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Eastern China: rivers and open plains densely populated

Eastern China is the most densely populated area of the country, this area is characterized by large flowing plains where flow the most important Chinese rivers: the Chang Jiang (Yangtze Kiang), the Huang He (Huang Ho, Yellow River ), and the Zhu Jiang (Pearl River).

In the north-east extends the vast fertile plains of Manchuria, surrounded by hills and mountains rich in forests, to the south-west, along the border with Mongolia, lies the Inner Mongolia region, a semi-desert plateau alternating with steppe.

To the south lies the Loess Plateau, where flows the Huang He (Huang Ho, Yellow River) river, to the south near the coast, lies the Chinese flatland, intensely cultivated, this is the largest flat area of the country, bounded on the south by the fertile valley of the river Chang Jiang (Yangtze Kiang).

Towards the west is the hilly area of Sichuan intensely populated and cultivated. The south of the country is made up of some highlands and mountain ranges, characterized by deep gorges and limestone formations, and then at the extreme south stretches the plain of the delta of the Zhu Jiang (Pearl River).

The China has, along the Pacific Ocean, about 8,000 km of coastline to the north, along the Yellow Sea they are low and sandy, except for the mountain of Liaodong and Shandong peninsulas. The entire South-Central coast, which faces East China Sea and South China Sea, is, however, high and rocky, with many bays and islands. The largest Chinese island is Hainan Dao (33,920 sq km) located at the south of the country.

The three major rivers of China, Chang Jiang (Yangtze Kiang), the Huang He (Huang Ho, Yellow River), and the Zhu Jiang (Pearl River), have their origin on Tibetan Plateau.

The Chang Jiang (Yangtze Kiang), is the longest river in Asia (6,300 km long, 1,800,000 sq km of the basin) and the third-longest in the world after the Amazon and the Nile. The river originating from glaciers in Geladandong mountain, Tanggula (Dangla) chain, in the eastern Tibetan Plateau, it flows to west across the province of Qinghai, marking the border between Sichuan and Tibet, the river crosses the Yunnan and then, in Hubei Province, form the Three Gorges, an area of great scenic beauty. The river continues its path receiving waters of several lakes including Dongting lakes (2,820 sq km) and Poyang (the largest freshwater lake in China, 4,400 sq km) to reach the mouth in the East China Sea, just north of Shanghai.

The Chang Jiang is the largest artery of communication between the sea and inland regions of China. The Huang He (Huang Ho, Yellow River), the second longest river Chinese (5,464 km long, 752,000 sq km of the basin), originating in the Kunlun mountains in the province of Qinghai, south of the Gobi Desert, in the northern part of China and flows in the Bo Hai Bay to the north of Shandong Peninsula. The waters of the river have a particular yellow color (hence the name Yellow River) due to the fertile loess sediments carried by the river through the Loess Plateau in central-northern China.

The Zhu Jiang (Pearl River, 2,200 km, with a basin area of 409,000 sq km) is formed by three rivers: Xi Jiang, and Jiang Bei Dong Jiang, the Jiang Xi (Sikiang) is the most important, originating in the mountainous areas of Yunnan, and after crossing Canton, empties in the South China Sea between Hong Kong and Macau.

The Amur (Heilong Jiang, 4,416 km in length, with a basin area of 1,929,000 sq. km), is formed by the rivers Šilka and Argun and marks much of the northeastern border with Russia, empties in the Sea of Okhotsk.

Among other rivers, originating in Chinese territory several large Asian rivers like Brahmaputra, Ganges, Salween, Indus and Mekong. In eastern China the Grand Canal 1800 km long in the north-south direction, is the most extensive system of waterways of the world, it connects Beijing with Hangzhou.

Among the salty lakes is Qinghai Lake (4400 sq km), the largest lake in the country, located in the province of Qinghai in the north-eastern Tibet Plateau.

Western China

This post is also available in: German

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