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The People's Republic of China is situated in eastern Asia on the western shore of the Pacific Ocean. It has an area of 9.6 million square kilometers which comprises about 6.5 per cent of the world total land area. Its population of more than one billion accounts for 23 per cent of the world's population. There are 56 ethnic groups in China while the Han people account for 92 percent of the population.|
The coastline extends for about 18, 000 kilometers. Stretching from its southern borders in the Himalayas to the deserts of Mongolia in the north, and from the East China Sea through the Yangtze River Valley plains, to the Tibetan Plateau in the western mainland, China covers an area of 9,596,960 square kilometers. More than 5,000 islands are scattered over China's vast territorial seas; the largest being Taiwan and the second largest, Hainan. One territorial sea and three neighboring seas altogether constitute 4.73 million square kilometers. China has a land border of 22,143.34 kilometers long and is bordered by twelve countries: Korea in the east; Russian in the northeast and the northwest; Mongolia in the north; India, Pakistan, Bhutan and Nepal in part of the west and southwest; Burma, Laos and Vietnam in the south. And its land drops off in escarpments eastward to the ocean, letting in humid air current and leading many rivers eastward. Among the rivers totaling 220,000 kilometers in length in China, the Changjiang (Yangtze) and the Huanghe (Yellow) are known to the world.
China has beautiful scenery, with mountains and ranges, highlands, plains, basins, and hills. The highlands and hill regions account for 65 percent of the country's total land mass, and there are more than 2,000 lakes. The highest mountain peak is Qomolangma (Everest), the highest in the world, 8,848 meters above sea level; the lowest point is the Turpan Basin, 154 meters below sea level.
Abounding in natural resources, China leads the world in many proven mineral deposits; No country in the world boasts more wildlife than China, many of which are native to China, such as giant panda, snub-nosed golden monkey, and Chinese alligator; China's dawn redwood and Cathaya argyrophylla are known as the living fossils of ancient plants.
With the latitude spanning nearly 50 degrees, China is characterized by a continental climate.