Why is it Called the People's Republic of China?

Passports showing the names of both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China.
Passports showing the names of both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China.


The Peoples Republic of China is a sovereign state in East Asia as well as the most populous country in the world. Its population is estimated to be over 1.37 billion. It is a single party state governed by the Communist Party. Its capital is Beijing but Shanghai is the country's most populous city. Mandarin Chinese is the country's official language. It is common to refer to the People's Republic of China as China. However, many people do not know there is a difference between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the People's Republic of China (China). The two countries share a common history but China claims sovereignty over Taiwan.

Ancient China

Ancient China existed as a feudal society since the second millennium and was one of the earliest civilizations. In the 10th century, the country was ruled under the Tang Dynasty and reached its golden age. During this period, Philosophies of the East such as Confucianism and Daoism were born. The two formed the foundation of many social values of modern Eastern-Asian cultures.

The Northern nomadic people neighboring China such as the Turkic tribes and the Mongols often fought with the Chinese people. The two groups took turns ruling over the land and the people of China. The Northern people eventually won and took over China. They adopted the Chinese culture and way of living. The Qing Dynasty was the last Northern group to rule over ancient Chinese.

A New Age

Early in the second millennium, China became an isolationist because it did not want to be bought by foreigners. During the Renaissance period, European powers began taking over Asian countries. Many European countries like Britain and France built spheres of influence in China but did not actually take over the land.

China fell behind other countries in technology due to its isolation under the Qing dynasty's rule. In 1912, the dynasty was overthrown and the nationalist party Kuomintang established the Republic of China. Marxist ideas eventually became popular and the Communist Party was formed.

Chinese Civil War

The Chinese Civil War started in 1927 between the Nationalists led by Chiang Kai-shek and the Communists led by Mao Zedong. The Communists wanted to make China similar to the Soviet Union while the Nationalists wanted China to remain as it was. The Communists won the war in 1949 and the Nationalists retreated and fled to the Island of Taiwan.

The People's Republic of China

The creation of the People's Republic of China was announced on October 1, 1949 by the Communist Party's leader Mao Zedong in Beijing. Mao began many social and economic reforms in his country. Some succeeded while some failed. He began the Cultural Revolution to remove capitalist influences from the government and society. Those who disagreed with Marxism were persecuted for being Revisionists. The program ended completely in 1976 following Mao's death.

A veteran of revolution took over power eventually and he began the Reform and Opening Up campaign, whose policies helped ease the restrictions on citizens. It also introduced reforms that made the People's Republic of China a modern and industrialized socialist nation that leaned on market systems. These policies are known as 'Socialism with Chinese Characteristics'.


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