Location The People Republic of China is situated in eastern Asia on the western shore of the Pacific Ocean, with an area of 9.6 million square kilometers. China's continental coastline extends for about 18,000 kilometers, and its vast sea surface is studded with more than 5,000 islands, of which Taiwan and Hainan are the largest.
Land Formation and Rivers China's land drops off in escarpments eastward to the ocean, letting in humid air current and leading many rivers eastward. Among the rivers totaling 220,000 kilometers in length in China, the Changjiang (Yangtze) and the Huanghe (Yellow) are world known.
China has beautiful scenery, with mountains and ranges, highlands, plains, basins, and hills. The highlands and hill regions account for 65 percent of the country's total land mass, and there are more than 2,000 lakes. The highest mountain peak is Qomolangma (Everest), the highest in the world, 8,848 meters above sea level; the lowest point is the Turpan Basin, 154 meters below sea level.
Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China. It is not only the nation's political centre, but also its cultural, scientific and educational heart and a key transportation hub. Beijing has served as a capital for more than 800 years. The city had many places of historic interest and scenic beauty, including the imperial Palace (also known as the Forbidden City), the largest and best-preserved ancient architectural complex in the world; the Temple of Heaven, where Ming and Qing emperors performed solemn rituals for bountiful harvests; the Summer Palace, the emperors' magnificent garden retreat; the Ming tombs, the stately and majestic mausoleums of 13 Ming Dynasty emperors; and the world-renowned and genuinely inspiring Badaling section of the Great Wall.