9,571,300 square kilometres (3,695,500 square miles).
1,265,830,000 (2000). Approximately 1/4 of the world’s population
lives in China.
132.3 per square kilometre.
7,336,000 (1998). The largest city in China, Shanghai's population
is over 14 million and, as of 1997, 12 other cities had more than
2 million people and 22 cities had a population of 1-2 million.
Russia and Mongolia border China to the north; to the east Korea
(Dem Rep), the Yellow Sea and the South China Sea; to the south
Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, , India, Nepal and Bhutan; and to the west
by India, Afghanastan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan.
China has a varied terrain; from high plateaux in the west to flatlands
in the east; mountains occupy almost 1/3 of the land. The most well
known high mountain ranges are the Himalayas, the tian Shan mountains,
the Altai Mountains, and the Kunlun Mountains. On the border with
Nepal is the 8,848 metre-high (29,19 feet) Mount Qomolangma (Mount
Everest). In the west is the Qinghai/Tibet Plateau, with an average
elevation of 4,000 metres (13,200 feet), also known as ‘the
Roof of the World’. At the base of the Tian Shan Mountains
lies the Turpan Depression or Basin, China’s lowest region,
the lowest point is 154 metre (508 feet) below sea level. China
has quite a few great river systems, most notably the Yellow (Huang
He) and Yangtze Kiang (Chang Jiang). Only 10% of all China is suitable
China has 22 Provinces, 5 Autonomous Regions, 2 Special Administrative
Regions and 4 Municipalities directly under Central Government control.
Head of State: President Hu Jintao (since
Head of Government: Premier Wen
Jiabao since 2003. Jiang Zemin however maintains much actual power
The official language is Mandarin Chinese.
Among the huge number of local dialects, in the south large groups
speak Cantonese, Xiamenhua, Hakka and Fukienese. Mongolia, Tibet
and Xinjiang, which are all autonomous, have their own languages.
Interpreter and translation are good. Many guides can speak English.
The main philosophies and religions are Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism.
There are 100 million Buddhists and about 60 million Muslims, 5
million Protestants (including many Evangelicals) and 4 million
Roman Catholics, mostly independent of Vatican control.
GMT + 8. Despite the vastness of the country, Beijing time is standard
220/240 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin sockets and some three-pin sockets