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China

China

Overview About China

China lies just north of the Himalayas, a short flight away from India's northern and eastern cities. The world's third largest country, about twice the size of India, China extends 5,500 km from north to south and 5,200 km from east to west. The area measures approximately 9.6 million sq km, embracing roughly one fourth of Asia and one fifteenth of the world's land mass. Tens of thousands of years of history and culture coexist across China's vast canvas. There's more to see and experience in China than all the seven continent.China spans nearly 50 degrees in latitude, from tropical and subtropical zones in the south to the frigid-zone in the north. As a consequence, temperatures differ strikingly from region to region. The Heilongjiang Province in the north has long winters but no summers. Hainan Island in the south has long summers but no winters. Some regions experience distinctive seasonal changes. Others experience spring all the year round. The northwest inland has hot summers and cold winters. The QinghaiTibet Plateau in southwest China records low temperatures through the year. Most deserts remain bone dry through the four seasons. The topography of China is among the most spectacular in the world.1.5 billion people live here, comprising 21 percent of the world's population. 56 ethnic groups, each with its unique brand of culture, coexist in harmony, equal under the law. 92 percent – the vast majority – belong to the Han community, while the other 55 ethnic groups make up the rest.Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Christianity flourish in China. Freedom of religious belief is a birth right under the law.China, like India, is an ancient civilization, rich in profound cultural accumulations over 5000 years. Remains of remote antiquity, the Chinese Stone Age, the 'Yuanmou Man' of 1.7 million years ago, the 'Lantian Man' of 800,000 years ago, and the 'Peking Man' of 700,000 years ago, are still visible. Primitive society spawned the slave era in the 21st century BC. Then came the feudal era (770476 BC) and the period of Warring States (475221 BC). Next, a succession of dynasties followed, among them Qin (221206 BC), Han (206 BC220 AD), Tang (618907), Song (9601279), Yuan (12711368), Ming (13681644) and Qing (16441911). Each dynasty introduced its unique brand of architecture and technology, art and handicrafts. Many of these ancient and medieval legacies live on, cast in bronze and porcelain and woven in silk. The sophistication of medieval gardens and homes, preserved to the last fine detail, still evokes a sense of wonder. The Great Wall, the only manmade structure visible from the moon, stands testimony to the scale and brilliance of Chinese ingenuity. The most recent chapter of China's history began as recently as October 1, 1949, with the founding of the People's Republic of China. Since that historical date China has charted a course towards justice and social equality, agricultural and industrial growth, large scale infrastructure development and global influence and fulfillment of 21st century expectations.

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