China is a sovereign state in East Asia. With a population of over 1.381 billion, it is the world's most populous state. The state is governed by the Communist Party of China based in the capital of Beijing. It exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), two mostly self-governing special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau), and claims sovereignty over Taiwan. China is a great power and a major regional power within Asia, and has been characterized as a potential superpower.