The economic revolution has however also created a new wealthy.The newly wealthy are creating a huge consumer market in China demanding the latest gadgets and fashions. With over half a billion mobile-phone users, China has more subscribers than America, Japan, Germany and Britain combined.
Standards of living vary greatly in China. Many Chinese people in the country still live a life of subsistence farming unchanged for hundreds of years - 300 million people in China have no access to safe water and nearly 800 million have seen no improvement in sanitation and hygiene in recent years. Since 1995 more than 100 million peasants have left their villages for China's cities, looking for work.
The country's farmland covers about 10% of its total land areaThe country has 67,500 sq. km of fresh water lakes production bases for fish, shrimps and other aquatic products.
China has deposits of every one of the 150 minerals found so far in the natural world. Ranking first in the world, in proven deposits, are 12 minerals tungsten, antimony, titanium, vanadium, zinc, rare earth, magnesite, pyrite, fluorite, barite, plaster stone and graphite ranking second and third are six.
It is home to 32,800 higher plant varieties and 104,000 animal varieties. Among them are some that are quite rare, including the giant panda, the golden monkey, the Yangtze alligator, white-flag dolphin, the metasequoia and the dove tree all are living fossils.