China or People's Republic of China is a state in East Asia, which, with over 1 billion and 400 million inhabitants, is the second most populous state in the world. China is a people's republic in which power is exercised by the Chinese Communist Party. The government is based in the capital Beijing and exercises sovereignty over twenty-two provinces, five autonomous regions, four directly controlled municipalities and two partially autonomous special administrative regions.
China also claims sovereignty over Taiwan, which in turn claims sovereignty over mainland China. The island has remained since 1949 under the control of the government of the Republic of China, which also previously governed mainland China, and is claimed by the People's Republic of China as the province of Taiwan. Taiwan's complex political condition is one of the consequences of the Chinese civil war, which preceded the founding of the People's Republic of China.