All About China: An Ultimate Guide
Where Is China?
China is a country in the Southeast of Asia and it borders the Pacific coastlines. It is the continent’s largest and most popular country in the continent. It is the world fourth largest country after Canada, Russia and United States of America.
How Big Is China?
China has an estimated area of about 9.6 million square kilometers and its coastline stretches up to 18,000 kilometers. The shape of this nation on the map resembles a rooster. China’s landscape and Geography are highly varied. It is perhaps a larger country which is slightly smaller than the United States of America. It has a variety if environments, traditions, peoples, flora and fauna.
Most ports and cities are highly concentrated along the coastline. In the West and Northern parts of the country are deserts and mountains. The southwest, on the other hand, is tropical and jungles lowlands highly occupy a home to the harsher Tibetan Plateau whereas the south.
The majority of people in China are densely populated along the rivers and at milder coastal areas. These areas are recently booming industrial and economic zones which are similar to poorer regions as you travel in landwards.
What Borders China?
Towards the East the country borders the following:
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� South China Sea
� Yellow Sea
� East China Sea
Land neighboring countries are different fourteen nations, and it ties Russia for the Nations that have the highest bordering countries in the world. The following are China’s neighbors Laos, Russia, Burma, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, India, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Vietnam, North Korea, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Pakistan and Kazakhstan.
What Are The Cities In China?
Currently, China is a country that is experiencing fast and tremendous growth in its urbanization rate. Its cities are expanding at a large rate as well as the emergency of new ones. As per the census that was conducted back in 2010, there were more cities which had over a million residents both in urban and greater areas, some of the cities we have never heard about them previously.
Here Are Some of The China’s Most Prominent Cities:
Beijing the capital city of China, it is the capital of the political, cultural, historical center and People’s Republic of China of the entire nation. During the 2008 summer, Olympics Beijing experienced massive infrastructure investments which went into the city. Moreover, Beijing is considered or perhaps is the gateway to the wall of China. An estimated 11.7 million of people live in Beijing factor that makes it one of the highest and largest cities in China.
Shanghai is another city which has the highest inhabitants with approximately 17.8 million people. While Beijing is considered as the Nation’s political center, Shanghai is its financial center. This city also enjoys a good trading and manufacturing sector thanks to its position at the onset of the Yangtze River.
Guangzhou is another city in China which its great area was at the epicenter of the country’s economic reforms and was the home for the special economic zones. The special economic zones contributed to China’s rapid development into a manufacturing center. Over 40 million people in estimate live in Guangzhou greater region which includes the cities of Dongguan and Shenzhen. This area has been labeled world’s factory and most products you see coming with the word or Label “Made in China” comes from this area.
Hong Kong is another city which is the special administrative region of China. Formerly, it was a British colony, it was reverted to China in the year 1997 since then the city has been operating under the one country systems philosophy. Hong Kong is among the world leading international popular financial centers.
Unlike the other mention cities and most of other cities in China which are located in the coastal area, Chongqing is situated in the South West. It is the key country that has played a very significant role in the development of the western part of China. It is located at the mouth of Yangtze River something that has contributed to making this center a major manufacturing and transportation hub.
Physical Features in China
The vast notable land in China comprises of mountains, plateaus, basins, plains, and foothills. When we define rugged foothills, mountains, and plateaus as mountainous because they cover nearly seventy-five percent of the land, they are higher in the west area and lower towards the east of China making the country appear like a three-step ladder.
The highest peak or perhaps step on the typical ladder topography is made up by Qinghai-Tibet plateau which has an average height of 4,000 meters. With Qilianshan range, Kunlunshan range and well known Hengduan mountain chain as the one that divides the step and the second one. The roof of the world Everest at 8844.43 meters high, which is the first step and the highest peak in the world.
The second step on the typical ladder topography is large plateaus and basins, most of them range between 1000 to 2000 meters high. The Xuefeng Mountains, Daxinga’an, Wu and Taihang divide this step and the next lower step on the ladder topography. Plateaus that comprises Yungui, Inner Mongolian, Loess plateaus and basins including Junggar, Sichuan and Tarim are situated here.
The third step on the ladder topography is abundant in very broad plains, dotted with foothills and relatively lower mountains which have altitudes going over 500 meters. Also, it is in this step that harbors famous plains: Middle-lower Yangtze plains, the North China and Northeast Plains neighboring each other from South to North. The lands are fertile and well cultivated making them the highest producer of crops throughout the year.
Apart from the physical features descriptions that are discussed, it is worth to note that people tend to divide China into four distinct regions. These regions include South, North, Northwest, and the Qinghai-Tibet areas. Residents from each region have distinct customs and lifestyles due to geographical differences.
The South and North regions of China are situated in the Eastern monsoon area and are divided by river Qin Mountains-Huai. Ninety-five percent of China population lives here making the two regions to be the highly populated and industrialized. The other two regions on the other hand that is Qinghai-Tibet and Northwest occupy fifty percent of the land, having fewer people, although different ethnic groups are clustered in the two regions.
Rivers and Lakes
China is among the countries that have numerous rivers and lakes. According to available statistic, the country’s more than 50,00 rivers drainage areas exceed 100 square kilometers while more than 1,500 rivers exceed 1,000 square kilometers. These rivers that are found in China can also be classified as interior or exterior rivers. For instance, the Yangtze, the longest river in both China and Asia as a continent is also the longest river in the world. Yellow River on the other hand which was known as “Mother River of the Chinese People,” is slightly behind the Yangtze and both flow into the Pacific ocean. The Yarlung Zangbo flows towards the Indian ocean water system while Irtysh river flows to the Arctic Ocean. On the other side, the interior rivers drain their waterless area than the exterior ones.
Lakes are also an important factor to consider while looking at China as a nation. The regions which have the most lakes are the Qinghai-Tibet plateau and Middle-lower Yangtze plain. It is worth to note that most of the lakes in the Northwest are salty. Qinghai is the largest and the beautiful natural salt water lake. Towards the southeast China, most of the lakes situated the region are freshwater lakes. Taihu, Poyang, and Dongting Lake are all fresh water lakes.
Rivers and lakes provide china with precious resources such as aquatics products, mines, petroleum, natural gas and also renewable resources like the tide power.
Mountains and Topography
China has a very large area of mountainous land, which is about seventy percent of the country. The mountain ranges run from east to west and mainly from Northwest to Southwest. Among these mountains in China, some reach the sky while others have lower charming scenery. Out of all of the mountains that are at the altitude above 7,000 meters, over 50 of them stand in China. Towards the east in China, relatively lower mountains like Mt. Huashan, Mt. Taishan and Mt. Emeishan also stand displaying their beauty.
Chinese Culture: Customs and Traditions of China
As mentioned earlier China is a very big country, thus customs and traditions of the inhabitants will differ according to the geographical locations and ethnicity. Here is an overview of the basic elements if the Chinese culture and traditions.
The Chinese communist party that rules the country and it is officially atheist even though it is becoming more tolerant of religions, this is based on the Council on the foreign relations. The government of China has allowed freedom of religion to its citizens.
There are only five known official religions currently. Any other religion apart from Islam, Buddhism, Protestantism, Taoism and Catholicism are considered illegal even though the China constitution states that citizens have freedom of religion. The tolerance for region in China started recently but in the past, someone could only stick to one defined religion before the constitution gave them this freedom.
In China, there exists only seven major dialects of the broad Chinese language, which each group has their variations according to a research conducted by Mount Holyoke College. The following is the statistics of each dialect and the population in each respective group.
1. Mandarin dialects are spoken by a 71.5 percent of the Chinese population
2. Wu is the second with an 8.5 percent of population
3. Yue (also referred to as Cantonese) with a five percent
4. Xiang has a 4.8 percentage in population
5. Min 4.1 percentage
6. Hakka on the second last on the list with a 3.7 percentage
7. Gan is the seventh with 2.4 percent of individuals
According to Jerry Norman, a former professor of Chinese linguistics languages is very different. They are more like a family language than a single standalone language made up of some regional forms.
More like the other areas of Chinese lifestyle, the cuisine is highly influenced by ethnic and geography diversity. Among the well-known and famous Chinese cooking style are Cantonese, which mainly features Szechuan, stir-fried dishes, which heavily relies on products such as peanuts, ginger, sesame paste and it is well known for its spiciness.
Rice is another primary food source for the Chinese people. It a major element that helped them to build and grow their society as filed statistics and online data indicated. The Chinese word for rice is “fan”, which can also be interpreted to mean “meal” and it among the staple in their diet as are scallions, cabbages, and sprouts. On the other hand, tofu is considered their main source of protein because they do not consume both chicken and pork.
Chinese is rich art which is highly influenced by the spiritual and mystical history of the country. Many paintings and scriptures in China depict spiritual idols or figures of Buddhism, according to “metropolitan museum of art” one of the famous museums.
A lot of musical instruments are an integral part of Chinese culture, including the guqin and flute-like xun which is more like zither family. Martial arts were also founded and developed in China, and it is the birthplace of the famous kung fu. This fighting movement was created in the md-1600s according to the black belt magazine it is one of the arts you should expect to enjoy when you get to China
Customs and Celebrations
The largest festival in China, which is also referred to as spring festival, marks the start of the Lunar New Year. The festival falls between mid-January and mid-February during this time people do things that will honor their ancestors. During every fifteenth day celebration, the Chinese people do something to welcome every day in a style and honor such as, eat mustard greens or rice congee to cleanse the body this is according to the renowned “University of Victoria”. The holiday, on the other hand, is marked with fireworks and parades of people featuring dancers dressed as dragons. Finally, it is important to mention that many people in China make pilgrimages to the birthplace of the goddess of mercy, “Confucius.” It usually happens on his birthday on September 28th.