China, known officially as the People's Republic of China, is the fourth-largest country in the world with a land area of over 3.7 million square miles. The capital city of China is Beijing, however, its most populated city is Shanghai. Overall, the country has the world's largest population with over 1.3 billion people, as of 2015. Though many people in China speak Mandarin Chinese, Yue, Wu, Minbei, Minnan and Hakka are also popular dialects.
The Chinese civilization is the oldest civilization still thriving to this day, with the first confirmed Chinese dynasty having been founded around the year 1600 B.C. Over the millennia, the Chinese invented the compass, gunpowder and paper. In 3000 B.C., the Chinese perfected the art of silk manufacturing, though the government punished those suspected of revealing the secret to foreigners with death.
China has the world's fourth- and sixth-longest rivers, the Yangtze and the Yellow River. In order to generate more hydroelectric power, the country constructed the world's largest dam across the Three Gorges. However, the Great Wall remains one of the most ambitious construction projects ever attempted. Built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644) to keep out invaders from the north, the Great Wall stretches over 13,000 miles and still stands to this day.