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China Briefing

China is one of the biggest countries in the world. It has an area of about 9.6 million square kilometers which comprises about 6.5 per cent of the world total land area. Its population of more than one billion accounts for 23 per cent of the world's population. China is the world's oldest continuous civilization. World Travel Organization predicts that by year 2020, China will become the number one travel destination in the world.

China is situated in the eastern part of Asia on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean. It is the third largest country in the world (after Canada and Russia). The distance from east to west measures over 5,200 kilometers and from north to south, over 5,500 kilometers. When the sun shines brightly over the Wusuli River in the east, the Pamire Plateau in the west is in the very early morning. When blizzards wrap the north along the Heilongjiang River in the winter, spring sowing is underway on Hainan Island in the south.

China has a land border of 22,143.34 kilometers long and is bordered by twelve countries: Korea in the east; Russian in the northeast and the northwest; Mongolia in the north; India, Pakistan, Bhutan and Nepal in part of the west and southwest; Burma, Laos and Vietnam in the south.

Beside a vast land area, there are also extensive neighboring seas and numerous islands. The coastline extends more than 14,500 kilometers. Across the East China Sea to the east and South China Sea to the southeast are Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. More than 5,000 islands are scattered over China's vast territorial seas; the largest being Taiwan and the second largest, Hainan. One territorial sea and three neighboring seas altogether constitute 4.73 million square kilometers.

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