Characteristics of the Chinese World

Chinese World region Map

The data from the Country Similarity Index groups just China and Taiwan into region 7-A, the Chinese World. Here are some of the traits these two countries share:

DEMOGRAPHICS
Over 90% of the people in both Taiwan and China belong to the Han Chinese ethnic group. Their education levels and incomes are above the world average. Most people work in the service sector, but a significant percentage of the population works in industry too. Both countries have many more males than females. Their average height and weight are close to the world average.

By Nabil Zhang

CULTURE
China and Taiwan are especially close culturally. Both countries use Mandarin Chinese as their official language. However, China uses simplified Chinese characters, while Taiwan uses traditional Chinese characters. The people in both countries practice both Mahayana Buddhism and traditional Chinese folk religions. However people from China tend to be less religious. Both countries celebrate the Lunar New Year, Dragon Boat Festival, and Mid-Autumn Festival. Their diets are very similar. Both countries eat a lot of meat, especially pork, chicken, and fish. Eggs are another big part of their diet. Rice and wheat are their two primary staple grains. Both countries drink about the same amount of alcohol and prefer spirits. One big difference is that Taiwan’s suicide rate is much higher than China’s. Both countries are interested in soccer and basketball. However, baseball is much more popular in Taiwan.

Photo by Jakub Halun

GOVERNMENT
One category where China and Taiwan are quite different is their government. While Taiwan is a two-party democracy, China is a one-party state. There is a lot of censorship in China. In contrast, Taiwan has a free press and little censorship. However, there are some things their governments have in common as well. Both countries are technically semi-presidential systems. They also have unicameral legislatures. Their legal systems both follow Civil Law. The laws in Taiwan and China are also similar. Abortion is not restricted, while gun laws are extremely strict. Both countries still use the death penalty as well. However, Taiwan has legalized same sex marriage.

photo by Ekrem Canli

INFRASTRUCTURE
The vast majority of people in both countries have access to electricity and drinking water. Both countries drive on the right side of the road. They also have well developed railroad infrastructure, although their typical track gauges are different. The biggest source of energy in both countries is coal. However, they use different electrical outlets, frequencies, and voltages. Taiwan also has faster internet speeds and more advanced medical infrastructure.

Photo by Cheng-en Cheng

GEOGRAPHY
Both countries border the Pacific Ocean and are located in the same time zone. Although they both have subtropical areas, China’s climate is much more diverse. It also has temperate and desert regions. On average China is much colder and drier than Taiwan. The most common crop in both countries is rice, but China produces more corn and wheat. In addition, both countries are quite mountainous. They are densely populated and their cities tend to be full of skyscrapers.

photo by Dariusz Jemielniak

The Chinese World’s Most Representative CountryChina (69.0 regional average)

Most Similar Region to the Chinese World: North Pacific Region (7-B)

(Statistics as of 2020)

photo by Siyuan Chen

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