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Backgrounder: Basic facts about the United States

01-18-2011 15:31 BJT Special Report:Chinese President Hu Jintao Visits US |

BEIJING, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao will pay a state visit to the United States from Jan. 18 to 21 at the invitation of U.S. President Barack Obama.

The following are some basic facts about the United States:

The United States is situated mostly in central North America. It is bordered by Canada to the north, Mexico to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.

The country has a total area of 9,629,000 square km with a population of about 308.7 million and comprises 50 states and a federal district. Washington, D.C. is the capital of the country. The country is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations.

The United States is a highly-industrialized country, which boasts a full-fledged modern market economy with the highest gross domestic product (GDP) and foreign trade value in the world.

The country enjoyed unparalleled economic growth in the 1990s, backed by robust information and biotechnology industries. In 2001, the country's economy slumped into a brief recession before entering a new round of prosperity. In July 2007, the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis occurred and escalated rapidly in 2008, spreading to the rest of the world. To bail the country out of the crisis, the U.S. government has introduced various policies and measures and is making the country's economic and financial situation turn better.

The United States is abundant in natural resources, with its reserves of coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore and sylvite ranking among the top in the world.

In February 1972, then U.S. President Richard Nixon paid an official visit to China, during which the two sides issued the Sino-U.S. Joint Communique in Shanghai, known as the Shanghai Communique.

On Jan. 1, 1979, China and the United States established diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level, after which the two countries carried out extensive cooperation and exchanges in various fields.

In recent years, with the interests of both countries increasingly converged, the two countries have conducted close contacts and coordination on major regional issues as well as global issues like climate change. Despite some frictions and differences, cooperation based on the common interests of both countries always remains as the mainstream in the relations between the two countries.

In 2010, trade between the two countries is expected to reach 380 billion U.S. dollars.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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