Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers,China is the world’s second-larg-est country by land area,andeither the third or fourth-largestby total area,depending on themethod of measurement.
China’s landscape is vast and diverse,ranging from forest steppes andthe Gobi and Taklamakan Desert in the arid northto subtropical forests in the wetter south.The Himalaya,Karakoram,Pamir and Tian Shan mountain ranges separate Chinafrom South and Central Asia.The Yangtze and Yellow rivers,the third-and sixth-longest in the world,run from the Tibetan Plateau to thedensely populated eastern seaboard.China’s coastline along the Pacif-ic Ocean is 14,500 kilometres long,and is bounded by the Bohai,Yel-low,East and South China seas.
China’s climate is mainly dominated by dry seasons and mon-soons,which leads to pronounced temperature differencesbetween winter and summer.In the winter,northern winds comingfrom high-latitude areas are cold and dry;in the summer,southernwinds from coastal areas at lower latitudes are warm and moist.Theclimate in China differs from region to region because of the coun-try’s highly complex topography.
China is home to at least 551 species of mammals,1,221 species of birds,424 species of reptiles and 333 species ofamphibians.China has over 32,000 species of vascularplants,and is home to a variety of forest types.Cold coniferous for-ests predominate in the north of the country,supportinganimal species such as the elk and the Asian black bear,alongwith over 120 bird species.Tropical and seasonal rainforests,thoughconfined to Yunnan and Hainan lsland,contain a quarter of all the an-imal and plant species found in China.China has over 10,000 record-ed species of fungi,and of them,nearly 6,000 are higher fungi.
China officially recognizes 56 distinct ethnic groups,the largestof which is the Han Chinese,who constitutes about 91.51% of the totalpopulation.The Han Chinese-the world’s largest single ethnic group-outnumber other ethnic groups in every provincial-level division ex-cept Tibet and Xinjiang.Ethnic minorities account for about 8.49% of thepopulation of China,according to the 2010 census.The 2010 census re-corded a total of 593,832 foreign citizens living in China.The largest suchgroups were from South Korea,the United States and Japan.
Now,China had the largest and most complex economy inthe world for most of the past two thousand years,during whichit has seen cycles of.prosperity and decline.Since the introductionof economic reforms in 1978,China has become one of theworld’s fastest-growing major economies.As of 2013,it is the world’s second-largest economy by both nominal total GDP and purchas-ing power parity(PPP),and is also the world’s largest exporterand importer of goods.China is also a member of numerous for-mal and informal multilateral organizations,includingthe WTO,APEC,BRICS,and so on.China is a fast-developing countryand has been characterized as one of potential superpowers.