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Welcome to China Virtual Tours, your premier online guide to travel in China.

Elementary Knowledge of China

National Summary Location Size National Flag National Emblem National Anthem Administrative institutions
Population Ethnic groups Topography Climate Languages Religions Chronology

National Summary:
    conventional long form: People's Republic of China
    conventional short form: China
    local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
    local short form: Zhong Guo
    abbreviation: PRC
    data code: CH
    capital: Beijing (Peking).

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Location:
    China is situated in the eastern part of Asia, on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean, in the southeastern part of the Eurasian contient, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam . It's border countries include Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, Hong Kong, India, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macau, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia (northeast), Russia (northwest), Tajikistan, and Vietnam. It's geographic coordinates is 35 00 N, 105 00 E. Download the country map of China.

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Size:
    China covers covers an area of 9.6 million square km, which is approximately one-fifteenth of the land area of the world.

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National Flag:
the national flag of China    The national flag has five yellow, five-pointed stars on the upper left part on a field of red. The red color of the flag symbolizes revolution. The larger star represents the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the four smaller ones, the Chinese people. This expresses the great unity of the Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC.

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National Emblem:
    The national emblem of the PRC features Tiananmen Gate beneath the five shining stars, encircled by ears of grain and with a cogwheel at the bottom. Click to know more about Tianan Men.

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National Anthem:
    The national anthem was written in 1935, with lyrics by the noted poet Tian Han and music by the famous composer Nie Er. Download China's national anthem in MP3 or MIDI.

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Administrative Institutions:
At present,China was divided into 23 provinces (Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang, Taiwan), 5 autonomous regions (Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Xinjiang, Tibet), 4 municipalities (Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin), and 1 special administrative region (Hongkong).

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Population:
China has the largest population in the world. In 1998, there were 1,248.1 million people living on the mainland (excluding those living in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao), accounting for 22 percent of the world population.
   Male ------------------ 581.82 million, 51.5 percent of the total
   Female ---------------- 548.69 million, 48.5 percent of the total
   Growth rate ------------ 0.77%
   Birth rate ------------ 15.1 births/1,000 population
   Death rate ------------ 6.98 deaths/1,000 population

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Ethnic groups:
Han Chinese 91.9%, Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean, and other nationalities 8.1%

population and distribution of ethnic minorities
(based on the Fourth National Census data on July 1, 1990)
Ethnic Group Population(10,000)

Major Areas of Distribution

Mongolian   

480.24   

Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Liaoning, Jilin,Heilongjiang, Gansu, Hebei, Henan and Qinghai

Hui   

861.20   

Ningxia, Gansu, Henan, Hebei, Qinghai,Shandong,Yunnan, Xinjiang, Anhui, Liaoning,Heilongjiang, Jilin, Shaanxi, Beijing andTianjin

Tibetan   

459.31   

Tibet, Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan

Uygur   

720.70   

Xinjiang

Miao   

738.36   

Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, Guangxi, Sichuan,Hainan and Hubei

Yi   

657.85   

Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi

Zhuang   

1,555.58

Guangxi, Yunnan, Guangdong and Guizhou

Bouyei   

254.83   

Guizhou

Korean   

192.34   

Jilin, Liaoning and Heilongjing

Manchu   

984.68   

Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Hebei, Beijing,and Inner Mongolia

Dong   

250.68   

Guizhou, Hunan and Guangxi

Yao   

213.70   

Guangxi, Hunan, Yunnan, Guangdong and Guizhou

Bai   

159.81   

Yunnan and Guizhou

Tujia   

572.50   

Hunan and Hubei

Hani   

125.48   

Yunnan

Kazak   

111.08   

Xinjiang, Gansu and Qinghai

Dai   

102.54   

Yunnan

Li   

111.25   

Hainan

Lisu   

57.46   

Yunnan and Sichuan

Va   

35.20   

Yunnan

She   

63.47   

Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Guangdong

Gaoshan   

0.29   

Taiwan (the figure excludes the Gaoshan ethnic group in Taiwan Province) and Fujian

Lahu   

41.15   

Yunnan

Shui   

34.71   

Guizhou and Guangxi

Dongxiang   37.37 Gansu and Xinjiang

Naxi   

27.78   

Yunnan and Sichuan

Jingpo   

11.93   

Yunnan

Kirgiz   

14.35   

Xinjiang and Heilongjiang

Tu   

19.26   

Qinghai and Gansu

Daur   

12.15   

Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang and Xinjiang

Mulam   

16.06   

Guangxi

Qiang   

19.83   

Sichuan

Bulang   

8.24   

Yunnan

Salar   

8.75   

Qinghai and Gansu

Maonan   

7.24   

Guangxi

Gelo   

43.82   

Guizhou and Guangxi

Xibo   

17.29   

Xinjiang, Liaoning and Jilin

Achang   

2.77   

Yunnan

Pumi   

2.97   

Yunnan

Tajik   

3.32   

Xinjiang

Nu   

2.72   

Yunnan

Ozbek   

1.48   

Xinjiang

Russian   

1.35   

Xinjiang

Ewenki   

2.64   

Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang

De'ang   

1.55   

Yunnan

Bao'an   

1.17   

Gansu

Yugu   

1.23   

Gansu

Jing   

1.87   

Guangxi

Tartar   

0.51   

Xinjiang

Drung   

0.58   

Yunnan

Oroqen   

0.70   

Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang

Hezhen   

0.43   

Heilongjiang

Monba   

0.75   

Tibet

Loba   

0.23   

Tibet

Jino   

1.80   

Yunnan


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Topography:
    The topography of China is complex, high in the west and low-lying in the east. Mountains, hills and plateaus account for 65 percent of the country's land area. Among the world's 19 mountain peaks, 8,000 meters above sea level or higher, China has seven. China also abounds in rivers and lakes. The total length of rivers runs to 220,000 km. More than 5,000 rivers have a catchment area exceeding 100 square km. More than 2,800 lakes are more than one square km in size, among which 13 have a water surface of more than 1,000 square km.

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Climate:
    China's climate is determined by the interplay between seasonally changing mosoons-- the winter monsoon, polar continental air masses from Siberia which cause cold, arid winters, and the summer monsoon, the tropical pacific air masses which cause hot summers. Due to China's size-- an expanse of land covering more than 35 degrees of latitude-- and complex topography, there are pronounced variations in climate from region to region. Extremely cold, dry Siberian winds blow over the Mongolian Plateau seaward into North China from September to April. In the south they are blocked by parallel mountain ranges such as Qinling in Shaanxi, Dabie Shan in Anhui/Henan/Hubei and Nanling in southern Hunan.

Average Temperatures in Major Chinese Cities
(Degree in Centigrade)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Yearly
Beijing -3.7 -1.8 6.9 15.0 21.3 25.3 25.1 24.5 19.8 11.4 3.4 -1.7 12.1
Changchun -17.1 -12.0 -1.2 6.5 15.2 21.5 21.6 20.2 14.8 5.6 -4.2 -10.6 5.0
Changsha 5.6 6.4 10.8 16.9 23.4 25.6 28.4 29.3 27.8 24.2 19.1 15.8 22.1
Chengdu 6.4 6.7 10.8 15.6 21.5 23.8 23.3 22.9 20.2 15.4 10.2 8.7 15.2
Chongqing 7.0 10.0 14.5 19.5 23.0 25.5 29.0 30.0 25.0 19.0 14.0 10.5 18.9
Fuzhou 10.4 9.1 12.4 18.5 22.5 26.0 29.0 28.9 24.5 18.4 12.1 8.4 17.6
Guangzhou 13.9 13.1 16.9 23.3 26.2 27.3 28.1 28.7 26.9 22.7 18.0 16.8 21.9
Guilin 8.2 9.5 13.0 18.2 23.4 26.4 28.0 28.7 26.1 21.0 15.8 10.5 19.1
Guiyang 6.3 5.3 11.6 15.4 20.0 22.6 23.3 22.9 20.2 15.4 10.2 8.7 15.2
Harbin -20.2 -14.2 2.5 6.0 14.7 21.3 22.2 19.8 14.3 4.1 -5.5 -12.7 3.9
Hangzhou 4.3 4.5 9.7 15.2 21.3 24.5 28.4 27.8 22.5 16.9 11.8 7.1 16.2
Hefei 3.1 3.7 9.6 15.7 22.2 25.0 26.6 27.1 22.7 16.2 9.8 4.5 15.5
Hohhot -11.0 -9.5 -0.3 7.7 18.1 21.1 22.7 20.8 14.2 6.1 -4.6 -10.0 6.3
Hong Kong 15.9 14.7 17.6 22.6 25.9 28.0 28.5 29.0 27.8 25.0 20.6 17.7 22.8
Jinan -0.1 0.9 9.1 16.5 22.8 27.0 28.2 25.6 22.3 14.2 7.3 1.2 14.6
Kunming 7.5 10.0 12.3 16.3 19.0 20.5 18.8 18.7 16.6 14.0 11.6 9.0 14.5
Lanzhou -4.9 -1.2 4.2 11.5 18.0 18.8 21.4 20.9 16.7 10.2 1.6 -3.0 9.5
Lhasa -0.4 1.2 4.9 7.2 11.8 17.3 16.7 15.5 12.5 6.0 2.1 -0.7 7.8
Nanchang 5.9 6.7 10.9 17.0 23.9 25.7 29.0 28.9 24.5 18.4 12.1 8.4 17.6
Nanjing 2.4 3.0 8.7 14.6 21.1 24.6 26.7 26.9 22.3 15.8 9.8 4.5 15.0
Nanning 13.7 12.9 18.3 23.2 25.9 27.6 28.1 28.7 26.9 22.7 18.0 16.8 21.9
Shanghai 3.3 4.1 8.7 13.8 19.9 24.1 27.5 27.4 22.6 17.3 12.7 7.0 15.7
Shenyang -11.9 -7.5 2.6 9.7 17.0 22.2 23.2 22.3 17.0 8.4 0.1 -5.8 8.1
Shijiazhuang -1.9 -0.6 7.7 15.4 21.3 26.4 26.5 24.7 20.7 11.9 4.4 -0.5 13.0
Suzhou 3.5 4.0 8.5 12.8 18.0 24.1 27.0 27.1 21.7 16.8 13.0 6.9 15.3
Taipei 14.9 14.0 17.1 22.1 25.1 27.5 29.0 29.2 26.7 24.1 21.1 17.9 22.4
Taiyuan -5.2 -4.3 4.3 11.5 18.8 22.3 23.7 29.0 16.4 8.7 1.0 -0.3 10.5
Tianjin -3.2 -1.3 6.4 15.1 20.7 25.0 25.9 25.2 21.2 12.4 4.6 -0.9 12.6
Urumqi -11.7 -11.6 -0.9 8.5 17.5 20.0 24.9 22.4 17.5 6.7 -3.7 -10.2 6.6
Wuhan 2.7 5.2 10.6 16.4 21.2 25.7 29.5 27.9 22.9 16.6 11.4 5.6 16.4
Xi'an 1.4 2.1 7.9 14.4 20.7 24.8 26.6 25.1 20.5 12.9 5.9 1.6 13.7
Xining -7.0 -3.9 1.3 7.0 13.4 14.4 16.9 15.8 12.3 7.0 -3.0 -5.3 5.9
Yinchuan -7.1 -5.2 1 8 10.1 19.1 21.2 23.3 20.9 15.7 8.3 -0.4 -6.1 8.5
Zhengzhou 0.8 1.1 8.3 15.9 21.9 26.7 27.4 25.6 20.6 13.6 6.9 1.9 14.2

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Languages:
    Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic divisions entry)

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Religions:
    China is a country with several religions, of which the major ones are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam and Christianity. It also has the Orthodox Eastern Church, as well as some specific religions and folk beliefs held by the minority ethnic groups.

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Chronology:
Dynasty                                                     Year

Xia..............................................21st - 16th century B.C.
Shang............................................17th - 1st century B.C.
Western Zhou............................. 11th century - 771 B.C.
Eastern Zhou............................................770 - 256 B.C.
Spring and Autumn Period........................770 - 476 B.C.
Warring State Period................................475 - 221 B.C.
Qin..........................................................221 - 206 B.C.
Western Han.....................................206 B.C. - A.D. 24
Eastern Han...............................................25 - A.D. 220
Three Kingdoms (Wei, Shu, Wu)......................220 - 280
Western Jin......................................................265 - 316
Eastern Jin........................................................317 - 420
Southern Dynasties...........................................420 - 589
Northern Dynasties.......................................... 386 - 581
Sui...................................................................581 - 618
Tang................................................................618 - 907
Five Dynasties..................................................907 - 960
Song..............................................................960 - 1279
Liao...............................................................916 - 1125
Kin..............................................................1115 - 1234
Yuan............................................................1271 - 1368
Ming............................................................1368 - 1644
Qing.............................................................1644 - 1911
Republic of China.........................................1912 - 1949
P. R. China...............................................1949 - present

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