Location and surface
In the east of the Asian continent and to the west of the Pacific Ocean the People's Republic of China is a great country -. With about 9.600.000 squared kilometers, its terrestrial surface occupies the third place in the world, she is only minor who Russia and Canada.
In terms of latitude, its jurisdictional territory begins in the mean line of the Heilongjiang river, to the north of Mohe (53°30' North latitude), and finishes in the Zengmu reefs, the southern end of the Nansha archipelago (North 4°latitud), distant to each other about 5,500 kilometers. When the region of the north still is in season of snow and ice, the one of the South ones already it enters the one of primaveral farming. In terms of length, the Eastern end is in the confluence of the rivers Heilongjiang and Wusulijiang (135°5' east longitude) and the western one, in the Pamir plateau (73º40' east longitude), to about 5,200 kilometers of distance; the hour difference reachs more than four hours. When in the dark sky of the Pamir the stars shine, the Wusulijiang river sees the matutinal dawn. China has a land border of about 22,800 kilometers in length and limits with 15 countries: by the east, with the Democratic Popular Republic of Korea; by the north, with Mongolia; by the northeast, with Russia; by the northwest, with Kazakstán, Kyrgyzstan and Tadjikistán; by the west and the southwest, with Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sikkim and Bután; by the south with Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam; by the east and the Southeast, it separates it to the sea of the Republic of Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The Chinese continent is bathed to the east and the south by the Bohai seas, Huanghai (Yellow), Donghai (of the East of China) and Nanhai (of the South of China). The jurisdictional seas of China cover a surface with about 4.730.000 square kilometers. The Bohai is an inner sea of China. Huanghai, Donghai and Nanhai are bordering seas of the Pacific Ocean. In extensive territorial marine waters of China 5,400 islands exist. The majors islands are Taiwan, with 36,000 kilometers square and Hainan, 34,000 kilometers square. The Diaoyu island and the Chiwei small barren island are the northeast of Taiwan and are most Eastern of China. In the sea Nanhai there are numerous islands and small barren islands, reefs and banks that altogether denominate “islands of the sea Nanhai of China”; they are the most southern archipelagoes of the country and by its location they receive the names of Dongsha, Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha.
Topography and orography
The topography of China is varied and complicated: highest and majestic mountains and depressions of different sizes, undulating hill high plateaus and lands extensive and fertile, as well as plains.
If the Chinese Earth is observed as a whole, the topography inclines from the west to the east in four launching slips.
The highest launching slip corresponds to the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, over the 4,000 meters on the level of the sea, and receives the denomination of “ceiling of the world”. In the Qinghai-Tibet plateau are numerous glaciers of high mountains, for example in the mountain ranges Kunlun, Gangdise and the Himalayas. The Qomolangma, main tip of the Himalayas, has 8,848 meters on the level of the sea and is the greater elevation of the planet.
The second launching slip, with an altitude that goes between the 1,000 and 2,000 meters on the level of the sea, is composed by high plateaus of Inner Mongolia, Loess and Yunnan-Guizhou, and the depressions Tarim, Junggar and Sichuan.
After the mountains Greater Hinggan, Taihang, Wushan and Xuefeng, in the Eastern edge of the second launching slip, the lands descend towards the Eastern coast, between 500 and 1,000 meters on the level of the sea. They are plains and hills that conform the third launching slip. In this launching slip they are, of north to the south, the plains of the Northeast, the North of China and the Courses Half and Inferior of the Changjiang. These plains are bordered by lands of low heights.
To the east of the third launching slip it is the zone of little deep seas of the continental platform, submarine prolongation of the Chinese continent. It is the fourth launching slip. Here the depth of the water does not reach the 200 meters.
In China, more than 1,500 rivers they have river basins superiors to the 1,000 square kilometers. The complete volume of the country exceeds the 2.700.000 million cubic meters, equivalent to the 5.8 percent of the world-wide gauging. As the majority of the rivers is born in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, the difference of fall of waters is very great, and therefore the hydrographic resources of China are very rich, reaching their reserves 680 million kilowatts, the first place in the world.
The Chinese rivers are classified in two groups. The exorreicos rivers end mainly at the Pacific oceans, I indicate and the Glacial Arctic. The river basins of this group of currents represent the 64 percent of the terrestrial surface of the country. The Changjiang rivers (Yangtsé), Huanghe (Yellow), Heilongjiang, Zhujiang, Liaohe, Haihe and Huaihe run towards the east to enter the Pacific; the river Yarlung Zangbo of Tibet, after to leave China, ends at Indico, and the throat Yarlung greater Zangbo-la of the world, with 504.6 kilometers in length and 6,009 meters of depth, is in this river; the Ertix river, of Xinjiang, runs towards the north to leave the country and to move towards the Glacial Arctic. The other group, of inner or endoreic rivers, takes their waters to the Lagos or disappears in the deserts and salty banks. The river basins of those inner rivers occupy the 36 percent of the terrestrial global surface of the country. The Tarim, in the south of Xinjiang, is longest of the inner rivers of China: 2,179 kilometers.
The Changjiang is the longest river of China and the third party in the world, after the Nile and the Amazon. It measures 6,300 kilometers with a river basin of 1.809.000 kilometers square. The courses half and inferior of the Changjiang are of temperate and humid climate, abound in pluvial precipitations and fertile earth, constituting important agricultural zones of China. The Changjiang is also a great artery of the fluvial transport between the west and the east of China, of there the denomination of “aquatic route sea bream”. The Huanghe occupies the second place between the rivers of China. It measures 5,464 kilometers with a river basin of 752,000 kilometers square. Its valley has beautiful and rich pastures and considerable deposits of minerals. In him the old Chinese civilization was based. The Heilongjiang is a great river of the north of China; it measures 4,350 kilometers in length, of which, 3,101 kilometers cross the Chinese territory. The Zhujiang is a great river of the south of China and measures of 2,214 kilometers in length. Besides these natural rivers, in China there is a very famous artificial river, the Great Jinghang Channel (Peking-Hangzhou), that goes of north to the south. The excavation of this channel began in century V before ours was. The channel part of Peking in the north, crosses 1,801 kilometers and finishes in Hangzhou in the south, communicating the hydrologic systems of five rivers: Haihe, Huanghe, Huaihe, Changjiang and Qiantangjiang. This is the oldest excavation and the longest channel of the world.
China owns two main types of climate: one, typically continental monsoon climate and the other, complex and variable climate. The winds of the north predominate during the winter, and those of the south in the summer. The four stations are marked. The summer, warm and humid, is time of rains. From September to April of the year following, the winter monsoons droughts and colds come of Siberia and of the mongola plateau, the situation of the cold and dry climate and the existence of temperature difference in the north and the south are debilitated little by little of north to the south forming. From April to September, the hot and humid current comes from the seas forming the situation of high temperature and much rain and the existence of little temperature difference. China has strips of temperature and dry and humid zones of many types, of here the signal of the variable complex and of the climate of the country. According to the tempertura indices, China is divided in six strips of the south to north: equatorial, tropical, subtropical, warmed up, temper-cold and it fries; being based on the hydrologic conditions, of the south-east towards the northwest, in four great zones: humid, the 32 percent of the national territory; semihumid, the 15 percent; semi-dry, the 22 dry percent and, the 31 percent.
Resources of the ground and minerals
The composition and distribution of the resources of the ground of China own three great characteristics: 1) Typological variety, because the cultivable earth or wooded earth are extensive, the steppes, the deserts, the banks, etc. 2) Are numerous the mountainous lands, but few level and the depressions. 3) The distribution is unbalanced, because the cultivable earth are concentrated mainly in the east, the prairies, in the majority of the cases, distribute in the west and north, while the forests mainly concentrate in the northeast and southwest of the country.
China has 94.970.000 of hectares of earth worked, concentrated mainly in the plains of the Northeast, North of China, the Courses Half and Inferior of the Changjiang, the delta of the Zhujiang and the depression of Sichuan. Great proportion of the plain of the Northeast has black and fertile ground. In her they abound the wheat, the maize, the sorghum, soya, jute and the beet. In the plain of the North of China the cultivable ground has great depth and it takes place wheat, maize, millet and cotton. The plain of the Courses Half and Inferior of the Changjiang is overwhelmed with Lagos, lagoons, rivers and brooks, well-known like “land of the fish and grains”, is the main producing zone of the rice and freshwater fishes and, in addition, abound in the tea and the worm of soothes. The depression of Sichuan has a ground of brown color mainly and climate temperate humid and in each climatic station has different cultures: sugar rice, oilseed rape and cane.
The surface occupied by the forests arrives at 133.700.000 hectares. In the mountain ranges Greater Hinggan, Hinggan Menor and Changbai, of the northeast, infinite extensions of rodeno (Pinus koraiensis), larches (Larix), Larix olgensis and other aciculignosas, as well as weeping forests of birches (Betula platyphylla), oaks (Xylosma japonicum), willows (mandshurica Fraxinus), poplars (Populus) and elm trees are seen everywhere (Ulmus pumila) and other trees with wide leaves, being greater the natural wooded zones of China. Secondly, in the natural wooded zone of the southwest, besides the precious trees like the Tectona grandis, violet sandalwood (Pterocarpus indicus), the alcanforero (camphora Cinnamomum), the Phoebe nanmu and the annatto (orellana Bixa), teems the Picea, Abies and the Pinus yunnanensis. Xishuangbanna, in the south of the province of Yunnan, is the wooded of trees with wide tropical leaves, exceptional zone in China, with more than 5,000 exotic forest species, and receives the denomination of “kingdom of the flora”.
The earth surface covered with vegetal mantles of natural grass is of around 400 million hectares. Throughout 3,000 kilometers prolonged from the northeast to the southwest, numerous bases for the cattle ranch are distributed. The prairie of Inner Mongolia is the greatest natural pasture of China; there the mongolas bovines and horses of Sanhe grow up and ewes. The south and the north of the Tianshan mountain range, in Xinjiang, are also natural pastures of importance and bases of excellent species of the Chinese cattle. The horses of Ili and fine wool ovines grow up.
The absolute amount of the worked surfaces, forests and earth grasses appears between first of the world. Nevertheless, China counts on a numerous population, for that reason the relative amount in terms is little per capita. , Earth the mainly worked is less than 0.08 hectares per capita, only a third of the world-wide one.
The mineral deposits of China abundant and are varied. All the minerals known in the world have been in this country. At present, their 153 mineral elements have well-known reserves. The Chinese global mineral reserve occupies the third place of the world. Between power minerals with reserves already clearly explored there is coal, petroleum, natural gas, bituminous schists, uranium Y plutonium. According to the prospections, their coal reserves, 1.007.100 million tons, are distributed mainly in the north mainly in Shanxi and Inner Mongolia. The petroleum reserves are distributed mainly in the northwest, also in the northeast, the north and in the zone of little deep seas of the continental platform of the east. Between ferrous metals one has iron, manganese, vanadium, titanium, etc. The iron is distributed mainly in the northeast, the north and the southwest, and their reserves reach 45,900 million tons. In the mineral nonferrous metal deposits, the reserves explored of the tungsten, tin, antimony, zinc, molybdenum, lead and mercury occupy the first world-wide row. Their rare earth reserves are majors that the total of the rest of the world.
Flora and fauna
China is one of the countries with more numerous wild animal species. It has more than 4,400 species of vertebrates, more of the 10 percent of the total of the world. 1,189 bird-raising species are shortage, near 500 animal, more than 210 species of amphibians and more than 320 species of reptiles. Between the numerous wild animal, few are not own of China, for example, the panda, the monkey of golden hair (Rhinopithecus), the tiger of the south of China, the white dolphin of river (Lipotes to vexillifer), the Chinese cayman (Alligator sinensis), and the red crane of crest (Grus japonensis). They are animal precious, rare and famous in the world. The panda is of very calm genius, dumpy body, clumsy and pleasant movements, that enchant to people. The red crane of crest, migratory bird, exceeds the 120 centimeters of height; it has all the body covered with clean and white pens like the snow, and in the top of its head, gray, the skin without pens, but of red alive, very interesting and natural is seen, as if they were flames in animation, brilliants. The white dolphin of river is one of the two species of fresh water cetaceans; in year 1980 a male white dolphin captured itself for the first time in the Changjiang river, that interests much to the scientific circles.
China also is one of the richest countries in vegetal resources. Only of the flora superior it has more than 32,000 species. All the main plants of the zones can be seen in China almost fries, warmed up and tropical of the North hemisphere. They grow more than 7,000 species majors, of which, 2,800 are arboreal. Metasequoia glyptostroboides, Glyptostrobus pensilis, Cathaya argyrophylla, lanceolata Cunninghamia, Pseudolarix amabilis, Pinus taiwanensis, Fokienia hodginssi, involucrata Davidia, Eucommia ulmoides, Gingko biwolf and acuminata Camptotheca are own of China. Metasequoia glyptostroboides is a species of arboreal discharge and is in the list of rare, old and famous plants of the world. Pseudolarix amabilis grows in the mountainous zones of the valley of the Changjiang river; their leaves, as copper currencies, are in short branches, the spring and the summer and yellows in the autumn are seen very green in; she is one of the five species of precious trees in the gardens of the world. They exist in China more than 2,000 vegetable species foods. It enters more than 3,000 species of medicinal use, are pharmacological matters very considered ginseng (Panax ginseng) of the mountains Changbai, saffron (Carthamus tinctorius) tibetano, cambrona of Ningxia (chinense Lycium), sanqi (Pseudo ginseng) of Yunnan and Guizhou. The ornamental vegetation is numerous. Striking, beautiful and multiform peonía, called “queen of the flowers” is own of China, of there its denomination of “national flag and aroma of the sky”. The “three famous malacoides flowers”, azalea, Primula and Gentiana scabra, grow mainly in the suroccidental zone and in the period of blossoming, the landscape adorned with these flowers enchants to people.
In order to protect the precious faunísticos and botanical resources and to save the species in danger of extinction, 1,146 natural reserves related to forests and wild animal have settled down, that totalize 88.130.000 hectares. Fifteen natural reserves have entered the Network the International of Protection of the Man and the Biosphere: Wolong and Jiuzhaigou de Sichuan, the mountains Changbai de Jilin, Dinghu de Guangdong, Fanjing de Guizhou, Wuyi de Fujian, the mountains Shennongjia de Hubei, Xilin Goal of Inner Mongolia, Tip Bogda de Xinjiang, Yancheng de Jiangsu, Xishuangbanna de Yunnan, Tianmu and the islands Nanji de Zhejiang, Maolan de Guizhou and Fenglin de Heilongjiang. Seven natural reserves were placed in the marshy territories list important of the world: Zhalong de Heilongjiang, Xianghai de Jilin, the Dongting lake of the East of Hunan, the lake Poyang de Jiangxi, the Island of the Birds of the Qinghai Lake, Dongzhaigang de Hainan and Mai Po of Hong Kong.