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Geography of China
With a surface of 9,571,300 km2 China is the third biggest country in the world. It is the most populated country in the world with 1.3 billion inhabitants. The capital is Beijing. China borders the following countries: North Korea, Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Laos and Vietnam. The geography of China is very interesting, because of the climate zones, the vegetation and the different mountains. Politically China is devided into many provinces.
The Northeast of China is most closely populated and it is the heartland of the Chinese civilisation. The East of China is much lower than the West. In Northeast China there are little forests. Where in former times there were forests today there are agriculture fields. Above all wheat, barley and millet are cultivated here. In the northernmost Northeast of China there is Mandchuria. Today it consists of the provinces Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning. An important city and the capital of Heilongjiang is Harbin. The temperatures are very low and it is a dry winter climate. Big parts of Mandchuria are grass steppes. More south there is the capital of China Beijing. Caused by the winter monsoon the climate in Beijing and around it is a winter-dry snow forest climate. It is surrounded by a winter-cold steppe climate. In the West of Northeast China there are huge loess areas. Loess is a very fruitfully soil and in Northeast China there is a lot of loess. For the agriculture it is very important. Because of the loess these sceneries are yellow.
The loess was blown from deserts into this region. For a forest loess is unsuitable and so the loess sceneries are steppes.
Southeast China has got more forests. Because of the climate rice is cultivated here. The mountain Qinling-Shan separates Northeast China from Southeast China. In Southeast China the climate is a warm-moderated rain climate. There are beautiful sceneries. The first thing are the karst sceneries. They go from Yunnan to Guangxi. They are very good in Guilin. There are karst towers which are covered by plants. There also drop-stone caves. In Yunnan there are also interesting sceneries like the stone forest. These stones looks like a forest. But it is not a petrified forest. The highland of Yunnan is also beautiful. It is 2000 m until 4000 m high. The capital of the province Yunnan is Kunming. The province Sichuan is strongly wooded. The Red Basin of Sichuan is the whole year humid and often foggy. The climate in the Red Basin makes it possible to cultivate many different grains. In the Red Basin there is the city Chongqing. The West of Sichuan is mountain country. The extreme Southeast of China and the island Hainan have got a tropical climate.
West China is much higher than East China. In Northwest China there is the Tarim Basin. It is lower the than its enviroment. It is separated by the mountains Tian Shan (in the North), Kunlun Shan (in the South), Pamir and Karakorum (in the West) and the desert Gobi in the East. The Tarim Basin is a desert scenery with the desert Takla Makan. Takla Makan is a big, very dry and dangerous sand desert. Despite its size little people live there. Some oases make it possible to live there. So that oases can originate there had to be enough water. The water comes from the mountains when snow melts in the summer or from the rivers like the Tarim He in the Takla Makan desert. Most of the people living there are Uygurs. More East there is Inner Mongolia (Nei Monggol) which is today also an autonomous region of China. Here we find the desert Gobi, the second biggest desert in the world. This desert is not only in China, but also in Mongolia. In both deserts Gobi and Takla Makan the summers are very hot and the winters are cold and dry. The peripheral areas of the deserts Gobi and Takla Makan are steppes. In the South of the desert Gobi there is the Qilian Shan. The Tian Shan and the Kunlun Shan are over 7000 m high. In the Karakorum mountain on the border between China and Pakistan there is the K2. With a height of 8611 m it is the second highest mountain in the world.
In Southwest China and so in the South of the Tarim Basin and the Kunlun Shan there is Tibet and in the South of Tibet there is the Himalaya. Although Tibet is in the subtropics the temperatures are very low here, because Tibet lies very high. So the snow climate is dominating and Tibet is very dry. The temperatures sway very strong between day and night. Often Tibet is called the "Roof of the World". The reason is the Himalaya, the biggest and most expanded mountain in the World. The Himalaya originated, because India presses from the South against Asia. The capital of the province Tibet is Lhasa. Lhasa is in a height of of 3658 m. Little people live in Tibet, because it is very difficult to live here. In Southern Tibet, where there is Lhasa, the climate is a little bit moderate. And so most Tibetans live in the South. In Tibet there are many steppes. Forests are above all in the peripheral areas of Tibet where it is warmer and more humid. Above all barley and wheat are cultivated in Tibet. Barley is even cultivated in over 4000 m height. In the Himalaya there is also the highest mountain in the world, the Mount Everest. It stands on the border between China and Nepal and it is 8848 m high. Tibet is a fascinating scenery.
The rivers and the seas
In the East and in the Southeast China is surrounded by seas. In the Northeast it is the Yellow sea, more South it is the East Chinese Sea and in the Southeast it is the South Chinese sea. The most important rivers of China are the Chang Jiang and the Huang He (Yellow river). Both rivers rise in the Kunlun Shan mountain. Then the Chang Jiang flows through Yunnan and Sichuan and through the Red Basin of Sichuan. Here is the city Chongqing. In this region it flows through a beautiful landscape with many ravines. Then the Chang Jiang passes Wuhan where it is very broad. The next big city where it flows is Nanjing. In this region very much rice is cultivated. Near Shanghai it flows into the East Chinese sea. The Chang Jiang is with 6300 km the third longest river in the world. It is a very important water way for China. The 1800 km long emperor's channel connects the Chang Jiang with the Huang He. The Huang He is 5464 km long. It flows into the Yellow sea. The river Mekong rises in Tibet and it flows to the South through Yunnan. Then it flows along the border between Laos and Burma and Laos and Thailand. Then it passes Cambodia and Vietnam and it flows into the South Chinese sea. It is 4500 km long.
View of the Mount Everest (8848 m) from the Base Camp (5200 m)
The Stone forest in Yunnan
Karst sceneries near Guilin
Karst sceneries near Guilin
Author and Webmaster: Lukas Czarnecki
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Last Update: 30.01.2009