is situated in eastern Asia, bounded by the Pacific in
the east. The third largest country in the world, next
to Canada and Russia, it has an area of 9.6 million square
kilometers, or one-fifteenth of the world's landmass.
It begins from the confluence of the Heilong and Wusuli
Rivers (135 degrees and 5 minutes east longitude) in the
east to the Pamirs west of Wuqia County in Xinjiang Uygur
Autonomous Region (73 degrees and 40 minutes east longitude)
in the west, with about 5,200 kilometers apart. In the
north, it starts from the midstream of the Heilong River
north of Mohe (53 degrees and 31 minutes north latitude)
and stretches south to the southernmost island Zengmu'ansha
in the South China Sea (4 degrees and 15 minutes north
latitude), with about 5,500 kilometers in between.
The Chinese border stretches over 22,000
kilometers on land and its coastline extends well over
18,000 kilometers, washed by the waters of the Bohai Sea,
the Huanghai, the East China and the South China Seas.
The Bohai Sea is China’s only inland sea.
There are 6,536 islands larger than 500
square meters, the largest being Taiwan, with a total
area of about 36,000 square kilometers, and the second,
Hainan. The South China Sea Islands are the southernmost
island group of China.
Beijing (Area: 16,800 square kilometers; Population: 12.59
China lies mainly in the northern temperate zone under
the influence of monsoon. From September and October to
March and April next year monsoon blows from Siberia and
the Mongolian Plateau into China and decreases in force
as it goes southward, causing dry and cold winter in the
country and a temperature difference of 40 degrees centigrade
between the north and the south. The temperature in China
in the winter is 5 to 18 degrees centigrade lower than
that in other countries on the same latitude in winter.
Monsoon blows into China from the ocean in summer, bringing
with them warm and wet currents, thus rain. Great differences
in climate are found from region to region owing to China's
extensive territory and complex topography. The northern
part of Heilongjiang Province in the northeast has no
summer, while Hainan Island in the south has a long summer
but no winter. The Huaihe River valley features four distinct
seasons, and the western part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
is covered by snow all year round. The southern part of
the Yunan-Guizhou Plateau is spring-like in all seasons;
and the northwestern inland regions could see great variations
of temperature within the day. Annual precipitation also
varies greatly from region to region, which is as high
as 1,500 millimeters along the southeastern coast, and
as low as 50 millimeters in the northwest.
China, one of the four oldest civilizations in the world,
has a written history of 4,000 years and boasts rich cultural
relics and historical sites. It is the inventor of compass,
paper, gunpowder and printing. The Great Wall, the Grand
Canal and the Karez irrigation systems are three great
ancient engineering projects built 2,000 years ago. Now
they are the symbols of the rich culture heritage of the
Chinese nation. China has gone over a long history of
primitive society, slavery society, feudal society and
semi-feudal semi-colonial society and the present socialist
society. (For a brief history of China, Click Here)
National People's Congress (NPC)
President of the People's Republic of China
Central Military Commission
Supreme People's Court
Supreme People's Procuratorate
(More government agencies....)
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) (click here for more
The Communist Party of China (CPC)
Spring Festival (Chinese Lunar New Year's Day –
between January and February: The exact date varies, depending
on Chinese Lunar Calendar. Chinese New Year's Day in 2005
was on February 9. The year 2003 is the Year of Rooster
in Chinese zodiac system.
working days are Monday through Friday. Official hours
are from 8:00am to 17:00pm with one hour for lunch.
The national language is Putonghua (the common speech)
or Mandarin, which is one of the five working languages
at the United Nations. Most of the 55 minority nationalities
have their own languages. Cantonese is one of the local
dialects of southern China. As a written language, Chinese
has been used for 6,000 years.
China is made up of 56 ethnic groups. The Han people make
up 91.02 percent of the total population, and the other
55 national minorities 8.98 percent. They are Mongolian,
Hui, Tibetan, Uygur, Miao, Yi, Zhuang, Bouyi, Korean,
Manchu, Dong, Yao, Bai, Tujia, Hani, Kazak, Dai, Li, Lisu,
Wa, She, Gaoshan, Lahu, Shui, Dongxiang, Naxi, Jingpo,
Kirgiz, Tu, Daur, Mulam, Qiang, Blang, Salar, Maonan,
Gelo, Xibe, Achang, Pumi, Tajik, Nu, Ozbek, Russian, Ewenki,
Benglong, Bonan, Yugur, Jing, Tatar, Drung, Oroqen, Hezhen,
Moinba, Lhoba and Gelo. All nationalities enjoy equal
status according to the Constitution. The State protects
their lawful rights and interests and promotes equality,
unity and mutual help among all nationalities.
Chinese family names came into being some 5,000 years
ago. There are more than 5,000 family names, of which
200 to 300 are popular. In Chinese names, family names
comes first and given name second. For example, in the
case of Deng Xiaoping, Deng is the family name, Xiaoping
the given name. The most popular Chinese family names
are ZHANG, WANG, LI, ZHAO, LIU, CHEN...
China has 50,000 rivers that cover a catchment area of
at least 100 square kilometers, and 1,500 of them cover
a catchment area of more than 1,000 square kilometers.
Most of the rivers flow from west to east to empty into
the Pacific Ocean. The main rivers include the Yangzi
(Changjiang), the Yellow River (Huanghe), Heilongjiang,
the Pearl River, Liaohe, Haihe, Qiantangjiang and Lancang
Rivers. At 6,300 kilometers long, the Yangzi is the longest
river in China. The second longest is the Yellow River
at 5,464 kilometers. The Grand Canal from Hangzhou to
Beijing is a great water project in ancient China. 1,794
kilometers in length, it is the longest canal in the world.
China is a multi-religious country. Buddhism, Taoism and
Islam are the three major religions. Catholicism and Protestantism
have smaller but substantial followers too. Different
ethnic groups usually follow different religions. Islam
is followed by the Hui, Uygur, Kazak, Kirgiz, Tatar, Dongxiang,
Salar and Bonan peoples; Buddhism and Lamaism are followed
by the Tibetan, Mongolian, Dai and Yugur nationalities;
Christianity is followed by the Miao, Yao and Yi nationalities;
Shamanism is followed by the Oroqen, Ewenki and Daur nationalities;
and the majority Han nationality believes in Buddhism,
Taoism and Christianity.
With a broad area, China has a very complex topography.
The outline descends step by step from the west to the
east. Mountains and hilly land take up 65 percent of the
total area. There are five main mountain ranges. Seven
mountain peaks are higher than 8,000 meters above sea
level. The Bohai Sea, East China Sea, Yellow Sea and South
China Sea embrace the east and southeast coast.
Chinese Money is called Renminbi
(RMB) (means "People's Currency"). The
popular unit of RMB is Yuan. The official exchange rate
between U.S. Dollar and RMB Yuan currently is about 1
: 8.3 (1.00 Dollar = 8.30 Yuan). 1 Yuan equals 10 Jiao,
and 1 Jiao equals 10 Fen. (There are parts of China the
Yuan is also known as Kuai, and Jiao is known as Mao.)
Chinese currency is issued in the following denominations:
one, two, five, ten, fifty and a hundred Yuan; one, two
and five Jiao; and one, two and five Fen.
AC 220 V, 50 Hz (bathrooms of many luxury and medium-grade
hotels may have 110-volt sockets).
PAL (In addition to Chinese language TV broadcast, English
and Japanese TV programs are available in many hotels
via satellite relay. China Central Television Station
(CCTV) and some local TV stations also provide English
news and other programs in English.)
AREA CODE: Mainland
China 86; Hong Kong 852; Taiwan 886. (Special Telephone
Numbers: Police 110; Fire 119; Emergency 120.)
China: on the right
Kong: on the left
on the right
China: cn (such as "....org.cn" , "...edu.cn"