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As a result, under current President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, the PRC has initiated policies to address these issues of equitable distribution of resources, but the outcome remains to be seen.
For much of the PRC's population in major urban centres, living standards have seen extremely large improvements, and freedom continues to expand, but political controls remain tight and rural areas poor.
However, they were eventually put down on 4 June when PLA troops and vehicles entered and forcibly cleared the square, resulting in numerous casualties.
This event was widely reported and brought worldwide condemnation and sanctions against the government.
There have been some moves toward political liberalization, in that open contested elections are now held at the village and town levels, and that legislatures have shown some assertiveness from time to time.
However, the Party retains effective control over government appointments: in the absence of meaningful opposition, the CPC wins by default most of the time.
In contrast, mainland China's eastern seaboard is low-lying and has a 14,500-kilometre long coastline bounded on the southeast by the South China Sea and on the east by the East China Sea beyond which lies Taiwan, Korea, and Japan.
Since then, the PRC has been involved in disputes with the ROC over issues of sovereignty and the political status of Taiwan.President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji, both former mayors of Shanghai, led post-Tiananmen PRC in the 1990s.Under Jiang Zemin's ten years of administration, the PRC's economic performance pulled an estimated 150 million peasants out of poverty and sustained an average annual GDP growth rate of 11.2%.China is a major power and the world's third largest economy nominally (or second largest by PPP) and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, as well as being a member of multilateral organizations including the WTO, G-20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army with the second-largest defense budget.