The People's Republic of China is situated in the eastern part of the Asian Continent on the western coast of the Pacific. With a total land area of around 9.6 million square km, China is the largest country in Asia and the third largest in the world, next to Russia and Canada.
Cities in China are expanding rapidly. Pictured is a bird's eye view of Beijing's outskirts.
The Chinese territory is around 5,500 km from the middle of the Heilongjiang River north of Mohe, Heilongjiang Province, in the north to Zengmu Ansha of the Nansha Islands in the south, and stretches for some 5,000 km from the confluence of the Heilongjiang and Wusulijiang rivers in the east to the Pamirs Plateau in the west. The land boundary extends for 22,800 km.
Pictured is the picturesque scenery of Luocheng in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwest China.
China boasts vast adjacent seas, with its mainland facing the Bohai Sea (nearly 80,000 square km), the Yellow Sea (380,000 square km), the East China Sea (770,000 square km) and the South China Sea (3.5 million square km) on the east and south. The area of China's territorial seas stands at 380,000 square km. According to the Comprehensive Survey of China's Isle Resources conducted between 1988 and 1995, China has under its jurisdiction 6,961 islands, each having an area of over 500 square meters, with 433 of them being inhabited and the rest remaining uninhabited. In line with the principle of "one country, two systems," another 411 islands are now under the jurisdiction of Taiwan and Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions. The mainland coastline is 18,000 km and that of the islands is 14,000 km, giving China a total coastline distance of 32,000 km, the eighth longest in the world.
Plateaus, hills and mountains cover two thirds of China's land area. Pictured are Tajik women laboring on Pamirs Plateau.
China is adjacent to 14 countries—the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos and Viet Nam, sharing common land borders with them. It also has six neighbors across the sea—the Republic of Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia.
A small village in Heilongjiang Province in northeast China is enveloped completely in snow and ice.