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China Geography

How Big China Is

China is amongst the three biggest countries in the entire world. After the United States it is the second biggest economy in the world. It has a populace of more than 1 billion people, which means that they are around 1/5 of the entire world’s population. It is situated on the Pacific coast and is located in Southeast Asia.

The country is bordered by 14 others. It has several provinces, including; Pamirs in the west, Zengmu Ansha in the south, Heilongjiang in the north and Heilongjiand in the east along the Amur and Wusuli rivers.

The entire boundary of China is more than 20,000 kilometers. The land area is about 3.69 million square miles. This makes it 1/50th of the entire land mass of the entire planet. It totals a quarter of the entire Asian continent.

The coast of China is about 1200 kilometers. It goes from the Yalujiang River to the north and the Beilun River in the south. There is also Taiwan Island. The coastline borders with eight other Asian countries: Japan, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines, Vietnam and North Korea. Other Chinese islands include Zhousha, Chongming, and Hainan.

Weather and Climate

Because of how big the country is, it has several climates. The northern area of the country can experience very low temperatures in winter. These can go as low as 0 ℉. The central area of the country experiences average temperatures from about 70 ℉ in the summer. In the west there are deserts that can experience temperatures averaging from 100 ℉ in the summer and above.

A lot of the rainfall in the country happens during the monsoon season. This happens during May and October every year. The typical rainfall each year is about 630 millimeters. However, it is not distributed evenly and it can decrease in the coastal areas to the regions that are inland.

There are also winter monsoons that are cold and dry. These come from Mongolia and Siberia which are to the north of the country. This is typical during November to April. But, the humid and warmer summer monsoons come from the east and they meet with the cold air that comes from the north. This causes more rainfall which constitutes more than 80% of the total rainfall every year that happens between May and October.


China includes two large rivers. The Huang He, which is also known as the Yellow River, and the Chang Jiang, with is also known as the Yangtze or Yangzi River.

The Chang Jiang River is about 6300 kilometers and it is the longest in the country. It is also the longest in all of Asia. It is the third longest in the entire world. The Huang He is not much smaller as it is 5464 kilometers and it flows behind the Yangtze. Both of these end at the Pacific Ocean.

There are other rivers in China, and these include the Xi Jiang which is the West River and the Pearl River. These are in southeastern China and are important for agriculture. Heilong Jiang River creates the border with Russia. All of China’s rivers are used to make hydroelectricity. The country also has fresh water lakes. These are, Taihu, Qimghai, Donting and Poyany. These are just a few. The lakes cover about 45% of all of the lakes.


Because of the great amount of diversity China’s boasts wonderful tourist destinations. The landscape has interesting landforms such as the biggest desert in the western region of the country. It has mountains that are a part of the Himalayan mountain range. The ranges here include Pamir and Tian. These, together with the rivers, are extremely important for agriculture because of the irrigation system created.

The mountains in China make up around 2/3 of the entire country. Interestingly, the country has more than 40 mountains. In total these make up for more than 6500 meters. The ranges go from the East to the West and also from the Northeast to the Southeast. There are some mountains that are not as high. These include Huashan, Emeishan, and Taishan. These have beautiful scenery.

The topography of China is made up of plains, foothills, mountains, plateaus and others. These constitute a three step ladder. The highest is that of Tibet. The average height here is more than 3800 meters. It includes Qilianshan, Hengduan, and Kunlunshan. Then there is the second step which is made up of plateaus and basins. These are between 1 000 and 2 000 meters in height. The lowest step is comprised of Taihong, Wu, Xuefeng and Daxing’an.

There are other plateaus such as Yungui, Loess and Inner Mongolian. There is also the Junggar, Tarim and Sichuan basins. The lowest step is mostly made up of broad plains and foothills as well as smaller mountains that are just over 500 meters. The world famous Northeast, the Middle lower Yangtze plains and North China are here.

Outstanding Tourist Destinations

Other than the mountains, the river basins and the deserts, China boasts other special land marks. These include the Great Wall of China, Irrigation and Terracing and the Grand Canal. The Great Wall of China was first 6000 miles. It is constructed more than 2000 years ago. It was intended to protect the country from outside invaders that came from the north. It was finished during the Ch’in or Qin dynasty. This was when segments from different walls were connected.

There were early wall ramparts that were built using tamped earth. However, the newer brick faced walls where later built during the Ming dynasty. The wall is not made up of one single wall. It was sometimes used as military encampments. And it is also used to guard posts as a way for the dynasties to control the nomadic tribes that lived in the Steppes and also in the northern region of the country.

The Chinese troops would have to patrol the wall so as to protect the country from outside attack. The two main rivers in the country flow from the west to the east. There were no natural forms of communication between the south and the north other than through the coastal route. They had dug the Grand Canal as a secure water route inland flowing between the two main rivers thereby connecting many smaller regional rivers.

This Grand Canal was not only built for military reasons but also for commercial reasons as well. It was later grown to Hang Zhou and then later on to Dadu as well (Dadu was the Mongol capital). This was during the Yuan dynasty. During the Qing and the Ming dynasties the Grand Canal made sure that Beijing would receive enough grain from the rice bowls in the southern region. This canal is still the longest waterway in the world that has been constructed by man.

Unique Irrigation and Terracing

Other impressive features of China are the irrigation and the terracing. These have even resulted in changes in the Great Canal and the Great Wall.

Over the years the Chinese have terraced the hill slopes of the country and also controlled the water flow through irrigation to the farms. Also, they have done even more in terms of the management of natural resources and pioneering in terms of the production of food. That is, they make use of land that would otherwise not have been good for farming. This was achieved by the creation of level land by terracing the hills and controlling the water to prevent soil erosion. This meant access to water for the rice production on the terraces.

The hills are now sculpted into resembling steps of terraces. The hills have thus been changed to be level to be able to plant. Not only this, they have moved rock and earth and stabilized the retaining walls. This has resulted in sluices that control the flow of the water.

The construction of the terraces on the slope has not only created levels but in addition the platform for the correct control of rainwater. The water flow is slowed down and this is made even more efficient so that the water can be controlled as it moves from higher levels to lower ones. It is then used for the purposes of agricultural production and also reduces droughts and floods.

China has a lot of natural resources and has a large surface area with a lot of diverse natural resources. The average annual rainfall is about 3 trillion meter cubes. The waterpower resources are the best in the whole world. The hydropower resources that are provided by the rivers in the country generate more than 300 kW together with the potential of making more than 600 kW in terms of hydropower.

Natural Resources in China

China has more than 150 minerals. These include coal, zinc, gold, uranium, iron, petroleum, mercury, natural gas, lead and tin. China is one of the countries in the world that has the largest amount of deposits of important economic minerals. This means that these minerals can be economically used.

Not only that, it has much animal and plant resources. It has more than 32, 000 species of plants and 100,000 species of animals. These include the giant panda that is very rare. It cannot be found anywhere else in the world. It has a lot of nature reserves because the government is trying to conserve natural wildlife and habitats.

China also has a lot of marine resources. 90% of the marine land can support agriculture. The beaches make up about 20,800 square kilometers. The salt pans make about 17 million tons of salt each year. This makes up 1/3 in the whole world. The marine habitats hold around 2,500 species of fish.

Because of China’s geographical location in the world it is vulnerable to earthquakes, landslides and floods because of the seismic and climate conditions. The vulnerability has increased as more people move to the urban regions and there is a lot of destruction to the environment. The most common natural disasters are the tsunamis, the cyclones, the on-going droughts and the earthquakes.

Basically, China is one of the most geographically diverse places in the world. There is majestic scenery from the rivers, to the mountains, to the deserts. There is also much diversity in terms of the people. And there is the element of interaction with the neighbors that has resulted in an intercultural aspect.

Chinese Geographical Map Reference

Chinese Geographical Map Reference

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