of China


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 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

border countries: Afghanistan 76 km, Bhutan 470 km, Burma 2,185 km, Hong Kong 30 km, India 3,380 km, Kazakstan 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 withRussia remain to be settled; boundary with Tajikistan in dispute; short section of the boundary withNorth 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 theGulf of Tonkin; Paracel Islands occupied by China, but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; claimsJapanese-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.
lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,848 m

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)

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; signed, but not ratified - Desertification, Law of the Sea.

Geographic note: world's third-largest country (after Russia and Canada)

 

Return to China Home Page