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China

China Beijing and Xi'an

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is the world's most-populous country, with a population of over 1.3 billion. The East Asian state covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres, and is the world's second-largest country by land area, and the third- or fourth-largest in total area, depending on the definition of total area. The People's Republic of China is a single-party state governed by the Communist Party of China. It exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four directly controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and two mostly self governing special administrative regions (SARs), Hong Kong and Macau. Its capital city is Beijing. The PRC also claims Taiwan, which is controlled by the Republic of China (ROC)–a separate political entity–as its 23rd province, a claim controversial due to the complex political status of Taiwan and the unresolved Chinese Civil War. The PRC government denies the legitimacy of the ROC. China's landscape is vast and diverse, with forest steppes and the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts occupying the arid north and northwest near Mongolia and Central Asia, and subtropical forests being prevalent in the wetter south near Southeast Asia. The terrain of western China is rugged and elevated, with the Himalaya, Karakoram, Pamir and Tian Shan mountain ranges separating China from South and Central Asia. The world's apex, Mt. Everest (8,848 m), lies on the China–Nepal border, while the world's second-highest point, K2 (8,611 m), is situated on China's border with Pakistan. The country's lowest and the world's third-lowest point, Lake Ayding (−154 m), is located in the Turpan Depression. The Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, the third- and sixth-longest in the world, have their sources in the Tibetan Plateau and continue to the densely populated eastern seaboard. China's coastline along the Pacific Ocean is 14,500 kilometres (9,000 mi) long (the 11th-longest in the world), and is bounded by the Bohai, Yellow, East and South China Seas.
 

 
Beijing
 
Beijing literally means Northern Capital, a role it has played many times in China's long history. Beijing's history dates back several thousand years but it first became notable in Chinese history after it was made the capital of the State of Yan under the name Yanjing. Yan was one of the major kingdoms of the Warring States Period, some 2,000 years ago. After the fall of Yan, during the later Han and Tang dynasties, the Beijing-area was a major prefecture of northern China. Beijing is the capital of the most populous country in the world, the People's Republic of China, and also its second largest city after Shanghai. It was also the seat of the Ming and Qing dynasty emperors until the formation of a republic in 1911. Beijing is the political, educational and cultural centre of the country and as such it is rich in historical sites and important government and cultural institutions. The city is well known for its flatness and regular construction. There are only three hills to be found in the city limits (in Jingshan Park to the north of the famous Forbidden City). Like the configuration of the Forbidden City, Beijing has concentric "ring roads", which are actually rectangular, that go around the metropolis.
 

 
Xi’an
 
Xian is located in the central area of the Northwest of China, which is now the capital of Shaanxi Province of China. Xian is one of the most ancient capitals in the world since Xian was the national capital of 12 dynasties from Western Zhou (1046-771 BC) to Tang (618-907). In Han and Tang dynasties, Xian was called Changan. What makes Xian standing out from other cities is because of its historical sites, rich cultural relics, and beautiful scenery sites. Xian is also the starting point of the famous Silk Road to the West.

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