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When the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) assumed power in October 1949 China was one of the poorest nations in the world and so weak it had been conquered in the late 1930s and early 1940s by its neighbor Japan, a country one-10th its size. More than five decades later, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is an emerging economic, political, and major military power with the world’s fastest growing economy and largest population (1.35 billion in 2015). A member of the United Nations Security Council since the early 1970s and a nuclear power, China wields enormous influence in the world community while at home what was once a nation of largely poverty-stricken peasants and urban areas with little-to-no industry has been transformed into an increasingly urbanized society with a growing middle class and an industrial and service sector that leads the world in such industries as steel and textiles while becoming a major player in computers and telecommunications. All the while the country has remained under the tight political control of a one-party system dominated by the Chinese Communist Party that despite periods of intense political conflict and turmoil governs China with a membership in 2014 of 88 million people—the largest single organization on earth.
This third edition of Historical Dictionary of**the People's Republic of China contains a chronology, an introduction, appendixes, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 700 cross-referenced entries on important personalities, politics, economy, foreign relations, religion, and culture. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about China.