China is the world’s most populous country with a continuous culture stretching back nearly 4000 years.

Many of the elements that make up the foundation of the modern world originated in China including paper gunpowder credit banking the compass and paper money.

After stagnating for more than two decades under the rigid authoritarianism of early communist rule under its late leader Chairman Mao China now has the world’s fastest-growing economy and is undergoing what has been described as a second industrial revolution.