The People's Republic of China (中华人民共和国 in simplified Chinese) is an Asian state which is the world's largest country by population, and the 2nd largest in terms of economy.
Its currency is the renminbi (RMB, 人民币 in simplified Chinese, meaning "people's money"), issued by its Central Bank, the People's Bank of China.
The primary unit of the renminbi is the yuán (元), also written yuan. For a long time, the value of the renminbi was pegged to the US dollar. Since 2005, the renminbi exchange rate has been allowed to float in a narrow margin around a fixed base rate determined with reference to a basket of world currencies.
According to the World Bank, China remains a developing country (its per capita income is still a fraction of that in advanced countries) and its market reforms are incomplete. Official data indicates that about 98.99 million people still lived below the national poverty line of RMB 2,300 per year at the end of 2012. With the second largest number of poor in the world after India, poverty reduction remains a fundamental challenge.
Rapid economic growth has brought on many challenges as well, including high inequality; quick urbanization; challenges to environmental sustainability; and external imbalances. China also faces demographic pressures related to an aging population and the internal migration of labor, however, China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) forcefully addresses these issues.
Top positions in the Republic are occupied by Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, the President of the People's Republic of China, and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, who assumed office in November 2012; Li Yuanchao, the Vice President; Li Keqiang, the Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China.
The Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges are the two bourses operating independently in the People's Republic of China.
The one situated in Shanghai is the world's 3rd largest stock market by market capitalization at USD 5.5 trillion as of May 2015.
Unlike the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the Shanghai Exchange is still not completely open to foreign investors and often manipulated by the decisions of Beijing due to tight capital account controls exercised by the Chinese mainland authorities.