China is located in the eastern part of the Asian continent, on the western Pacific Rim. It covers an area of about 9.6 million square kilometers. China is the third largest country in the world (after Russia and Canada). From north to south, the territory of China spans over 49 latitudes, and from east to west, over 62 longitudes. China is approximately seventeen times the size of France and 1 million square kilometers smaller than all of Europe. Additional offshore territory, including territorial waters, special economic areas, and the continental shelf, totals over 3 million square kilometers, bringing China's overall territory to almost 13 million square kilometers.
The Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and South China Sea border China to the east and south, together forming a vast maritime area. The Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and South China Sea connect directly with the Pacific Ocean, while the Bohai Sea, lying between the two “arms” of the Liaodong and Shandong peninsulas, forms an inland sea.
China possesses 20,000 kilometers of land border, plus 18,000 kilometers of coastline. Setting out from any point on China's border and making a complete circuit around the country back to the starting point would be equivalent to circling the globe at the equator.
China is the largest country in Asia. It is bordered by North Korea to the east, Mongolia to the north, Russia to the northeast, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tadzhikistan to the northwest, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bhutan to the west and southwest; and Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam to the south. Across the seas to the east and southeast are South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The long coastline and many excellent ports in China have facilitated the development of ocean transportation and foreign trade, while the long land border is favorable for the development of border trade. West China lies deep in the Eurasian continent and borders on many countries, which make for direct contact with central Asia, west Asia and Europe.
China is rich in mineral resources, and all known minerals in the world can be found there. To date, geologists have confirmed reserves of more than 160 different minerals, putting China third in the world in total reserves.
Proven reserves of energy sources include coal, petroleum, natural gas, and oil shale; radioactive minerals include uranium and thorium. China's coal reserves total 1,006.3 billion tons, mainly distributed in north China, with Shanxi and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region taking the lead. Petroleum reserves are mainly in northwest and northeast China, north China and the continental shelves in east China. Proven reserves of ferrous metals include iron, manganese, vanadium and titanium. China's about 50 billion tons of iron ore are mainly distributed in northeast, north and southwest China. The Anshan-Benxi Area in Liaoning, east Hebei, and Panzhihua in Sichuan are major iron producers. China has the world's largest reserves of tungsten, tin, antimony, zinc, molybdenum, lead, mercury and other nonferrous metals; its reserves of rare earth metals far exceed the total in the rest of the world. China's hydropower potential is the largest in the world.