China is one of the world’s oldest and richest continuous cultures, over 5000 years old and is the most populous nation in the world, with 1.28 billion people. One fifth of the planet speaks Chinese. Mandarin Chinese is the mother tongue of over 873 million people, making it the most widely spoken first language in the world. In addition to the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan, Mandarin Chinese is also spoken in the important and influential Chinese communities of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, and Mongolia. China is the second largest economy in the world and is one of largest trading partners of the United States. Many US companies do business in China and have long-term investments there.
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