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About China
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China has the highest mountains and deepest 
valleys in the world, deserts and fertile loess plains, dark pine forests and tropical rainforests , and rivers which are amongst the longest in the world. The distance between the northern town of Mohe on Heilongjiang, which forms the border to the Soviet Union, to the Zhengmu Reef on the Nasha Islands in the South Seas is 5500 km. From the eastern border in the Pamir Mountains to confluence of the Heilongjiang and the Wusulijian, the distance is 5,200 km. China covers an area of 9,560,900 sq. km . It is the third largest country in the world. China’s border is 20,000 km long.

 

China is occasionally called the land of mountains. Two thirds of its territory are mountainous, hilly or high plateaux. China’s topography is characterized by its terraced structure with the land sloping downwards towards the north-east, east and south-east. The highest terrace is the Tibet-Qinghai Plateau which is 4,000 metres. It includes the Autonomous Region of Tibet, the Qinghai provinces and Western Sichuan. All the major rivers of China and South-East Asia rise in the Tibet-Qinghai-Plateau. The Huanghe (Yellow River) and the Chiangjiang (Yangzi River) flow eastwards through China, while the Zanbojiang (Bramaputra), the Nujiang (Salween) and the Lancang (Mekong) flow south and south-east, thereby passing through China’s neighboring countries.

The second terrace is formed by plateaux and terraces of heights averaging between 1,000 and 2,000 metres, going from north to south they are the Tarim Basin, the Mongolian Plateau, the Central Chinese Loess Plateau, the Red Basin of Sichuan, and the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau.





The third terrace is formed of the plains and lowlands on the lower reaches of large rivers, actually it is a large, wide strip of land, barely rising more than 500 metres above sea level, running along the coast from the north of China right down to the south. More than two-thirds of the population live here, it is China’s agricultural and industrial heartland.

This terraced structure is the result of massive tectonic movements within the Chinese land mass, which to this day has not settled. As a result , earthquakes continue to strike in many regions of China. The 1976 earthquake in tangshan, which claimed several hundred thousand lives, was the last major disaster.

                     

China has the highest mountains in the world, nine of the 14 mountains which are higher than 8,000 metres are found in the Himalayas. The Shengmufeng (Mount Everest) , on the border of Nepal, is the highest mountain in the world at 8,849 metres. More than one hundred mountains are higher than 7,000 metres and more than a thousand reach a height of more than 6,000 metres. The Himalayas is one of the youngest mountain ranges in the world. Even today, it grows between 0.33 and 1.27 cm every year.

Huanghe, the Yellow River is the most important river in China. It rises in the Qinghai province, makes a sharp bend to the north near Lanzhou and farther on, near Baotou in Mongolia, it turns south again, forming the famous Huanghe knee. Along its course, it passes through the fertile loess plateau creating favorable conditions for the growth of human civilizations. It is because of this river that Chinese civilization began. The longest river in China and the third longest in the world is the 6,300 km long Changjiang (Yangzi River). China is a home to over 1.20 billion people, which is equivalent to 20 percent of humanity but only 7 percent to the world’s agrarian areas are found in China.

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