China Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in China?

Overview:

Occupying an area of about 3.7 million square miles, the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) is the fourth-largest country in the world, after Canada and Russia. It shares borders with North Korea, Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Laos, and Vietnam. Hong Kong and Macau (Aomen), situated on China's southern coast, are now Special Administrative Regions of the P.R.C.

Two-thirds of China's area is mountainous or semidesert; only about one-tenth is cultivated. Ninety percent of its people live on one-sixth of the land, primarily in the fertile plains and deltas of the east.

Geography - note:

world's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US); Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak

Climate:

The country lies almost entirely in the temperate zone. Only Hainan Province and the southernmost portions of Yunnan and Guangdong Provinces and the Zhuang Autonomous Region of Guangi lie within the tropics. A monsoon climate is a major influence in the south. The north and west have a typical continental climate, although winters are extremely dry and summers quite rainy.

During summer, warm, moist, maritime air masses bring heavy rains to eastern China, and hot, humid, summer weather is typical. Winter offers a sharp contrast, when cold, dry Siberian air masses dominate and often reach the southern provinces. Little precipitation falls during the colder months; clear days with low humidity and low temperatures are the norm.

China Use of Natural Resources

China Environment

Climate:

The country lies almost entirely in the temperate zone. Only Hainan Province and the southernmost portions of Yunnan and Guangdong Provinces and the Zhuang Autonomous Region of Guangi lie within the tropics. A monsoon climate is a major influence in the south. The north and west have a typical continental climate, although winters are extremely dry and summers quite rainy.

During summer, warm, moist, maritime air masses bring heavy rains to eastern China, and hot, humid, summer weather is typical. Winter offers a sharp contrast, when cold, dry Siberian air masses dominate and often reach the southern provinces. Little precipitation falls during the colder months; clear days with low humidity and low temperatures are the norm.

Terrain:

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

Natural Resources:

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

Natural Hazards:

frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence

volcanism: China contains some historically active volcanoes including Changbaishan (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu, or P'aektu-san), Hainan Dao, and Kunlun although most have been relatively inactive in recent centuries

Irrigated Land:

243,004 Square Miles
629,380 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; deforestation; estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1949 to soil erosion and economic development; desertification; trade in endangered species

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

China Geography

Geographic Location Asia
Total Area 3,705,387 Square Miles
9,596,961 Square Kilometers
Land Area 3,694,939 Square Miles
9,569,901 Square Kilometers
Water Area 10,448 Square Miles
27,060 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 13,743 Miles
22,117 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 243,004 Square Miles
629,380 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Afghanistan 76 km, Bhutan 470 km, Burma 2,185 km, India 3,380 km, Kazakhstan 1,533 km, North Korea 1,416 km, Kyrgyzstan 858 km, Laos 423 km, Mongolia 4,677 km, Nepal 1,236 km, Pakistan 523 km, Russia (northeast) 3,605 km, Russia (northwest) 40 km, Tajikistan 414 km, Vietnam 1,281 km
Coastline 9,010 Miles
14,500 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 35 00 N, 105 00 E
Terrain mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east
Highest Point 8,850 Meters
Highest Point Location Mount Everest 8,850 m (highest point in Asia)
Lowest Point -154 Meters
Lowest Point Location Turpan Pendi -154 m
Natural Resources coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, rare earth elements, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest)
Time Zone UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time) note; despite its size, all of China falls within one time zone
All Countries
Afghanistan Akrotiri Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burma Burundi Cabo Verde Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Clipperton Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands Coral Sea Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curacao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Dhekelia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Eswatini Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia, The Gaza Strip Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Holy See Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Jan Mayen Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, North Korea, South Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island North Macedonia Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Islands Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Sudan, South Suriname Svalbard Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States (US) Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam Virgin Islands Wake Island Wallis and Futuna West Bank Western Sahara World Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe