Situated in East Asia along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean, China has an immense territory totaling 9,596,960 square kilometers and is the 3rd largest country in the world. China is bordered by 14 countries, Mongolia to the north, Russia and North Korea to the northeast, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Nepal and Bhutan to the south, Pakistan to the southwest and Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan to the west. Mt. Everest with the official altitude of 29,029 feet is the world's highest mountain and lies on the China-Nepal border. The Yellow River is the Mother River of the Chinese people and the Yangtze is the longest river in both China and Asia. p>
China is the world's most populous country with its population exceeding 1.3 billion people. This constitutes 22% of the world’s total. There are 56 distinct ethnic groups in China, the largest of which is Han Chinese, which constitutes about 94% of the total. Other groups are officially recognized as ethnic minority groups.
China is characterized by a continental climate, the majority of its territory is situated in the Temperate Zone. With its latitude spanning approximately 50 degrees, the climate varies from the tropical and subtropical zones in the south to the Frigid Zone in the north and temperature differs strikingly from -30 °C in the Northeast in winter, yet 15°C in the far South. For Beijing in November the day-time temperature is usually around 5-10 °C and there tends to be little precipitation.
The Renminbi(RMB) is the legal tender in mainland China. The current exchange rate is approximately 1 US dollar for 6.5 RMB. Foreign money can be exchanged in China through traveler’s cheques and currency conversion at banks and most hotels with 3stars or higher ranking. Major credit cards, including Master Card, Federal Card, Visa, American Express, JCB and Diners Club are also accepted.
Serving as the capital city for hundreds of years, Beijing is not only China’s political center, but also a focus for culture, science and education. It boasts many places of historic interest and scenic spots. World-renowned sites include Tian An Men Square, Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace and the Great Wall. Beijing is a transport hub with a sophisticated network of roads, railways and an international airport.
Standard Chinese, also known as Mandarin or Putonghua, is the official language of mainland China and one of the five official languages of the United Nations. A diverse group of Chinese dialects are also spoken around China. An increasing number of people also speak English.
Forestry in China
China’s total forest area is 195.45 million hectares, with 20.36% national forest coverage, accounting for 4.95% of the world’s total and ranking the fifth behind Russia, Brazil, Canada and the United States of America. The forest resources are mainly distributed in mountainous areas or water sheds and partially threatened by climate change, deforestation, forest degradation etc. China is committed to implementing sustainable forest management by means of afforestation, enforcement of enactments and ordinances, R&D with concerted efforts coupled with more international dialogues and cooperation and makes the most of the multi-functionality of forestry to better the livelihoods of Chinese people and the environment they live in.