Geographical Setting and Natural Endowment
This chapter focuses on four topics: China’s physical geography, its natural resources, the land-population ratio, and the impact of the factors on Chinese economic development. China is the world’s third largest country, with an area of 9.6 million square kilometers. Its latitudinal position corresponds closely to that of the United States, and both countries have the same east-west spread. The relief map of China shows that its land mass is like a three-step staircase, descending from west to east. The highest section is located in the southwest. The Chinese landscape is characterized by diverse physical features. Imposing plateaus, broad plains, vast mountain ranges, rolling hills, and deep basins present an endless variety of scenery. With its vast territory and wide range of altitudes, China has a diversified climate that encompasses six temperature zones: equatorial, tropical, subtropical, warm temperate, temperate, and frigid. China possesses adequate mineral and other natural resources necessary for industrialization.