China is a country in east Asia. It is the world’s most populous country with a population of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical time zones and borders 14 different countries, the second most of any country in the world after Russia. Covering an area of approximately 9.6 million sq km, it is the world’s third or fourth largest country. The country consists of 23 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two Special Administrative Regions (Hong Kong and Macau). The national capital is Beijing.