China is located in Asia and is the second most populous country in the world. For decades, China was at the top, but in recent years, India has overtaken the country. With a population of 1.4 billion, China is also one of the most influential world powers. It has rapidly industrialized itself and positioned itself as a major force politically and economically.
The country is vast and diverse. Climatically it can be semi-arid, subtropical, and mountainous. Historically, China was always controlled by familial dynasties. During the 19th century, ongoing troubles in China led to an exodus of Chinese emigration to other countries. This exodus along with immense famines in the country led to the abdication of the Emperor and the establishment of a republic. That did not last long as revolts continued to happen which led to the creation of the People’s Republic of China, a Communist-led government that has dominated the country ever since.
Today, China is a one-party rule that controls its citizens with an iron fist. It is bordered by 14 countries. Let’s explore the 14 countries that share a border with China.
The nation of Afghanistan is located in the Middle East and is on China’s western border, sharing only a tiny border with the country. With a population of 40.1 million, its capital is Kabul. Nicknamed the “Heart of Asia,” Afghanistan is mostly mountainous with several rivers passing through the country. The nation’s climate is continental in the mountainous regions, but in the southern part of the country, it can get arid.
Bhutan is located in South Asia and it borders China in the southwest. With a population of nearly 800,000, its capital is Thimpu. Bhutan is in the Eastern Himalayas and is mainly a mountainous country. The climate of the country ranges depending on where you are. The north is more polar and cold, the central part of the country is temperate, and the southern regions of the country can get subtropical.
India is the most populous country as of June 2024 with 1.4 billion people, India’s capital is New Delhi. The nation is located southwest of China. Because of India’s size, its geography and climate vary drastically. It has a mountainous region in the north with colder climates and plains regions in the central and south portions of the country where the weather can get much hotter than usual. This is due to climate change and the Himalayas blocking colder high-density air going south into the subcontinent.
The country of Kazakhstan borders China in the northwest and has a population of 19.4 million. Its capital is Astana. Kazakhstan’s topography varies from mountainous regions to steppe plains. Its climate is also varied — from continental to semi-arid — because of the geographical topography of the country.
Located in East Asia and bordering China in the northeast, North Korea has a mountainous region in the north and more plain in the southwest. It has a population of 26 million and its capital is Pyongyang. Politically, North Korea is a totalitarian dictatorship that has ruled its people with an iron fist for more than 70 years. The country has the worst human rights record in the world.
A landlocked country that borders China to the northwest, Kyrgyzstan has a total of seven ecosystems, ranging from mountainous areas and plains to meadows and deserts. Its climate also varies depending on the region you are in, from subtropical and hot in the south to colder in the north. Kyrgyzstan has a population of 7 million and its capital is Bishkek.
With a population of 7.7 million, Laos’s capital is Vientiane. The country is located in the southeast of China. The country has rugged mountains and forested regions with some plains areas. The climate, however, is very tropical and although landlocked, it experiences monsoon season from May to October.
Mongolia sits right above China and has a population of 3.2 million. Mongolia’s capital is Ulaanbaatar. Mongolia is more arid in the south with the Gobi Desert dominating the region. However, in the north, the country is more mountainous and that ensures colder climates in those regions.
With a population of 57 million, Myanmar (also called Burma) is located south of China. Myanmar, whose capital is Naypydaw, is mainly mountainous with valleys and lowlands in the southern part of the country. Its climate ranges from the wet monsoon season and the dry monsoon season, to the hot and dry weather between mid-February and mid-May.
Nepal’s capital is Kathmandu and has a population of 30.6 million. The country is located in the southwest of China. Geographically, Nepal is a very mountainous country but also has plains and forested areas. Climatically, Nepal also ranges depending on the region you are in — from subtropical to temperature, cold to subarctic, and even arctic temperatures.
Pakistan has a population of 241.5 million and its capital is Islamabad. The country is located in the southwest of China. Geographically, Pakistan is diverse with deserts, plains, forests, and mountainous regions. Its climates vary with the south and center parts of the country being more arid, and the northern parts more temperate and colder.
Russia is located to the north of China and has a population of 144 million. It is a vast country that spans two continents with several climates. As much as 75% of Russia is covered by tundra and forest, known as the region of Siberia. The country has several mountain ranges, with one of the largest being the Caucasus Mountains which stretches from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea.
Another landlocked country on this list, Tajikistan is located to the west of China. The nation has a population of 9.7 million and its capital is Dushanbe. Geographically, Tajikistan is mainly a mountainous country with some valleys and plateaus. The country experiences a wide range of climates, however, ranging from continental to semi-arid.
With a population of 100 million, Vietnam is located south of China. Its capital is Hanoi. Vietnam is varied in its geography, with mountainous regions, lowlands, and forests. Vietnam’s climate also varies depending on where you are. The northern parts of the country are colder and the southern parts can experience a more subtropical climate.
- Capital: Beijing
- Population: 1.4 billion
- Currency: Yuan
- Official Language: Standard Chinese
- President: Xi Jinping
The countries that border China include Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Vietnam. China has a fascinating history — from emperor-led dynasties to Communist-led governments. The Communist regime rules with an iron fist. Human rights abuses are rampant in the country, but there is no doubt that the people of China are resilient and will one day have more freedom than today.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/SeanPavonePhoto
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