The area of China is 9.32 million square km or 3.6 million
square miles, just slightly bigger than the United States
and a bit smaller than Canada. It is 5,200 km from west to
east, and 5,500 km from north to south. Its land boundary
stretches 22,000 km, and its coastline 18,000 km (32,000 km
if the combined coastline of the 5000 or more offshore islands
shares a border with 15 countries: Russia, Mongolia, North Korea,
Vietnam, Laos, Burma or Myanmar, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, India,
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Tadjikistan.
Across the sea, it faces Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei
About 43 per cent of China's land mass is mountains; 26 per
cent high plateaux, 19 per cent basins, and 12 per cent plains.
Only 7 per cent of the area is arable. China has seven of
the world's 19 tallest mountains, including the highest, Everest,
or Qomolangma as it is known in China. In contrast it also
has some of the world's lowest spots, notably the dry lake
Aydingkol in the Turpan Depression, lying 155 metres below
China abounds in rivers. Their total combined length - 220,000
km - would girdle the earth five times. The largest is the
Yangtze at 6,300 km in length, followed by the Yellow River
at 5,464 km, the Heilong River at 3,420 km and the Pearl River
at 2,197 km. There is an abundance of lakes, and more than
2,800 exceed an area of one square km. Glaciers cover 44,000
square km in the mountainous west.
The climate is continental inland and monsoon in eastern regions. Generally It is cold and dry in winter, warm and moist
in summer. The northern parts can get bitterly cold in winter.
Summer may bring sweltering heat. Vast areas inland are subject to desert conditions. For latest information on weather anywhere in China we refer you to the China Meteorological Administration.
Beijing is on the 40 degree latitude, comparable with Philadelphia, Columbus, and Denver, Madrid, Ankara, Morioka
Shanghai is just above 30 degrees latitude, comparable with Wuhan, Chongqing, Lhasa, Cairo, Jacksonville, New Orleans, San Antonio
The Tropic of Cancer runs through Guangzhou and Hong Kong, the same latitude as Calcutta, Riyadh, Havana, Mazatlan, and Honolulu.