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China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a unitary sovereign state in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometres (3.7 million square miles), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area,[j] depending on the source consulted. China also has the most neighbor countries in the world. Governed by the Communist Party of China, it exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.