Geography of China


China is one of the biggest countries in the world. It's the largest country in areas in East Asia apart from Russia and the third largest in the world by land and sea area after Canada and Russia. The dispute over size is due to both the validity of claims by the PRC on territories such as Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram Tract both of which are claimed by India, and a recent modification in the technique used by the United States to calculate its surface area.

Location- Situated in the eastern part of Asia and on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean, it borders the Korea Bay , East China Sea , Yellow Sea and South China Sea , between North Korea and Vietnam . Geographic markers are: 35 00 N and 105 00 E.

Border Countries- China borders 14 countries, with a total of 22,143 km. in land and covering a coastline of 14,500 km.

Korea in the east; Russia in the north-east and the north-west; Mongolia in the north; Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in the west; Kazakhstan in the north-west; India, Bhutan and Nepal in part of the west and south-west; Myanmar (Burma) , Laos and Vietnam in the south.

Area- Total area covered: 9,596,960 sq km

  • Land: 9,326,410 sq km
  • Water: 270,550 sq km

Though the figures vary, the official figure by PRC stands at 9.6 million sq km. which comprises about 6.5 percent of the world total land area, thus making it slightly smaller than Canada and little larger than the US. The Republic of China at Taiwan puts the figure at 11 million sq km, which includes Mongolia, an independent sovereign state. The distance from east to west measure 5,200 km and from north to south over 5,550 km.

Land Topography- The landmass is an unevenly changing pattern of broad plains, extensive deserts, and lofty mountain ranges, including vast areas of harsh terrain. The eastern half of the country includes sea-coast fringed with offshore islands; it's a region of fertile lowlands, foothills and mountains, steppes, desert, and subtropical areas. Being a mountainous country with two-third of its total land covered by mountains it has some of Asia's greatest mountains which include the Himalayas , the Kunlun Mountains , Mount Qomolangma , the Kailash and the Tian Shan ranges.

All principal rivers, the Yangtze , the Yellow River , and the Amur, flow from west to east. In the south are the Pearl River, the Mekong River , and the Brahmaputra. The North China Sea and the South China Sea are parts of the Pacific Ocean. A southern branch of the Kunlun Mountains divides the watersheds of the Yellow River and the Yangtze River.

China, with approximately 2,800 natural lakes, is a country of numerous lakes.

The western half of China consists of sunken basins, rolling plateaus, and soaring massifs, plus a portion of the highest tableland on earth. Flowing from its source in the Tibetan highlands, the Yellow River courses near the sea through the North China Plain.

Land Usage- China's natural resources include coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, antimony, manganese, tin, tungsten, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc and uranium.

  • Arable land: 14.86%
  • Permanent crops: 1.27%
  • Permanent pastures: 43%
  • Forests and woodlands: 14%
  • Others: 33%

Natural Hazards- Frequent typhoons, at a rate of five per year along the eastern and southern coasts, destructive monsoons, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts and land subsidence, all affect China.

 

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