China is the largest Asian nation, covering almost the whole of East Asia, almost as big as entire Europe, and about one-fourteenth of the Earth’s land area. It is directly bounded by Mongolia, Russia, North Korea, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, the South China Sea, Vietnam, India, Laos, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. It also shares maritime borders with South Korea and Japan in the Yellow Sea and the Philippines in the South China Sea. With a population of over 1.4 billion, the country is the most populated in the world.
From the 1970s, China has shifted to a market-oriented economy from a centrally planned system. In 2010, the nation became the largest exporter in the world. It administered reforms in a gradual way, first phasing out state-controlled agriculture. Later, it progressed to price liberalization, launching of a diversified banking system, the introduction of stock markets, advancement of the private sector, and allowing foreign trade and investment. This economic restructuring has increased the GDP by more than ten times since 1978. In 2010, the country became the second-largest economy in the world based on the PPP, however, its per capita income is still below the global average. At present, China is the manufacturing center and a tech hub with popular tech companies such as Alibaba, Xiaomi, and Huawei.
The renminbi is the country’s official currency with the yuan as its basic unit of account. The renminbi was pegged to the US dollar until 2005. Issued by the People’s Bank of China which is the monetary authority of the country, current Chinese banknotes feature former president Mao Zedong, a flower, and the national emblem. These notes are equipped with enhanced security features such as denomination registration device, denomination in SPARK, windowed security threads, and Omron rings.