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China in Brief

Located in East Asia, on the western shore of the Pacific Ocean, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has a land area of about 9.6 million square km, and is the third-largest country in the world, next only to Russia and Canada.
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Land Formation and Rivers
China's land drops off in escarpments eastward to the ocean, letting in humid air currents and leading many rivers eastward. Among the 220,000 kilometers of rivers the Changjiang (Yangtze River), Huanghe (Yellow River) and Zhujiang (Pearl River) are the most famous. China has beautiful scenery, with mountains and ranges, highlands, plains, basins, and hills. The highlands and hill regions account for 65 percent of the country's total land mass, and there are more than 2,000 lakes. The highest mountain peak is Qomolangma (Everest), the highest in the world, 8,848 meters above sea level; the lowest point is the Turpan Basin, 154 meters below sea level.

Weather and Climate
China has a continental climate, and a latitude spanning nearly 50 degrees. Much of the landmass is situated in the temperate zone, with the tropical and subtropical zones to the south, and reaching the frigid zone in the north, so temperatures differ strikingly across the country. The northern part of Heilongjiang Province has long winters but no summers, while the Hainan Island has long summers but no winters. The Huaihe River valley is marked by distinctive seasonal changes, but it is spring all year round in the south of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. In the northwest hinterland, the temperature changes dramatically. China's high tundra zone is situated in the Qinghai-Tibet, where the temperature is low in all four seasons, and incredibly low in winter. Some desert areas are dry all year round.
Tourism in China
Tourism in China has greatly expanded over the last few decades. The emergence of a newly rich middle class and an easing of restrictions on movement by the Chinese authorities are both fueling this travel boom. China has become one of the world's most-watched and hottest outbound tourist markets. The world is on the cusp of a sustained Chinese outbound tourism boom.
China is the world's fourth largest country for inbound tourism. The number of overseas tourists was 55 million in 2007. Foreign exchange income was 41.9 billion U.S. dollars, the world's fifth largest in 2007. The number of domestic tourists totaled 1.61 billion, with a total income of 777.1 billion yuan.
Tourist resources in China can be divided into three main groups: natural sites, historical and cultural sites, and folk customs.
Major tourist cities: Beijing, Guilin, Xi'an, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Lijiang, Kumming, Chengdu, Sanya and Dalian.
Population of China
China has a population over 1.33 billion people, and over 40% of the total are distributed in urban area. Stringent population controls have been in place for several decades, and the government aims to limit the mainland population to 1.37 billion by 2010.
Ethnic Groups
China is a multiracial country with 55ethnic groups, including Achang, Bai, Bonan, Blang, Bouyei, Korean, Daur, Dai, De'ang, Dongxiang, Derung, Oroqen, Russian, Ewenki, Gaoshan, Gelao, Hani, Kazak, Hezhen, Hui, Jino, Gin, ingpo, Kirgiz, Lahu, Li, Lisu, Lhoba, Manchu, Maonan, Mongolian, Monba, Miao, Mulam, Naxi, Nu, Primi, Qiang, Salar, She, Sui, Tajik, Tatar, Tu, Tujia, Va, Uygur, Uzbek, Xibe, Yi, Yuigur, Yao, Tibetan, and Zhuang. The ethnical groups account for only 8 percent of the population. Details of major ethnic groups in China.
Administrative Units
China is divided into 23 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities under the direct jurisdiction of the Central Government, and two special administrative regions. The 23 provinces are Hebei, Shaanxi, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Shaanxi,Guangdong, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, and Hainan; The five autonomous regions are Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Xinjiang, Guangxi, and Tibet; The four municipalities are Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Chongqing; Hong Kong and Macao are the two special administrative regions.
Capital of China
Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China. A center for politics, economy and culture, Beijing has been developed into a world-class metropolis in which the modern world is blends harmoniously with the glories of the imperial past.
Festivals and Holidays
Most of the traditional festivals in China are based on the Chinese lunar calendar.
There are also two key national holiday periods in China. The week-long holidays are: Chinese New Year in February and to celebrate National Day the first week in October.
Author/Editor By : Lawrence,
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