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Background China

China is located in East Asia, west of Pacific Ocean. It has an area of 9.6 million square kilometers. China's borders begin about midstream along the Heilong River north of Mohe (53 degrees and 31 minutes north latitude) to the southernmost island Zengmu'ansha in the South China Sea (4 degrees ), about 5,500 kilometers (more than 49 degrees latitude) apart, from the confluence of the Heilong and Wusuli rivers (135 degrees and 5 minutes east longitude) in the east; to the Pamirs (73 degrees and 40 minutes east longitude) in the west, about 5,000 kilometers (more than 60 degrees longitude) apart.

The border stretches over 22,800 kilometers. It reaches west to South Korea and south to Mongolia, southwest to Russia and southeast to Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Tajikistan. China also borders Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bhutan in the west and northwest and Burma, Laos and Vietnam in the south.

China has one of the world's oldest and continuous civilizations, consisting of states and cultures dating back more than six millennia. It has the world's longest continuously used written language system, and is the source of many major inventions, such as what the British scholar and biochemist Joseph Needham called the "four great inventions of Ancient China": paper, the compass, gunpowder, and printing.


Historically, China's cultural sphere has extended across East Asia as a whole, with Chinese religion, customs, and writing systems being adopted to varying degrees by neighbors such as Japan, Korea and Vietnam. The first evidence of human presence in the region was found at the Zhoukoudian cave and is one of the first known specimens of Homo erectus, now commonly known as the Peking Man, estimated to have lived approximately from 300,000 to 550,000 years ago. Noticeably, it is also known that the Peking Man was able to control and use fire.


The climate of China varies greatly. The northern zone (containing Beijing) has summer daytime temperatures of more than 30 degrees Celsius and winters of Arctic severity. The central zone (containing Shanghai) has a temperate continental climate with very hot summers and cold winters. The southern zone (containing Guangzhou) has a subtropical climate with very hot summers and mild winters.

Taiwan
Taiwan is an island province off the southeastern coast of the Chinese mainland, and is composed of two big islands, Taiwan Island and Penghu Island, and more than 80 islets, covering 36,000 square kilometers.


Taiwan's total land area is only about 36,000 square kilometers (14,400 square miles); it is shaped like a leaf that is narrow at both ends. It lies off the southeastern coast of mainland Asia, across the Taiwan Strait from Mainland China-- a solitary island on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean. To the north lies Japan; to the south is the Philippines. Many airlines fly to Taiwan, helping make it the perfect travel destination.


Taiwan lies on the western edge of the Pacific "rim of fire," and continuous tectonic movements have created majestic peaks, rolling hills and plains, basins, coastlines, and other wonders. Taiwan's tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate climates provide clear differentiation between the different seasons. There are about 18,400 species of wildlife on the island, with more than 20% belonging to rare or endangered species. Among these are the land-locked salmon, Taiwan mountain goat, Formosan rock monkey, Formosan black bear, blue magpie, Mikado pheasant, Hsuehshan grass lizard, and many more.

The government has established 7 national parks and 13 national scenic areas to preserve Taiwan's best natural ecological environment and cultural sites. Take a hike in the splendor and sheer heights of the cliffs at Taroko Gorge; take a ride on the Alishan train--one of only three mountain railways in the world--and experience the breathtaking sunrise and sea of clouds; hike up to the summit of Northeast Asia's highest peak, Jade Mountain. You can also soak up the sun in Kending, Asia's version of Hawaii; stand at the edge of Sun Moon Lake; traipse through the East Rift Valley; or visit the offshore islands of Kinmen and Penghu. It's fun in capital letters as well as an awesome journey of natural discovery!
People China is a united and multi-national country, which is also one of the most populous ones in the world. At present, there are 1.3 billion people from 56 nationalities in China.

The nationalities in China include: Han, Mongolian, Hui, Tibetan, Uygur, Miao, Yi, Zhuang, Bouyei, Korean, Manchu, Dong, Yao, Bai, Tujia, Hani, Kazakh, Dai, Li, Lisu, Va, She, Gaoshan, Lahu, Shui, Dongxiang, Naxi, Jingpo, Kirgiz, Tu, Dahur, Mulao, Qiang, Bulang, Sala, Maonan, Gelo, Sibo, Achang, Pumi, Tajik, Nu, Ozbek, Russian, Owenke, Deang, Baoan, Yugu, Jing, Tartar, Dulong, Oroqen, Hezhe, Monba, Luoba, Jinuo. In addition, there are a few people from unidentified nationalities in China.

Lifestyle The cultural aspects are also not to be missed. The blending of Hakka, Taiwanese, indigenous people and mainland Chinese cultures has produced a rich plethora of cultural and social color. Whether it is religion, architecture, language, living habits, or food, it's just one big exciting melting pot! Food is the best representative of this cultural mixing and matching. Aside from cuisines from different parts of the mainland such as Zhejiang, Hunan, Guangdong, Yunnan, Shanghai, Beijing, Sichuan, and others, there is also the local Taiwanese cuisine as well as the local delicacies of each area.
  Additional information regarding China and Taiwan can be found at:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwan