Chinese people are the various individuals or groups of people associated with China (or Greater China), either by reason of ancestry or heredity, ethnicity, nationality, citizenship, place of residence, or additional affiliations.
Ancestry or heredity
A number of ethnic groups within China, as well as people elsewhere with ancestry in the region, might be referred to as Chinese people.
Han Chinese, the largest ethnic group in China, are often referred to as "Chinese" or "ethnic Chinese" in English. Han Chinese additionally form a majority or large minority in additional countries, and might comprise as much as nineteen percent of the global human population.
Other ethnic groups in China include the Zhuang, Hui, Manchu, and Uyghurs, among a large number of others. The People's Republic of China (PRC) officially recognises 56 distinct ethnic groups, a few of whom live in special administrative regions of the country. The Republic of China (ROC) officially recognises 14 tribes of Taiwanese aborigines, who together with unrecognised tribes comprise about two percent of the country's population. The list of ethnic groups in China includes the major ethnic groups of China (PRC) and Taiwan.
During the Qing dynasty the term "Chinese people" (Chinese: 中國之人 Zhōngguó zhī rén; Manchu: Dulimbai gurun i niyalma) was used by the Qing government to refer to all subjects of the empire, including Han, Manchu, and Mongols.
Zhonghua minzu (simplified Chinese: 中华民族; traditional Chinese: 中華民族; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Mínzú), the "Chinese nation", is a supra-ethnic concept which includes all 56 ethnic groups living in China that are officially recognised by the government of the People's Republic of China. It includes established ethnic groups who have lived within the borders of China after at least the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). This term replaced zhongguo renmin (Chinese: 中国人民), "Chinese people", the term used throughout the life of Mao Zedong. The term zhonghua minzu was used by the Republic of China from 1911–1949 to refer to a subset of five ethnic groups in China.
Nationality, citizenship, or residence
The Nationality law of the People's Republic of China regulates nationality within the PRC. A person obtains nationality either by birth when at least one parent is of Chinese nationality or by naturalization. All persons holding nationality of the People's Republic of China are citizens of the Republic.
The Resident Identity Card is the official form of identification for residents of the People's Republic of China.
Within the People's Republic of China, a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport or Macao Special Administrative Region passport might be issued to Chinese citizens who're residents of Hong Kong or Macao, respectively.
The Nationality law of the Republic of China regulates nationality within the Republic of China (Taiwan). A person obtains nationality either by birth or by naturalization. A person with at least one parent who's a national of the Republic of China, or born in the ROC to stateless parents qualifies for nationality by birth.
The relationship between Taiwanese nationality and Chinese nationality is disputed.
The National Identification Card is an identity document issued to people who have household registration in Taiwan. The Resident Certificate is an identification card issued to residents of the Republic of China who don't hold a National Identification Card.
Overseas Chinese refers to people of Chinese ethnicity or national heritage who live outside of the People's Republic of China or Taiwan as the result of the continuing diaspora. People with one or more Chinese ancestors might consider themselves overseas Chinese. Such people vary widely in terms of cultural assimilation. In a few areas throughout the world ethnic enclaves known as Chinatowns are home to populations of Chinese ancestry.
In Southeast Asia, Chinese people call themselves 華人 (Huárén), which is distinguished from (中國人) (Zhōngguórén) or the citizens of the Peoples' Republic of China or the Republic of China. This is especially so in the Chinese communities of Southeast Asia.