China | Geography | People | Economy | Tourism and Problems

Physical Features

Mainland China is located in and the heart of Eastern Asia. It has the world's longest land border with 14 other countries with a total land area of 9.597 million square kilometers.


Depending on how we measure China, It could either be the second, third, or fourth-largest country in the world by total area. It's quite confusing.


Alright, If you include all the water territories, Canada is the second-largest in area, even though China has slightly more landmass, but if China's disputed territories are all included, then China is a little bit larger.

China


China has some complex administrative divisions. First of all, the country is divided into 22 official provinces and two special administrative regions which are self-governing themselves.

But they all fall under Chinese sovereignty.


They are Hong Kong and Macau. Each of these areas has its own passports, currency language, and even government. They have their own government regulations and the free market from China.

China is a giant country, so naturally, you're going to get deep geographic divisions all over, but in general, if you notice China from space, you'll find that the east region is significantly greener than that of the rocky north and west.


China has a vast variety of biodiversity and climates; the west and north will be radically different from the coast and south.


On the east side of China, they have the heavily populated alluvial plains that are generally flat, with numerous spots for shipping and beaches. This is basically the wide wild west of China.


The large Xinjiang region spreads at over 1.5 million square kilometers, only about 5% of the area is suitable for human habitation. This area is rocky, rugged, mountainous, and loaded with minerals and oil, making it the largest gas-producing region in China.


While heading to the south, they have the most difficult geographical autonomous region - The Tibetan plateau.

As the highest region on earth, with an average elevation of nearly 5,000 meters. This area is situated in the high Himalayan Mountains. It is home to the tallest mountain range on the planet, partially covers a small part of the tallest mountain in the world - Mount Everest - within the border with Nepal.



Then we get to the southeast by the provinces of Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guangdong. These areas are home to some of the most vibrant rock forest and greenery mountain landscapes with the beautiful terraced paddies that have literally covered the entire surface area of hills and mountains.

Green Mountain China


When you head inland, you can encounter the vast chain of rivers and creeks which irrigate the massive crop fields, with the seasonal pine and bamboo forest.


Demographic

China has the largest population around 1.4 billion people. It is the world's most populous country with around 19% of the entire population of the world in it. In fact, about one out of every five people on the planet is Chinese.


However, with the large population comes endless diversity of culture, traditions, people groups, innovation, and lifestyles.

China officially has about 56 different ethnic groups that inhabit the whole country.


China People

The largest majority of the population identifies as Han Chinese, at nearly 90%, and the remaining of the population typically falls within one of the many ethnic groups within the various regions over the country.

Fun Fact: There are nearly twice as many Mongols living in China than actually in Mongolia itself.

The official language of China is Mandarin Chinese or Putonghua. However, you can find the largest linguistic contrast in the different autonomous regions.


Chinese have an incredibly long history of vibrant, exuberating customs, traditions, rituals, discoveries, inventions, art, building, food, and beliefs.


One thing that is universal, though, is that the Chinese are a very hard-working people and they have done really great to develop their nation.

Chinese people love practicing English, in fact, there are actually more people in China who speak English as a second language than the whole population in the UK.


After 1970, policies were eased, and China opened a more free-market economy to improve its economy. Nonetheless, there are still restrictions on press freedom to the internet, however, VPNs and proxy servers are most common to cope with this problem. 


Although most people in the country are generally irreligious, there is still a surprisingly solid community of people that have faith.


Minorities of Islam can be mostly found in the west to the Xinjiang and Ningxia areas whereas Buddhism is more prevalent in the south, where you can find giant Buddha statues.


China has the world's fastest-growing Christian population in the world, and some data shows around 200 million people in China identify as Christians.

It is estimated that within 16 years, China will have the largest number of the world's Christian population.


Economy

We all know that China is huge. In terms of nominal GDP, China is the second richest country in the world after the U.S. They are the world's largest exporters, trade nation, oil importer, and highly developing infrastructure. China's economy is growing at a very high rate. Due to cheap labor and transparent government policies, China is expanding trade and industries rapidly. It is projected that China will surpass the US by 2030 in terms of annual nominal GDP.


Tourism

China is the world's fourth most visited country. In 2019. Over 65 million tourists visited China. It is home to a long and illustrious history. It is a budget-friendly destination with a plethora of exciting places to visit. China is a country rich in history, culture, discoveries, and modern architecture. Away from the hustle and bustle of the cities, China's natural beauty is breathtaking. Moreover, China is Asia’s most visited country.  Some most popular tourist attractions are the Great Wall of China, Temple of Heaven, Beijing, Yellow Mountains, Giant Pandas in Chengdu, Erhai Lake in Dali.


Great wall of China


Friend Zones and Diplomacy

China has good diplomatic relations with almost every single country in the world.

One thing that we can start with is one of the B.R.I.C.S nations.


B.R.I.C.S being the union for the association of the five global emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.


These five countries have developed an alliance based on bilateral relations and mutual benefit agreements for Improvement trade and economic assistance.


One misconception that a lot of people have is that China and India do not get together.


In the ‘60s there was a Sino-Indian War, and the border disputes are still in effect. Sometimes it becomes a war between them, China and India have been operating in a diplomatic relationship for decades. They are heavily dependent on each other's trade and business sectors.


South Africa and Angola are the largest African trading partners of China.

Pakistan has actually been one of the closest friends and allies of China. Actually, China assists Pakistan with infrastructure development and military improvement.


Funny enough, Israel is also a close relative of China as well, during world war 2, China took in many Jewish refugees in Shanghai. Israel was the first country in the Middle East to improve relations with China.


Russia is also the largest oil exporter to China, and there's even a small Russian community living in China, mostly in the Harbin area to the north.


The U.S. is China's largest trade partner and a great role player in China's revenue despite decades of economic competition between them.


China has good ties with both North and South Korea, however, China has been less supportive of North Korea, and has even threatened to impose an economic blockade against them.


Problems

Here's where we have to face a little bit of bitter reality.

Despite being biologically rich China has been trying hard to crack down on its illegal poaching, and especially the endangered species, like the black-necked crane, golden monkey, and the most iconic identity of China - Panda bears. Another serious problem of China is very high pollution. The Ministry of Health has mentioned that Industrial pollution has led to major health issues like cancer and heart disease which is China's leading cause of death.

This is both attributed to air and land pollution.

They've tried their best to combat the issue by implementing strict regulations, fines, and bans, but the population of China is really big and it's tough to control within quick succession.

It is proven incredibly difficult to manage issues of pollution. We should appreciate their efforts because China is much more investing in controlling pollution which is a serious problem of the majority of large cities in China.

Pollution in Shanghai
Air Pollution in Shanghai


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