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China: Facts about China, the Geography, the Economy, the Military, and More.

Updated on January 8, 2020
TessSchlesinger profile image

Globetrotter, author, and thinker with interests in environment, minimalism, health, dancing, architecture, décor, politics, and science.

The City of Hainan in China. Chinese architecture is stunning.
The City of Hainan in China. Chinese architecture is stunning. | Source

Fun Facts About China

Fun Facts About China

  1. The Chinese New Year is probably the biggest celebration in the world lasting for fifteen days and comprising more than one and a half billion people internationally.
  2. The Great Wall of China of 2,300 years old and stretches for 21,196 kilometers. It is the oldest relic on earth.
  3. China is roughly same size as the America, but whereas the USA has four different time zones, China only has one.
  4. The giant panda which lives in the remote mountains of China is a type of bear. They are in danger of becoming extinct with only 1,900 at the last count.

The Temple of Heaven in Beijing was buillt in the 15th century and is a World Heritage Site.
The Temple of Heaven in Beijing was buillt in the 15th century and is a World Heritage Site. | Source

China 101

China is an enomous country with many different climate zones, different ethnic people, different languages, and different traditions depending on the particular geographical area.

China has had more than 3000 years of history and is responsible for many of the world's discoveries. These include the clock, tea, iron and steel smelting, print and paper making, the compass, gunpowder, porcelain, alcohol, silk, kites, circadian rhythms in humans, the discovery and documentation of various diseases like diabetes and leprosy, Chen's theorem, and many more.

It is, therefore, important to know a little bit more about China than the fact that it is a communist state.

The Great Wall of China was started in the days of the Silk Road in order to protect China from enemies.
The Great Wall of China was started in the days of the Silk Road in order to protect China from enemies. | Source

The Modern Silk Road of China

In order to promote, market, and sell its goods, China has built a new Silk Road at a cost of about $900 billion.

The first Silk Road was a network or trade routes that connected China to other countries between 130 BC and the 18th century. It connected Asia with Persia, the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa and Southern Europe. It was originally created to export silk but other commodities were traded as well.

The modern Silk Road was announced by President Xi Jinping in 2013 and connects Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Its purpose is to increase Chinese global trade by providing efficient and cheap transport. It intends to connect 65 countries (about 60 percent of the world's population).

Some countries have joined in the Chinese initiative to build roads, train networks, shipping networks, etc. like Italy while others have rejected it like Spain.

The biggest reason for the success of the British Empire was an architect by the name of Brunel who focused on the brides, rail systems, and roads that the British Empire required.

China is not wrong in assuming that the most dominating factor for success in the world would be the ability to provide safe and effective transport connecting commercial areas.

America’s dominance was caused by military excellence. China has decided to take the trade route. According to the president of China, if China wanted to take her plae as world leader, it was too expensive to compete in terms of military, and therefore it decided to compete in terms of trade.

The Shanghai skyscape could almost be straight out a scifi movie!
The Shanghai skyscape could almost be straight out a scifi movie! | Source

China: Military

The Chinese military has a standing army numbering 2.3 million people. That is the largest standing army in the world. To quote from World Atlas, “The army is well trained and equipped and is considered to be one of the strongest in the world, although its equipment is considered to be behind the US by about 20 years.”

According to Business Insider, should America ever go to war with China, “The US would have to abandon interests worldwide in order to focus on China, whereas China's entire military would focus on defending its borders and few interests in the Pacific.”

Technologically, China is rapidly catching up with the United States as a result of investing more money into developing military equipment. Tang Changhong, a member of the communist party, noted that previously China copied other countries in their technology, but now as a result of greater investment in research and development, China is focusing on its own designs.

They are about to overtake the USA, and thereafter, they will probably be the most advanced military in the world – on a third of the budget that America uses.

BBC Documentary of the Chinese Army

Architecture in China

During ancient times, Chinese used wood as a building material. While stone is used, the Forbidden City (a palace with 9,000 rooms) has a framework of timber. As China is very old, it has used many different materials for its structures. Rammed earth and stonework are common. Today concrete is the norm.

Hong Kong, rented by the British Empire for a century and now reverted to China, has more of the world’s tallest buildings than any other nation on earth. Modern Chinese architecture boasts some of the most advanced and spectacular architecture in the world.

As a result of pollution caused by intense manufacturing, the air in China degraded to such an extent in some places that it was becoming a major health threat. Consequently, many of the buildings have been greening projects with trees and other greenery lacing walls, the roof and balconies.

The Jinmao Tower in Shanghai has a glass walkway on its 88th floor. It takes half an hour to walk and is $58 to tourists. Glass walkways are a specialty of China, and this one is 340 meters (1,115 feet) above ground level.

The Shanghai Tower, the winner of Tien-yow Jeme Civil Engineering Prize in 2018, is the tallest building currently in China. It is unusual in that it gives the appearance of twisting around. It was designed by an American firm (Gensler) and has 128 floors.

While most countries in the world have some spectacular buildings, China, in my opinion, is paradise for any architectural geek. Its range of building types, the enormity and artistic license permitted and encouraged can only be attested to by viewing the diversity of different styles.

Underwater Quarry Hotel in Shanghai

Public Transport in China

China has the world’s longest bullet train routes (18,000 miles) in the world. While not as fast as Japan’s bullet trains, they’re not doing too badly at 217 mph. Virtually all the big cities are connected by bullet train, so citizens can reach other cities with ease. It also makes life easier for tourish.

One of the arguments I constantly hear against bullet trains being implemented in the USA is that the USA is so big. Yet China has managed to have the largest network of bullet trains in the world.

Bullet Trains in China

The Population of China

China has a population of 1.4 billion, about eighteen percent of the world’s people. There are several different ethnic groups in China, of which the largest group is the Han. They comprise about 92% of the population. The other eight percent (about 108 million) comprises 55 different groups including the Zhuang which has about 16 million members. Next in line are the the Hui, the Manchu, Uyghur, the Miao, the Yi,and the Tujia. They average about ten million each. Then close to about five million people in each group are the Tibetans and the Mongols, and finally the Dong, the Buyei, the Yao, the Bai, the Korean, the Hani , the Li the , Kazakh, and Dai with about one or two million each.

Eight different languages are spoken, each of which has hundreds of different dialects. Mandarin is the world’s most spoken language.

China's landmass is almost as big as the USA.

China geographically.
China geographically.

The Geography of China

China covers nearly twenty percent of Asia. It is bordered by India, Pakistan, Nepal, Mongolia, Vietnam, Russia, Burma, and North Korea. This article gives some geographical information about the country.

The land area of China is spread over 3.7 million square miles, much of it covered with mountains. It has an eleven thousand mile coastline alongside the Pacific Ocean and has deserts, rivers, and grasslands.

There are two islands associated with China and they are Taiwan and Hainan. Taiwan has a population of/ about twenty three million people and has separated itself politically from the People’s Republic of China. Hainan is smaller than Taiwan, has a tropical climate and is known as the Oriental Hawaii.

China has an inland sea called the Bohai Sea. It covers an area of about 300,000 square miles and there are approximately one hundred cities on its coastal areas. Because also borders the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, and the South China Sea, it has the largest fishing resources in the world. Most of its fish are caught in the East China Sea.

The major rivers in China are the Yangtze River which is 3,700 miles long and its waters are used for both watering crops and for hydroelectric power. The Yellow River is 3,500 miles long and is often responsible for floods during monsoon time. Other names for the Yellow River are the Huanghe River and the Mother River of China. The Pearl River links Hong Kong with the South China Sea.

The largest mountain ranges in China are the Himalayas, the Yellow Mountains, and the Limestone Mountains of Guilin. The Himalayas are the highest mountains on earth and include Mount Everest which is the highest peak on earth. The Yellow Mountains, in the Anhui Province, is known for its granite peaks. The Limestone Mountain range is known for its limestone!

Thirty percent of China’s landmass is covered by deserts. The Gobi Desert is about one thousand miles long and six hundred miles wide. It is growing and is the third largest desert in the world. Beijing is close to the Gobi Desert and is increasingly affected by the winds of the desert storms.

Included in China’s vast array of different topography are forests and glaciers. Forests cover an additional eighteen percent of China’s landmass. China is currently working on projects to increase this to twenty percent. Many of these forests are situated in the north eastern area of China. The Qinghai-Tiber Plateau in the north western region of China’s many glaciers. Scientists often visit this area because it is an area where global warming can be measured.

Like many large countries, it has many different climate zones. These include the tropical island of Hainan which has no winter and the far north of Heilongjiang Province which has no summer! The monsoon climate covers the area alongside the Pacific coastline while the alpine climate covers the Himalayan Mountain Range. The Gobi Desert is very cold at night and extremely hot during the day.

Chinese economy is only now growing at 5% per year...

The Economy of China

The Chinese Communist Party is responsible for the economic model of China. An economic system is defined as a system of production and distribution. Currently, China has introduced aspects of capitalism. However, rather than members of the public deciding what they want to produce or sell, the Communist Party tells people who apply to them to own and run a business what the country needs or what products have a high demand.

This means that China does not produce products that are not in demand, and it also means that it uses resources in a way that does not lead to waste.

That said, the pollution caused by denim production, viscose (rayon), and other fashion items had led to entire cities being so polluted that people have had to move elsewhere.

Currently, outside of the European Union, the Chinese economy is the largest in the world with the US being third. There is some argument about this, as it depends on what figures are used. In the link provided, China is placed first, the European Union second, and the United States third.

To quote, “In 2018, China was the world's largest economy for the fourth year in a row. It produced $25.3 trillion in economic output according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund. It contributed 19% of the world's total gross domestic product of $135.2 trillion.”

Unusual places to visit in China

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Tourism in China

According to Wikipedia, China ranks as the fourth most visited country in the world. France, the USA, and Spain rank first, second, and third place. However, is Hong Kong is included in the mix, then China has the most tourists in the world – about a hundred million.

Tourist attractions include the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the Potala Palace, the Terracotta Army, and Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong. The Bund, an area in Shanghai also draws many people.

The Chinese Tourist industry is growing rapidly as more and more people become curious about China.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Tessa Schlesinger


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