Location Description: Located in Southeast Asia along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean, China is the world's third largest country, after Russia and Canada. With an area of 9.6 million square kilometers and a coastline of 18,000 kilometers, its shape on the map is like a rooster.
China is an ancient country having a profound history. Originated in the eastern area of the Yellow River Region, the country's civilization is over 5,000 years old and was considered one of four ancient civilizations of the world, along with the civilizations of the ancient Babylon, the ancient Egypt and the ancient India. The first dynasty of Chinese history started from the Xia Dynasty (2070BC-1600BC) and the last one was the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), while the most glorious period were the Qin (221BC-206BC), Han (206BC-220), Tang (618-907) and Ming (1368-1644) dynasties. During thousands of years of feudal ruling, Chinese people have created brilliant science and art culture, like the Four Great Inventions, the poetry, paintings and Chinese calligraphy. Also, a great amount of cultural relics such as the Great Wall and the Terra Cotta Warriors left by ancestors have become the treasures of the nation and the wonder of the world.
Beijing, which means "Northern Capital" (from the Chinese characters 北 for north and 京 for capital), is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and one of the most heavily populated cities in the world.
Beijing is the second largest Chinese city by urban population after Shanghai -the 2010 census revealed that the official total population in Beijing was 19,612,368- and is the nation's political, cultural, and educational centre of China. The Beijing Capital International Airport is the second busiest in the world by passenger traffic.
China is also one of the countries with the most abundant plant life in the world. There are more than 32,000 species of higher plants, and almost all the major plants that grow in the northern hemisphere's frigid, temperate and tropical zones are represented in China. In addition, there are more than 7,000 species of woody plants, including 2,800-odd tree species. The metasequoia, Chinese cypress, Cathay silver fir, China fir, golden larch, Taiwan fir, Fujian cypress, dove-tree, eucommia and camplotheca acuminata are found only in China. The metasequoia, a tall species of arbor, is considered to be one of the oldest and rarest plants in the world. The golden larch, one of only five species of rare garden trees in the world, grows in the mountainous areas in the Yangtze River valley. Its coin-shaped leaves on short branches are green in spring and summer, turning yellow in autumn. China is home to more than 2,000 species of edible plants and over 3,000 species of medicinal plants. Ginseng from the Changbai Mountains, safflowers from Tibet, Chinese wolfberry from Ningxia and notoginseng from Yunnan and Guizhou are particularly well-known Chinese herbal medicines. China has a wide variety of flowering plants; the peony, a flower indigenous to China and known as the "king of flowers," is characterized by large blossoms, multiple petals and bright colors, and is treasured as one of the country's national flowers.?
Pine Trees: Another famous Chinese tree is the pine tree. You can often see them in traditional Chinese paintings, growing crookedly from the edge of a mountain rock. China's most famous pine tree is found on Huangshan Mountain. It's called the Welcome Pine, and it's thought to be 1,500 years old!
Wildlife in China is very diverse, there are over 30,000 kinds of plants and over 4,400 species of vertebrates. Because of China's immense range of climates and landscape, there are many different kinds of habitats which support many different kinds of flora and fauna.
Giant Panda: The Giant Panda roams the forests and mountains of South West China. An endangered species, many reserves have been set up for the conservation of this animal unique to China and considered a national treasure.
Red Pandas are beautiful creatures and are coveted for their furs, in fact, poaching is one of their major threats. Like the Giant Panda, their population is also threatened by loss of habitat and deforestation.
Native of China, this small arboreal mammal is found in the mountainous forests of Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. The Red Panda population is estimated at about 10,000 and is no longer classified as "endangered" but rather "vulnerable". You find them mainly in China and India, and to a small degree in Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan.
China is a populous nation in East Asia whose vast landscape encompasses grassland, desert, mountains, lakes, rivers and more than 14,000km of coastline. Capital Beijing mixes modern architecture with historic sites such as the Forbidden City palace complex and Tiananmen Square. Shanghai is a skyscraper-studded global financial center. The iconic Great Wall of China runs east-west across the country's north.
Agriculture in China. Agriculture is a vital industry in China, employing over 300 million farmers. China ranks first in worldwide farm output, primarily producing rice, wheat, potatoes, tomato, sorghum, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, cotton, oilseed and soybeans.
Although China's agricultural output is the largest in the world, only about 15% of its total land area can be cultivated. China's arable land, which represents 10% of the total arable land in the world, supports over 20% of the world's population. Of this approximately 1.4 million square kilometers of arable land, only about 1.2% (116,580 square kilometers) permanently supports crops and 525,800 square kilometers are irrigated. The land is divided into approximately 200 million households, with an average land allocation of just 0.65 hectares (1.6 acres).
China's limited space for farming has been a problem throughout its history, leading to chronic food shortage and famine. While the production efficiency of farmland has grown over time, efforts to expand to the west and the north have met with limited success, as such land is generally colder and drier than traditional farmlands to the east. Since the 1950s, farm space has also been pressured by the increasing land needs of industry and cities.
China is a very diverse country with many distinct geographical regions. It has deserts, high mountains, grasslands, tropical forests and almost every other geographical feature type that you can think of.
In terms of altitude the general rule is that the terrain falls in steps from the high Tibetan plateau in the south west to the flat North Coastal plain in the north east.
Three great rivers run vaguely east to divide the nation into three east-west zones, the Huang He (Yellow River); Chang Jiang (Yangzi River) and Yu Jiang (Pearl River). Northern China is dominated by flat plains and coastlines while Southern China is mountainous with a rocky coastline. The usual dividing line between Northern and Southern China is on the Huai River which runs through Henan and Anhui. The lack of rain in Western China is one of the most important features of China's climate (see separate climate section).
Five Themes of Geography in China
The Chinese democracy movement (simplified Chinese: 中国民主运动; traditional Chinese: 中國民主運動; pinyin: Zhōngguó mínzhǔ yùndòng), abbreviated as Minyun (simplified Chinese: 民运; traditional Chinese: 民運; pinyin: Mínyùn), refers to a series of loosely organized political movements in the People's Republic of China against the continued one-party rule by the Communist Party. One such movement began during the Beijing Spring in 1978 and was taken up again in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.