Posted by: Karen Fowler
China is a large and diverse country full of amazing sites; it also holds the largest population on earth. The Chinese language is spoken by more people than any other language. Wetlands, deserts, mountains, rivers, plains, hills-China has them all, along with many different climates and a stunning collection of wildlife. Chinese culture is made up of pieces of many cultures and comprised of both old traditions and modern ways. China is home to wonders of the world that cannot be seen anywhere else.
Population
China, with a population of approximately 1.2 billion people, has the largest population of any country on the earth. Ninety percent of these people live in less than forty percent of the country. There are fifty-six different ethnic groups in China such as the Turkish, Tibetan, Mongol, and Manchu, but ninety-four of the population is of the Han ethnicity. Chinese demographics are shifting a great deal due to an increasing aging population and a relatively small population of young people due to the one child policy started by the government in order to fight overpopulation.
  • People - An easy to read page that discusses and illustrates the population density of China as well as minority cultures in China.
  • Total Population - Past and present populations of countries are listed by The World Bank.
  • Country Reports - The population of China and many interesting facts on Chinese culture and language are given on this page.
  • Basic Information on China - Information on China's population, including populations of cities, is given in this article as well as information on Chinese geography, climate, education, and more.
  • China's "One Child" Policy - Read about China's one child policy, its advantages, and its disadvantages.
Geography
China is the third largest country in the world, located in eastern Asia. It is bordered by several countries and consists of several different geographical regions, but there are nine major regions. The North China Plain is an agricultural area and prone to flooding. The Loess Plateau is an arid region; oil is now the major commodity there. Shanghai and Northeast China, or Manchuria, are major industrial cities. River life dominates in the hot, humid Yangzi valley. The Sichuan Basin is surrounded by high mountains and has a fertile soil and mild climate, with amazing wildlife. Southwest China is rugged and eroded due to plentiful rainfall; rice, tea, beans, rubber trees, bananas, and opium are grown here. Xinjiang is the largest region and is mostly a desert. The Tibetan plateau is very cold and arid and largely unpopulated.
Languages
More people speak Chinese than any other language in the world. Mandarin Chinese is the official Chinese language, but there are several dialects and minority languages. In the North and Southwest, Mandarin is spoken. Approximately seventy-one percent of the population speaks Mandarin. In the South around Shanghai, The Wu dialects are spoken by eight percent of the population. The Yue, or Cantonese dialects, are spoken in Guangdong and Guangxie along the south China coast, and in North America. Min, Hakka, Xiang, and Gan are other lesser spoken dialects. Although all of these are considered dialects, in practicality they are more like different languages.
  • Mandarin Chinese and Other Languages in China - This comprehensive website discusses the seven dialects of China, the history and future of the Chinese language, minorities in China, and more-video clips are maps are included.
  • Chinese Culture, Tradition, and Customs - Chinese ethnic groups, languages, religions, and foods are written about on this page.
  • The Chinese Language(s) - The dialects, pronunciation, writing, and more elements of the Chinese language are discussed in this in depth essay.
  • Fast Facts about China - Information on China's languages, population, government, and much more are quickly outlines on this fact sheet.
  • Welcome to China - Play games, learn to say Chinese words, and learn facts about China's population and language.
Culture
Because China is so large, it is hard to define a single Chinese culture. Modern day Chinese culture is a mixture of old world and westernized traditions. However, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism have largely shaped Chinese culture. Strong family values, respect, and strong government are some Chinese values shaped by these religions.
Chinese food is famous around the world, and it can be divided into four major styles based on regions. Cantonese food highlights freshness and does not use a lot of sauces and deep frying. Szechuan and Hunan style food is hot and spicy. The Eastern style relies a lot on fish and rice. Northern Chinese food near Mongolia is characterized by mutton and lamb, and simple foods. Beijing is the most famous for food in the Northern region-one of China's national dishes, Peking duck, was created here. Tea is an important beverage.
Modern sports such as soccer, basketball, badminton, golf, and table tennis are popular in China. China has been a powerful force in the Olympics earning many medals. Some old traditional Chinese sports are martial arts, kite flying, fishing, and yangko dancing. Sports and fitness are very important in China, so much so that the government has a National Fitness Program.
  • Chinese Food and Drink - The four major styles of Chinese cooking and Chinese food culture are outlined in this essay.
  • Beijing Cuisine - Beijing cuisine, its origins, culture, and famous dishes are detailed here and accompanied by pictures.
  • Sports for the Common People - Traditional Chinese sports are listed and defined in this article.
  • Chinese Sports - Modern sports popular worldwide are played in China, but there are also cultural sports that thrive.
  • Side by Side - Examples of how old and new cultures exist side by side are given in this account by kids from Beijing.
  • Chinese Festivals - Learn about Chinese holidays and festivals on this webpage.
Animals
China contains an awesome variety of wildlife, some of which only live in China. It is home to several endangered species. Many live in the mountains. Some of the most famous and rare animals that are native to China are giant pandas, tigers, snow leopards, the crested ibis, Chinese alligators, and golden monkeys. Many programs by China and other nations have been started to preserve China's unusual wildlife.
  • About the Red Panda - One species of red pandas is only found in China, according to the Red Panda Network.
  • Endangered Animals in China - China is home to an amazing diversity of wildlife including several nearly extinct species such as the tiger, snow leopard, crested ibis, giant panda, and Chinese alligator.
  • China - The Wildlife Conservation Society describes some of the amazing animals found in China and the work they are doing there to save them.
  • Snow Leopard - The snow leopard is native only to the mountains of Asia.
  • Giant Pandas - Photos, videos, and interesting information on giant pandas are presented here.
Please see these additional links to learn about the rich history of China:
  • Chinese History - Illustrations and maps accompany major events and themes in Chinese history.
  • Ancient China for Kids (pdf) - Read a magazine about the Great Wall of China, Chinese medicine, terracotta warriors, and more.
  • Ancient China Daily Life - Religion, food, drink, and work in ancient China are written about on this page.
  • Ancient China - Facts about the geography, economics, government, and contributions of ancient China are presented here, along with a map of the country.
  • Ancient China by the British Museum - The British Museum gives detailed information about ancient China along with illustrations.