Identify the landforms, populous areas, and climates of China.
Describe the past and present Chinese economies.
Evaluate the influences on Chinese culture and ways of life.
Outline important details about the economies of Mongolia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

     Chapter Overview

Chapter 23: China

China is a country with many landforms and climate zones. Between the Himalaya and Kunlun Shan lies the world's largest plateau&emdash;the Plateau of Tibet. The Taklimakan and Gobi are harsh deserts. The major rivers, the Yangtze, the Yellow, and the Xi, flow through the plains and highlands of eastern China.

In 1949 China became a communist state. In recent years government leaders have allowed some features of the free enterprise system to develop in China. This has resulted in rapid economic growth. China has the world's largest population and one of the world's oldest civilizations. As their civilization developed, the Chinese tried to keep out foreign invaders. One way they did this was by building the Great Wall of China. The ancient teachings of Kongfuzi, Daoism, and Buddhism still influence the people of China today.

Taiwan is an island close to China's mainland. After their defeat by the Communists in 1949, one million Chinese refugees fled to Taiwan and established a democracy. Today, Taiwan has one of the world's most prosperous economies. Nevertheless, China considers Taiwan part of its country. Mongolia, located to the north of China, has rugged terrain and a harsh landscape.

     Quick Notes

The Land

China has more people than any other country in the world. It is the world's third-largest country in area, after Russia and Canada.
Three important rivers--the Huang He, Chang Jiang, and Xi--flow through fertile river valleys in eastern China.
The western part of China is largely mountains and deserts.
China's climate is affected by monsoons.

The Economy

Modern China's communist leaders have moved China's economy toward free enterprise.
Most of China's people are farmers. Rice is the major food crop in the south.
China's largest urban manufacturing areas lie near rivers or on the coast.

The People

China has one of the world's oldest civilizations.
The early Chinese passed on many inventions to the rest of the world, including paper, ink, porcelain, and the first printed book.

China's Neighbors

Mongolia has a landscape of rugged mountains, plateaus, and desert.
Taiwan has a prosperous economy based on high-technology industries, manufacturing, and trade.
Hong Kong, once under British rule, became part of China in 1997. Macao was a European colony and returned to Chinese rule in 1999.

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