|BASIC INFORMATION |p.2 |
|POPULATION GROWTH |p.8 |
|POPULATION DISTRIBUTION |p.12 |
|INTERNAL MIGRATION |p.14 |
|China Sticks to Population Control Policy in New Century |p.16 |
|President on Population Control, Resources and Environmental |p.17 |
|Protection | |
|LITERATURE |P.19 |
China is a multinational country, with a population composed of a large
number of ethnic and linguistic groups. Almost all its inhabitants are of
Mongoloid stock: thus, the basic classification of the population is not so
much Han ethnic as linguistic. The Han (Chinese), the largest group,
(Chinese) outnumber the minority groups or minority nationalities in every
province or autonomous region except Tibet and Sinkiang. The Han.
therefore, form the great homogeneous mass of the Chinese people, sharing
the same culture, the same traditions, and the same written language. Some
55 minority groups are spread over approximately 60 percent of the total
area of the country. Where these minority groups are found in large
numbers, they have been given some semblance of autonomy and self-
government; autonomous regions of several types have been established on
the basis of the geographical distribution of nationalities.
The government takes great credit for its treatment of these
minorities, including care for their economic well-being, the raising of
their living standards, the provision of educational facilities, the
promotion of their national languages and cultures, and the raising of
their levels of literacy, as well as for the introduction of a written
language where none existed previously. In this connection it may be noted
that, of the 50-odd minority languages, only 20 had written forms before
the coming of the Communists; and only relatively few written languages,
for example, Mongolian. Tibetan. Uighur, Kazakh, Tai, and Korean, were in
everyday use. Other written languages were used chiefly for religious
purposes and by a limited number of persons. Educational institutions for
national minorities are a feature of many large cities, notably Peking,
Wuhan, Ch'eng-tu. and Lan-chou.
Four major language families are represented in China: the Sino-
Tibetan. Altaic. Indo-European, and Austro-Asiatic. The Sino-Tibetan
family, both numerically and in the extent of its distribution, is the most
important; within this family, Han Chinese is the most widely spoken
language. Although unified by their tradition, the written characters of
their language, and many cultural traits, the Han speak several mutually
unintelligible dialects and display marked regional differences. By far the
most important Chinese tongue is the Mandarin, or p'u-l'ung hua, meaning
"ordinary language" or "common language". There are three variants of
Mandarin. The first of these is the northern variant, of which the Peking
dialect, or Peking hua, is typical and which is spoken to the north of the
Tsinling Mountains-Huai River line: as the most widespread Chinese tongue,
it has officially been adopted as the basis for a national language. The
second is the western variant, also known as the Ch'eng-tu or Upper Yangtze
variant; this is spoken in the Szechwan Basin and in adjoining parts of
south-west China. The third is the southern variant, also known as the
Nanking or Lower Yangtze variant, which is spoken in northern Kiangsu and
in southern and central Anhwei Related to Mandarin are the Hunan, or
Hsiang, dialect, spoken by people in central and southern Hunan, and the
Kan dialect. The Hui-chou dialect, spoken in southern Anhwei, forms an
enclave within the southern Mandarin area.
Less intelligible to Mandarin speakers are the dialects of the south-
east coastal region, stretching from Shanghai to Canton. The. most
important of these is the Wu dialect, spoken in southern Kiangsu and in
Chekiang. This is followed, to the south, by the Fu-chou, or Min. dialect
of northern and central Fukien and by the Amoy-Swatow dialect of southern
Fukien and easternmost Kwangtung. The Hakka dialect of southernmost Kiangsi
and north-eastern Kwangtung has a rather scattered pattern of distribution.
Probably the best known of these southern dialects is Cantonese, which is
spoken in central and western Kwangtung and in southern Kwangsi a dialect
area in which a large proportion of overseas Chinese originated.
In addition to the Han, the Manchu and the Hui (Chinese Muslims) also
speak Mandarin and use Chinese characters. Manchu The Hui are descendants
of Chinese who adopted Islam and Hui when it penetrated into China in the
7th century. They are intermingled with the Han throughout much of the
country and are distinguished as Hui only in the area of their heaviest
concentration, the Hui Autonomous Region of Ningsia. Other Hui communities
are organised as autonomous prefectures (tzu-chih-cfiou) in Sinkiang and as
autonomous counties (tzu-chih-hsien) in Tsinghai. Hopeh. Kweichow, and
Yunnan. There has been a growing tendency for the Hui to move from their
scattered settlements into the area of major concentration, possibly, as
firm adherents of Islam, in order to facilitate intermarriage with other
The Manchu declare themselves to be descendants of the Manchu warriors
who invaded China in the 17th century and founded the Ch'ing dynasty (1644-
1911/12). Ancient Manchu is virtually a dead language, and the Manchu have
been completely assimilated into Han Chinese culture. They are found mainly
in North China and the Northeast, but they form no separate autonomous
areas above the commune level. Some say the Koreans of the Northeast, who
form an autonomous prefecture in eastern Kirin, cannot be assigned with
certainty to any of the standard language classifications.
The Chuang-chia, or Chuang, are China's largest minority group. Most of
them live in the Chuang Autonomous Region of Kwangsi. They are also
represented in national autonomous areas in neighbouring Yunnan and
Kwangtung. They depend mainly on the cultivation of rice for their
livelihood In religion they are animists, worshiping particularly the
spirits of their ancestors, The Puyi (Chung-chia) group are concentrated in
southern Kweichow, where they share an autonomous prefecture with the Miao
group. The T'ung group are settled in small communities in Kwangsi and
Kweichow; they share with the Miao group an autonomous prefecture set up in
south-east Kweichow in 1956. The Tai group are concentrated in southern
Yunnan and were established in two autonomous prefectures—one whose
population is related most closely to the Tai of northern Thailand and
another whose Tai are related to the Shan people of Burma. The Li of Hai-
nan Island form a separate group of the Chinese-Tai language branch. They
share with the Miao people a district in southern Hai-nan.
Tibetans are distributed over the entire Tsinghai-Tibetan plateau.
Outside Tibet, Tibetan minorities constitute autonomous prefectures and
autonomous counties. There are five Tibetan autonomous prefectures in
Tsinghai, two in Szechwan, and one each in Yunnan and Kansu. The Tibetans
still keep their tribal characteristics, but few of them are nomadic.
Though essentially farmers, they also raise livestock and, as with other
tribal peoples in the Chinese far west, also hunt to supplement their food
supply. The major religion of Tibet has been Tibetan Buddhism since about
the 17th century; before 1959 the social and political institutions of this
region were still based largely on this faith. Many of the Yi (Lolo) were
concentrated in two autonomous prefectures—one in southern Szechwan and
another in northern Yunnan. They raise crops and sometimes keep flocks and
The Miao-Yao branch, with their major concentration in Kweichow, are
distributed throughout the central south and south-western provinces and
are found also in some small areas in east China. They are subdivided into
many rather distinct groupings. Most of them have now lost their
traditional tribal traits through the influence of the Han, and it is only
their language that serves to distinguish them as tribal peoples. Two-
thirds of the Miao are settled in Kweichow, where they share two autonomous
prefectures with the T'ung and Puyi groups. The Yao people are concentrated
in the Kwangsi-Kwangtung-Hunan border area.
In some areas of China, especially in the south-west, there are many
different ethnic groups that are geographically intermixed. Because of
language barriers and different economic structures, these peoples all
maintain their own cultural traits and live in relative isolation from one
another. In some places the Han are active in the towns and in the fertile
river valleys, while the minority peoples depend for their livelihood on
more primitive forms of agriculture or on grazing their livestock on
hillsides and mountains. The vertical distribution of these peoples is in
zones usually the higher they live, the less complex
their way of life. In former times they did not mix well with one
another, but now, with highways penetrating deep into their settlements,
they have better opportunities to communicate with other groups and are
also enjoying better living conditions.
While the minorities of the Sino-Tibetan language family are thus
concentrated in the south and south-west, the second major language family
the Altaic is represented entirely by minorities in north-western and
northern China. The Altaic family falls into three branches: Turkic,
Mongolian, and Manchu-Tungus. The Turkic language branch is by far the most
numerous of the three Altaic branches. The Uighur, who are Muslims, form
the largest Turkic minority. They are distributed over chains of oases in
the Tarim Basin and in the Dzungarian Basin of Sinkiang. They mainly depend
on irrigation agriculture for a livelihood. Other Turkic minorities in
Sinkiang are splinter groups of nationalities living in neighbouring
nations of Central Asia, including the Kazakh and Kyrgyz. All these groups
are adherents of Islam. The Kazakh and Kyrgyz are pastoral nomadic peoples,
still showing traces of tribal organisation. The Kazakh live mainly in
north-western and north-eastern Sinkiang as herders, retiring to their
camps in the valleys when winter comes; they are established in the 1-li-ha-
sa-k'o (Hi Kazakh) Autonomous Prefecture. The Kyrgyz are high-mountain
pastoralists and are concentrated mainly in the westernmost part of
The Mongolians, who are by nature a nomadic people are the most widely
dispersed of the minority nationalities of China. Most of them are
inhabitants of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Small Mongolian and
Mongolian-related groups of people are scattered throughout the vast area
from Sinkiang through Tsinghai and Kansu and into the provinces of the
Northeast (Kirin, Heilungkiang, and Liaoning). In addition to the Inner
Mongolia Autonomous Region, the Mongolians are established in two
autonomous prefectures in Sinkiang, a joint autonomous prefecture with
Tibetans and Kazakh in Tsinghai, and several autonomous counties in the
western area of the Northeast. Some of them retain their tribal divisions
and are pastoralists, but large numbers of Mongolians engage in sedentary
agriculture, and some of them combine the growing of crops with herding.
The tribes, who are dependent upon animal husbandry, travel each year
around the pastureland—grazing sheep, goats, horses, cattle, and camels—and
then return to their point of departure. A few take up hunting and fur
trapping in order to supplement their income. The Mongolian language
consists of several dialects, but in religion it is a unifying force; most
Mongolians are believers in Tibetan Buddhism. A few linguistic minorities
in China belong to neither the Sino-Tibetan nor the Altaic language family.
The Tajik of westernmost Sinkiang are related to the population of
Tajikistan and belong to the Iranian branch of the Indo-European family.
The Kawa people of the China-Burma border area belong to the Mon-Khmer
branch of the Austro-Asiatic family.
Historical records show that, as long ago as 800 âñ, in the early years
of the Chou dynasty, China was already inhabited by about 13,700,000
people. Until the last years The census of the Hsi (Western) Han dynasty,
about ad 2, comparatively accurate and complete registers of population
were kept, and the total population in that year was given as 59,600,000.
This first Chinese census was intended mainly as a preparatory step toward
the levy of a poll tax. Many members of the population, aware that a census
might work to their disadvantage, managed to avoid reporting; this explains
why all subsequent population figures were unreliable until 1712. In that
year the Emperor declared that an increased population would not be subject
to tax; population figures thereafter gradually became more accurate.
During the later years of the Pei (Northern) Sung dynasty, in the early
12th century, when China was already in the heyday of its economic and
cultural development, the total population began to exceed 100,000,000.
Later, uninterrupted and large-scale invasions from the north reduced the
country's population. When national unification returned with the advent of
the Ming dynasty, the census was at first strictly conducted. The
population of China, according to a registration compiled in 1381, was
quite close to the one registered in ad 2.
From the 15th century onward, the population increased steadily; this
increase was interrupted by wars and natural disasters in the mid-17th
century and slowed by the internal strife and foreign invasions in the
century that preceded the Communist takeover in 1949. During the 18th
century China enjoyed a lengthy period of peace and prosperity,
characterized by continual territorial expansion and an accelerating
population increase. In 1762 China had a population of more than
200,000.000. and by 1834 the population had doubled. It should be noted
that during this period there was no concomitant increase in the amount of
cultivable land; from this time on. land hunger became a growing problem.
After 1949 sanitation and medical care greatly improved, epidemics were
brought under control, and the younger generation became much healthier.
Public hygiene also improved, resulting in a death rate that declined
faster than the birth rate and a rate of population growth that speeded up
again. Population reached 1,000.000.000 in the early 1980s.
Now China has a population of 1,295.33 million. Compared with the
population of 1,133.68 million from the 1990 population census (with zero
hour of July 1, 1990 as the reference time), the total population of the 31
provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities and the servicemen of the
mainland of China increased by 132.15 million persons, or 11.66 percent
over the past 10 years and 4 months. The average annual growth was 12.79
million persons, or a growth rate of 1.07 percent.
The continually growing population poses major problems for the
government. Faced with difficulties in obtaining an adequate food supply
and in combating the generally low standard of living, the authorities
sponsored Drive a drive for birth control in 1955-58. A second attempt at
for birth population control began in 1962, when advocacy of late control
marriages and the use of contraceptives became prominent parts of
the program. The outbreak of the Cultural Revolution interrupted this
second family-planning drive, but in 1970 a third and much stricter program
was initiated. This program attempted to make late marriage and family
limitation obligatory, and it culminated in 1979 in efforts to implement a
policy of one child per family.
Other developments affected the rate of population growth more than the
first two official family-planning campaigns. For example, although family
planning had been rejected by Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong
(Mao Tse-tung) in 1958, the Great Leap Forward that he initiated in that
year (see below The economy) caused a massive famine that resulted in more
deaths than births and a reduction of population in 1960. By 1963 recovery
from the famine produced the highest rate of population increase since
1949, at more than 3 percent, although the second birth-control campaign
had already begun.
Since the initiation of the third family-planning program in 1970,
however, state efforts have been much more effective. China's population
growth rate is now unusually low for a developing country, although the
huge size of its population still results in a large annual net population
Below I described the distribution of China’s population by different
I. Sex Composition.
Of the people enumerated in the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and
municipalities and servicemen of the mainland of China, 653.55 million
persons or 51.63 percent were males, while 612.28 million persons or 48.37
percent were females. The sex ratio (female=100) was 106.74.
II. Age Composition.
Of the people enumerated in the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and
municipalities and servicemen of the mainland of China, 289.79 million
persons were in the age group of 0-14, accounting for 22.89 percent of the
total population; 887.93 million persons in the age group of 15-64,
accounting for 70.15 percent and 88.11 million persons in the age group of
65 and over, accounting for 6.96 percent. As compared with the results of
the 1990 population census, the share of people in the age group of 0-14
was down by 4.80 percentage points, and that for people aged 65 and over
was up by 1.39 percentage points.
III. Composition of Nationalities.
Of the people enumerated in the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and
municipalities and servicemen of the mainland of China, 1,159.40 million
persons or 91.59 percent were of Han nationality, and 106.43 million
persons or 8.41 percent were of various national minorities. Compared with
the 1990 population census, the population of Han people increased by
116.92 million persons, or 11.22 percent; while the population of various
national minorities increased by 15.23 million persons, or 16.70 percent.
IV. Composition of Educational Attainment.
Of the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities and servicemen
of the mainland of China, 45.71 million persons had finished university
education (referring to junior college and above); 141.09 million persons
had received senior secondary education (including secondary technical
school education); 429.89 million persons had received junior secondary
education and 451.91 million persons had had primary education (the
educated persons included graduates and students in schools).
Compared with the 1990 population census, the following changes had taken
place in the number of people with various educational attainments of every
100,000 people: number of people with university education increased to
3,611 from 1,422; number of people with senior secondary education
increased to 11,146 from 8,039; number of people with junior secondary
education increased from 23,344 to 33,961; and number of people with
primary education decreased from 37,057 to 35,701.
Of the people enumerated in the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and
municipalities and servicemen of the mainland of China, 85.07 million
persons were illiterate (i.e. people over 15 years of age who can not read
or can read very little). Compared with the 15.88 percent of illiterate
people in the 1990 population census, the proportion had dropped to 6.72
percent, or down by 9.16 percentage points.
V. Urban and Rural Population.
In the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities of the mainland
of China, there were 455.94 million urban residents, accounting for 36.09
percent of the total population; and that of rural residents stood at
807.39 million, accounting for 63.91 percent. Compared with the 1990
population census, the proportion of urban residents rose by 9.86
Following are the results from the advance tabulation on the geographic
distribution of population from the fifth national population census of
|Region |Population (million) |
|Beijing Municipality |13.82 |
|Tianjin Municipality |10.01 |
|Hebei Province |67.44 |
|Shanxi Province |32.97 |
|Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region|23.76 |
|Liaoning Province |42.38 |
|Jilin Province |27.28 |
|Heilongjiang Province |36.89 |
|Shanghai Municipality |16.74 |
|Jiangsu Province |74.38 |
|Zhejiang Province |46.77 |
|Anhui Province |59.86 |
|Fujian Province |34.71 |
|(excluding the population in | |
|Jinmen and Mazu and a few other | |
|islands) | |
|Jiangxi Province |41.40 |
|Shandong Province |90.79 |
|Henan Province |92.56 |
|Hubei Province |60.28 |
|Hunan Province |64.40 |
|Guangdong Province |86.42 |
|Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region|44.89 |
|Hainan Province |7.87 |
|Chongqing Municipality |30.90 |
|Sichuan Province |83.29 |
|Guizhou Province |35.25 |
|Yunnan Province |42.88 |
|Tibet Autonomous Region |2.62 |
|Shaanxi Province |36.05 |
|Gansu Province |25.62 |
|Qinghai Province |5.18 |
|Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region |5.62 |
|Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region|19.25 |
|Hongkong Special Administrative |6.78 |
|Region | |
|Macao Special Administrative |0.44 |
|Region | |
|Taiwan Province and Jinmen, Mazu|22.28 |
|and a few other islands of | |
|Fujian Province | |
|Servicemen |2.50 |
Because of complex natural conditions, the population of China is quite
unevenly distributed. Population density varies strikingly, with the
greatest contrast occurring between the eastern half of China and the lands
of the west and the north-west. Exceptionally high population densities
occur in the Yangtze Delta, in the Pearl River Delta, and on the Ch'eng-tu
Plain of the western Szechwan Basin. Most of the high-density areas are
coterminous with the alluvial plains on which intensive agriculture is
In contrast, the isolated, extensive western and frontier regions,
which are much larger than any European nation, are sparsely populated.
Extensive uninhabited areas include the extremely high northern part of
Tibet, the sandy wastes of the central Tarim and eastern Dzungarian basins
in Sinkiang, and the barren desert and mountains east of Lop Nor.
In the 1950s the government became increasingly aware of the importance
of the frontier regions and initiated a drive for former members of the
military and young intellectuals to settle there. Consequently, the
population has increased, following the construction of new railways and
highways that traverse the wasteland; a number of small mining and
industrial towns have also sprung up.
Migrations have occurred often throughout the history of China.
Sometimes they took place because a famine or political disturbance would
cause the depopulation of an area already intensively cultivated, after
which people in adjacent crowded regions would move in to occupy the
deserted land. Sometime between 1640 and 1646 a peasant rebellion broke out
in Szechwan, and there was a great loss of life. People from Hupeh and
Shensi then entered Szechwan to fill the vacuum, and the movement continued
until the 19th century. Again, during the middle of the 19th century, the
Taiping Rebellion caused another large-scale disruption of population. Many
people in the Lower Yangtze were massacred by the opposing armies, and the
survivors suffered from starvation. After the defeat of the rebellion,
people from Hupeh, Hunan, and Honan moved into the depopulated areas of
Kiangsu. Anhwei. and Chekiang, where farmland was lying uncultivated for
want of labour. Similar examples are provided by the Nien Rebellion in the
Huai River region in the 1850s and '60s, the Muslim rebellions in Shensi
and Kansu in the 1860s and '70s, and the great Shensi and Shansi famine of
In modern history the domestic movement of the Han to Manchuria (now
known as the Northeast) is the most Migration significant. Even before
the establishment of the Ch'ing to dynasty in 1644, Manchu soldiers
launched raids into Manchuria North China and captured Han labourers,
who were then obliged to settle in Manchuria. In 1668 the area was closed
to further Han migration by an Imperial decree, but this ban was never
effectively enforced. By 1850. Han settlers had secured a position of
dominance in their colonisation of Manchuria. The ban was later partially'
lifted, partly because the Manchu rulers were harassed by disturbances
among the teeming population of China proper and partly because the Russian
Empire time and again tried to invade sparsely populated and thus weakly
defended Manchuria. The ban was finally removed altogether in 1878, but
settlement was encouraged only after 1900. The influx of people into
Manchuria was especially pronounced after 1923, and incoming farmers
rapidly brought a vast area of virgin prairie under cultivation. About two-
thirds of the immigrants entered Manchuria by sea, and one-third came
overland. Because of the severity of the winter weather, migration in the
early stage was highly seasonal, usually starting in February and
continuing through the spring. After the autumn harvest a large proportion
of the farmers returned south. As Manchuria developed into the principal
industrial region of China, however, large urban centres arose, and the
nature of the migration changed. No longer was the movement primarily one
of agricultural resettlement; instead it became essentially a rural-to-
urban movement of interregional magnitude. After 1949 the new government's
efforts to foster planned migration into interior and border regions
produced noticeable results. Although the total number of people involved
in such migrations is not known, it has been estimated that by 1980 about
25 to 35 percent of the population of such regions and provinces as Inner
Mongolia, Sinkiang, Heilungkiang. and Tsinghai consisted of recent
migrants, and migration had raised the percentage of Han in Sinkiang from
about 10 to 40 percent of the total. Efforts to control the growth of large
cities led to the resettlement of 20,000,000 urbanites in the countryside
after the failure of the Great Leap Forward and of 17,-000,000 urban-
educated youths in the decade after 1968. Within the next decade, however,
the majority of these "rusticated youths" were allowed to return to the
cities, and new migration from rural areas pushed urban population totals
upward once again.
China Sticks to Population Control Policy in New Century
China will continue its efforts to control the growth of the population
in the 21 century, said Zhang Weiqing, minister of the State Family
Planning Commission on November 2, 2000.
At the annual board meeting of the Partners in Population and
Development by South-South Cooperation, which opened Thursday in Beijing,
Zhang said that keeping a low birth rate is the key task of China' s family
planning program in the coming decade.
He said that China has made it a goal to keep the population below 1.4
billion until 2010 on the basis of scientific feasibility study.
In order to realise the goal, China is persisting in popularisation and
education about family planning and contraception, and it will make efforts
to build a perfect population control system suitable for China's
situation, said Zhang.
According to Zhang, population will continue to be a pressing issue for
China in the 21st century. The annual net population growth will be more
than 10 million at the start of the new century. The population will not
decline until it reaches a peak of 1.6 billion in the middle of the 21st
century, Zhang said.
At present, China has a large work-age population, which puts a heavy
burden on employment. The work-age population will peak at 900 million in
the coming decades.
In addition, Zhang predicts that the number of senior citizens over the
age of 60 in China will reach 130 million at the end of this year, and will
exceed 357 million in 2030, and 439 million in 2050, or a quarter of the
Zhang said that China will stick to family planning policy for a long
time depending on future population situation.
President on Population Control, Resources and Environmental Protection
Population control, resources and environmental protection will be
three crucial issues in China's march toward becoming a great power in the
new century, President Jiang Zemin told a seminar held by the Communist
Party of China Central Committee Sunday.
Jiang said that governmental decisions concerning the country's
population control, resources and environmental protection demand concerted
efforts and cooperation from all walks of life.
Jiang warned that although marked progress had been made during the
1996-2000 period, China is still facing many problems and challenges
concerning population, resources and environmental protection in the coming
"These issues are directly related to the country's overall
development. Failure in handling them may postpone the achievement of
China's set goals in terms of social and economic development," said Jiang.
Jiang said that the next few years will be a crucial stage for China to
stabilise its birth rate at the current low level and improve population
When dealing with population issues, governments at all levels should
better serve the people's needs, and turn the country's birth control
efforts into a cause benefiting China's huge populace, Jiang remarked.
Jiang also said that resource-related works should better serve the
country's sustainable development. Protection and rational utilisation of
resources are to be granted equal importance by administration departments.
Meanwhile, the president called for the establishment of a strict
resources administration mechanism, and urged the transformation of the
traditional resource-utilising norms, to save natural resources from being
Jiang suggested the use of new technologies and a complete monitoring
system to curb the country's long-standing environmental pollution, while
guaranteeing healthy economic development.
Also in his speech, Jiang stressed the importance of improving the
regulation of China's scarce water resources and the further construction
of irrigation works.
1. NATIONAL BUREAU OF STATISTICS PEOPLE'S REPUPLIC OF CHINA.
2. GREAT BRITISH ENCYCLOPAEDIA
3. CHINEESE MAGAZINES (ENGLISH VARIANT)