|China, (People's Republic of China), is situated in eastern Asia, bounded by the Pacific in the east. The third largest country in the world, next to Canada and Russia, it has an area of 9.6 million square kilometers, or one-fifteenth of the world's land mass. It begins from the confluence of the Heilong and Wusuli rivers (135 degrees and 5 minutes east longitude) in the east to the Pamirs west of Wuqia County in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (73 degrees and 40 minutes east longitude) in the west, about 5,200 kilometers apart; and from the midstream of the Heilong River north of Mohe (53 degrees and 31 minutes north latitude) in the north to the southernmost island Zengmu'ansha in the South China Sea (4 degrees and 15 minutes north latitude), about 5,500 kilometers apart.|
The border stretches over 22,000 kilometers on land and the coastline extends well over 18,000 kilometers, washed by the waters of the Bohai, the Huanghai, the East China and the South China seas. The Bohai Sea is the inland sea of China.
There are 6,536 islands larger than 500 square meters, the largest is Taiwan, with a total area of about 36,000 square kilometers, and the second, Hainan. The South China Sea Islands are the southernmost island group of China.
As the most widely spoken language on earth, Chinese is, strictly speaking, a series of dialects spoken by the dominant ethnic group within China, the Han. Indeed, the term most commonly used by the Chinese themselves to refer to the language is Hanyu, meaning "Han-language", though zhongyu, zhongwen, and zhongguohua are frequently used as well. However, non-Han peoples such as Uigurs and Tibetans speak languages which have little or nothing to do with Chinese.
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