Passport/Visa Requirements: US citizens need both a valid passport and visa

Capital: Beijing

Population: 1,338,612,968

Languages: Mandarin is the primary language although it has several regional dialects. In Hong Kong Cantonese and English are most common.

Predominant Religions: China is officially atheist, but Buddhists, Taoists, Lamaists, Muslims and Christians continue to practice their religions.

Time Zone: 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+8GMT), 13 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (+13EST).

Voltage Requirements: 220 volts

Phone Codes: 86, country code; 10, Beijing city code; 21, Shanghai city code; 852, Hong Kong city code