While this China-U.S. map and population chart is a perfect example of why one picture is worth a thousand words, we should all be aware of a few additional points that can perhaps best be made in prose.
First of all, we have to recognize that the question of what constitutes “China” is hotly disputed. During the twentieth century—and most vividly since the Communist Party’s victory in 1949, the status of Taiwan and other offshore islands has been a major political issue between Communists and Nationalists. Chinese rule in Tibet has led to major charges of religious and cultural persecution. Various small islands (important particularly for oil and fishing rights) are the subject of disputes between China and Vietnam, and China and Japan. China’s sovereignty is by no means settled.