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Sunday, 17 August 2008 18:17
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Population

China is the most populous country in the world, with 1.30756 billion people by the end of 2005, about one fifth of the world's total. This figure does not include the Chinese living in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, and Taiwan Province.

Religious Beliefs

China is a country of great religious diversity and freedom of religious belief. It has over 100 million followers of various faiths, more than 100,000 sites for religious activities, about 300,000 religious personnel and over 3,000 religious associations. These associations run 76 religious schools and colleges to train religious personnel.

Each religion in China has its own national periodical, which is also circulated abroad.

The main religions are Buddhism, Islam, Roman Catholic and Protestant Christianity, China's indigenous Taoism, Shamanism, Eastern Orthodox Christianity and the Naxi people's Dongba religion. The Hui, Uygur, Kazak, Kirgiz, Tatar, Ozbek, Tajik, Dongxiang, Salar and Bonan peoples adhere to Islam.

Buddhism was introduced into China from India around the first century AD. Now China has more than 13,000 Buddhist temples.

It is probable that Islam first reached China around the mid-seventh century. The Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) witnessed the zenith of prosperity of Islam. Now China has more than 30,000 mosques.

Catholic influence reached China in the seventh century, and Protestantism was introduced into China in the early 19th century. Now there are more than 4,600 Catholic and over 12,000 Protestant churches, as well as over 30,000 other types of Christian places of worship in China.

One Third Chinese Scientists Are Women

Women constitute more than one third of scientists in China, according to an international seminar on women in science recently held in Beijing.

"More than 70 women are academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) or the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), said Deng Nan, vice president of the China Association for Science and Technology, at the seminar.

However, the proportion of women technicians and engineers are significantly low in the engineering field," said Shi Liying, deputy secretary-general of the CAE.

About 40 Percent of China's Cadres are Women

The number of women members in the Communist Party of China (CPC). reached 13.57 million at the end of 2005, accounting for 19.2 percent of total membership. That's a 1.8 percentage point rise over 2001, according to the statistics.

China had 15.03 million women cadres at the end of 2005, accounting for 38.9 percent of the total number of cadres in China, according to official statistics.

Wives Happy to Live Apart: Report

The report, published on 21 08 2007, said there are currently 47 million married women in Guangdong, most aged 20 to 40, whose husbands work in other parts of the country. Most of them live in rural areas where they care for an extended family.

The majority of the women has had only a junior middle school education and 1.6 percent are illiterate. Just 0.5 percent of them have been to college.

The report said 54.3 percent of left-behind women have never visited their husbands and just 4.1 percent said they regularly see their partners.

However, 55.7 percent of them said their marriages were happy because their husbands were giving them more money than they had done before.

The report found the average annual income for a left-behind woman's family was 11,000 yuan (US$1,450- Rupees 68,000), more than twice the 4,700 yuan average for couples who live together.

Although 20 percent of the women said they worried their husbands might have an affair while they were away they still supported their decision to work in another city.

One of the report's compilers, Wei Min, said she was concerned with the results.

Chinese society still regards men as superior to women, she said, and even though some progress has made in recent years, there is still a long way to go.(From China Daily August 15, 2007)