Day 20: Rest Day at Dunhuan

Today is a rest day. We took full rest as we were very tired. Anupam and Aditi went to see world-famous “Silk Road” Chinese Opera at the Dunhuang Grand Theatre. Since it was premiered in 1979, it has won the hearts of many with its artistic depiction of the Silk Route, the Buddhist Paintings of Magao Grottos, and of Chinese culture.
I think we can try to understand the country in which we are travelling for 20 days.
The word “China” has been used in English since the 16th Century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves. It has been traced through Portuguese, Malay and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cina, used in ancient India.
The territory of China lies between latitudes 18 degree and 54 degree North and longitudes 73 degrees and 135 degree East. In the East lies Yellow Sea and the East China Sea. This area is extensive and densely populated while on the edges of the Inner Mongolian plateau in the north, broad grasslands predominate. Southern China is dominated by hills and low mountain ranges. The Central China hosts the deltas of China’s two major rivers Yellow river and the Yangtze River.  To the west sit major mountain ranges, most notably the Himalays, High plateaus feature among the more arid landscapes of the north, such as Taklamakan and the Gobi Desert. 

China, together with Russia, has the largest number of land borders (14). They are Korea (North), Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajiskistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.
The world’s highest point, Mount Everest (8,848m) lies on the Sino-Nepalese border. The country’s lowest point, and the world’s third-lowest is the dried lake bed of Ayding Lake       (-154m) in the Turpan Depression.
China has over 160 cities with a population of over one million, including the seven megacities (cities with population of over 10 million).   
China, officially the People’s Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is world’s most populous country with a population of around 1.404 billion. The country covers area of approximately 96 lakhs sq. kms. It is the third or fourth largest country by total area. It is governed by the Communist Party of China.

The State exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions and 4 Direct-controlled Municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chongqing), and special administrative regions of Hong kong and Macau. Shanghai is the largest city of the country. The official language is Chinese. Other major recognised regional languages are Mongolian, Uyghur, Tibetan, Zhuang. The currency is Renminbi (yuan).

China is one of the world’s earliest civilization, in the fertile basin of Yellow river in the North China Plain. For millennia, China’s political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE.   

Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China’s economy has been one of the world’s fastest growing with annual growth rates consistently above 6 percent. Since 2010, the country has been second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). China is also the world’s largest exporter and second largest importer of goods.

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