A leading region of civilization and culture for thousands of years, China originally outpaced most developing nations in terms of growth and industrialization. At the start of the 20th century, civil unrest and political destruction ensued, and following World War II, the social order was reinstated through the establishment of an autocratic system of government. The modern-day People’s Republic of China has reemerged as a leader in economic output and a collaborator in global exchange.  It is the most populous country in the world and is home to a wide range of culture, language, customs and economic levels.

The famous Great Wall of China, which dates back to 206 BC, was constructed over thousands of years by several dynasties and is a highlight of the SAS field program in China. Other sites of exploration for SAS participants include the Imperial Palace and the Forbidden City in Beijing, Tiananmen Square, the spectacular terracing of Guilin, and the fertile valleys of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers.

Source: CIA Factbook

Fast Facts

  • Language: Standard Chinese
  • Population: 1,349,585,838
  • Government: Nominally Marxist–Leninist single-party state[5][a]
  • Currency: Renminbi (Yuan) (¥)
  • Capital: Beijing

Things To Do in China

  • Spend four days hiking the Great Wall of China (covering only a fraction of it)
  • Perform Tai Chi at sunrise
  • Spend a day playing with—and learning from—students at a local kindergarten
  • Participate in a Junk Boat discovery trip to clean-up marine debris
  • See the Imperial Palace and Tiananmen Square-the largest public square in the world