The Middle Kingdom

Geography of China: Shanghai to Tibet

  • It is the most populated country in the world and over-population is a significant problem
  • Increased pollution and decreased water quality is an ever present worry
  • It is the second largest country in the world
  • Borders fourteen countries, more than any other nation other than Russia which also borders fourteen
  • All parts have a wet and dry season that determine the weather
  • Most of population centered around the eastern fertile plains
  • Western China is very mountainous and has arid deserts
  • Major worry is the loss of 1 million acres per year to desertification
  • Contains nearly 35,000 species
  • 1/4 of all species found in the rainforest

Culture: A Nation United


1. China is a communist country run by the Communist Party which is the sole political party.

2. The Communist Party is extremely involved in everyday life and is very authoritarian.


1. The government encourages atheism.

2. The traditional religion, Confucianism, has a major impact on the Chinese people.

Economic Systems:

1. China is the second largest economy in terms of GDP

2. China is the largest holder of US debt with $1.5 trillion.

Social Organization:

1. The infant mortality rate is 14.8 per 1,000 births.

2. Live in nuclear families.

Customs and Traditions:

1. Many Chinese bow slightly when greeting each other.

2. Rice and pork are common foods.


1. Mandarin is the official language.

2. Seven major languages are spoken.

Arts and Literature:

1. Martial Arts are extremely popular.

2. The literacy rate is 95.1%.

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Data Based Questions

Answer the following questions based on the picture above and prior knowledge you may have.

1. What is the basis of the Chinese-American alliance?

a. common ancestry

b. military assistance

c. financial and economic assistance

2. What attitude does each country have towards the alliance?

a. America: Necessary, but rather not be; China: Beneficial and empowering

b. America: Best friendship ever; China: A burden, but must be tolerated

Compare/Contrast China and North Korea


2nd largest economy.

Speaks Mandarin.

American Ally

Most populated country

High standard of living

Varied geography

3rd largest country

93% literacy

Economy is growing

373 people per square mile

North Korea

197th largest economy.

Speaks Korean.

American Enemy

50th most populated country

Low standard of living

Mostly Mountains

99th largest country

99% literacy

Economy is shrinking

515 per square mile



Highly Homogeneous.

35% of workers in Agriculture sector

Majority of people live in cities

Has nuclear weapons