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In recent decades, China has suffered from severe environmental deterioration and pollution.
China is one of 17 megadiverse countries, lying in two of the world's major ecozones: the Palearctic and the Indomalaya. By one measure, China has over 34,687 species of animals and vascular plants, making it the third-most biodiverse country in the world, after Brazil and Colombia.
Landscape and climate
The territory of China lies between latitudes 18° and 54° N, and longitudes 73° and 135° E. China's landscapes vary significantly across its vast width. In the east, along the shores of theYellow Sea and the East China Sea, there are extensive and densely populated alluvial plains, while on the edges of the Inner Mongolian plateau in the north, broad grasslands predominate. Southern China is dominated by hills and low mountain ranges, while the central-east hosts the deltas of China's two major rivers, the Yellow River and the Yangtze River.
The People's Republic of China is the second-largest country in the world by land area after Russia, and is either the third- or fourth-largest by total area, after Russia, Canada and, depending on the definition of total area, the United States. China's total area is generally stated as being approximately 9,600,000 km2 (3,700,000 sq mi). Specific area figures range from 9,572,900 km2 (3,696,100 sq mi)
At the moment, China has 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities directly under the Central Government and 2 special administrative regions.
China is a unified nation consisting of many different ethnic groups. Fifty-six different ethnic groups make up the great Chinese national family. Because the Han people accounts for more than ninety percent of China’s population, the remaining fifty-five groups are generally referred to as “ethnic minorities.” Next to the majority Han, the Mongolian, Hui, Tibetan, and Uygur peoples comprise the largest ethnic groups. Although China’s ethnic minorities do not account for a large portion of the population, they are distributed over a vast area, residing in every corner of China.
Three Stages of China’s Architecture History
China’s architecture pays particular attention to the beauty of group combination, and often adopts a central-axis, symmetric compact composition method. But some types, such as gardens, certain mountain forest Taoist temples and certain residences adopt the method of free combination. No matter which composition method is adopted, great attention is paid to the pursuit of neutral, easy, reserved and deep esthetic characters, giving expressions to the esthetic habits of the Chinese nation.
Land and Mineral Resources
The composition and distribution of China’s land resources have three major characteristics: (1) variety in type -- cultivated land, forests, grasslands, deserts and tideland; (2) more mountains and plateaus than flatlands and basins; (3) unbalanced distribution: farmland mainly concentrates in the east, grasslands largely in the west and north, and forests mostly in the far northeast and southwest.