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Geography >> Asia >> China History and Timeline


Capital: Beijing

Population: 1,433,783,686

The Geography of China

Borders: North Korea, Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Macau, Pacific Ocean

Country of China Map

Total Size: 9,596,960 square km

Size Comparison: slightly smaller than the US

Geographical Coordinates: 35 00 N, 105 00 E

World Region or Continent: Asia

General Terrain: mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east

Geographical Low Point: Turpan Pendi -154 m

Geographical High Point: Mount Everest 8,850 m

Climate: extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north

Major Cities: Shanghai 16.575 million; BEIJING (capital) 12.214 million; Chongqing 9.401 million; Shenzhen 9.005 million; Guangzhou 8.884 million (2009)

Major Landforms: Himalayan Mountains, Kunlun Mountains, Tianshan Mountains, Qinling Mountains, Mount Everest, Pamirs Plateau, Tibetan Plateau, Gobi Desert, Taklamakan Desert

Major Bodies of Water: Yangtze River, Yellow River, Heilongjiang River, Songhua River, Grand Canal, Qinghai Lake (salt lake), Poyang Lake, Dongting Lake, Lake Tai, Yellow Sea, East China Sea, South China Sea

Famous Places: Great Wall of China, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army, Pudong Skyline and the Oriental Pearl Tower, Giant Buddha of Leshan, Mount Huang, Li River, Potala Palace, Jiuzhaigou Valley, Mount Everest, Silk Road

Economy of China

Major Industries: mining and ore processing, iron, steel, aluminum, and other metals, coal; machine building; armaments; textiles and apparel; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizers; consumer products, including footwear, toys, and electronics; food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, rail cars and locomotives, ships, and aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellites

Agricultural Products: rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish

Natural Resources: coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest)

Major Exports: machinery and equipment, plastics, optical and medical equipment, iron and steel

Major Imports: machinery and equipment, oil and mineral fuels, plastics, optical and medical equipment, organic chemicals, iron and steel

Currency: yuan (CNY); note - also referred to as the Renminbi (RMB)

National GDP: $11,300,000,000,000

Government of China

Type of Government: Communist state

Independence: 221 BC (unification under the Qin or Ch'in Dynasty); 1 January 1912 (Manchu Dynasty replaced by a Republic); 1 October 1949 (People's Republic established)

Divisions: China is divided into 22 provinces. They claim the island of Taiwan as their 23rd province. The largest provinces by population are Guangdong, Shandong, and Henan. See the map below for the locations and name of each province.

Provinces of China
(click picture for larger view)

National Anthem or Song: Yiyongjun Jinxingqu (The March of the Volunteers)

National Symbols:
Country of China Flag
Description of flag: The flag of China was adopted on September 27, 1949. It has a red background with five yellow stars in the top left. One star is larger and the other four stars form an arc of unity around the larger star. The large star represents the Communist Party of China. The four smaller stars represent the four social classes of the people.

National Holiday: Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China, 1 October (1949)

Other Holidays: Chinese New Year, Lantern Festival, Qingming Festival, International Women's Day (March 8), Labor Day (May 1), Children's Day (June 1), Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, National Day (October 1). Go here to learn more about Ancient Chinese Festivals.

The People of China

Languages Spoken: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)

Nationality: Chinese (singular and plural)

Religions: Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%

Origin of the name China: The English word "China" for the country either comes from the word "Qin" from the Qin dynasty or from the Persian word "Cin." In China, the country is usually referred to as "Zhongguo" which means "central country."

Mao Zedong
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Geography >> Asia >> China History and Timeline

** Source for population (2019 est.) is United Nations. GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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