dispute over the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, and Shikotan, and the Habomai group, known in Japan as the "Northern Territories" and in Russia as the "Southern Kuril Islands," occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, now administered by Russia and claimed by Japan, remains the primary sticking point to signing a peace treaty formally ending World War II hostilities; Japan and South Korea claim Liancourt Rocks (Take-shima/Tok-do) occupied by South Korea since 1954; China and Taiwan dispute both Japan's claims to the uninhabited islands of the Senkaku-shoto (Diaoyu Tai) and Japan's unilaterally declared exclusive economic zone in the East China Sea, the site of intensive hydrocarbon prospecting
Back to Top Japan Transnational Issues
 
Korea, North
Contents
Introduction
Background: An independent kingdom for much of its long history, Korea was occupied by Japan in 1905 following the Russo-Japanese War. Five years later, Japan formally annexed the entire peninsula. Following World War II, Korea was split with the northern half coming under Soviet-sponsored Communist domination. After failing in the Korean War (1950-53) to conquer the US-backed Republic of Korea (ROK) in the southern portion by force, North Korea (DPRK), under its founder President KIM Il-so'ng, adopted a policy of ostensible diplomatic and economic "self-reliance" as a check against excessive Soviet or Communist Chinese influence. The DPRK demonized the US as the ultimate threat to its social system through state-funded propaganda, and molded political, economic, and military policies around the core ideological objective of eventual unification of Korea under Pyongyang's control. KIM's son, the current ruler KIM Jong Il, was officially designated as his father's successor in 1980, assuming a growing political and managerial role until the elder KIM's death in 1994. After decades of economic mismanagement and resource misallocation, the DPRK since the mid-1990s has relied heavily on international aid to feed its population while continuing to expend resources to maintain an army of 1 million. North Korea's long-range missile development, as well as its nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs and massive conventional armed forces, are of major concern to the international community. In December 2002, following revelations that the DPRK was pursuing a nuclear weapons program based on enriched uranium in violation of a 1994 agreement with the US to freeze and ultimately dismantle its existing plutonium-based program, North Korea expelled monitors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In January 2003, it declared its withdrawal from the international Non-Proliferation Treaty. In mid-2003 Pyongyang announced it had completed the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel rods (to extract weapons-grade plutonium) and was developing a "nuclear deterrent." Since August 2003, North Korea has participated in the Six-Party Talks with China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the US designed to resolve the stalemate over its nuclear programs. The fourth round of Six-Party Talks were held in Beijing during July-September 2005. All parties agreed to a Joint Statement of Principles in which, among other things, the six parties unanimously reaffirmed the goal of verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner. In the Joint Statement, the DPRK committed to "abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and returning, at an early date, to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to IAEA safeguards." The Joint Statement also commits the US and other parties to certain actions as the DPRK denuclearizes. The US offered a security assurance, specifying that it had no nuclear weapons on ROK territory and no intention to attack or invade the DPRK with nuclear or other weapons. The US and DPRK will take steps to normalize relations, subject to the DPRK's implementing its denuclearization pledge and resolving other longstanding concerns. While the Joint Statement provides a vision of the end-point of the Six-Party process, much work lies ahead to implement the elements of the agreement.
Back to Top Korea, North Introduction
Geography
Location: Eastern Asia, northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Korea Bay and the Sea of Japan, between China and South Korea
Geographic coordinates: 40 00 N, 127 00 E
Map references: Asia
Area:
  • total: 120,540 sq km
  • land: 120,410 sq km
  • water: 130 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Mississippi
Land boundaries:
  • total:
    • 1,673 km
  • border countries:
    • China 1,416 km
    • South Korea 238 km
    • Russia 19 km
Coastline: 2,495 km
Maritime claims:
  • territorial sea: 12 nm
  • exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
note: military boundary line 50 nm in the Sea of Japan and the exclusive economic zone limit in the Yellow Sea where all foreign vessels and aircraft without permission are banned
Climate: temperate with rainfall concentrated in summer
Terrain: mostly hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys; coastal plains wide in west, discontinuous in east
Elevation extremes:
  • lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 m
  • highest point: Paektu-san 2,744 m
Natural resources: coal, lead, tungsten, zinc, graphite, magnesite, iron ore, copper, gold, pyrites, salt, fluorspar, hydropower
Land use:
  • arable land: 22.4%
  • permanent crops: 1.66%
  • other: 75.94%
(2005)
Irrigated land: 14,600 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: late spring droughts often followed by severe flooding; occasional typhoons during the early fall
Environment - current issues: water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water; waterborne disease; deforestation; soil erosion and degradation
Environment - international agreements: party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Environmental Modification, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - note: strategic location bordering China, South Korea, and Russia; mountainous interior is isolated and sparsely populated
Back to Top Korea, North Geography
People
Population: 23,113,019 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
  • 0-14 years: 23.8% (male 2,788,944/female 2,708,331)
  • 15-64 years: 68% (male 7,762,442/female 7,955,522)
  • 65 years and over: 8.2% (male 667,792/female 1,229,988)
(2006 est.)
Median age:
  • total: 32 years
  • male: 30.7 years
  • female: 33.4 years
(2006 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.84% (2006 est.)
Birth rate: 15.54 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate: 7.13 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
  • at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
  • under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
  • 15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 0.54 male(s)/female
  • total population: 0.94 male(s)/female
(2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
  • total: 23.29 deaths/1,000 live births
  • male: 24.97 deaths/1,000 live births
  • female: 21.52 deaths/1,000 live births
(2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
  • total population: 71.65 years
  • male: 68.92 years
  • female: 74.51 years
(2006 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.1 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality:
  • noun: Korean(s)
  • adjective: Korean
Ethnic groups: racially homogeneous; there is a small Chinese community and a few ethnic Japanese
Religions: traditionally Buddhist and Confucianist, some Christian and syncretic Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way)

note: autonomous religious activities now almost nonexistent; government-sponsored religious groups exist to provide illusion of religious freedom

Languages: Korean
Literacy:
  • definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  • total population: 99%
  • male: 99%
  • female: 99%
Back to Top Korea, North People
Government
Country name:
  • conventional long form: Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  • conventional short form: North Korea
  • local long form: Choson-minjujuui-inmin-konghwaguk
  • local short form: Choson
  • abbreviation: DPRK
Government type: Communist state one-man dictatorship
Capital: Pyongyang
Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and 4 municipalities (si, singular and plural)
provinces: Chagang-do (Chagang), Hamgyong-bukto (North Hamgyong), Hamgyong-namdo (South Hamgyong), Hwanghae-bukto (North Hwanghae), Hwanghae-namdo (South Hwanghae), Kangwon-do (Kangwon), P'yongan-bukto (North P'yongan), P'yongan-namdo (South P'yongan), Yanggang-do (Yanggang)
municipalites: Kaesong-si (Kaesong), Najin Sonbong-si (Najin), Namp'o-si (Namp'o), P'yongyang-si (Pyongyang)
Independence: 15 August 1945 (from Japan)
National holiday: Founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), 9 September (1948)
Constitution: adopted 1948; completely revised 27 December 1972, revised again in April 1992, and September 1998
Legal system: based on German civil law system with Japanese influences and Communist legal theory; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 17 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
  • chief of state: KIM Jong Il (since July 1994); note - on 3 September 2003, rubberstamp Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) reelected KIM Jong Il chairman of the National Defense Commission, a position accorded nation's "highest administrative authority"; SPA reelected KIM Yong Nam president of its Presidium also with responsibility of representing state and receiving diplomatic credentials; SPA appointed PAK Pong Ju premier
  • head of government: Premier PAK Pong Ju (since 3 September 2003); Vice Premiers KWAK Pom Gi (since 5 September 1998), JON Sung Hun (since 3 September 2003), RO Tu Chol (since 3 September 2003)
  • cabinet: Naegak (cabinet) members, except for Minister of People's Armed Forces, are appointed by SPA
  • elections: last held in September 2003 (next to be held in September 2008)
  • election results: KIM Jong Il and KIM Yong Nam were only nominees for positions and ran unopposed
Legislative branch:
  • unicameral Supreme People's Assembly or Ch'oego Inmin Hoeui (687 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
  • elections: last held 3 August 2003 (next to be held in August 2008)
  • election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; ruling party approves a list of candidates who are elected without opposition; some seats are held by minor parties
Judicial branch: Central Court (judges are elected by the Supreme People's Assembly)
Political parties and leaders: major party - Korean Workers' Party or KWP [KIM Jong Il]; minor parties - Chondoist Chongu Party [RYU Mi Yong] (under KWP control), Social Democratic Party [KIM Yong Dae] (under KWP control)
Political pressure groups and leaders: none
International organization participation: ARF, FAO, G-77, ICAO, ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS, IHO, IMO, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITU, NAM, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO
Diplomatic representation in the US: none; North Korea has a Permanent Mission to the UN in New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: none; note - Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang represents the US as consular protecting power
Flag description: three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (triple width), and blue; the red band is edged in white; on the hoist side of the red band is a white disk with a red five-pointed star
Back to Top Korea, North Government
Economy
Economy - overview: North Korea, one of the world's most centrally planned and isolated economies, faces desperate economic conditions. Industrial capital stock is nearly beyond repair as a result of years of underinvestment and shortages of spare parts. Industrial and power output have declined in parallel. Despite an increased harvest in 2005 because of more stable weather conditions, fertilizer assistance from South Korea, and an extraordinary mobilization of the population to help with agricultural production, the nation has suffered its 11th year of food shortages because of on-going systemic problems, including a lack of arable land, collective farming practices, and chronic shortages of tractors and fuel. Massive international food aid deliveries have allowed the people of North Korea to escape mass starvation since famine threatened in 1995, but the population continues to suffer from prolonged malnutrition and poor living conditions. Large-scale military spending eats up resources needed for investment and civilian consumption. In 2004, the regime formalized an arrangement whereby private "farmers markets" were allowed to begin selling a wider range of goods. It also permitted some private farming on an experimental basis in an effort to boost agricultural output. In October 2005, the regime reversed some of these policies by forbidding private sales of grains and reinstituting a centralized food rationing system. In December 2005, the regime confirmed that it intended to carry out earlier threats to terminate all international humanitarian assistance operations in the DPRK (calling instead for developmental assistance only) and to restrict the activities of international and non-governmental aid organizations such as the World Food Program. Firm political control remains the Communist government's overriding concern, which will likely inhibit the loosening of economic regulations.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $40 billion

note: North Korea does not publish any reliable National Income Accounts data; the datum shown here is derived from purchasing power parity (PPP) GDP estimates for North Korea that were made by Angus Maddison in a study conducted for the OECD; his figure for 1999 was extrapolated to 2005 using estimated real growth rates for North Korea's GDP and an inflation factor based on the US GDP deflator; the result was rounded to the nearest $10 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate): NA
GDP - real growth rate: 1% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,700 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
  • agriculture: 30%
  • industry: 34%
  • services: 36%
(2002 est.)
Labor force: 9.6 million
Labor force - by occupation:
  • agriculture: 36%
  • industry and services: 64%
Unemployment rate: NA%
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
  • lowest 10%: NA%
  • highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%
Budget:
  • revenues: $NA
  • expenditures: $NA
Agriculture - products: rice, corn, potatoes, soybeans, pulses; cattle, pigs, pork, eggs
Industries: military products; machine building, electric power, chemicals; mining (coal, iron ore, magnesite, graphite, copper, zinc, lead, and precious metals), metallurgy; textiles, food processing; tourism
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity - production: 18.75 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source:
  • fossil fuel: 29%
  • hydro: 71%
  • nuclear: 0%
  • other: 0%
(2001)
Electricity - consumption: 17.43 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption: 25,000 bbl/day (2003)
Oil - exports: NA bbl/day
Oil - imports: 22,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2003 est.)
Exports: $1.275 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities: minerals, metallurgical products, manufactures (including armaments), textiles, fishery products
Exports - partners: China 45.6%, South Korea 20.2%, Japan 12.9% (2005)
Imports: $2.819 billion c.i.f. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities: petroleum, coking coal, machinery and equipment, textiles, grain
Imports - partners: China 32.9%, Thailand 10.7%, Japan 4.8% (2005)
Debt - external: $12 billion (1996 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $NA

note - approximately 350,000 metric tons in food aid, worth approximately $118 million, through the World Food Program appeal in 2004, plus additional aid from bilateral donors and non-governmental organizations

Currency (code): North Korean won (KPW)
Currency code: KPW
Exchange rates: official: North Korean won per US dollar - 170 (December 2004), 150 (December 2002), 2.15 (December 2001); market: North Korean won per US dollar - 300-600 (December 2002)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Back to Top Korea, North Economy
Communications
Telephones - main lines in use: 980,000 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular: NA
Telephone system:
  • general assessment: NA
  • domestic: NA
  • international: country code - 850; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Russian (Indian Ocean region); other international connections through Moscow and Beijing
Radio broadcast stations: AM 17 (including 11 stations of Korean Central Broadcasting Station), FM 14, shortwave 14 (2003)
Radios: 3.36 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 4 (includes Korean Central Television, Mansudae Television, Korean Educational and Cultural Network, and Kaesong Television targeting South Korea) (2003)
Televisions: 1.2 million (1997)
Internet country code: .kp
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
Internet users: NA
Back to Top Korea, North Communications
Transportation
Airports: 79 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
  • total: 35
  • over 3,047 m: 2
  • 2,438 to 3,047 m: 22
  • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
  • 914 to 1,523 m: 1
  • under 914 m: 3
(2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
  • total: 44
  • 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
  • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 21
  • 914 to 1,523 m: 14
  • under 914 m: 8
(2005)
Heliports: 20 (2005)
Pipelines: oil 154 km (2004)
Railways:
  • total: 5,214 km
  • standard gauge: 5,214 km 1.435-m gauge (3,500 km electrified)
(2005)
Roadways:
  • total: 31,200 km
  • paved: 1,997 km
  • unpaved: 29,203 km
(1999 est.)
Waterways: 2,250 km (most navigable only by small craft) (2006)
Merchant marine:
  • total: 284 ships (1000 GRT or over) 1,117,435 GRT/1,563,258 DWT
  • by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 14, cargo 222, chemical tanker 2, container 3, livestock carrier 4, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 20, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 6, vehicle carrier 1
  • foreign-owned: 84 (British Virgin Islands 1, Denmark 1, Germany 1, Greece 1, India 1, Italy 1, South Korea 1, Lebanon 14, Lithuania 1, Marshall Islands 2, Pakistan 3, Romania 16, Russia 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Syria 21, Turkey 4, Ukraine 1, UAE 7, US 4, Yemen 1)
    registered in other countries: 3 (Mongolia 3)
(2005)
Ports and terminals: Ch'ongjin, Haeju, Hungnam (Hamhung), Kimch'aek, Kosong, Najin, Namp'o, Sinuiju, Songnim, Sonbong (formerly Unggi), Ungsang, Wonsan
Back to Top Korea, North Transportation
Military
Military branches: North Korean People's Army: Ground Force, Navy, Air Force; Civil Security Forces (2005)
Military service age and obligation: 17 years of age (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
  • males age 17-49: 5,851,801
  • females age 17-49: 5,850,733
(2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
  • males age 17-49: 4,810,831
  • females age 17-49: 4,853,270
(2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
  • males age 18-49: 194,605
  • females age 17-49: 187,846
(2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $5 billion (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA
Back to Top Korea, North Military
Transnational Issues
Disputes - international: China seeks to stem illegal migration of tens of thousands of North Koreans escaping famine, economic privation, and political oppression; North Korea and China dispute the sovereignty of certain islands in Yalu and Tumen rivers and a section of boundary around Paektu-san (mountain) is indefinite; Military Demarcation Line within the 4-km wide Demilitarized Zone has separated North from South Korea since 1953; periodic maritime disputes with South over the Northern Limit Line; North Korea supports South Korea in rejecting Japan's claim to Liancourt Rocks (Tok-do/Take-shima)
Refugees and internally displaced persons: IDPs: 50,000-250,000 (government repression and famine) (2005)
Illicit drugs: for years, from the 1970s into the 2000s, citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of (North) Korea (DPRK), many of them diplomatic employees of the government, were apprehended abroad while trafficking in narcotics, including two in Turkey in December 2004; police investigations in Taiwan and Japan in recent years have linked North Korea to large illicit shipments of heroin and methamphetamine, including an attempt by the North Korean merchant ship Pong Su to deliver 150 kg of heroin to Australia in April 2003
Back to Top Korea, North Transnational Issues
 
Korea, South

Contents

Introduction
Background: Korea was an independent kingdom for much of the past millennium. Following its victory in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, Japan occupied Korea; five years later it formally annexed the entire peninsula. After World War II, a Republic of Korea (ROK) was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula while a Communist-style government was installed in the north (the DPRK). During the Korean War (1950-53), US troops and UN forces fought alongside soldiers from the ROK to defend South Korea from DPRK attacks supported by China and the Soviet Union. An armistice was signed in 1953, splitting the peninsula along a demilitarized zone at about the 38th parallel. Thereafter, South Korea achieved rapid economic growth with per capita income rising to roughly 14 times the level of North Korea. In 1993, KIM Yo'ng-sam became South Korea's first civilian president following 32 years of military rule. South Korea today is a fully functioning modern democracy. In June 2000, a historic first North-South summit took place between the South's President KIM Dae-jung and the North's leader KIM Jong Il.
Back to Top Korea, South Introduction
Geography
Location: Eastern Asia, southern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea
Geographic coordinates: 37 00 N, 127 30 E
Map references: Asia
Area:
  • total: 98,480 sq km
  • land: 98,190 sq km
  • water: 290 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly larger than Indiana
Land boundaries:
  • total: 238 km
  • border countries: North Korea 238 km
Coastline: 2,413 km
Maritime claims:
  • territorial sea: 12 nm; between 3 nm and 12 nm in the Korea Strait
  • contiguous zone: 24 nm
  • exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
  • continental shelf: not specified
Climate: temperate, with rainfall heavier in summer than winter
Terrain: mostly hills and mountains; wide coastal plains in west and south
Elevation extremes:
  • lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 m
  • highest point: Halla-san 1,950 m
Natural resources: coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead, hydropower potential
Land use:
  • arable land: 16.58%
  • permanent crops: 2.01%
  • other: 81.41%
(2005)
Irrigated land: 8,780 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: occasional typhoons bring high winds and floods; low-level seismic activity common in southwest
Environment - current issues: air pollution in large cities; acid rain; water pollution from the discharge of sewage and industrial effluents; drift net fishing
Environment - international agreements: party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: strategic location on Korea Strait
Back to Top Korea, South Geography
People
Population: 48,846,823 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
  • 0-14 years: 18.9% (male 4,844,083/female 4,368,139)
  • 15-64 years: 71.9% (male 17,886,148/female 17,250,862)
  • 65 years and over: 9.2% (male 1,818,677/female 2,678,914)
(2006 est.)
Median age:
  • total: 35.2 years
  • male: 34.2 years
  • female: 36.3 years
(2006 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.42% (2006 est.)
Birth rate: 10 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate: 5.85 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.11 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female

(2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
  • total: 6.16 deaths/1,000 live births
  • male: 6.54 deaths/1,000 live births
  • female: 5.75 deaths/1,000 live births
(2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
  • total population: 77.04 years
  • male: 73.61 years
  • female: 80.75 years
(2006 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.27 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 8,300 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Korean(s)
adjective: Korean
Ethnic groups: homogeneous (except for about 20,000 Chinese)
Religions: no affiliation 46%, Christian 26%, Buddhist 26%, Confucianist 1%, other 1%
Languages: Korean, English widely taught in junior high and high school
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.9%
male: 99.2%
female: 96.6% (2002)
Back to Top Korea, South People
Government
Country name:
  • conventional long form: Republic of Korea
  • conventional short form: South Korea
  • local long form: Taehan-min'guk
  • local short form: Han'guk
  • abbreviation: ROK
Government type: republic
Capital: Seoul
Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and 7 metropolitan cities (gwangyoksi, singular and plural)

provinces: Cheju-do, Cholla-bukto (North Cholla), Cholla-namdo (South Cholla), Ch'ungch'ong-bukto (North Ch'ungch'ong), Ch'ungch'ong-namdo (South Ch'ungch'ong), Kangwon-do, Kyonggi-do, Kyongsang-bukto (North Kyongsang), Kyongsang-namdo (South Kyongsang)

metropolitan cities: Inch'on-gwangyoksi (Inch'on), Kwangju-gwangyoksi (Kwangju), Pusan-gwangyoksi (Pusan), Soul-t'ukpyolsi (Seoul), Taegu-gwangyoksi (Taegu), Taejon-gwangyoksi (Taejon), Ulsan-gwangyoksi (Ulsan)

Independence: 15 August 1945 (from Japan)
National holiday: Liberation Day, 15 August (1945)
Constitution: 17 July 1948
Legal system: combines elements of continental European civil law systems, Anglo-American law, and Chinese classical thought
Suffrage: 19 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
  • chief of state: President ROH Moo-hyun (since 25 February 2003)
  • head of government: Prime Minister HAN Myeong-sook (since 19 April 2006); Deputy Prime Ministers KIM Jin-pyo (since 28 January 2005) and KIM Woo-shik (since 3 January 2006)
  • cabinet: State Council appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation
  • elections: president elected by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held 19 December 2002 (next to be held in December 2007); prime minister appointed by president with consent of National Assembly; deputy prime ministers appointed by president on prime minister's recommendation
  • election results: results of the 19 December 2002 election - ROH Moo-hyun elected president; percent of vote - ROH Moo-hyun (MDP) 48.9%; LEE Hoi-chang (GNP) 46.6%; other 4.5%
Legislative branch:
  • unicameral National Assembly or Kukhoe (299 seats - members elected for four-year terms; 243 in single-seat constituencies, 56 by proportional representation)
  • elections: last held 15 April 2004 (next to be held in April 2008; byelections held on 30 April 2005 and on 26 October 2005)
  • election results: percent of vote by party - Uri 51%, GNP 41%, DLP 3%, DP 3%, others 2%; seats by party - Uri 144, GNP 127, DP 11, DLP 9, ULD 3, independents 5

note: percent of vote is for 2004 general election; seats by party reflect results of April and October 2005 byelections involving six and four seats respectively; MDP became DP in May 2005; United Liberal Democrats (ULD) merged with GNP in February 2006. (2006)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (justices appointed by president with consent of National Assembly); Constitutional Court (justices appointed by president based partly on nominations by National Assembly and Chief Justice of the court)
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Labor Party or DLP [MOON Seong-hyun]; Democratic Party or DP [HAHN Hwa-kap]; Grand National Party or GNP [KANG Jae-sup]; People-Centered Party or PCP [SHIN Kook-hwan]; Uri Party [KIM Geun-tae]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Federation of Korean Industries; Federation of Korean Trade Unions; Korean Confederation of Trade Unions; Korean National Council of Churches; Korean Traders Association; Korean Veterans' Association; National Council of Labor Unions; National Democratic Alliance of Korea; National Federation of Farmers' Associations; National Federation of Student Associations
International organization participation: AfDB, APEC, APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, LAIA, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, ONUB, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, PIF (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMOGIP, UNOMIG, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador LEE Tae-sik
chancery: 2450 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-5600
FAX: [1] (202) 387-0205
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle
consulate(s): Agana (Guam), New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Alexander VERSHBOW
embassy: 32 Sejong-no, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-710
mailing address: American Embassy Seoul, Unit 15550, APO AP 96205-5550
telephone: [82] (2) 397-4114
FAX: [82] (2) 738-8845
Flag description: white with a red (top) and blue yin-yang symbol in the center; there is a different black trigram from the ancient I Ching (Book of Changes) in each corner of the white field
Back to Top Korea, South Government
Economy
Economy - overview: Since the early 1960s, South Korea has achieved an incredible record of growth and integration into the high-tech modern world economy. Four decades ago, GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. In 2004, South Korea joined the trillion dollar club of world economies. Today its GDP per capita is equal to the lesser economies of the EU. This success through the late 1980s was achieved by a system of close government/business ties, including directed credit, import restrictions, sponsorship of specific industries, and a strong labor effort. The government promoted the import of raw materials and technology at the expense of consumer goods and encouraged savings and investment over consumption. The Asian financial crisis of 1997-99 exposed longstanding weaknesses in South Korea's development model, including high debt/equity ratios, massive foreign borrowing, and an undisciplined financial sector. GDP plunged by 6.9% in 1998, then recovered 9.5% in 1999 and 8.5% in 2000. Growth fell back to 3.3% in 2001 because of the slowing global economy, falling exports, and the perception that much-needed corporate and financial reforms had stalled. Led by consumer spending and exports, growth in 2002 was an impressive 7%, despite anemic global growth. Between 2003 and 2005, growth moderated to about 4%. A downturn in consumer spending was offset by rapid export growth. In 2005, the government proposed labor reform legislation and a corporate pension scheme to help make the labor market more flexible, and new real estate policies to cool property speculation. Moderate inflation, low unemployment, an export surplus, and fairly equal distribution of income characterize this solid economy.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $965.3 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $801.2 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.9% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $20,400 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
  • agriculture: 3.3%
  • industry: 40.3%
  • services: 56.3%
(2005 est.)
Labor force: 23.53 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
  • agriculture: 6.4%
  • industry: 26.4%
  • services: 67.2%
(2005 est.)
Unemployment rate: 3.7% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line: 15% (2003 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
  • lowest 10%: 2.9%
  • highest 10%: 25%
(2005 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 35.8 (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.8% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 29.3% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
  • revenues: $195 billion
  • expenditures: $189 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA
(2005 est.)
Public debt: 20% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products: rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs, chickens, milk, eggs; fish
Industries: electronics, telecommunications, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel
Industrial production growth rate: 5.9% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production: 342.1 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
  • fossil fuel: 62.4%
  • hydro: 0.8%
  • nuclear: 36.6%
  • other: 0.2%
(2001)
Electricity - consumption: 321.1 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption: 2.061 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - exports: 645,200 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 2.263 million bbl/day (2004)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 24.09 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 21.11 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Current account balance: $16.56 billion (2005 est.)
Exports: $288.2 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities: semiconductors, wireless telecommunications equipment, motor vehicles, computers, steel, ships, petrochemicals
Exports - partners: China 24.6%, US 14.6%, Japan 7.8%, Hong Kong 4.2%, Taiwan 4.1% (2005)
Imports: $256 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery, electronics and electronic equipment, oil, steel, transport equipment, organic chemicals, plastics
Imports - partners: Japan 19.1%, China 14.4%, US 11.3%, Saudi Arabia 5.5% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $210.4 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external: $153.9 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - donor: ODA, $423.3 million (2004)
Currency (code): South Korean won (KRW)
Currency code: KRW
Exchange rates: South Korean won per US dollar - 1,024.1 (2005), 1,145.3 (2004), 1,191.6 (2003), 1,251.1 (2002), 1,291 (2001)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Back to Top Korea, South Economy
Communications
Telephones - main lines in use: 26,595,100 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 36,586,100 (2004)
Telephone system:
  • general assessment: excellent domestic and international services
  • domestic: NA
  • international: country code - 82; 10 fiber-optic submarine cables - 1 Korea-Russia-Japan, 1 Korea-Japan-Hong Kong, 3 Korea-Japan-China, 1 Korea-Japan-China-Europe, 1 Korea-Japan-China-US-Taiwan, 1 Korea-Japan-China, 1 Korea-Japan-Hong Kong-Taiwan, 1 Korea-Japan; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean) and 3 Inmarsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 61, FM 150, shortwave 2 (2005)
Radios: 47.5 million (2000)
Television broadcast stations: terrestrial stations 43; cable operators 59; relay cable operators 190 (2005)
Televisions: 15.9 million (1997)
Internet country code: .kr
Internet hosts: 5,433,591 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 11 (2000)
Internet users: 33.9 million (2005)
Back to Top Korea, South Communications
Transportation
Airports: 108 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
  • total: 70
  • over 3,047 m: 3
  • 2,438 to 3,047 m: 21
  • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
  • 914 to 1,523 m: 11
  • under 914 m: 21
(2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
  • total: 38
  • 914 to 1,523 m: 3
  • under 914 m: 35
(2005)
Heliports: 537 (2005)
Pipelines: gas 1,433 km; refined products 827 km (2004)
Railways:
  • total: 3,472 km
  • standard gauge: 3,472 km 1.435-m gauge (1,361 km electrified)
(2005)
Roadways:
  • total: 97,252 km
  • paved: 74,641 km (including 2,778 km of expressways)
  • unpaved: 22,611 km
(2003)
Waterways: 1,608 km (most navigable only by small craft) (2006)
Merchant marine:
  • total: 650 ships (1000 GRT or over) 7,992,664 GRT/12,730,954 DWT
  • by type: bulk carrier 151, cargo 202, chemical tanker 87, container 79, liquefied gas 20, passenger 5, passenger/cargo 22, petroleum tanker 53, refrigerated cargo 18, roll on/roll off 7, specialized tanker 3, vehicle carrier 3
  • foreign-owned: 15 (France 12, Singapore 1, UK 2)
  • registered in other countries: 362 (Belize 5, Cambodia 18, China 3, Cyprus 1, Georgia 1, Honduras 6, Hong Kong 12, Indonesia 1, North Korea 1, Malta 5, Mongolia 1, Panama 285, Singapore 17, Thailand 1, Turkey 1, unknown 4) (2005)
Ports and terminals: Inch'on, Masan, P'ohang, Pusan, Ulsan
Back to Top Korea, South Transportation
Military
Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Maritime Police (Coast Guard)
Military service age and obligation: 20-30 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 24-28 months, depending on the military branch involved; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; some 4,000 women serve as commissioned and noncommissioned officers, approx. 2.3% of all officers; women, in service since 1950, are admitted to seven service branches, including infantry, but excluded from artillery, armor, anti-air, and chaplaincy corps (2005)
Manpower available for military service:
  • males age 20-49: 12,483,677
  • females age 20-49: 12,014,462
(2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
  • males age 20-49: 10,115,817
  • females age 20-49: 9,721,914
(2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
  • males age 18-49: 344,943
  • females age 20-49: 312,720
(2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $21.06 billion FY05 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.6% FY05 (2005 est.)
Back to Top Korea, South Military
Transnational Issues
Disputes - international: Military Demarcation Line within the 4-km wide Demilitarized Zone has separated North from South Korea since 1953; periodic maritime disputes with North Korea over the Northern Limit Line; South Korea and Japan claim Liancourt Rocks (Tok-do/Take-shima), occupied by South Korea since 1954
Back to Top Korea, South Transnational Issues
 
Macau

Contents

Introduction
Background: Colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, Macau was the first European settlement in the Far East. Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and Portugal on 13 April 1987, Macau became the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on 20 December 1999. China has promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system will not be practiced in Macau, and that Macau will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs for the next 50 years.
Back to Top Macau Introduction
Geography
Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China
Geographic coordinates: 22 10 N, 113 33 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
Area:
  • total: 28.2 sq km
  • land: 28.2 sq km
  • water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative: less than one-sixth the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
  • total: 0.34 km
  • regional border: China 0.34 km
Coastline: 41 km
Maritime claims: not specified
Climate: subtropical; marine with cool winters, warm summers
Terrain: generally flat
Elevation extremes:
  • lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
  • highest point: Coloane Alto 172.4 m
Natural resources: NEGL
Land use:
  • arable land: 0%
  • permanent crops: 0%
  • other: 100%
(2005)
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: typhoons
Environment - current issues: NA
Geography - note: essentially urban; an area of land reclaimed from the sea measuring 5.2 sq km and known as Cotai now connects the islands of Coloane and Taipa; the island area is connected to the mainland peninsula by three bridges
Back to Top Macau Geography
People
Population: 453,125 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
  • 0-14 years: 16.2% (male 37,934/female 35,412)
  • 15-64 years: 75.9% (male 163,975/female 179,830)
  • 65 years and over: 7.9% (male 15,099/female 20,875)
(2006 est.)
Median age:
  • total: 36.1 years
  • male: 35.7 years
  • female: 36.4 years
(2006 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.86% (2006 est.)
Birth rate: 8.48 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate: 4.47 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate: 4.56 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
  • at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
  • under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
  • 15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
  • total population: 0.92 male(s)/female
(2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
  • total: 4.35 deaths/1,000 live births
  • male: 4.54 deaths/1,000 live births
  • female: 4.15 deaths/1,000 live births
(2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
  • total population: 82.19 years
  • male: 79.36 years
  • female: 85.17 years
(2006 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.02 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality:
  • noun: Chinese
  • adjective: Chinese
Ethnic groups: Chinese 95.7%, Macanese (mixed Portuguese and Asian ancestry) 1%, other 3.3% (2001 census)
Religions: Buddhist 50%, Roman Catholic 15%, none and other 35% (1997 est.)
Languages: Cantonese 87.9%, Hokkien 4.4%, Mandarin 1.6%, other Chinese dialects 3.1%, other 3% (2001 census)
Literacy:
  • definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  • total population: 94.5%
  • male: 97.2%
  • female: 92%
(2003 est.)
Back to Top Macau People
Government
Country name:
  • conventional long form: Macau Special Administrative Region
  • conventional short form: Macau
  • local long form: Aomen Tebie Xingzhengqu (Chinese); Regiao Administrativa Especial de Macau (Portuguese)
  • local short form: Aomen (Chinese); Macau (Portuguese)
Dependency status: special administrative region of China
Government type: limited democracy
Administrative divisions: none (special administrative region of China)
Independence: none (special administrative region of China)
National holiday: National Day (Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China), 1 October (1949); note - 20 December 1999 is celebrated as Macau Special Administrative Region Establishment Day
Constitution: Basic Law, approved in March 1993 by China's National People's Congress, is Macau's "mini-constitution"
Legal system: based on Portuguese civil law system
Suffrage: direct election 18 years of age, universal for permanent residents living in Macau for the past seven years; indirect election limited to organizations registered as "corporate voters" (257 are currently registered) and a 300-member Election Committee drawn from broad regional groupings, municipal organizations, and central government bodies
Executive branch: chief of state: President of China HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003)
head of government: Chief Executive Edmund HO Hau-wah (since 20 December 1999)
cabinet: Executive Council consists of one government secretary, three legislators, four businessmen, one pro-Beijing unionist, and one pro-Beijing educator
elections: chief executive chosen by a 300-member Election Committee for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 29 August 2004 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: Edmund HO Hau-wah reelected received 296 votes; three members submitted blank ballots; one member was absent
Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Assembly (29 seats; 12 elected by popular vote, 10 by indirect vote, and 7 appointed by the chief executive; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 25 September 2005 (next in September 2009)
election results: percent of vote - Development Union 12.8%, Macau Development Alliance 9%, Macau United Citizens' Association 16%, New Democratic Macau Association 18.2%, others NA; seats by political group - Development Union 2, Macau Development Alliance 1, Macau United Citizens' Association 2, New Democratic Macau Association 2, New Hope 1, United Forces 2, others 2; 10 seats filled by professional and business groups; seven members appointed by chief executive
Judicial branch: Court of Final Appeal in Macau Special Administrative Region
Political parties and leaders: Civil Service Union [Jose Maria Pereira COUTINHO]; Development Union [KWAN Tsui-hang]; Macau Development Alliance [Angela LEONG On-kei]; Macau United Citizens' Association [CHAN Meng-kam]; New Democratic Macau Association [Antonio NG Kuok-cheong]; United Forces
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: IHO, IMF, IMO (associate), ISO (correspondent), UNESCO (associate), UPU, WCO, WMO, WToO (associate), WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (special administrative region of China)
Diplomatic representation from the US: the US has no offices in Macau; US interests are monitored by the US Consulate General in Hong Kong
Flag description: light green with a lotus flower above a stylized bridge and water in white, beneath an arc of five gold, five-pointed stars: one large in center of arc and four smaller
Back to Top Macau Government
Economy
Economy - overview: Macau's well-to-do economy has remained one of the most open in the world since its reversion to China in 1999. Apparel exports and tourism are mainstays of the economy. Although the territory was hit hard by the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis and the global downturn in 2001, its economy grew 10.1% in 2002, 14.2% in 2003, and 28.6% in 2004. During the first three quarters of 2005, Macau registered year-on-year GDP increases of 6.2%. A rapid rise in the number of mainland visitors because of China's easing of travel restrictions, increased public works expenditures, and significant investment inflows associated with the liberalization of Macau's gaming industry drove the four-year recovery. The budget also returned to surplus since 2002 because of the surge in visitors from China and a hike in taxes on gambling profits, which generated about 70% of government revenue. The three companies awarded gambling licenses have pledged to invest $2.2 billion in the territory, which will boost GDP growth. Much of Macau's textile industry may move to the mainland as the Multi-Fiber Agreement is phased out. The territory may have to rely more on gambling and trade-related services to generate growth. Two new casinos were opened by new foreign gambling licensees in 2004; development of new infrastructure and facilities in preparation for Macau's hosting of the 2005 East Asian Games led the construction sector. The Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Macau and mainland China that came into effect on 1 January 2004 offers many Macau-made products tariff-free access to the mainland, and the range of products covered by CEPA was expanded on 1 January 2005.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $10 billion (2004)
GDP (official exchange rate): $10.05 billion (2004)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.8% (3rd Quarter 2005)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $22,000 (2004)
GDP - composition by sector:
  • agriculture: 0.1%
  • industry: 7.2%
  • services: 92.7%
(2002 est.)
Labor force: 251,200 (3rd Quarter, 2005)
Labor force - by occupation: manufacturing 13.7%, construction 10.5%, transport and communications 5.9%, wholesale and retail trade 14.6%, restaurants and hotels 10.3%, gambling 17.9%, public sector 7.8%, other services and agriculture 19.3% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate: 4.1% (3rd Quarter 2005)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
  • lowest 10%: NA%
  • highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.8% (2nd quarter, 2005)
Budget:
  • revenues: $3.16 billion
  • expenditures: $3.16 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA
(FY05/06)
Agriculture - products: only 2% of land area is cultivated, mainly by vegetable growers; fishing, mostly for crustaceans, is important; some of the catch is exported to Hong Kong
Industries: tourism, gambling, clothing, textiles, electronics, footwear, toys
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity - production: 1.893 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
  • fossil fuel: 100%
  • hydro: 0%
  • nuclear: 0%
  • other: 0%
(2001)
Electricity - consumption: 1.899 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports: 153.3 million kWh (2004)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption: 12,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports: NA bbl/day
Oil - imports: NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2003 est.)
Exports: $3.465 billion f.o.b.; note - includes reexports (2004)
Exports - commodities: clothing, textiles, footwear, toys, electronics, machinery and parts
Exports - partners: US 49.2%, Hong Kong 12.2%, China 11.1%, Germany 6.5% (2005)
Imports: $3.478 billion c.i.f. (2004)
Imports - commodities: raw materials and semi-manufactured goods, consumer goods (foodstuffs, beverages, tobacco), capital goods, mineral fuels and oils
Imports - partners: China 32.3%, Hong Kong 27.8%, Chile 18.7% (2005)
Debt - external: $3.1 billion (2004)
Economic aid - recipient: $NA
Currency (code): pataca (MOP)
Currency code: MOP
Exchange rates: patacas per US dollar - 8.011 (2005), 8.022 (2004), 8.021 (2003), 8.033 (2002), 8.034 (2001)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Back to Top Macau Economy
Communications
Telephones - main lines in use: 173,900 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 432,400 (2004)
Telephone system:
  • general assessment: fairly modern communication facilities maintained for domestic and international services
  • domestic: NA
  • international: country code - 853; HF radiotelephone communication facility; access to international communications carriers provided via Hong Kong and China; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 0, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios: 160,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 1 (2006)
Televisions: 49,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .mo
Internet hosts: 62 (2005)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
Internet users: 201,000 (2004)
Back to Top Macau Communications
Transportation
Airports: 1 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
  • total: 1
  • over 3,047 m: 1
(2005)
Roadways:
  • total: 345 km
  • paved: 345 km
(2003)
Ports and terminals: Macau
Back to Top Macau Transportation
Military
Military branches: China's People's Revolutionary Army (PLA) constitutes the only armed force in Macau; several police forces constitute the Security Forces of Macau (SFM) that are subordinate to the General Secretariat of Security, a body comparable to a ministry of interior (2004)
Manpower available for military service: males age 18-49: 112,744 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 18-49: 91,299 (2005 est.)
Back to Top Macau Military
Transnational Issues
Disputes - international: none
Back to Top Macau Transnational Issues
 
Mongolia

Contents

Introduction
Background: The Mongols gained fame in the 13th century when under Chinggis KHAN they conquered a huge Eurasian empire. After his death the empire was divided into several powerful Mongol states, but these broke apart in the 14th century. The Mongols eventually retired to their original steppe homelands and later came under Chinese rule. Mongolia won its independence in 1921 with Soviet backing. A Communist regime was installed in 1924. The ex-Communist Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) won elections in 1990 and 1992, but was defeated by the Democratic Union Coalition (DUC) in the 1996 parliamentary election. Since then, parliamentary elections returned the MPRP overwhelmingly to power in 2000 and produced a coalition government in 2004.
Back to Top Mongolia Introduction
Geography
Location: Northern Asia, between China and Russia
Geographic coordinates: 46 00 N, 105 00 E
Map references: Asia
Area: total: 1,564,116 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Alaska
Land boundaries:
  • total: 8,220 km
  • border countries: China 4,677 km, Russia 3,543 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: desert; continental (large daily and seasonal temperature ranges)
Terrain: vast semidesert and desert plains, grassy steppe, mountains in west and southwest; Gobi Desert in south-central
Elevation extremes:
  • lowest point: Hoh Nuur 518 m
  • highest point: Nayramadlin Orgil (Huyten Orgil) 4,374 m
Natural resources: oil, coal, copper, molybdenum, tungsten, phosphates, tin, nickel, zinc, fluorspar, gold, silver, iron
Land use:
  • arable land: 0.76%
  • permanent crops: 0%
  • other: 99.24%
(2005)
Irrigated land: 840 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: dust storms, grassland and forest fires, drought, and "zud," which is harsh winter conditions
Environment - current issues: limited natural fresh water resources in some areas; the policies of former Communist regimes promoted rapid urbanization and industrial growth that had negative effects on the environment; the burning of soft coal in power plants and the lack of enforcement of environmental laws severely polluted the air in Ulaanbaatar; deforestation, overgrazing, and the converting of virgin land to agricultural production increased soil erosion from wind and rain; desertification and mining activities had a deleterious effect on the environment
Environment - international agreements:
  • party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
  • signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: landlocked; strategic location between China and Russia
Back to Top Mongolia Geography
People
Population: 2,832,224 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
  • 0-14 years: 27.9% (male 402,448/female 387,059)
  • 15-64 years: 68.4% (male 967,546/female 969,389)
  • 65 years and over: 3.7% (male 45,859/female 59,923)
(2006 est.)
Median age:
  • total: 24.6 years
  • male: 24.3 years
  • female: 25 years
(2006 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.46% (2006 est.)
Birth rate: 21.59 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate: 6.95 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
  • at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
  • under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
  • 15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
  • total population: 1 male(s)/female
(2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
  • total: 52.12 deaths/1,000 live births
  • male: 55.51 deaths/1,000 live births
  • female: 48.57 deaths/1,000 live births
(2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
  • total population: 64.89 years
  • male: 62.64 years
  • female: 67.25 years
(2006 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.25 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: less than 500 (2003 est)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
  • noun: Mongolian(s)
  • adjective: Mongolian
Ethnic groups: Mongol (mostly Khalkha) 94.9%, Turkic (mostly Kazakh) 5%, other (including Chinese and Russian) 0.1% (2000)
Religions: Buddhist Lamaist 50%, none 40%, Shamanist and Christian 6%, Muslim 4% (2004)
Languages: Khalkha Mongol 90%, Turkic, Russian (1999)
Literacy:
  • definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  • total population: 97.8%
  • male: 98%
  • female: 97.5%
(2002)
Back to Top Mongolia People
Government
Country name:
  • conventional long form: none
  • conventional short form: Mongolia
  • local long form: none
  • local short form: Mongol Uls
  • former: Outer Mongolia
Government type: mixed parliamentary/presidential
Capital: Ulaanbaatar
Administrative divisions: 21 provinces (aymguud, singular - aymag) and 1 municipality* (singular - hot); Arhangay, Bayanhongor, Bayan-Olgiy, Bulgan, Darhan Uul, Dornod, Dornogovi, Dundgovi, Dzavhan, Govi-Altay, Govi-Sumber, Hentiy, Hovd, Hovsgol, Omnogovi, Orhon, Ovorhangay, Selenge, Suhbaatar, Tov, Ulaanbaatar*, Uvs
Independence: 11 July 1921 (from China)
National holiday: Independence Day/Revolution Day, 11 July (1921)
Constitution: 12 February 1992
Legal system: blend of Soviet, German, and US systems that combine "continental" or "civil" code and case-precedent; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
  • chief of state: President Nambaryn ENKHBAYAR (since 24 June 2005)
  • head of government: Prime Minister Miegombyn ENKHBOLD (since 25 January 2006); Deputy Prime Minister Mendsaikhan ENKHSAIKHAN (since 28 January 2006)
  • cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister in consultation with the president and confirmed by the State Great Hural (parliament)
  • elections: presidential candidates nominated by political parties represented in State Great Hural and elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 22 May 2005 (next to be held in May 2009); following legislative elections, leader of majority party or majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by State Great Hural
  • election results: Nambaryn ENKHBAYAR elected president; percent of vote - Nambaryn ENKHBAYAR (MPRP) 53.44%, Mendsaikhanin ENKHSAIKHAN (DP) 20.05%, Bazarsadyn JARGALSAIKHAN (MRP) 13.92%, Badarchyn ERDENEBAT (M-MNSDP) 12.59%; Miegombyn ENKHBOLD elected prime minister by the State Great Hural 56 to 10
Legislative branch:
  • unicameral State Great Hural 76 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms
  • elections: last held 27 June 2004 (next to be held in June 2008)
  • election results: percent of vote by party - MPRP 48.78%, MDC 44.8%, independents 3.5%, Republican Party 1.5%, others 1.42%; seats by party - MPRP 36, MDC 34, others 4; note - following June 2004 election MDC collapsed; as of 1 December 2005 composition of legislature was MPRP 38, DP 25, M-MNSDP 6, CWRP 2, MRP 1, PP 1, independents 3
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (serves as appeals court for people's and provincial courts but rarely overturns verdicts of lower courts; judges are nominated by the General Council of Courts and approved by the president)
Political parties and leaders:
  • Citizens' Will Republican Party or CWRP (also called Civil Courage Republican Party or CCRP) [Sanjaasurengiin OYUN]; Democratic Party or DP [Tsakhiagiyn ELBEGDORJ]; Motherland-Mongolian New Socialist Democratic Party or M-MNSDP [Badarchyn ERDENEBAT]; Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party or MPRP [Miegombyn ENKHBOLD]; Mongolian Republican Party or MRP [Bazarsadyn JARGALSAIKHAN]; People's Party or PP [Lamjav GUNDALAI]
  • note: DP and M-MNSDP formed Motherland-Democracy Coalition (MDC) in 2003 and with CWRP contested June 2004 elections as single party; MDC's leadership dissolved coalition in December 2004
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: ARF, AsDB, CP, EBRD, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OPCW, OSCE (partner), SCO (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIS, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Ravdan BOLD
chancery: 2833 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 333-7117
FAX: [1] (202) 298-9227
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Pamela J. SLUTZ
embassy: Micro Region 11, Big Ring Road, C.P.O. 1021, Ulaanbaatar 13
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 300, FPO AP 96521-0002
telephone: [976] (11) 329095
FAX: [976] (11) 320776
Flag description: three equal, vertical bands of red (hoist side), blue, and red; centered on the hoist-side red band in yellow is the national emblem ("soyombo" - a columnar arrangement of abstract and geometric representation for fire, sun, moon, earth, water, and the yin-yang symbol)
Back to Top Mongolia Government
Economy
Economy - overview: Economic activity in Mongolia has traditionally been based on herding and agriculture. Mongolia has extensive mineral deposits. Copper, coal, molybdenum, tin, tungsten and gold account for a large part of industrial production. Soviet assistance, at its height one-third of GDP, disappeared almost overnight in 1990 and 1991 at the time of the dismantlement of the USSR. The following decade saw Mongolia endure both deep recession due to political inaction and natural disasters, as well as economic growth because of reform-embracing, free-market economics and extensive privatization of the formerly state-run economy. Severe winters and summer droughts in 2000-2002 resulted in massive livestock die-off and zero or negative GDP growth. This was compounded by falling prices for Mongolia's primary sector exports and widespread opposition to privatization. Growth was 10.6% in 2004 and 5.5% in 2005, largely because of high copper prices and new gold production. Mongolia's economy continues to be heavily influenced by its neighbors. For example, Mongolia purchases 80% of its petroleum products and a substantial amount of electric power from Russia, leaving it vulnerable to price increases. China is Mongolia's chief export partner and a main source of the "shadow" or "gray" economy. The World Bank and other international financial institutions estimate the gray economy to be at least equal to that of the official economy, but the former's actual size is difficult to calculate since the money does not pass through the hands of tax authorities or the banking sector. Remittances from Mongolians working abroad both legally and illegally are sizeable, and money laundering is a growing concern. Mongolia settled its $11 billion debt with Russia at the end of 2003 on favorable terms. Mongolia, which joined the World Trade Organization in 1997, seeks to expand its participation and integration into Asian regional economic and trade regimes.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $5.242 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $1.4 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 6.2% according to official estimate (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,900 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
  • agriculture: 20.6%
  • industry: 21.4%
  • services: 58%
(2003 est.)
Labor force: 1.488 million (2003)
Labor force - by occupation: herding/agriculture 42%, mining 4%, manufacturing 6%, trade 14%, services 29%, public sector 5% (2003)
Unemployment rate: 6.7% (2003)
Population below poverty line: 36.1% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
  • lowest 10%: 2.1%
  • highest 10%: 37%
(1995)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 44 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 9.5% (2005 est.)
Budget:
  • revenues: $702 million
  • expenditures: $651 million; including capital expenditures of $NA
(2005 est.)
Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, vegetables, forage crops; sheep, goats, cattle, camels, horses
Industries: construction and construction materials; mining (coal, copper, molybdenum, fluorspar, tin, tungsten, and gold); oil; food and beverages; processing of animal products, cashmere and natural fiber manufacturing
Industrial production growth rate: 4.1% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production: 3.24 billion kWh (2005 est.)
Electricity - production by source:
  • fossil fuel: 100%
  • hydro: 0%
  • nuclear: 0%
  • other: 0%
(2001)
Electricity - consumption: 3.37 billion kWh (2005 est.)
Electricity - exports: 18 million kWh (2005 est.)
Electricity - imports: 130 million kWh (2005 est.)
Oil - production: 548.8 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption: 11,220 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports: 515 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - imports: 11,210 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2003 est.)
Exports: $852 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities: copper, apparel, livestock, animal products, cashmere, wool, hides, fluorspar, other nonferrous metals
Exports - partners: China 54.4%, US 14.3%, Canada 13.5%, UK 4.7% (2005)
Imports: $1.011 billion c.i.f. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, fuel, cars, food products, industrial consumer goods, chemicals, building materials, sugar, tea
Imports - partners: Russia 33.4%, China 26.6%, Japan 6.6%, South Korea 5.9%, Germany 4.3% (2005)
Debt - external: $1.36 billion (2004)
Economic aid - recipient: $215 million (2003)
Currency (code): togrog/tugrik (MNT)
Currency code: MNT
Exchange rates: togrogs/tugriks per US dollar - 1,187.17 (2005), 1,185.3 (2004), 1,146.5 (2003), 1,110.3 (2002), 1,097.7 (2001)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Back to Top Mongolia Economy
Communications
Telephones - main lines in use: 142,300 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 404,400 (2004)
Telephone system:
  • general assessment: network is improving with international direct dialing available in many areas
  • domestic: very low density of about 6.5 telephones for each thousand persons; two wireless providers cover all but two provinces
  • international: country code - 976; satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean Region)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 7, FM 62, shortwave 3 (2004)
Radios: 155,900 (1999)
Television broadcast stations: 52 (plus 21 provincial repeaters and many low power repeaters) (2004)
Televisions: 168,800 (1999)
Internet country code: .mn
Internet hosts: 192 (2005)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 5 (2001)
Internet users: 200,000 (2005)
Back to Top Mongolia Communications
Transportation
Airports: 48 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
  • total: 14
  • over 3,047 m: 1
  • 2,438 to 3,047 m: 12
  • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
(2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
  • total: 34
  • over 3,047 m: 3
  • 2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
  • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 24
  • 914 to 1,523 m: 2
  • under 914 m: 1
(2005)
Heliports: 2 (2005)
Railways:
  • total: 1,810 km
  • broad gauge: 1,810 km 1.524-m gauge
(2004)
Roadways:
  • total: 49,250 km
  • paved: 1,724 km
  • unpaved: 47,526 km
(2002)
Waterways: 580 km note: only waterway in operation is Lake Hovsgol (135 km); Selenge River (270 km) and Orhon River (175 km) are navigable but carry little traffic; lakes and rivers freeze in winter, are open from May to September (2004)
Merchant marine:
  • total: 53 ships (1000 GRT or over) 255,182 GRT/379,234 DWT
  • by type: bulk carrier 5, cargo 45, liquefied gas 1, passenger/cargo 1, roll on/roll off 1
  • foreign-owned: 39 (China 1, North Korea 3, South Korea 1, Lebanon 1, Marshall Islands 1, Russia 10, Singapore 8, Syria 2, Thailand 1, Ukraine 1, UAE 3, Vietnam 7)
(2005)
Back to Top Mongolia Transportation
Military
Military branches: Mongolian People's Army (MPA), Mongolian People's Air Force (MPAF); there is no navy (2005)
Military service age and obligation: 18-25 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 12 months in land or air defense forces or police; a small portion of Mongolian land forces (2.5 percent) is comprised of contract soldiers (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
  • males age 18-49: 736,182
  • females age 18-49: 734,679
(2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
  • males age 18-49: 570,435
  • females age 18-49: 607,918
(2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
  • males age 18-49: 34,674
  • females age 18-49: 34,251
(2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $23.1 million (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.2% (FY02)
Back to Top Mongolia Military
Transnational Issues
Disputes - international: none
Back to Top Mongolia Transnational Issues
 
Taiwan

Contents

Introduction
Background: In 1895, military defeat forced China to cede Taiwan to Japan. Taiwan reverted to Chinese control after World War II. Following the Communist victory on the mainland in 1949, 2 million Nationalists fled to Taiwan and established a government using the 1946 constitution drawn up for all of China. Over the next five decades, the ruling authorities gradually democratized and incorporated the native population within the governing structure. In 2000, Taiwan underwent its first peaceful transfer of power from the Nationalist to the Democratic Progressive Party. Throughout this period, the island prospered and became one of East Asia's economic "Tigers." The dominant political issues continue to be the relationship between Taiwan and China - specifically the question of eventual unification - as well as domestic political and economic reform.
Back to Top Taiwan Introduction
Geography
Location: Eastern Asia, islands bordering the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, South China Sea, and Taiwan Strait, north of the Philippines, off the southeastern coast of China
Geographic coordinates: 23 30 N, 121 00 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
Area:
  • total: 35,980 sq km
  • land: 32,260 sq km
  • water: 3,720 sq km
note: includes the Pescadores, Matsu, and Quemoy
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland and Delaware combined
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 1,566.3 km
Maritime claims:
  • territorial sea: 12 nm
  • exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical; marine; rainy season during southwest monsoon (June to August); cloudiness is persistent and extensive all year
Terrain: eastern two-thirds mostly rugged mountains; flat to gently rolling plains in west
Elevation extremes:
  • lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
  • highest point: Yu Shan 3,952 m
Natural resources: small deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, and asbestos
Land use:
  • arable land: 24%
  • permanent crops: 1%
  • other: 75%
(2001)
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: earthquakes and typhoons
Environment - current issues: air pollution; water pollution from industrial emissions, raw sewage; contamination of drinking water supplies; trade in endangered species; low-level radioactive waste disposal
Environment - international agreements: party to: none of the selected agreements because of Taiwan's international statussigned, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements because of Taiwan's international status
Geography - note: strategic location adjacent to both the Taiwan Strait and the Luzon Strait
Back to Top Taiwan Geography
People
Population: 23,036,087 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
  • 0-14 years: 19.4% (male 2,330,951/female 2,140,965)
  • 15-64 years: 70.8% (male 8,269,421/female 8,040,169)
  • 65 years and over: 9.8% (male 1,123,429/female 1,131,152)
(2006 est.)
Median age:
  • total: 34.6 years
  • male: 34.1 years
  • female: 35 years
(2006 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.61% (2006 est.)
Birth rate: 12.56 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate: 6.48 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
  • at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female
  • under 15 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
  • 15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 0.99 male(s)/female
  • total population: 1.04 male(s)/female
(2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
  • total: 6.29 deaths/1,000 live births
  • male: 6.97 deaths/1,000 live births
  • female: 5.55 deaths/1,000 live births
(2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
  • total population: 77.43 years
  • male: 74.67 years
  • female: 80.47 years
(2006 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.57 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality:
  • noun: Taiwan (singular and plural)
  • note: example - he or she is from Taiwan; they are from Taiwan
  • adjective: Taiwan
Ethnic groups: Taiwanese (including Hakka) 84%, mainland Chinese 14%, aborigine 2%
Religions: mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%
Languages: Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects
Literacy:
  • definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  • total population: 96.1%
  • male: NA%
  • female: NA%
(2003)
Back to Top Taiwan People
Government
Country name:
  • conventional long form: none
  • conventional short form: Taiwan
  • local long form: none
  • local short form: T'ai-wan
  • former: Formosa
Government type: multiparty democracy
Capital: Taipei
Administrative divisions:
  • includes central island of Taiwan plus numerous smaller islands near central island and off coast of China's Fujian Province; Taiwan is divided into 18 counties (hsien, singular and plural), 5 municipalities (shih, singular and plural), and 2 special municipalities (chuan-shih, singular and plural)
  • counties: Chang-hua, Chia-i, Hsin-chu, Hua-lien, I-lan, Kao-hsiung (county), Kin-men, Lien-chiang, Miao-li, Nan-t'ou, P'eng-hu, P'ing-tung, T'ai-chung, T'ai-nan, T'ai-pei (county), T'ai-tung, T'ao-yuan, and Yun-lin
  • municipalities: Chia-i, Chi-lung, Hsin-chu, T'ai-chung, T'ai-nan
  • special municipalities: Kao-hsiung city, T'ai-pei city
note: Taiwan generally uses Wade-Giles system for romanization; special municipality of Taipei adopted standard pinyin romanization for street and place names within city boundaries, other local authorities have selected a variety of romanization systems
National holiday: Republic Day (Anniversary of the Chinese Revolution), 10 October (1911)
Constitution: 25 December 1946; amended in 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2005
Legal system: based on civil law system
Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
  • chief of state: President CHEN Shui-bian (since 20 May 2000) and Vice President Annette LU (LU Hsiu-lien) (since 20 May 2000)
  • head of government: Premier (President of the Executive Yuan) SU Tseng-chang (since 25 January 2006) and Vice Premier (Vice President of the Executive Yuan) TSAI Ing-wen (since 25 January 2006)
  • cabinet: Executive Yuan appointed by the president
  • elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 20 March 2004 (next to be held in March 2008); premier appointed by the president; vice premiers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the premier
  • election results: CHEN Shui-bian re-elected president; percent of vote - CHEN Shui-bian (DPP) 50.1%, LIEN Chan (KMT) 49.9%
Legislative branch:
  • Legislative Yuan (225 seats - 168 elected by popular vote, 41 elected on basis of proportion of islandwide votes received by participating political parties, eight elected from overseas Chinese constituencies on basis of proportion of island-wide votes received by participating political parties, eight elected by popular vote among aboriginal populations; members serve three-year terms); National Assembly (300 seat nonstanding body; delegates nominated by parties and elected by proportional representation six to nine months after Legislative Yuan calls to amend Constitution, impeach president, or change national borders) - see note
  • note: as a result of constitutional amendments approved by National Assembly in June 2005, number of seats in legislature will be reduced from 225 to 113 beginning with election in 2007; amendments also eliminated National Assembly thus giving Taiwan a unicameral legislature
  • elections: Legislative Yuan - last held 11 December 2004 (next to be held in December 2007); National Assembly - last held 14 May 2005; dissolved in June 2005
  • election results: Legislative Yuan - percent of vote by party - DPP 38%, KMT 35%, PFP 15%, TSU 8%, other parties and independents 4%; seats by party - DPP 89, KMT 79, PFP 34, TSU 12, other parties 7, independents 4; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - DPP 42.5%, KMT 38.9%, TSU 7%, PFP 6%, others 6.6%; seats by party - DPP 127, KMT 117, TSU 21, PFP 18, others 17
(2005)
Judicial branch: Judicial Yuan (justices appointed by the president with consent of the Legislative Yuan)
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Progressive Party or DPP [YU Shyi-kun]; Kuomintang or KMT (Nationalist Party) [MA Ying-jeou]; People First Party or PFP [James SOONG (SOONG Chu-yu)]; Taiwan Solidarity Union or TSU [SU Chin-chiang]; other minor parties including the Chinese New Party or NP
Political pressure groups and leaders: Taiwan independence movement, various business and environmental groups.

note: debate on Taiwan independence has become acceptable within the mainstream of domestic politics on Taiwan; political liberalization and the increased representation of opposition parties in Taiwan's legislature have opened public debate on the island's national identity; a broad popular consensus has developed that Taiwan currently enjoys de facto independence and - whatever the ultimate outcome regarding reunification or independence - that Taiwan's people must have the deciding voice; advocates of Taiwan independence oppose the stand that the island will eventually unify with mainland China; goals of the Taiwan independence movement include establishing a sovereign nation on Taiwan and entering the UN; other organizations supporting Taiwan independence include the World United Formosans for Independence and the Organization for Taiwan Nation Building

International organization participation: APEC, AsDB, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IFRCS, IOC, WCL, WTOnote: Taiwan has acquired observer status on the competition committee and special observer status on the Trade Committee of the OECD, and is seeking observer status with the backing of the US in WHO
Diplomatic representation in the US: none; unofficial commercial and cultural relations with the people of the US are maintained through an unofficial instrumentality, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the US with headquarters in Taipei and field offices in Washington and 12 other US cities
Diplomatic representation from the US: none; unofficial commercial and cultural relations with the people on Taiwan are maintained through an unofficial instrumentality - the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) - which has offices in the US and Taiwan;

US office at 1700 N. Moore St., Suite 1700
Arlington, VA 22209-1996
telephone: [1] (703) 525-8474
FAX: [1] (703) 841-1385)

Taiwan offices at #7 Lane 134, Hsin Yi Road, Section 3
Taipei, Taiwan
telephone: [886] (2) 2162-2000
FAX: [886] (2) 2162-2251

#2 Chung Cheng 3rd Road, 5th Floor
Kao-hsiung, Taiwan
telephone: [886] (7) 238-7744
FAX: [886] (7) 238-5237

The American Trade Center, Room 3208 International Trade Building, Taipei World Trade Center
333 Keelung Road Section 1
Taipei, Taiwan 10548
telephone: [886] (2) 2720-1550
FAX: [886] (2) 2757-7162

Flag description: red with a dark blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white sun with 12 triangular rays
Back to Top Taiwan Government
Economy
Economy - overview: Taiwan has a dynamic capitalist economy with gradually decreasing guidance of investment and foreign trade by government authorities. In keeping with this trend, some large, government-owned banks and industrial firms are being privatized. Exports have provided the primary impetus for industrialization. The trade surplus is substantial, and foreign reserves are the world's third largest. Agriculture contributes less than 2% to GDP, down from 32% in 1952. Taiwan is a major investor throughout Southeast Asia. China has overtaken the US to become Taiwan's largest export market and, in 2005, Taiwan's third-largest source of imports after Japan and the US. Taiwan has benefited from cross-Strait economic integration and a sharp increase in world demand to achieve substantial growth in its export sector and a seven-year-high real GDP growth of 6.1% in 2004. However, excess inventory, higher international oil prices, and rising interest rates dampened consumption in developed markets, and GDP growth dropped to 3.8% in 2005. The service sector, which accounts for 69% of Taiwan's GDP, has continued to expand, while unemployment and inflation rates have declined.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $631.2 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $323.4 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.8% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $27,600 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
  • agriculture: 1.8%
  • industry: 25.9%
  • services: 72.3%
(2005 est.)
Labor force: 10.6 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
  • agriculture: 6%
  • industry: 35.8%
  • services: 58.2%
(2005 est.)
Unemployment rate: 4.1% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line: 0.9% (2005)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
  • lowest 10%: 6.7%
  • highest 10%: 41.1%
(2002 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.3% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 20.4% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
  • revenues: $41.67 billion
  • expenditures: $50.26 billion; including capital expenditures of $14.4 billion
(2005 est.)
Public debt: 33.6% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products: rice, corn, vegetables, fruit, tea; pigs, poultry, beef, milk; fish
Industries: electronics, petroleum refining, armaments, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing, vehicles, consumer products, pharmaceuticals
Industrial production growth rate: 4.1% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production: 218.3 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
  • fossil fuel: 71.4%
  • hydro: 6%
  • nuclear: 22.6%
  • other: 0%
(2001)
Electricity - consumption: 206.1 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production: 8,354 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption: 915,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports: NA bbl/day
Oil - imports: NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves: 2.9 million bbl (2005 est.)
Natural gas - production: 970 million cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 8.45 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 7.48 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 76.46 billion cu m (2005)
Current account balance: $16.22 billion (2005 est.)
Exports: $189.4 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities: computer products and electrical equipment, metals, textiles, plastics and rubber products, chemicals (2002)
Exports - partners: China 21.6%, US 16.22%, Hong Kong 15.1%, Japan 7.7% (2005)
Imports: $181.6 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and electrical equipment 44.5%, minerals, precision instruments (2002)
Imports - partners: Japan 25.3%, US 11.6%, China 11%, South Korea 7.3% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $258 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external: $87.5 billion (2005 est.)
Currency (code): new Taiwan dollar (TWD)
Currency code: TWD
Exchange rates: new Taiwan dollars per US dollar - 31.71 (2005), 34.418 (2004), 34.575 (2003), 33.8 (2002), 33.09 (2001)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June (up to FY98/99); 1 July 1999 - 31 December 2000 for FY00; calendar year (after FY00)
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Communications
Telephones - main lines in use: 13,529,900 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 25,089,600 (2003)
Telephone system:
  • general assessment: provides telecommunications service for every business and private need
  • domestic: thoroughly modern; completely digitalized
  • international: country code - 886
  • satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean); submarine cables to Japan (Okinawa), Philippines, Guam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, Middle East, and Western Europe
(1999)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 218, FM 333, shortwave 50 (1999)
Radios: 16 million (1994)
Television broadcast stations: 29 (plus two repeaters) (1997)
Televisions: 8.8 million (1998)
Internet country code: .tw
Internet hosts: 3,838,383 (2005)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 8 (2000)
Internet users: 13.8 million (2005)
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Transportation
Airports: 42 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
  • total: 38
  • over 3,047 m: 82,438
  • 3,047 m: 81,524
  • 2,437 m: 12914
  • 1,523 m: 8
  • under 914 m: 2
(2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 41,524 to 2,437 m: 1under 914 m: 3 (2005)
Heliports: 3 (2005)
Pipelines: condensate 25 km; gas 435 km (2004)
Railways:
  • total: 2,497 km
  • narrow gauge: 1,097 km 1.067-m gauge (685 km electrified)
note: 1,400 km .762-m gauge (belonging to the Taiwan Sugar Corporation and to the Taiwan Forestry Bureau) used to haul products and limited numbers of passengers (2004)
Roadways:
  • total: 37,299 km
  • paved: 35,621 km (including 1,789 km of expressways)
  • unpaved: 1,678 km (2002)
Merchant marine:
  • total: 123 ships (1000 GRT or over) 3,095,383 GRT/5,044,249 DWT
  • by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 33, cargo 22, chemical tanker 2, container 35, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 16, refrigerated cargo 8, roll on/roll off 2
  • foreign-owned: 3 (Hong Kong 3)
  • registered in other countries: 450 (Bolivia 1, Cambodia 2, Gibraltar 1, Honduras 2, Hong Kong 8, Italy 10, Liberia 68, Malta 1, Panama 302, Philippines 2, Singapore 49, UK 1, US 1, unknown 2)
(2005)
Ports and terminals: Chi-lung (Keelung), Hua-lien, Kao-hsiung, Su-ao, T'ai-chung
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Military
Military branches: Army, Navy (includes Marine Corps), Air Force, Coast Guard Administration, Armed Forces Reserve Command, Combined Service Forces Command, Armed Forces Police Command
Military service age and obligation: 19-35 years of age for military service; service obligation 16 months (to be shortened to 12 months in 2008); women in Air Force service are restricted to noncombat roles (2005)
Manpower available for military service:
  • males age 19-49: 5,883,828
  • females age 19-49: 5,680,773
(2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
  • males age 19-49: 4,749,537
  • females age 19-49: 4,644,607
(2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
  • males age 18-49: 174,173
  • females age 19-49: 163,683
(2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $7.93 billion (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.4% (2005 est.)
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Transnational Issues
Disputes - international: involved in complex dispute with China, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei over the Spratly Islands; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" has eased tensions but falls short of a legally binding "code of conduct" desired by several of the disputants; Paracel Islands are occupied by China, but claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam; in 2003, China and Taiwan became more vocal in rejecting both Japan's claims to the uninhabited islands of the Senkaku-shoto (Diaoyu Tai) and Japan's unilaterally declared exclusive economic zone in the East China Sea where all parties engage in hydrocarbon prospecting
Illicit drugs: regional transit point for heroin and methamphetamine; major problem with domestic consumption of methamphetamine and heroin; renewal of domestic methamphetamine production is a problem
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