Geography of China

Geography of China
As the most populous country in the world, it comes as no surprise that China is incredibly diverse in geography.

As China is one of largest nations in the world, it comes as no surprise that this country is incredibly diverse in geography. With peaks and valleys, rivers and seas – this beautiful country is an amazing place to explore.

Depending on what resource you look up, the People's Republic of China is the 3rd or 4th largest country in the world. China rivals the United States of America for this title, but it actually is the second largest country by land mass. The total area is over 9.5 million sq km. This includes 270,550 sq km of inland rivers and lakes.

Stretching 5,000 km horizontally and 5,500 vertically, China shares its border with a whopping 14 countries. Regional borders include Macau and Hong Kong. In terms of international borders, these include Afghanistan, Burma, Bhutan, India, North Korea, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Pakistan, Vietnam, amongst many others. Altogether, there are 22,117 km worth of land boundaries.

There are massive coastlines stretching 14,500 km from as far north as North Korea to as far south as Vietnam. China shares its coasts with Korea Bay, the East China Sea, Yellow Sea, as well as the South China Sea. China has also claimed a territorial sea, contiguous zone, a continental shelf, as well as an exclusive economic zone.

China is part of East Asia. It is below the Siberian landmass as well as Mongolia. To the east is Japan and the Korean Peninsula, to the south is South-East Asia, and to the west is South and Central Asia. Excluding all territories which are currently under dispute, China's latitude is about 18° to 53° N and 74° to 135° E. The official coordinates for China is 35° 0′ 0″ N, 105° 0′ 0″ E. This official coordinate is basically the middle of imaginary line that splits the highly populated cities of the east from the rural countryside in the west. This line is called the Heihe-Teng Chong Line.

To the north, south, and west of China's borders are deserts and high mountains. Tibet is a tableland which has an elevation of 4,000 metres. As it is surrounded by some of the world's highest mountains, it has been dubbed the “rooftop of the world”. In the north-west are the Altai, Kunlun, and Tian Shan Mountains. In the south are the world famous Himalayas. There are also some hills and mountains in eastern China but these are nothing to rave about compared to these giant peaks.

To the east, the North China Plain is the world's largest lowland area. However, Eastern China has two different geographical areas. The Qinling Mountains form the boundary between these two areas which also provide a huge climatic divide. There are 4 rivers and their associated tributaries which create the main plains. In the north-east, the Liao and Songhua rivers form a lowland surrounded by mountains. Flowing from Tibet, Yangtze and Yellow Rivers build a wide plain forming from Shanghai to Tianjin. The Yangtze River is the world's 3rd longest river after the Amazon and Nile Rivers.