The EUROSCI Network Centre in China was created to better serve the needs of Chinese students and scholars. The People's Republic of China (PRC) is the world's most populous country, with around 1.4 billion inhabitants. Its economy, since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, has been one of the world's fastest-growing, with annual growth rates consistently above 6 percent. As of 2016, China had the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP, and was the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. A recognized nuclear power, with the world's largest standing army, and the second-largest defense budget, the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. China is also a leading member of other international organizations such as the WTO, BRICS, and the G20.