China Geography

China is located in eastern Asia and on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean . The land area is about 9.6 million square kilometers, ranking third in the worldafter Russia and Canada (see the list of country areas for details). The land area is the second in the world, second only to Russia.

China’s territory spans 62 degrees and five time zones , about 5,200 kilometers. The easternmost point is at the junction of the main channel of Heilongjiang and Wusuli River main channel (there is also the saying that “the easternmost point is the black box island China control zone”) The westernmost point is in the Pamir Plateau in Xinjiang , using the unified Dongba District time ; the north and south span nearly 50 degrees , about 5,500 kilometers. The oceans from north to south are in the Bohai Sea , the Yellow Sea , the East China Sea and the South China Sea ; there are more than 5,000 islands , most of which are distributed in the waters south of the Yangtze River estuary;  The southernmost part is the Zengmu shoal in the southern part of the South China Sea ; largest archipelago is Zhoushan Islands ; Shandong Peninsula is the largest peninsula , followed by the Liaodong Peninsula ; Bohai Sea andThe Qiongzhou Strait is China’s inland sea ; the mainland coastline is more than 18,000 kilometers long. The People’s Republic of China actually has jurisdiction over 22 provinces , 5 autonomous regions and 4 municipalities directly under the Central Government . There are also 2 special administrative regions . The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the northwest is the largest provincial administrative unit.

Due to the breadth of the territory and the large span of geography, China covers almost all terrains , including mountains , plateaus , hills , basins , plains and deserts . China’s topography is high in the west and low in the east. It is distributed in three steps, from west to east, descending step by step; there are few plains, many mountains, and the land difference is very different. Mountains, plateaus and hills account for about 67% of the land area, and basins and plains account for about 33% of the land area. Mountains and plateaus are concentrated in the western region . The area below 500 meters above sea level only accounts for 16% of the national area, as high as 65% above 1000 meters above sea level, and there are 7 peaks in China with 12 peaks over 8,000 meters in the world. The mountains are mostly east-west and north-southeast. There are mainly Altai Mountains , Tianshan Mountains , Kunlun Mountains , Karakorum Mountains , Himalayas , Yinshan , Qinling , Nanling , Daxinganling , Changbai Mountain , Taihang Mountain , Wuyi Mountain andThe Hengdang Mountain and other mountains , the main peak of the Himalayas on the border with Nepal , Mount Everest , at an altitude of 8,844 meters, is the world’s highest peak, and the lowest point of the Aiding Lake in the Turpan Basin is -155 meters. The four plateaus in China are the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau , the Inner Mongolia Plateau , the Loess Plateau and the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau , and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the largest plateau. The four basins are the Qaidam Basin , the Tarim Basin , the Junggar Basin and the Sichuan Basin . The Tarim Basin is the largest. The basin is the highest basin in the Qaidam Basin; the three plains are the Northeast Plain , the North China Plain, and the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River , and the Northeast Plain is the largest plain. The desert is mainly distributed in the western region , and the Taklimakan Desert is the largest in China.The desert is also the largest mobile desert in the world. Taklimakan means “going in and out,” in the local language.

There are many rivers and lakes on land in China , but they mainly belong to the Pacific Ocean water system , which determines the basic trend of water flow to the east; followed by parts of the southwestern part of the Indian Ocean water system, some parts of the western part of the inland independent water system; and several rivers in the northwest It belongs to the Arctic Ocean water system. The river is divided into an outflow river and an inland river . The southern, eastern and northern rivers are all outflow rivers. The southern river has a large water flow, a small seasonal change in water level, a long flood season, a small sediment concentration, and no ice-free period. Outside a few rivers such as Heilongjiang , the flow of river water is small, the seasonal variation of water level is shorter, and the sediment concentration is large. The inland river is mainly distributed in the northwest, and the Tarim River is the largest inland river in China. The Yangtze River , the Yellow River and the Pearl River are the first, second and third rivers in China, of which the Yangtze River is the third largest river in the world. There are many lakes in China, mainly distributed in the south and west. The five major freshwater lakes, Poyang Lake , Dongting Lake , Taihu Lake , Hongze Lake and Chaohu Lake , are distributed in the Yangtze River Basin ; Qinghai LakeIt is the largest lake and the largest saltwater lake , and Namco is the second largest saltwater lake.

The connection between the Qinling and Huaihe Rivers is the boundary between geography and climate in southern China and the north, but people used to use the Yellow River as the dividing line between the South and the North. Due to the difference in topography and location, it is roughly divided into three natural areas, one is the eastern monsoon humid area dominated by water flow, the other is the northwest arid area dominated by wind erosion, ice erosion and water flow, and the third is ice and wind erosion. The main cold-cold region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Regional division

The government of the People’s Republic of China divides China into

China Geographical Division

  • North China : Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
  • Northeast : Liaoning Province, Jilin Province, Heilongjiang Province
  • East China : Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian, Jiangxi, Shandong
  • Central China : Henan Province, Hubei Province, Hunan Province
  • South China : Guangdong Province, Hainan Province, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region
  • Southwest China : Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Tibet
  • Northwest China : Shaanxi Province, Gansu Province, Qinghai Province, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

There is also a more traditional division that divides China into the Chinese headquarters and Manchuria (Northeast), Xinjiang, Mongolia, and Qinghai. This is divided according to human geography and ethnic distribution. Due to the suspicion of splitting the country, it has been used less frequently in recent years.

The late Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China , Mr. Zhou Enlai (1898-1976), compiled the names of 30 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in China at that time into a seven-character poem to remember (Hainan and Chongqing were respectively belonged to Guangdong Province and Sichuan Province). The Hong Kong SAR and the Macau SAR have not yet returned):

Two lakes, two Guanghe two rivers (Hunan, Hubei , Guangdong , Guangxi , Henan , Hebei , Shandong , Shanxi )

Wujiang Yungui Fuji ( Jiangsu , Zhejiang , Jiangxi , Heilongjiang , Xinjiang , Yunnan , Guizhou , Fujian , Jilin , Anhui )

Sixi Nanning Qingganshan ( Sichuan , Tibet , Ningxia , Liaoning , Qinghai , Gansu , Shaanxi )

There is also Taipei in the sky ( Inner Mongolia , Taiwan , Beijing , Shanghai , Tianjin )

North-South boundary

China’s northern and southern boundary line ( China’s southern Luoji North Geographical Demarcation) is the Qinling-Huaihe line , north of the Qinling Huaihe River , geographically referred to as the north in China, and south in the south. The north generally includes the northeastern region of the region , the north China region, and the northwest region (” three norths “). The south generally includes the southwestern region , the central and southern regions , and the eastern region of the region .

East-West boundary

The western part of China’s eastern part is the Heihe-Tengchong line , the place east of the line connecting the Heihe Tengchong . It is called the east in the geographical area of ​​China and the west in the west. The eastern region generally includes the geographical northeast region, North China region, Central South region and East China region. The western region generally includes the geographical northwest and southwest regions. The population in the east is far more than the west, and the economy is much more developed than in the west.

Four geographical regions

According to geographical location, natural and human geography, China can be divided into four geographical regions, namely, the southern region, the northern region, the northwest region, and the Qinghai-Tibet region.

Northern region

The northern region refers to the area north of the Qinling – Huaihe line, Daxinganling -Yinshan-Helanshan- Wushiping , east of the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea . It is the northern part of the Chinese monsoon region, located at the 0°C isotherm in January and 800mm. North of the precipitation line. It includes all or most of the five provinces and three provinces, the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, and the southeastern part of Gansu, Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu [o] , and northern Anhui [p] . The area accounts for about 20% of the country, and the population accounts for about 40% of the country. Among them, the Han people account for the vast majority, and the ethnic minorities have a large population. There are Manchus and Koreans living in the Northeast .

The Northeast Plain , the North China Plain , and the Guanzhong Plain are all important agricultural production areas in China. The annual precipitation of 400 to 800 mm in this area determines that agriculture in the region is dominated by drought. Due to climate, the main crops north of the Great Wall are: spring wheat, corn , sorghum , soybeans , potatoes , and beets ; and south of the Great Wall can grow winter wheat, corn, cotton , buckwheat , sweet potatoes, millet and other crops. In addition, Daxinganling , Xiaoxing’anling and Changbai Mountain in the northeast of the region are considered to be the “treasure house” of Chinese forest resources.

Southern region

Karst landforms near Yangshuo , Guangxi

The northern slope of Changbai Mountain in Jilin Province is close to the North Korean border.

The sand dunes of the Gobi Desert near Dunhuang , Gansu Province .

The Loess Plateau near Wuyuan , Shanxi Province .
The southern region refers to the southern part of the eastern monsoon region of China, located in the 0°C isotherm in January and south of the 800mm precipitation line. It is mainly in the area south of the Qinling-Huaihe area, east of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau , facing the East China Sea and the South China Sea in the east and south , and the coastline of the mainland accounts for more than two-thirds of the country. The scope of the district includes the six provinces and one city in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the southern coastal and the four southwestern provinces and most of the city. The area accounts for about 25% of the country’s total, and the population accounts for about 55% of the country, of which the Han majority. There are more than 30 ethnic minority areas, their numbers more than 50 million, mainly distributed in Guangxi , Yunnan , Guizhou , Sichuan , Hunan , Hainan and other provinces, the number is more Zhuang , Miao , Yi , Tujia , Buyi , Yi , Bai , Hani , Yi , Li and so on. Yunnan Province in the region is also the province with the most ethnic minorities in China.

The terrain of this area is high in the west and low in the east. The terrain is plain, the basin is interlaced with the plateau and the hills. The area is full of heat, abundant rainfall and good agricultural production conditions. The Chengdu Plain in the area is known as the “land of abundance”, and the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River are known as the “land of fish and rice”.

North-west region

The Northwest Territories are often referred to as “Northwest” or “Great Northwest”. It is located roughly west of Daxing’anling, north of the Great Wall-Qilian Mountains-Altun Mountains-Kunlun Mountains, including Shaanxi , Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region , Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region , Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and northwestern Gansu Province . The border line of this region is long, and it is adjacent to Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and other countries. The area is large, accounting for 30% of the national area, but the population only accounts for about 4% of the country, and it is a sparsely populated area. The Han nationality accounts for about two-thirds of the population of the region, and the minority population accounts for about one-third of the total population, mainly Mongolian, Hui, Uyghur, and Kazakh.

The northwestern region is a non-monsoon region, deep inland, west of the 400mm precipitation line. Drought is a major feature of the natural environment of the area. The rivers in this area are sparse, and most of them are inflow rivers; affected by the arid climate, the cities in the area are mostly distributed along rivers and oases. This area is China’s main pastoral area, and its livestock products occupy a prominent position in China. The Inner Mongolia Prairie, Hexi Corridor and Tianshan Ranch are important livestock bases. The mineral resources of this area are very rich.

Xinjiang Bayin Guoyu Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture and Bayanbulak grassland in Jing County .
Qinghai-Tibet Area

Entirely in China is the highest peak in the Tibet Autonomous Region Nyalam County Himalayan Shishapangma (8013 m, 14th).

The northern slopes of Mount Everest in the Himalayas near Tibet on the Sino-Nepalese border .

Xinjiang Karakoram

The Qinghai-Tibet area is located in southwestern China, west of the Hengduan Mountains , north of the Himalayas , south of the Kunlun Mountains and the Altun Mountains , and the Qilian Mountains , including Qinghai , Tibet and western Sichuan . It is a unique geographical unit with high altitude and cold climate. The area accounts for about 25% of the country, but the population only accounts for 1% of the country. The main body of this area is the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau , which is known as the “roof of the world” . The Tibet Autonomous Region in the region is adjacent to Myanmar, India, Bhutan, Nepal and other countries. This area is the source of many large rivers in Asia . The source of the Yangtze River, the Yellow River and the Lancang River ( Mekong River ) are here. The area has a large number of rare animals, such as the well-known Tibetan antelope . This area is a region where Chinese Tibetans live. Except for the Han people in the northeastern part of Qinghai Province, most of the population is mainly Tibetan. Tibetan people believe in Tibetan Buddhism.

The crops in this area are: barley, peas , canola, wheat, etc. This area is also a large pastoral area in the country. The main livestock are yak , Tibetan sheep and Tibetan goats.

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