China is located in the east of Asia. It is the third largest country in the world, after the Soviet Union and Canada.
It is bordered to the north by Mongolia and the Soviet Union, to the east by the Soviet Union, North Korea, Yellow Sea and East China Sea; to the south by the South China Sea, North Vietnam, Laos, Burma, India, Bhutan, Silkim, Nepal and West Pakistan; to the west by Afghanistan and the Soviet Union.
Two-thirds of China is mountainous or semi-desert. Its eastern part is formed by fertile plains and deltas. There are islands, the largest of which is Hainan on the southern coast. The main rivers are: Yellow, Amur and Yu.
China has an area of 9,596,961 km2 and a population of over 1,300,000,000. Its capital is Beijing. Main cities are: Shanghai, Beijing, Tientsin, Fight, Shenyang, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Harbin, Sain. 94% of Chinese are Han and 11% Chuangs.
Agriculture is the basis of the economy. The Chinese grow rice, wheat, barley, soy, millet, cotton, tea and tobacco. There are also large reserves of coal, iron, copper, lead and other minerals.
The Middle Empire: The Beginning of the Great Civilization
In 1929, Chinese archaeologist Pei Wenzhong found in the village of Zhoukoudian, near Beijing or Beijing, the current capital of China, a human skull dating back approximately 500,000 years. This skull belonged to the genus Homo erectus, which lived in regions of Africa, Asia and Europe between about 1.8 million and 300,000 years ago. The archaeologist named his finding "Peking Man."
Studying this fossil and other evidence found in the region, the researchers concluded that Chinese Homo erectus lived in caves and produced polished stone artifacts, used fire to cook food and protect itself from the cold. He lived by hunting, fishing and gathering fruits from the forests. It seems that the early Chinese had a life similar to that of the other Paleolithic peoples.
It is also known that about 6,000 years ago in Yangzhou, in the fertile Yellow River region, a neolithic culture of farmers and breeders (dogs and pigs) developed. There were also made pots and ceramic vases to store the food. These ceramic objects were richly decorated with symbols that apparently gave rise to Chinese writing.
Ceramic vase, one of the main features of Chinese material culture
The settlement of the Yellow River Valley (Hoang-Ho River) is explained by the fertility of the soil, favorable to the practice of agriculture, especially rice cultivation. For hundreds of years the floods of the river and the winds of the desert had been depositing on the earth a layer of yellowish clay, known as loesse, which gave the river a yellowish tone and name. Preceding that loesse was an efficient soil fertilizer, the Chinese settled on the riverbank plains where they began cultivating the land. To make better use of the region's natural resources, the Chinese built irrigation canals and dikes to control floods. This practice is similar to what the ancient Egyptians developed by taking advantage of the Nile floods.
These small farming villages gave rise to settlements, which later became small states ruled by political chiefs. Subsequently, some of these small states were dominated by others, giving rise to powerful and respected kings. Power was passed on from father to son (hereditary power), giving rise to what we call dynasties.