FAO in China

China at a glance


The People’s Republic of China is located in the eastern part of the Asian continent, on the western of the Pacific Ocean. It is a vast land, covering 9.6 million square kilometers. Additional offshore territory, including territorial waters, special economic areas, and the continental shelf, totals over 3 million square kilometers, bringing China’s overall territory to almost 13 million square kilometers.


China is a unified nation consisting of many different ethnic groups. Fifty-six different ethnic groups make up the great Chinese national family. By November 2020, the total number of Chinese population at the mainland reached 1,411.78 million. Of this total, rural permanent residents numbered 509.79 million, accounting for 36.11 percent.

Administrative Division

According to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, the country’s administrative units are currently based on a three-tier system.

  1. The country is divided into provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government
  2. Provinces and autonomous regions are divided into autonomous prefectures, counties, autonomous counties and cities
  3. Counties, autonomous counties and cities are divided into townships, ethnic minority townships, and towns.

At the moment, China has 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities directly under the Central Government and 2 special administrative regions.


China, a big agricultural country endowed with rich agricultural resources, has a long history of farming and the tradition of intensive cultivation as well as a huge rural population.

The Chinese government has always placed high priority on the development of agriculture. Since 1978, China has carried out step by step the policy of reform and opening up, bringing along a quickened pace in agricultural reform and development. Particularly, in recent years the government has abided by giving first priority to the work on agriculture, rural areas and farmers.

China has succeeded in producing one fourth of world’s grain and feeding one fifth of world’s population with less than 10 percent of world arable land, which is great achievement in pursuit of food and nutrition security not only in China but also in the world. Currently, China ranks first in the world in terms of the production of cereals, cotton, fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, eggs and fishery products.

Thanks to the great importance attached to opening agriculture to the outside world, China has increasingly closer links with other countries in this field. Now, the country has built up agricultural exchange and cooperation relations with some major international agricultural and financing organizations as well as more than 140 countries. Through south-south cooperation, China has been actively providing assistance to other developing countries in support of local agricultural development.

China Country Context Analysis during the 14th Five-Year Period (2021-2025)

With the remarkable development achievements and against the backdrop of difficulties, China is embarking on a new journey of Rural Revitalization during the 14th Five-Year development period from 2021 to 2025, with a vision of pursuing innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, improving people’s livelihood in a comprehensive and sustainable way, and achieving high-quality development. Within this five-year development period, China is committed to building a new development paradigm of dual circulation, deepening the supply-side structural reform and promoting rural revitalization and “high-quality development”.

As agriculture, rural development and farmers’ livelihoods are concerned, the 14th Five-Year period from 2021 to 2025 will witness a transition from poverty reduction to rural revitalization, for which China will continue to consolidate poverty alleviation outcomes, promote rural revitalization in areas that have shaken off poverty, and strengthen assistance for low-income rural residents on a regular basis. Moving towards rural revitalization, China is determined to build the country’s rural areas with "thriving businesses, pleasant living environment, social equity and civility, effective governance and prosperity”. By 2025, major achievements will be made in China’s agricultural and rural modernization, with the agricultural infrastructure being firmer. More supplies of food and other important agricultural products will be guaranteed, with the annual overall grain output exceeding 650 million tons. Substantial progress will be achieved in rural environments, with greater coordination in urban-rural and regional development.