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Political System l Religion l History


A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step
- A Chinese Proverb

A country and nation with more than 4,000 years’ history of civilization, China is bursting with mysteries of great age and cultures of unique depth. Located on the east of Asia and to the west of the Pacific, it is a country with marvelous and amazing scenic landscapes as well as culturally and artistically rich architectures. The third-largest country in the world in land area and the largest in population, China has also contributed to the world some of the most significant scientific and technological inventions such as the compass and gunpowder, as well as papermaking and printing skills.

China once practiced a ‘close-door economy’ for almost as long as 30 years but China is ‘wide awake’ today and ready to accept friends from all corners of the world, and the world has been waiting for such an invitation for over 30 years. Fascinating history, culture, art, architecture, geography, and nature defines China and these are articles in life that a person will never ignore.


China is situated in the eastern part of Asia and on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean. The third largest country in the world after Russia and Canada, it has an area of 9.5 million sq. km, measuring 5,000 km from the east to west and 4,050 km from the north to south. The country is outlined by Korea in the east, Mongolia in the north, Russia in the northeast, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia and Tadzhikistan in the northwest, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan in the southwest, and Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam in the south.

The government of China, which is based in Beijing, rules 21 provinces and the five ‘autonomous regions’ of Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Xinjiang, Guangxi, and Tibet. Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are all firmly regarded by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as Chinese territory. Hong Kong has already been handed back to China and Macau will be due by Dec. 20, 1999. Taiwan’s relationship with China has yet to be determined.

China’s topography varies from mountainous regions with great peaks to flat, featureless plains. These mountains are well known throughout the world such as the Kunlun-Qinling-Dabie mountain system, the Nanling mountain system, and the Himalayas and Taiwan mountains, which are the most popular mountains.


In terms of climate, China is exposed to both extremes of temperatures. In the north, the winters between December and March are awfully cold. In Beijing, the temperature does not rise above 0 degrees Celsius. To the north of the Great Wall into Inner Mongolia or Heilongjiang, it is even colder with temperatures dropping to minus 40 degrees Celsius. In summer, Beijing’s temperatures can rise up to 38 degrees Celsius while spring and autumn are the best times to visit the north. Daytime temperatures range from 20 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius. However, it can get bitterly cold during the nights.

On the other hand, the climate is hot and humid in south China, especially around Guangzhou, from the months of April to September. Rain is a common element and the southeast is subjected to typhoons between the months of July and September. Winter is short; it spans from January to March and is not as cold as the north. Like northern China, spring and autumn are also the best times to visit as the day temperatures vary between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. However, there is no saying how cold it can get even in the south and it is thus advisable to bring lots of warm clothes.

Central China is a region that is hot and humid and the Chinese have labeled Wuhan, Chongqing and Nanjing provinces as ‘the three furnaces’. Summer falls between April and October. Winter is short but it can get chillingly cold. The best time to visit is also spring and autumn.


China’s population now numbers 1.2 billion, the largest in the whole world. Of this total, only 30% are classified urban, which is relatively low. However, this figure is changing as farmers abandon their farms for the cities. At present, the most urgent “problem” the nation faces is that of birth control. The current plan is to limit population growth to 1.25 billion people by the year 2000, hold that figure, and allow birth control and natural mortality to reduce the population to 700 million.

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