Global Education

Teacher resources to encourage a global
perspective across the curriculum

China

Map for China
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  • Drought and deforestation contribute to sandstorms blowing into towns from the Gobi Desert in China, causing respiratory problems.
  • Shanghai, located at the mouth of the Yangtze River, is a large modern port city and a major tourist destination.
  • Old school buildings in China are made of mud brick.
  • Grazing too many goats loosens the ground cover, leading to desertification of the fragile environment in northern China.
  • Crossbred sheep are kept inside in winter, in northern China.
  • Official discusses farming techniques in a local community, Guizhongliaowang, China.

Case studies

Globalisation and the car industry

Henry Ford introduced the assembly line that allowed for mass production leading to cars becoming more affordable.
Car manufacturing has been a global industry since its beginning. It has been a major employer and, over the last 100 years, has provided safer and more accessible transport for increasing numbers of people, including in newly industrialised countries. However car-related pollution and congestion have become an issue in many major cities.
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Reversing desertification in China

Grazing too many goats loosens the ground cover, leading to desertification of the fragile environment in northern China.
Changing land and water use practices in Inner Mongolia, China are helping reverse desertification and reduce poverty.
Read more
Flag of China

Population:

1,350 million

GNI per capita (PPP US$):

10,900

Population living on less than $US1.25 per day:

12%

Adult literacy rates:

95%

Access to water:

92%
Did you know?

China has more second-language English speakers than the USA has native English speakers.

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Geography

Physical geography

Covering 9,596,961 square kilometres of central and east Asia, China is the third largest country in the world. Its topography divides into three major regions: the south-western mountains, the north-western uplands and deserts, and the eastern plains.

In the south-west, the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau has spectacular scenery with many steep gorges, waterfalls, underground caverns and limestone pinnacles. Mount Everest, which is known as Chomolangma, meaning ‘Goddess Mother of Snows’ in Tibetan, lies on the border with Nepal. It is the highest peak in the world at 8,850 metres.

The north-west includes the Taklamakan Desert, shifting salt lakes and the Turpan Depression, which is 154 metres below sea level.

Melting snow from the mountains of western China provides the headwaters for many of the country’s rivers: the Yangtze (Ch’ang Chiang), Huang Ho (Yellow), Mekong and Salween rivers, which flow east through the plains.

Climate

China's wide latitudinal and altitudinal ranges lead to many extremes of climate. In the far south, the hot and humid summer lasts from April to September with average temperatures ranging from 26 °C to 31 °C, although in the Turpan Depression maximums of around 47 °C can occur. Winters (December to March) in the north are extremely cold, with a daily range in temperature from –6 °C to –18 °C, but sometimes dropping as low as –40 °C.

Rainfall reliability also varies, with the heavy average annual rainfall of 2,225 millimetres in Hong Kong to the dry 250–750 millimetres on the North China plains. Typhoons can hit the south-east coast between July and September.

Environment

China’s wildlife includes giant pandas, golden monkeys, snow leopards, Asian elephants, crested ibis, Chinese alligators, argali sheep, wild yaks, reindeer, moose, musk deer and South China tigers. Siberian tigers are endemic to China but population pressure threatens their survival. The last great tracts of forest are in