Located in Southeast Asia along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean, China is the world's third-largest country, after Russia and Canada. With an area of 9.6 million square kilometers and a coastline of 18,000 kilometers, its shape is like a rooster on the map. The country is situated at the southeastern edge of the Eurasian continent, where the Indian plate and the Pacific plate meet. Hence the surface of this area is highly undulating and has undergone a long process of geological evolution, making it one of the most geologically complex regions on earth. Covering vast land, China has a variety of topography and landforms, including plateaus, plains, basins, foothills, mountains, and so on. Defining rugged plateaus, foothills, and mountains as mountainous, they occupy nearly two-thirds of the land, higher in the West and lower in the East like a three-step ladder.
Thanks to the unique geographical conditions, the land is home to numerous beautiful, gorgeous, and amazing sceneries which have further bred the colorful cultures and civilizations in different regions. For instance, on the highest step of the “ladder topography”, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, karsts, peaks, and snow mountains are its major natural characteristics and sceneries; while the lowest step, abundant in broad plains, is dotted with foothills, smaller mountains, and well-cultivated and fertile lands which provide the country with sufficient crops. Up to now, 14 sites in China have been included in the list of World Natural Heritage by UNESCO with Jiuzhaigou being the first and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China (Phase I) being the latest. These natural heritage sites are located all over China and each of them has its own breathtakingly magical features.
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