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China


    • Affiliation:
      (also see separate Taiwan entry)

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

    • Map references:
      Asia

    • Area:

        total area:
        9,596,960 sq km

        land area:
        9,326,410 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly larger than the US

    • Land boundaries:
      total 22,143.34 km, 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:

        continental shelf:
        claim to shallow areas of East China Sea and Yellow Sea

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

    • International disputes:
      boundary with India in dispute; disputed sections of the boundary with Russia remain to be settled; boundary with Tajikistan in dispute; a short section of the boundary with North Korea is indefinite; involved in a complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei; maritime boundary dispute with Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin; Paracel Islands occupied by China, but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; claims Japanese-administered Senkaku-shoto (Senkaku Islands/Diaoyu Tai), as does Taiwan

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

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

    • Natural resources:
      coal, iron ore, petroleum, 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%

        meadows and pastures:
        31%

        forest and woodland:
        14%

        other:
        45%

    • Irrigated land:
      478,220 sq km (1991 - Chinese data)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        air pollution from the overwhelming use of high-sulfur coal as a fuel, produces acid rain which is damaging forests; water shortages experienced throughout the country, particularly in urban areas; future growth in water usage threatens to outpace supplies; water pollution from industrial effluents; much of the population does not have access to potable water; less than 10% of sewage receives treatment; deforestation; estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1957 to soil erosion and economic development; desertification; trade in endangered species

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

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

    • Note:
      world's third-largest country (after Russia and Canada)






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