China, a communist nation in East Asia, is the world’s most populous country. Its vast landscape encompasses grassland, desert, mountain ranges, lakes, rivers and 14,500km of coastline. Beijing, the capital, mixes modern architecture with historic sites including sprawling Tiananmen Square. Its largest city, Shanghai, is a skyscraper-studded global financial center. The iconic Great Wall of China fortification runs east-west across the country’s north.
Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers, China is the world’s second largest state by land area, and either the third or fourth-largest by total area, depending on the method of measurement. The Himalaya, Karakoram, Pamir and Tian Shan mountain ranges separate China from south and central Asia. The Yangtze and Yellow rivers, the third and sixth longest in the world, respectively, run from the Tibetan Plateau to the densely populated eastern seaboard. China’s coastline along the Pacific Ocean is 14,500 kilometres (9,000 mi) long, and is bounded by the Bohai, Yellow, East China, and South China seas.