The People’s Republic of China is located in the eastern part of the Asian continent, on the western Pacific rim. It is a vast land, covering 9.6 million square kilometers.
China is a unified nation consisting of many different ethnic groups. Fifty-six different ethnic groups make up the great Chinese national family.
Rivers and Lakes
China abounds in rivers. More than 1,500 rivers each drain 1,000 square kilometers or larger areas. The Yangtze River is the largest river in China, and the third longest in the world. The Yellow River is the second largest river in China. Alongside of abundant rivers, China also has lots of lakes. There are more than 2,800 natural lakes, each having a surface area of over one square kilometers, and over 130 lakes, each covering more than 100 square kilometers. There are also a large number of artificial lakes (reservoirs).
Land and Mineral Resources
In China today, 130.04 million hectares of land are cultivated. Forests blanket 158.94 million hectares of China. Grasslands in China cover an area of 400 million hectares. China is rich in mineral resources, and all known minerals in the world can be found here.
Chinese is the language with the largest number of users in the world, and the script with the longest history. The oldest characters we see today are the scripts on the tortoise shells and animal bones in the Shang Dynasty (17th- 11th century BC) and scripts carved on bronze wares.
Chinese traditional painting dates back to the Neolithic Age about 6,000 years ago. The excavated colored pottery with painted human faces, fish, deer and frogs indicates that the Chinese began painting as far back as the Neolithic Age.