With a civilization that goes back 6,000 years and a culture that gave the world silk, paper, printing, and gunpowder, China has a long and rich history. Today, China is the world's manufacturing center and its current economic importance grows apace; in the future it seems destined to become a world superpower.Even in basic statistics, everything about China seems immense:* It is a land of some 3.7 million square miles (9.5 sq km) and the world's second largest country by area* Its population of around 1.3 billion people is one-fifth of the whole world'* Mandarin Chinese is the world's most widely spoken language, with 885 million speakersYet, despite the industrial and economic expansion of the last decade, China's true wealth remains its geographical size, variety, and the almost unbelievable diversity of its natural features and climatic zones. It has deserts and near-Arctic tundra, mountains and plains, wetlands and tropical forest, lakes and rivers--including two of the world's greatest, the Yellow River and the Yangtze River. It has diverse cultures, religions, and languages--it is made up of 56 nationalities.
Its many treasures are of world renown and importance, with a rich legacy of beautiful buildings from its past, and natural features of world significance--including 35 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: cultural such as Beijing's Forbidden City and Lhasa's Potala Palace in Tibet; and natural such as the South China Karst, of Yunnan, Guizhou, and Guangxi provinces.To do justice to these features requires a big book: they don't come much bigger than this. Its pages contain an inspiring collection of over 260 color photographs that reveal some amazing, often breathtaking, images of China: ancient and modern, landscape and architecture; cities and countryside; from north to south and from east to west
A publisher with more than twenty years' experience, Ian Westwell started a writing career ten years ago and has since written more than twenty non-fiction titles, many on military history, his specialist subject.