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People’s Republic of China is situated in East Asia. China is the world’s biggest country by population. People of China call their country Zhongguo, which means “Central Country”. China also recognizes 55 national minorities, including Tibetans, Mongols, Uighurs, Zhuang, Miao, Yi, and many smaller groups. The country’s varied terrain includes vast deserts, gigantic mountains, high plateaus, and broad plains. China had the world’s most advanced civilization. Inventions such as paper, printing, gunpowder, porcelain, silk, and the compass originated in China and then spread to other parts of the world. In 1997 Hong Kong was transferred from Britain to China. The capital of China is Beijing, which is the cultural, economic, and communications center. Shanghai, located near the Yangtze, is the most populous urban center, the largest industrial and commercial city, and mainland China’s leading port.

Geography: Top

North-east China is characterised by forested mountains surrounding a broad fertile plain. On the west is the Da Hinggan Ling (Greater Khingan Range). The Liaodong Peninsula extends to the south. At the tip of the peninsula is Dalian, Northeast China’s principal seaport. North China lies between the Mongolian Steppe on the north and the Yangtze River Basin on the south. It stretches west from the Bo Hai gulf and the Yellow Sea to the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. Subtropical East Central China encompasses about a quarter of China’s area and includes three traditional divisions: Central China, South China, and Southwest China. South-western portion of China is the high, mountain-rimmed Tibetan Plateau.

Climate: Top
China has many different climates. The south-eastern coastal China and the island of Hainan have considerable precipitation with the summer monsoon. Typhoons are common between July and November, bringing high winds and heavy rains to the coastal areas. A subtropical climate prevails in most of Central, South, and Southwest China. North China experiences a cold, dry winter and a warm, rain y summer. At Beijing, the average January temperature is -5°C (23°F) and the average July temperature is 26°C (79°F). Desert and steppe climates prevail in the Mongolian Steppe and Northwest China. The Tibetan Plateau has an arctic or near-arctic climate because of its high elevation.
People and Culture: Top

Almost 92 percent of the population in China are ethnic Han. China’s population comprises many different ethnic groups and nationalities. There are Mongols in the north and north-west. Muslim Turkic people live in the far west. The Tibetans are in west and south-west. The identification of a minority nationality is based partly on the historical distinction between Han and non-Han. The traditional religions of China were Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. But, now Islam and Christianity is also practised in China. Almost 90 percent Chinese’s speak Chinese language, but there is difference in dialect in various regions. China's traditional values were derived from various versions of Confucianism.

Tourist Visas: Top

The Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China
240 St. George Street, Toronto, Ont. M5R 2P4
Tel: (416) 9647260 Fax: (416)324-9010
24-hour service of automatic telephone information: (416)-9648861
Office hours: 9:00AM –12:00AM 1:30PM-3:30PM (Monday to Friday, closed on holidays)
Consular Service District: Ontario and Manitoba.

Political Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission
Mr. Huang Huikang Address: 515 St. Patrick Street, Ottawa, Ont. K1N 5H3 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 8935 New Terminal, AltaVista, Ottawa, Canada.
Email: chinaemb_ca@mfa.gov.cn
Website: http://ca.china-embassy.org/eng/
Office Hours: 09:00-12:00, 14:00-17:30, Monday-Friday (except Chinese holidays)
Visa Office
Tel: +1-613-7893434
Fax: +1-613-7891911
Office Hours: 09:00-13:00, Monday-Friday (except Chinese holidays)
Money: Top

China’s basic unit of currency is the renminbi, commonly called the yuan (8.28 yuan equal U.S.$1; 2004 average).
Currency exchange:
Foreign currencies can be exchanged at nearly all banks. Banks may also have the best rates. Hotels can also exchange foreign currency but they might charge commission.  Shop keepers may also accept US dollars but smaller vendors may not. It is advisable to carry Thai Bhat in smaller denominations so that

Plastic & ATM
American Express, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted, while Diners Club may not be accepted everywhere. There is a good network of ATM machines nearly everywhere in the major cities., but may not be available in smaller towns and specially in the hilly areas.

Travellers cheques:

Are accepted by all banks, large hotels and shops. To avoid additional charges it is advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars, Euros or Pounds Sterling.1
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