The People's Republic of China has over 1.3 billion citizens and is the world's second-largest country by land area. It is governed by the Communist Party of China and has the world's fastest-growing major economy and the second-largest economy in the world. China is the world's largest exporter of goods and the second-largest importer. Over 70% of the population speaks Mandarin Chinese.
China has a rich cultural heritage; Medieval China and the West were linked by the Silk Road, a key factor in cultural and economic exchange and growth. The development of China was highly influenced by its dynastic history as well as Confucianism. Although most of the country is irreligious, Buddhism, Taoism, and various Chinese folk religions are the country's dominant faiths. China hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, receiving 51 gold medals--more than any other participating country.