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China (also see separate Hong Kong and Taiwan entries) Geography

    Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam

    Geographic coordinates: 35 00 N, 105 00 E

    Map references: Asia

    Area:
    total: 9,596,960 sq km
    land: 9,326,410 sq km
    water: 270,550 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly smaller than the US

    Land boundaries:
    total: 22,143.34 km
    border countries: Afghanistan 76 km, Bhutan 470 km, Burma 2,185 km, Hong Kong 30 km, India 3,380 km, Kazakhstan 1,533 km, North Korea 1,416 km, Kyrgyzstan 858 km, Laos 423 km, Macau 0.34 km, Mongolia 4,673 km, Nepal 1,236 km, Pakistan 523 km, Russia (northeast) 3,605 km, Russia (northwest) 40 km, Tajikistan 414 km, Vietnam 1,281 km

    Coastline: 14,500 km

    Maritime claims:
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north

    Terrain: mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
    highest point: Mount Everest 8,848 m

    Natural resources: coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest)

    Land use:
    arable land: 10%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 43%
    forests and woodland: 14%
    other: 33% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 498,720 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts

    Environment—current issues: air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal, produces acid rain; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; deforestation; estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1949 to soil erosion and economic development; desertification; trade in endangered species

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Nuclear Test Ban

    Geography—note: world's fourth-largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US)

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)