Geography of ChinaChina stretches some 5,026 kilometers (3,123 mi) across the East Asian landmassbordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea,between North Korea and Vietnam in a changing configuration of broad plains,expansive deserts, and lofty mountain ranges, including vast areas of inhospitableterrain. The eastern half of the country, its seacoast fringed with offshore islands, isa region of fertile lowlands, foothills and mountains, deserts, steppes, andsubtropical areas. The western half of China is a region of sunken basins, rollingplateaus, and towering massifs, including a portion of the highest tableland onearth.In spite of many good harbors along the approximately 18,000-kilometer coastline,the nation has traditionally oriented itself not toward the sea but inland, developingas an imperial power whose center lay in the middle and lower reaches of theYellow River on the northern plains. China also has the Tibetan Plateau, a verylarge, high altitude plateau, to the south. To the north of the Tibetan Plateau lie theGobi and Taklimakan deserts, which stretch from the extreme northwest eastwardthrough Mongolia.The Peoples Republic of China is one of the worlds largest countries in total areabehind Russia and Canada, and very similar to the United States. Figures for thesize of China differ slightly depending on where one draws a number of ill-definedboundaries, including claims by the PRC on territories such as Taiwan, AksaiChin, Trans-Karakoram Tract, and South Tibet. The official figure by thePeoples Republic of China is 9.6 million square kilometers. The Republic of Chinabased in Taiwan but claiming to be the government of China puts this figure at 11million square kilometers, but this includes Mongolia, a statewhose sovereignty has been recognized by the PRC. Chinas contour is reasonablycomparable to that of the United States and lies largely at the same latitudes. Thetotal area is estimated to be 9,758,801 km2 , with land accountingfor 9,326,410 km2 and water for 270,550 km2 (around 3 percent).Contents [hide]
1 Geography2 Topography2.1 Tallest mountain peaks in China3 Climates4 Principal rivers and drainage5 Environments6 Natural resources7 Land use8 Habitats8.1 In History9 Wildlife10 Boundary disputes11 Antipodes12 See also13 References14 External linksGeographyFrom the Tibetan Plateau and other less-elevated highlands rise rugged east-westtrending mountains, and plateaus interrupted by deep depressions fanning out tothe north and east. The Tibetan Plateau is a vast , elevated plateau covering most ofthe Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province in the Peoples Republic ofChina and Ladakh in India. With an average elevation of over 4,500 meters, it isthe highest and biggest plateau in the world and an area of 2.5 million squarekilometers. A continental scarp marks the eastern margin of this territory, ascarp that extends from the Greater Khingan Range in northeastern China, through
the Taihang Mountains (a range of mountains overlooking the North China Plain)to the eastern edge of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in the south. All of the low-lying areas of China, which support dense population and intensive cultivation, areto the east of this scarp line.The east-west ranges include some of Asias greatest mountains. In addition to theHimalayas and the Kunlun Mountains, there are the Mount Kailash (Gangdise) andthe Tian Shan ranges. The latter stands between two great basins, the massiveTarim Basin to the south and the Dzungarian Basin to the north. Rich deposits ofcoal, oil, and metallic ores lie in the Tian Shan area. The largest inland basin inChina, the Tarim Basin measures 1,500 kilometers from east to west and 600kilometers from north to south at its widest parts. The Himalayas form a naturalboundary on the southwest as the Altai Mountains do on the northwest. Lesserranges branch out, some at sharp angles from the major ranges. The mountainsgive rise to all the principal rivers. The spine of the Kunlun Mountains separatesinto several branches as it runs eastward from the Pamir Mountains. Thenorthernmost branches, the Altyn-Tagh and the Qilian Range, form the rim of theTibetan Plateau in west-central China and overlook the Qaidam Basin, a sandy andswampy region containing many salt lakes. A southern branch of the KunlunMountains divides the watersheds of the Yellow River (Huang He) and theYangtze River (Chang Jiang). The Gansu Corridor, west of the great bend in theYellow River, was traditionally an important communications link with CentralAsia.North of the 3,300-kilometer-long Great Wall, between Gansu Province on thewest and the Greater Khingan Range on the east, lies the Mongolian Plateau, at anaverage elevation of 1,000 metres above sea level. The Yin Mountains, a system ofmountains with average elevations of 1,400 metres, extends east-west through thecenter of this vast desert steppe. To the south is the largest loess plateau in theworld, covering 600,000 square kilometers in Shaanxi Province, parts of Gansuand Shanxi provinces, and some of Ningxia-Hui Autonomous Region. Loess is ayellowish soil blown in from the Inner Mongolian deserts. The loose, loamy
material travels easily in the wind, and through the centuries it has veneered theplateau and choked the Yellow River with silt. Because the river level dropsprecipitously toward the North China Plain where it sluggishly crosses the delta, itcarries a heavy load of sediment in the form of sand and mud from the upperreaches, much of which is deposited on the flat plain. The flow is controlledmainly by constantly repaired man-made embankments while floods and coursechanges have recurred over the centuries. As a result the river flows on a raisedridge fifty meters or more above the plain, Traditionally, rulers were judged bytheir concern for or indifference to preservation of the embankments.The Paleozoic formations of China, excepting only the upper part of theCarboniferous system, are marine, while the Mesozoic and Tertiary deposits areestuarine and freshwater, or else of terrestrial origin. Groups of volcanic conesoccur in the Great Plain of north China. In the Liaodong and Shandong Peninsulas,there are basaltic plateaus.Flowing from its source in the Tibetan highlands, the Yellow River courses towardthe sea through the North China Plain, the historic center of Chinese expansion andinfluence. Han Chinese people have farmed the rich alluvial soils of the plain sinceancient times, constructing the Grand Canal of China for north-south transport. Theplain itself is actually a continuation of the Northeast China Plain to the northeastbut is separated from it by the Bohai Gulf, an extension of the Yellow Sea. Likeother densely populated areas of China, the plain is subject not only to floods butto earthquakes. For example, the mining and industrial center of Tangshan, about165 kilometers east of Beijing, was leveled by an earthquake in July 1976 thatreportedly also killed 242,000 people and injured 164,000.The Qinling mountain range, a continuation of the Kunlun Mountains, divides theNorth China Plain from the Yangtze River Delta and is the major physiographicboundary between the two great parts of China Proper. It is in a sense a culturalboundary as well, influencing the distribution of custom and language. South of the
Qinling divide are the densely populated and highly developed areas of the lowerand middle plains of the Yangtze and, on its upper reaches, the Sichuan Basin, anarea encircled by a high barrier of mountain ranges. The countrys longest and mostimportant waterway, the Yangtze River is navigable over much of its length and isnow the site of the Three Gorges Dam. Rising on the Tibetan Plateau, the YangtzeRiver traverses 6,300 kilometers through the heart of the country, draining an areaof 1.8 million square kilometers before emptying into the East China Sea. TheSichuan Basin, favored by a mild, humid climate and a long growing season,produces a rich variety of crops; it is also a leading silk-producing area and animportant industrial region with substantial mineral resources.Second only to the Qinling as an internal boundary is the Nanling, thesouthernmost of the east-west mountain ranges. The Nanling overlooks the part ofChina where a tropical climate permits two crops of rice to be grown each year.Southeast of the mountains lies a coastal, hilly region of small deltas and narrowvalley plains; the drainage area of the Pearl River (Zhu Jiang) and its associatednetwork of rivers occupies much of the region to the south. West of the Nanling,the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau rises in two steps, averaging 1,200 and 1,800 metersin elevation, respectively, toward the precipitous mountain regions of the easternTibetan Plateau.The Hai River, like the Pearl and other major waterways, flows from west to east.Its upper course consists of five rivers that converge near Tianjin, then flowseventy kilometers before emptying into the Bohai Gulf. Another major river, theHuai, rises in Henan Province and flows through several lakes before joining theYangtze near Yangzhou. Inland drainage involving a number of upland basins inthe north and northeast accounts for about 40 percent of the countrys total drainagearea. Many rivers and streams flow into lakes or diminish in the desert. Some areuseful for irrigation.
Chinas extensive territorial waters are principally marginal seas of the westernPacific Ocean; these waters wash the shores of a long and much-indented coastlineand approximately 5,000 islands. The Yellow, East China, and South China seas,too, are marginal seas of the Pacific Ocean. More than half the coastline(predominantly in the south) is rocky; most of the remainder is sandy. HangzhouBay roughly divides the two kinds of shoreline.Areas of China have experienced earthquakes. On 23 August 1976, a majorearthquake in Tangshan killed hundreds of thousands of people. However, mostregions of China do not experience earthquakes, as major population centers are along distance from fault lines. Tangshan is one of the few places in China that islocated within an earthquake zone. There are few volcanoes in China.TopographyThe topography of China is diverse with snow-capped mountains, deep rivervalleys, broad basins, high plateaus, rolling plains, terraced hills, sandy dunes,craggy karsts, volcanic calderas, low-latitude glaciers and other landforms presentin myriad variations. In general, the land is high in the west and descends to theeast coast. Mountains (33%), plateaus (26%) and hills (10%) account for nearly70% of the countrys land surface. Most of the countrys arable land and populationare based in lowland plains (12%) and basins (19%), though some of the greatestbasins are filled with deserts. The countrys rugged terrain presents problems forthe construction of overland transportation infrastructure and requires extensiveterracing to sustain agriculture, but is conducive to the development of forestry,mineral and hydropower resources and tourism.The worlds tallest mountains, the Himalayas, Karakorum, Pamirs and Tian Shandivide China from South and Central Asia. Eleven of the 17 tallest mountain peaksare located on Chinas western borders. They include worlds tallest peak Mt.Everest (8848m) in the Himalyas on the border with Nepal and the worlds secondtallest peak, K2 (8611m) on the border with Pakistan. From these towering heightsin the west, the land descends in steps like a terrace.
North of the Himalayas and east of the Karakorum/Pamirs is the vast TibetanPlateau, the largest and highest plateau in the world, also known as the "Roof ofthe World." The plateau has an average elevation of 4,000m above sea level andcovers an area of 2.5 million square kilometers, or about one-fifth of Chinas landmass. In the north, the plateau is hemmed in by the Kunlun Mountains, whichextends eastward from the intersection of the Pamirs, Karakorum and Tian Shan.Northwest of the Tibetan Plateau, between the northern slope of Kunlun andsouthern slope of Tian Shan, is the vast Tarim Basin of Xinjiang, which containsthe Taklamakan Desert. The Tarim Basin, the largest in China, measures 1,500 kmfrom east to west and 600 km from north to south at its widest parts. Averageelevation in the basin is 1,000m. To east, the basin descends into the Hami-TurpanDepression of eastern Xinjiang, where the dried lake bed of Lake Ayding at -154mbelow sea level, is the lowest surface point in China and the third lowest in theworld. With temperatures that have reached 49.6 C, the lake bed ranks as one thehottest places in China. North of Tian Shan is Xinjiangs second great basin, theJungar, which contains the Gurbantünggüt Desert. The Jungar Basin is enclosed tothe north by the Altay Mountains which separates Xinjiang from Russia andMongolia.Northeast of the Tibetan Plateau, the Altun Shan-Qilian Mountains range branchesoff the Kunlun and creates a parallel mountain range running east-west. In betweenin northern Qinghai is the Qaidam Basin, with elevation of 2,600-3,000m andnumerous brackish and salt lakes. North of the Qilian is Hexi Corridor of Gansu, anatural passage between Xinjiang and China Proper that was part of the ancientSilk Road and traversed by modern highway and rail lines to Xinjiang. Furthernorth, the Inner Mongolian Plateau, between 900-1,500m in elevation, arcs northup the spine of China and becomes the Greater Hinggan Range of Northeast China.
East of the Tibetan Plateau, deeply folded mountains fan out toward the SichuanBasin, which is ringed by mountains in 1,000-3,000m elevation. The floor of thebasin has an average elevation of 500m and is home to one of the most denselyfarmed and populated regions of China. The Sichuan Basin is capped in the northby the eastward continuation of the Kunlun range, the Qinling and Dabashan. TheQinling and Dabashan ranges form a major north-south divide across ChinaProper, the traditional core area of China. Southeast of the Tibetan Plateau andsouth of the Sichuan Basin is the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, which occupy much ofsouthwest China. This plateau, with an average elevation of 2,000m, is known forlimestone karst landscape.Between the Qinling and the Inner Mongolian Plateau is Loess Plateau, the largestof its kind in the world, covering 650,000 km² in Shaanxi, parts of Gansu andShanxi provinces, and some of Ningxia-Hui Autonomous Region. The plateau is1,000-1,500m in elevation and is filled with loess, a yellowish, loose soil thattravels easily in the wind. Eroded loess silt give the Yellow River its color andname. The Loess Plateau is bound to the east by the Luliang Mountain of Shanxi,which has a narrow basin running north to south along the Fen River. Further eastis the Taihang Mountains of Hebei, the dominant topographical feature of NorthChina.The Taihang forms the western side of the triangular North China Plain. The othertwo sides are the Pacific Coast to the east and the Yangtze River to the southwest.The vertices of this triangle are Beijing to the north, Shanghai to the southeast andYichang to the southwest. This alluvial plain, fed by the Yellow and YangtzeRivers, is one of the most heavily populated regions of China. The only mountainsin the plain are the Taishan in Shandong and Dabie Mountains of Anhui.South of the Yangtze, the landscape is more rugged. Like Shanxi Province to thenorth, each of Hunan and Jiangxi has a provincial core in a river basin that issurrounded by mountains. The Wuling range separates Guizhou from Hunan. The
Luoxiao and Jinggang divides Hunan from Jiangxi, which is separated from Fujianby the Wuyi Mountains. The southeast coastal provinces, Zhejiang, Fujian andGuangdong have rugged coasts, with pockets of lowland and mountainous interior.The Nanling, a east-west mountain range, across northern Guangdong, seals offHunan and Jiangxi from Guangdong. Beijing, situated at the north tip of the North China Plain, is shielded by the intersection of Taihang and Jingdu Mountains. Further north are the drier grasslands of the Inner Mongolian Plateau, traditionally home to pastoralists. To the southare agricultural regions, traditionally home to sedentary populations. The GreatWall of China was built in the mountains across the mountains that mark thesouthern edge of the Inner Mongolian Plateau. The Ming-era walls run 2,000 kmeast-to-west from Shanhaiguan on the Bohai Coast to the Hexi Corridor in Gansu.Northeast of Shanhaiguan, a narrow sliver of flat coastal land opens up into thevast Manchurian Plain. The plains extend north to the crown of the "Chineserooster," near where the Greater and Lesser Hinggan ranges converge. TheChangbai Mountains to the east divide China from the Korean peninsula.The Bayan Bulak Grasslands in Hejing County of the Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang .
Tallest mountain peaks in ChinaThe tallest peak entirely within China is Shishapangma (8013m, 14th) of theTibetan Himalayas in Nyalam County of Tibet Autonomous Region.The norths face of Mt. Everest in the Himalayas from the Tibetan side of the China-Nepal border. The Loess Plateau near Hunyuan in ShanxiProvince.Besides Mt. Everest and K2, the other 9 of the worlds 17 tallest peaks on Chinaswestern borders are: Lhotse (8516m, 4th highest), Makalu (8485m, 5th), Cho Oyu(8188m, 6th), Gyachung Kang (7952m, 15th) of the Himalayas on the border withNepal and Gasherbrum I (8080m, 11th), Broad Peak (8051m, 12th), Gasherbrum II(8035m, 13th), Gasherbrum III (7946m, 16th) and Gasherbrum IV (7932m, 17th)of the Karakorum on the border with Pakistan. The tallest peak entirely withinChina is Shishapangma (8013m, 14th) of the Tibetan Himalayas in Nyalam Countyof Tibet Autonomous Region. In all, 9 of the 14 mountain peaks in the world over8,000m are in or on the border of China. Another notable Himalyan peak in Chinais Namchabarwa (7782m, 28th), near the great bend of the Yarlungtsanpo River ineastern Tibet, and considered to be the eastern anchor of the Himalayas.The Karakorum Range in Xinjiang Namtso Lake and the Nyainqêntanglha Mountains on the Tibetan Plateau
Outside the Himalayas and Karakorum, Chinas tallest peaks are Kongur Tagh(7649m, 37th) and Muztagh Ata (7546m, 43rd) in the Pamirs of western Xinjiang,Gongga Shan (7556m, 41st) in the Great Snowy Mountains of western Sichuan;and Tömür Shan (7,439m, 60th), the highest peak of Tian Shan, on the border withKyrgyzstan.ClimateThe climate of China is extremely diverse; Dry in the south to subarctic in thenorth. Monsoon winds, caused by differences in the heat-absorbing capacity of thecontinent and the ocean, dominate the climate. Alternating seasonal air-massmovements and accompanying winds are moist in summer and dry in winter. Theadvance and retreat of the monsoons account in large degree for the timing of therainy season and the amount of rainfall throughout the country. Tremendousdifferences in latitude, longitude, and altitude give rise to sharp variations inprecipitation and temperature within China. Although most of the country lies inthe temperate belt, its climatic patterns are complex.Parts of Chinas northernmost province Heilongjiang has a subarctic climate; itssouthernmost part, Hainan Island (an island away from mainland China), has atropical climate. Temperature differences in winter are great, but in summer thediversity is considerably less. For example, the north of Heilongjiang has anaverage January mean temperature of below −20 °C (−4 °F), and the reading maydrop to −40 °C (−40 °F); the average July mean in the same area may exceed 20 °C(68 °F). By contrast, the central and southern parts of Guangdong provinceexperience an average January temperature of above 10 °C (50 °F), while the Julymean is generally above 28 °C (82 °F).Precipitation varies regionally even more than temperature. The part of Chinasouth of the Qin Mountains experiences abundant rainfall, often above 1,000
millimetres (39 in), most of it coming with the monsoon during summer and latespring. To the north and west of the range, however, rainfall is uncertain. Thefarther north and west one moves, the scantier and more uncertain it becomes. Thenorthwest has the lowest annual rainfall in the country and hardly any precipitationin its desert areas. China experiences frequent typhoons (about five per year alongsouthern and eastern coasts), damaging floods, monsoons, tsunamis, dust storms,and droughts 1. The average annual precipitation in different regions of Mainland China and Taiwan 2. The first day of spring 2010 brought a massive sandstorm blowing from Inner Mongol 3. Haze over the North China Plain and the Lüliang Mountains of Shanxi province 4. Early-season snow covering part of the North China Plain near Shijiazhuan 5. Snow encircling the area around the Bo Ha Principal rivers and drainage See also: List of rivers of China China has 50,000 rivers totaling some 420,000 kilometers in length and each having a catchment area of more than 100 square kilometers. Some 1,500 of these rivers each have catchment areas exceeding 1,000 square kilometers. Most rivers flow from west to east and empty into the Pacific Ocean. The Yangzi (Changjiang or Yangtze River), which rises in Tibet, flows through Central China, and, having traveled 6,300 kilometers, enters the Yellow Sea near Shanghai. The Yangzi has a catchment area of 1.8 million square kilometers and is the third longest river in the world after the Amazon and the Nile. The second longest river in China is the Huanghe (Yellow River), which also rises in Tibet and travels circuitously for 5,464 kilometers through North China before reaching the Bo Hai Gulf on the north coast of Shandong Province. It has a catchment area of 752,000 square kilometers. The Heilongjiang (Heilong or Black Dragon River) flows for 3,101 kilometers in Northeast China and an additional 1,249 in Russia, where it is known as the Amur. The longest river in South China is the Zhujiang (Pearl River), which is 2,214 kilometers long. Along with its three tributaries, the
Xi, Dong, and Bei—West, East, and North—rivers, it forms the rich PearlRiver Delta near Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Macau, and Hong Kong. Other majorrivers are the Liaohe in the northeast, Haihe in the north, Qiantang in theeast, and Lancang in the southwest.Because the river level drops precipitously toward the North China Plain,where it continues a sluggish course across the delta, it transports a heavyload of sand and mud from the upper reaches, much of which is deposited onthe flat plain. The flow is channeled mainly by constantly repaired manmadeembankments; as a result the river flows on a raised ridge fifty meters ormore above the plain, and waterlogging, floods, and course changes haverecurred over the centuries. Traditionally, rulers were judged by theirconcern for or indifference to preservation of the embankments. In themodern era, China has undertaken extensive flood control and conservationmeasures.Flowing from its source in the Qingzang highlands, the Yellow Rivercourses toward the sea through the North China Plain, the historic center ofChinese expansion and influence. Han Chinese people have farmed the richalluvial soils of the plain since ancient times, constructing the Grand Canalfor north-south transport (see History of China - Imperial era). The plainitself is actually a continuation of the Dongbei (Manchurian) Plain to thenortheast but is separated from it by the Bohai Gulf, an extension of theYellow Sea.Like other densely populated areas of China, the plain is subject not only tofloods but to earthquakes. For example, the mining and industrial center ofTangshan, about 165 km east of Beijing, was leveled by an earthquake inJuly 1976 that was believed to be the largest earthquake of the 20th centuryby death toll.The Qin Mountains, a continuation of the Kunlun Mountains, divides theNorth China Plain from the Yangtze River Delta and is the majorphysiographic boundary between the two great parts of China Proper. It is ina sense a cultural boundary as well, influencing the distribution of custom
and language. South of the Qinling mountain range divide are the denselypopulated and highly developed areas of the lower and middle plains of theYangtze River and, on its upper reaches, the Sichuan Basin, an areaencircled by a high barrier of mountain ranges.The countrys longest and most important waterway, the Yangtze River isnavigable over much of its length and has a vast hydroelectric potential.Rising on the Qingzang Plateau, the Yangtze River traverses 6,300 kmthrough the heart of the country, draining an area of 1.8 million km² beforeemptying into the East China Sea. The roughly 300 million people who livealong its middle and lower reaches cultivate a great rice- and wheat-producing area. The Sichuan Basin, favored by a mild, humid climate and along growing season, produces a rich variety of crops; it is also a leadingsilk-producing area and an important industrial region with substantialmineral resources.Second only to the Qinling range as an internal boundary is the Nanling, thesouthernmost of the east-west mountain ranges. The Nanling overlooks thepart of China where a tropical climate permits two crops of rice to be growneach year. Southeast of the mountains lies a coastal, hilly region of smalldeltas and narrow valley plains; the drainage area of the Pearl River and itsassociated network of rivers occupies much of the region to the south. Westof the Nanling, the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau rises in two steps, averaging1,200 and 1,800 m in elevation, respectively, toward the precipitousmountain regions of the eastern Qingzang Plateau.The Hai River, like the Pearl River and other major waterways, flows fromwest to east. Its upper course consists of five rivers that converge nearTianjin, then flow seventy kilometers before emptying into the Bohai Gulf.Another major river, the Huai River, rises in Henan Province and flowsthrough several lakes before joining the Pearl River near Yangzhou.Inland drainage involving a number of upland basins in the north andnortheast accounts for about 40 percent of the countrys total drainage area.
Many rivers and streams flow into lakes or diminish in the desert. Some areuseful for irrigation.Chinas extensive territorial waters are principally marginal seas of thewestern Pacific Ocean; these waters wash the shores of a long and much-indented coastline and approximately 5,000 islands. The Yellow Sea, EastChina Sea, and South China Sea, too, are marginal seas of the Pacific Ocean.More than half the coastline (predominantly in the south) is rocky; most ofthe remainder is sandy. The Bay of Hangzhou roughly divides the two kindsof shoreline.Boundary disputesChinas borders have more than 20,000 km of land frontier shared withnearly all the nations of mainland East Asia, were disputed at a number ofpoints. In the western sector, China claimed portions of the 41,000 km²Pamir Mountains area, a region of soaring mountain peaks and glacia filledvalleys where the borders of Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Soviet Union, andChina meet in Central Asia. North and east of this region, some sections ofthe border remained undemarcated in 1987. The 6,542 km frontier with the
Soviet Union has been a source of continual friction. In 1954 Chinapublished maps showing substantial portions of Soviet Siberian territory asits own. In the northeast, border friction with the Soviet Union produced atense situation in remote regions of Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang alongsegments of the Argun River, Amur River, and Ussuri River. Each side hadmassed troops and had exchanged charges of border provocation in this area.In a September 1986 speech in Vladivostok, Soviet leader Mikhail S.Gorbachev offered the Chinese a more conciliatory position on Sino-Sovietborder rivers. In 1987 the two sides resumed border talks that had beenbroken off after the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (see Sino-Sovietrelations). Although the border issue remained unresolved as of late 1987,China and the Soviet Union agreed to consider the northeastern sector first.In October 2004, China signed an agreement with Russia on the delimitationof their entire 4,300-kilometer-long border, which had long been in dispute.A major dispute between China and India focuses on the northern edge oftheir shared border, where the Aksai Chin area of northeastern Jammu andKashmir is under Chinese de facto administration but claimed by India andPakistan. Eastward from Bhutan and north of the Brahmaputra River(Yarlung Zangbo Jiang) lies a large area controlled and administered byIndia but claimed by the Chinese. The area was demarcated by the BritishMcMahon Line, drawn along the Himalayas in 1914 as the Sino-Indianborder; India accepts and China rejects this boundary. In June 1980 Chinamade its first move in twenty years to settle the border disputes with India,proposing that India cede the Aksai Chin area in Jammu and Kashmir toChina in return for Chinas recognition of the McMahon Line; India did notaccept the offer, however, preferring a sector-by-sector approach to theproblem. In July 1986 China and India held their seventh round of bordertalks, but they made little headway toward resolving the dispute. Each side,but primarily India, continued to make allegations of incursions into itsterritory by the other. Most of the mountainous and militarized boundarywith India is still in dispute, but Beijing and New Delhi have committed tobegin resolution with discussions on the least disputed middle sector. Indiadoes not recognize Pakistan’s ceding lands to China in a 1964 boundaryagreement.
The China-Burma border issue was settled October 1, 1960, by the signingof the Sino-Burmese Boundary Treaty. The first joint inspection of theborder was completed successfully in June 1986.China is involved in a complex dispute with Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam,and possibly Brunei over the Spratly (Nansha) Islands in the South ChinaSea. The 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South ChinaSea" eased tensions but fell short of a legally binding code of conductdesired by several of the disputants. China also occupies the Paracel (Xisha)Islands, which are also claimed by Vietnam, and asserts a claim to theJapanese-administered Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu Tai) in the Pacific Ocean.Antipodes