We are introducing White Castle Hamburgers as a global business venture in China.
I need a country analysis which will include; Political, economic, finance, physical environment, social, health, and environmental, and cultural analysis. Thanks for the help!!
China is a cultural region, ancient civilization, and nation in East Asia. It is one of the world's oldest civilizations, consisting of states and cultures dating back more than six millennia. The stalemate of the last Chinese Civil War has resulted in two political entities using the name China: the People's Republic of China (PRC), administering mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau; and the Republic of China (ROC), administering Taiwan and its surrounding islands.
China is one of the world's oldest continuous civilizations. It has the world's longest continuously used written language system, and the source of some of the world's great inventions, including the Four Great Inventions of ancient China: paper, the compass, gunpowder, and printing.
China is most commonly called Zhōngguó in Mandarin Chinese. Missionaries first translated the term as "Middle Kingdom." In ancient times the name referred to the "Central States" along the Yellow River valley and was not associated with any single political entity. The nomenclature gradually evolved to mean the lands under direct imperial rule.
English and many other languages use various forms of the name "China" and the prefix "Sino-" or "Sin-". These forms are thought to derive from the name of the Qin Dynasty that first unified the country."Qin" is pronounced as "Chin" which is considered the possible root of the word "China". The Qin Dynasty unified the written language in China and gave the supreme ruler of China the title of "Emperor" instead of "King". Therefore, the subsequent Silk Road traders might have identified themselves by that name.
The greater part of the country is mountainous. Its principal ranges are the Tien Shan, the Kunlun chain, and the Trans-Himalaya. In the southwest is Tibet, which China annexed in 1950. The Gobi Desert lies to the north. China proper consists of three great river systems: the Yellow River (Huang He), 2,109 mi (5,464 km) long; the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang), the third-longest river in the world at 2,432 mi (6,300 km); and the Pearl River (Zhu Jiang), 848 mi (2,197 km) long.
Geography and climate
China ranges from mostly plateaus and mountains in the west to lower lands in the east. Principal rivers flow from west to east, including the Yangtze (central), the Huang He (Yellow river, north-central), and the Amur (northeast), and sometimes toward the south (including the Pearl River, Mekong River, and Brahmaputra), with most Chinese rivers emptying into the Pacific Ocean.
In the east, along the shores of the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea there are extensive and densely populated alluvial plains. On the edges of the Inner Mongolian plateau in the north, grasslands can be seen. Southern China is dominated by hills and low mountain ranges. In the central-east are the deltas of China's two major rivers, the Huang He and Yangtze River. Most of China's arable lands lie along these rivers; they were the centers of China's major ancient civilizations. Other major rivers include the Pearl River, Mekong, Brahmaputra and Amur. Yunnan Province is considered a part of the Greater Mekong Subregion, which also includes Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
In the west, the north has a great alluvial plain, and the south has a vast calcareous tableland traversed by hill ranges of moderate elevation, and the Himalayas, containing Earth's highest point, Mount Everest. The northwest also has high plateaus with more arid desert landscapes such as the Takla-Makan and the Gobi Desert, which has been expanding. During many dynasties, the southwestern border of China has been the high mountains and deep valleys of Yunnan, which separate modern China from Burma, Laos and Vietnam.
The Paleozoic formations of China, excepting only the upper part of the Carboniferous system, are marine, while the Mesozoic and Tertiary deposits are estuarine and freshwater or else of terrestrial origin. Groups of volcanic cones occur in the Great Plain of north China. In the Liaodong and Shandong Peninsulas, there are basaltic plateaus.
The climate of China varies greatly. The northern zone (containing Beijing) has summer daytime temperatures of more than 30 degrees Celsius and winters of Arctic severity. The central zone (containing Shanghai) has a temperate continental climate with very hot summers and cold winters. The southern zone (containing Guangzhou) has a subtropical climate with very hot summers and mild winters.
Due to a prolonged drought and poor agricultural practices, dust storms have become usual in the spring in China. Dust has blown to southern China and Taiwan, and has even reached the West Coast of the United States. Water, erosion, and pollution control have become important issues in China's relations with other countries.
Political divisions of China
Due to China's large population and area, the political divisions of China have always consisted of several levels since ancient times. The constitution of the People's Republic of China provides for three de jure levels of government. Currently, however, there are five practical (de facto) levels of local government: the province, prefecture, county, township, and village. The Republic of China on Taiwan uses a different system.
The provinces serve an important cultural role in China. People tend to be identified in terms of their native provinces, and each province has a stereotype that corresponds to their inhabitants. Most of the provinces of China have boundaries which were established in the late Ming Dynasty. Major changes since then have been the reorganization of provinces in the Northeast after the Communist takeover of mainland China in 1949 and the establishment of autonomous regions which are based on Soviet nationality theory.
The Constitution of the People's Republic of China provides for three levels: the province, county, and township. However, two more levels have been inserted in actual implementation: the prefecture, under provinces; and the village, under townships. (There is a sixth level, the district public office, under counties, but it is being abolished.)
Each of the levels correspond to a level in the Civil service of the People's Republic of China.
The People's Republic of China administers 33 province-level divisions, including 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two special administrative regions.
Provinces are theoretically subservient to the PRC central government, but in practice provincial officials have a large amount of discretion with regard to economic policy. Unlike the United States, the power of the central government was (with the exception of the military) not exercised through a parallel set of institutions until the early 1990s. The actual practical power of the provinces has created what some economists call federalism with Chinese characteristics.
Most of the provinces, with the exception of the provinces in the northeast, have boundaries which were established during the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. Sometimes provincial borders veer markedly away from cultural or geographical boundaries, a phenomenon described as "dog's teeth interlocking". This was an attempt by the imperial government to discourage separatism and warlordism through a divide and rule policy. Nevertheless, provinces have come to serve an important cultural role in China. People tend to be identified in terms of their native provinces, and each province has a stereotype that corresponds to their inhabitants.
The most recent administrative changes have included the elevation of Hainan and Chongqing to provincial level status and the organization of Hong Kong and Macau as Special Administrative Regions.
Prefecture-level divisions are the second level of the administrative structure. As of December 31, 2005, this structure consisted of 333 divisions composed of:
• prefecture-level cities (283)
• prefectures (17)
• autonomous prefectures (30)
• Leagues (3) -- Inner Mongolia only
Prefecture-level cities form the vast majority of prefecture-level divisions. Prefecture-level cities are generally composed of an urban center and surrounding rural areas much larger than the urban core, and thus are not "cities" in the strict sense of the term.
Most provinces are divided into only prefecture-level cities and contain no other second-level administrative units. Of the 22 provinces and 5 autonomous regions only 3 provinces (Yunnan, Guizhou, Qinghai) and 2 autonomous regions (Xinjiang, Tibet) have more than three second-level or prefecture-level divisions that are not prefecture-level cities.
Prefectures are another level of government found at the prefecture-level. These were formerly the dominant second-level division, which is why this administrative level is often called "prefecture-level". However, they were replaced for the most part by prefecture-level cities rom 1983 to the 1990s. Today, prefectures exist mostly in Xinjiang and Tibet only.
Leagues are effectively the same as prefectures, but they are to be found only in Inner Mongolia. Like prefectures, leagues have mostly been replaced with prefecture-level cities. The unique name is a holdover from earlier forms of administration in Mongolia.
Autonomous prefectures are prefectures with one or more designated ethnic minorities. These are mostly to be found in China's western regions.
As of December 31, 2005, there are 2872 county-level divisions, including 862 districts, 374 cities, 1464 counties, 117 autonomous counties, 49 banners, 3 autonomous banners, 2 special districts and 1 forestry district in mainland China (the Republic of China governs 23 county-level divisions, including 18 counties and 5 provincial municipalities).
Counties are the most common county-level division. Counties have continuously existed since the Warring States Period, much earlier than any other level of government in China. In Sinologist literature, xian are often translated as "districts" or "prefectures".
Autonomous counties are counties with one or more designated ethnic minorities. These are analogous to autonomous regions (at the province-level) and autonomous prefectures (at the prefecture-level).
Inner Mongolia has banners and autonomous banners, which are the same as counties and autonomous counties except in name. The name is a holdover from earlier forms of administration in Mongolia.
County-level cities are, like prefecture-level cities, not "cities" in the traditional sense of the word, since they are actually large administrative regions that cover both urban and rural areas. It was popular for counties to become county-level cities in the 1990s, though this has since been halted.
Districts are another type of county-level division. These were formerly the subdivisions of urban areas, consisting of built-up areas only. In recent years, however, many counties have been converted into districts, so that today districts are often just like counties, with towns, villages, and farmland.
There are also a few special county-level divisions. There is a county-level forestry district in Hubei province, Shennongjia, that is a county-level division; so are two special districts in Guizhou province, Liuzhi and Wanshan.
As of December 31, 2005 there were 41636 township-level divisions. These include 19522 towns, 14677 township, 1092 ethnic townships, 181 sumu, 1 ethnic sumu, 6152 subdistricts, and 11 district public offices.
In general, urban areas are divided into subdistricts, while rural areas are divided into towns, townships, and ethnic townships. Sumu and ethnic sumu are the same as townships and ethnic townships, but are unique to Inner Mongolia.
• District public offices are a vestigial level of government. These once represented an extra level of government between the county- and township-levels. Today there are very few of these remaining and they are gradually being phased out.
The village level serves as an organizational division (census, mail system) and does not have much importance in political representative power. Basic local divisions like neighborhoods and communities are not informal like in the West, but have defined boundaries and designated heads (one per area):
In urban areas, every subdistrict of a district of a city administers many communities or neighborhoods. Each of them have a neighborhood committee to administer the dwellers of that neighborhood or community. Rural areas are organized into village committees or villager groups. A "village" in this case can either be a natural village, one that spontaneously and naturally exists, or an administrative village, which is a bureaucratic entity.
Although every single administrative division has a clearly defined level associated with it, sometimes an entity may be given more autonomy than its level allows for.
For example, a few of the largest prefecture-level cities are given more autonomy. These are known as sub-provincial cities, meaning that they are given a level of power higher than a prefecture, but still lower than a province. Such cities are half a level higher than what they would normally be. Although these cities still belong to provinces, their special status gives them a high degree of autonomy within their respective provinces.
A similar case exists with some county-level cities. Some county-level cities are given more autonomy. These cities are known as sub-prefecture-level cities, meaning that they are given a level of power higher than a county, but still lower than a prefecture. Such cities are also half a level higher than what they would normally be. Sub-prefecture-level cities are often not put into any prefecture (i.e. they are directly administered by their province).
A concrete example is the Pudong District of Shanghai. Although its status as a district of a direct-controlled municipality would define it as prefecture-level, the district head of Pudong is given sub-provincial powers. In other words, it is half a level higher than what it would normally be.
Politics of the People's Republic of China
The Politics of the People's Republic of China (PRC) takes place in a framework of a single-party socialist republic. The leadership of the Communist Party is enshrined in the PRC Constitution. State power within the PRC is exercised through the Communist Party of China, the Central People's Government and their provincial and local counterparts. Under the dual leadership system, each local bureau or office is under the theoretically co-equal authority of the local leader and the leader of the corresponding office, bureau or ministry at the next higher level. The will of Chinese citizens is expressed through the legislative bodies of the People's Congress system. People's Congress members at the county level are elected by voters. These county level People's Congresses have the responsibility of oversight of local government, and elect members to the Provincial (or municipal in the case of independent municipalities of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Chongqing) People's Congress. The provincial People's Congress in turn elects members to the National People's Congress that meets each year in March in Beijing. The ruling Communist Party committee at each level plays a large role in the selection of appropriate candidates for election to the local congress and to the next higher level.
The PRC's population, geographical vastness, and social diversity frustrate attempts to rule from Beijing. Economic reform during the 1980s and the devolution of much central government decision making, combined with the strong interest of local Communist Party officials in enriching themselves has made it increasingly difficult for the central government to assert its authority. Political power has become much less personal and more institutionally based than it was during the first forty years of the PRC. For example, Deng Xiaoping was never the President of China or Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, yet he was for a decade the leader of China. Today the authority of China's leaders are much more tied to their institutional base.
Central government leaders must increasingly build ...
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"The constitution of the People's Republic of China provides for three de jure levels of government. Currently, however, there are five practical (de facto) levels of local government: the province, prefecture, county, township, and village."