A Brief Introduction of China
China is located in eastern Asia, bounded
by the Pacific to the east. The third largest country
in the world after Canada and Russia, it has an area
of 9.6 million square kilometers, occupying one-fifteenth
of the world's landmass. It begins at the confluence
of the Heilong and Wusuli Rivers (135 degrees and 5
minutes east longitude) in the east and extends to the
Pamirs west of Wuqia County in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous
Region (73 degrees and 40 minutes east longitude) in
the west, a distance of about 5,200 kilometers.
From the north, it stretches from the midstream
of the Heilong River north of Mohe (53 degrees and 31
minutes north latitude) to the southernmost island of
Zengmu'ansha in the South China Sea (4 degrees and 15
minutes north latitude), with about 5,500 kilometers
The Chinese border stretches over 22,000
kilometers on land and its coastline extends well over
18,000 kilometers, washed by the waters of the Bohai,
the Huanghai, the East China and the South China Seas.
The Bohai Sea is China's only inland sea.
There are 6,536 islands larger than 500
square meters, the largest being Taiwan, with a total
area of about 36,000 square kilometers, and the second,
Hainan. The South China Sea Islands are China's
southernmost island group.
At present, China was divided into 23 provinces,
5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities directly under
the Central Government, and 2 special administrative
region (Hong Kong and Macau).
China is characterized by a continental
climate. The latitudes span nearly 50 degrees, its southern
part is in the tropical and subtropical zones, and its
northern part near the frigid zones. The northern part
of Heilongjiang province has long winters but no summers;
while Hainan Island has long summers but no winters.
The Huaihe River valley is marked by distinctive seasonal
changes, but it is spring all year round in the south
of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. China's high tundra zone
is situated in Qinghai-Tibet, where the temperature
is low in all four seasons.
China's land drops off in the escarpments eastward to
the ocean, letting in humid air currents and leading
many rivers eastward. Among the rivers totalling 220,000
kilometres in length in China; the Yangtze and the Yellow
are the two major ones.
China has a diversity of land formations
including mountains, hills, highlands, plains and basins.
The highlands and hill regions account for 65 percent
of the country's land mass. The highest mountain peak
is Qomolangma (Everest), 8,848 metres above sea level;
the lowest point is the Turpan Basin, 154 metres below
China, with a recorded history of 5,000 years, was one
of the world's earliest civilizations. China was one
of the countries where economic activity first developed.
As early as 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, people in the
Yellow River valley had already started farming and
raising livestock. In the 21st century B.C., China established
a slave society with the founding of the Xia Dynasty,
thereby writing a finale to long years of primitive
In 221 B.C., Qin Shihuang established China's
first centralized autocracy, the Qin Dynasty, thereby
ushering Chinese history into feudalism, which endured
in a succession of dynasties until the Opium War of
The Bourgeois Democratic Revolution of 1911
led by Sun Yat-sen toppled the rule of the Qing Dynasty,
putting an end to more than 2,000 years of feudal monarchical
The People's Republic of China was founded
on October 1st, 1949. Today, China is implementing reform
and open polices, and has established a socialist market
China is a multi-racial country with 56 ethnic groups.
In the long course of its development, all the nationalities
have joined in the effort to create the great culture
that China represents.
Apart from the Han nationality, the
other 55 ethnic groups, with a total of more than 96.5
million people, constitute roughly 8.04% of the total
population. Those with more than one million people
are: Zhuang, Hui, Uyghur, Yi, Miao, Manchu, Tibetan,
Mongolian, Tujia, Bouyei, Korean, Dong, Yao, Bai and
The constitution guarantees all non-Han
groups certain national rights and privileges, such
as the exemption from the one-child-policy, lower academic
requirements for entering colleges and universities,
tax breaks and government subsidies.
Mandarin is commonly used in the modern China. It is
one of the five working languages designated by the
United Nations. The majority of the 55 other ethnic
groups have their own languages. There are also many
dialects around the country. As a written language,
Chinese has been used for 6,000 years.
China is a multi-religious country, where Taoism, Buddhism,
Islam and Christianity are practised. Freedom of belief
is a government policy, and normal religious activities
are protected by the constitution.
Chinese family names came into being some 5,000 years
ago. There are more than 5,000 family names in China,
of which 200 or 300 are popular. The order of Chinese
names is family name first. For example, the family
name of a person called Li Ming is Li.
China is divided into 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions,
4 municipalities under the direct jurisdiction of the
Central Government, and two special administrative regions.
The Capital of the People's Republic of China is Beijing.
The 23 provinces are Hebei, Shanxi, Liaoning,
Jilin, Heilongjiang, Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Shandong,
Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Fujian, Taiwan, Henan,
Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan and
The five autonomous regions are Inner Mongolia,
Ningxia, Xinjiang, Guangxi and Tibet. The four municipalities
are Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing. Hong Kong
and Macao are special administrative regions.
Brief Intro. of China