Around China Free: Understanding China Geography And History

China, officially the People’s Republic of China is a sovereign country located in East Asia. It is the most populous country in the world and has the second-largest continental area in the world and the third or fourth-largest country by total area in the world. Let’s take a look closer at China geography and history to have a better understanding of this powerful country

China Geography 

China is the second-largest country in the world by land area after Russia, and the third or fourth-largest country by total area, after Russia, Canada, and possibly the United States. China’s total area is often claimed to be about 9,600,000 square kilometers.

China has the longest total land border in the world, with 22,117 km from the mouth of the Yalu River to the Gulf of Tonkin. This country shares borders with 14 other countries, holding the number one spot in the world alongside Russia.[85] China covers much of East Asia, bordering Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan[h], Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia, and Korea. In addition, Korea, Japan, and the Philippines are also adjacent to China through the sea.

china geography map

The territory of China lies between latitudes 18° and 54° North, and longitudes 73° and 135° East. China’s landscape varies considerably across its vast territory. In the east, along the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea coasts, there are wide and densely populated alluvial plains, while the vast steppe predominates at the edge of the Inner Mongolian plateau.

Hills and low mountain ranges dominate the topography of South China, while the central-eastern region contains the deltas of China’s two largest rivers, the Yellow River and the Yangtze River. Other major rivers are Tay Giang, Hoai Ha, Mekong, Brahmaputra (Yarlung Tsangpo) and Amur. In the west, there are great mountain ranges, the most prominent being the Himalayas. In the north, there are arid landscapes, such as the Gobi Desert and the Taklamakan Desert. The highest peak in the world is Mount Everest (8,848m) located on the China-Nepal border. The lowest point of China, and the third-lowest in the world, is the bed of Ai Ding Lake (-154m) in the Turpan Basin.

The dry season and the wet monsoon dominate much of China’s climate, resulting in marked temperature differences between winter and summer. During winter, northerly winds descend from high-latitude regions characterized by cold and dry; During summer, southerly winds from low-latitude coastal areas are characterized by warm and humid. China’s climate varies from region to region due to its highly complex topography. A major environmental problem in China is the continued expansion of deserts, especially the Gobi Desert.

China History

China is one of the earliest cradles of human civilization. The Chinese civilization is also one of the few civilizations, along with ancient Mesopotamia (the Sumerians), India (the Indus Valley Civilization), Maya, and Ancient Egypt (although it may be from the Sumerians), created his own script.

The first dynasty according to Chinese historical documents was the Xia Dynasty; however, there is no archaeological evidence to verify the existence of this dynasty (when China grew economically and politically reformed and had enough human and intellectual resources to pursue more vigorously to prove an ancient history. There are a number of Neolithic sites given as well as some evidence gathered over time, demonstrating national identity, unity, and pride, or in other words is the expression of nationalism and nationalism).

The first dynasty that certainly existed was the Shang, which settled along the Yellow River basin, sometime between the 18th and 12th centuries BC. This dynasty was taken over by the Zhou Dynasty (12th to 5th centuries BC), which in turn was weakened by the loss of control over smaller territories to the lords. Finally, in the Spring and Autumn period, many independent states rose up and fought successively, and only considered the Zhou state as the nominal center of power.

Finally, Qin Shi Huang took over all the countries and declared himself emperor in 221 BC, establishing the Qin Dynasty, a unified Chinese nation in terms of political institutions, writing, and an official language. first in Chinese history. However, this dynasty did not last long because it was too domineering and brutal. It carried out the “burning books and burying grapes” throughout the country (burning all books and killing Confucianists) to prevent further attempts scrambling for the emperor’s power from its infancy, to monopolize ideology, and to unify the written language for easy administration.

After the collapse of the Qin Dynasty in 207 BC, the Han Dynasty lasted until 220 AD. Then came a period of strife when local leaders arose, calling themselves “Son of Heaven” and declaring that the Mandate of Heaven had changed. In 580, China was reunified under the Sui dynasty. During the Tang and Song dynasties, China entered its heyday.

For a long time, especially between the 7th and 14th centuries, China was one of the most advanced civilizations in the world in terms of technology, literature, and art. The Song Dynasty finally fell to the Mongol invaders in 1279. The Mongol King Kublai Khan founded the Yuan Dynasty. Later, a peasant leader, Zhou Yuanzhang, drove out the Mongol government in 1368 and founded the Ming Dynasty, which lasted until 1644. Then the Manchus descended from the northeast to overthrow the Ming and establish it. Qing Dynasty, which lasted until the last emperor Puyi abdicated in 1911.

The characteristics of feudal China were that dynasties often toppled each other in a bloodbath, and the class that gained leadership often had to take special measures to maintain their power and contain the overthrown dynasty. . For example, the Qing (Manchu) dynasty, after taking over China, often applied policies to prevent the Manchus from being mixed into the sea of ​​Han people because of their small population. These measures proved ineffective, however, and the Manchus were ultimately assimilated by Chinese culture.

Read more: Understanding Chinese Culture – The Top 12 Most Unique Cultural Facts.

By the 18th century, China had made significant technological advances over the peoples of Central Asia with whom it had fought for centuries, yet lagged far behind Europe. This shaped the landscape of the 19th century in which China stood on the defensive against European imperialism while displaying imperial expansion against Central Asia.

The main cause of the fall of the Chinese empire, however, was not influenced by Europe and the United States as Western ethnocentrists believe. This could have been the result of a series of serious internal upheavals, among them the rebellion named Thai Binh Thien Quoc, which lasted from 1851 to 1862.

Although eventually quelled by imperial forces, the civil war was among the bloodiest in human history. At least twenty million people died (more than the total number of deaths in World War II). Before this civil war, there were also some Muslim uprisings, especially in Central Asia.

After that, a major uprising broke out, although relatively small compared to the bloody Taiping Thien Quoc civil war. This uprising was called the Nghia Hoa Doan uprising with the aim of driving Westerners out of China. Although she agreed and even supported the insurgents, Empress Dowager Cixi helped foreign forces quell the uprising.

In 1912, after a long period of decline, China’s feudal system finally collapsed and Sun Yat-sen of the Kuomintang established the Republic of China. The three decades that followed were a period of disunity – the period of the Warlords, the Sino-Japanese War, and the Chinese Civil War. The Chinese Civil War ended in 1949 and the Chinese Communist Party took control of mainland China.

The Communist Party of China established a communist state – the People’s Republic of China – which considers itself the successor state of the Republic of China. Meanwhile, the Republic of China government, led by Chiang Kai-shek, withdrew to the island of Taiwan. Here, the Western bloc and the United Nations recognized it as China’s legitimate government until the end of the decade. After the 1970s, most countries and the United Nations recognized the People’s Republic of China.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Portugal, respectively, returned two concessions, Hong Kong and Macau on the south coast, to the People’s Republic of China in 1997 and 1999. Today’s context usually refers to the territory of the People’s Republic of China, or “Mainland China”, excluding Hong Kong and Macau.

The People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China (from 1949 to the present) do not recognize each other diplomatically, because both sides claim to be the legitimate successor government of the Republic of China (Sun Yat-sen). Furthermore, the Mainland and Taiwan, the People’s Republic of China repeatedly oppose the independence movement of Taiwan. Controversies mainly revolve around the nature and limitations of the concept of “China”, the possibility of reunification of China, and Taiwan’s political position.

The bottom line

Now you have the fundamental information of China geography and history. Next, let’s discover China’s top most delicious food to see how China geography and history affect its cuisine.

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