China has one of the world’s oldest people and continuous civilizations, consisting of states and cultures dating back more than six millennia. Hundreds of ethnic groups have existed in China throughout its history. The largest ethnic group in China by far is the Han. This group, however, is internally diverse and can be further divided into smaller ethnic groups that share similar traits. Most languages in China belong to the Sino-Tibetan language family, spoken by 29 ethnicities. There are also several major dialects within the Chinese language itself. The most spoken dialects are Mandarin (spoken by over 70% of the population), Wu, Yue (Cantonese), Min, Xiang, Gan, and Hakka.
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