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ASIA

Where does Europe end and Asia begin?

Though Europe and Asia are actually part of one large landmass, tradition has split the region into two continents along the Ural Mountains in western Russia.

CHINA AND MIDDLE ASIA

What is the most populous country in the world?

China is home to more than 1.32 billion people, which means that one in every five people on the planet is Chinese. India, the second-most populous country, has 1.13 billion people and is expected to surpass China's population sometime before 2050. Both countries have much larger populations than the third-largest country, the United States, which is home to 304 million people.

What is China's one-child rule?

In the late 1970s, the government of China decided that population control was needed because of a rapidly growing population that would soon outgrow the country's ability to feed itself. The policy mandated that every couple would only be allowed to have one child. The law exempts certain ethnic groups, rural families, and families where neither parent has no siblings. Punishment is strict and is primarily economic—China won't provide medical care or education funding for the second child. The one-child rule has been working and has slowed population growth, reducing the threat of overpopulation.

What is the Forbidden City?

The Forbidden City, located in the center of Beijing, China, was the home of the emperor and the entire imperial court for close to 500 years. Completed in 1420, the

Forbidden City (also known as the Purple Forbidden City or Gugong) was the home of 24 emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties. For centuries, visitors were not allowed into this imperial city. In 1950, several decades after the last emperor was expelled, the city was made a museum and opened to the public.

How was Taiwan created?

In 1949, following the Communist revolution in China, the Chinese Nationalist government, led by Chiang Kai-shek, fled to the island of Taiwan and established a Chinese country there. When the Nationalists arrived, they were met by indigenous Taiwanese and Chinese who had been living there for millennia. Although the island has never been controlled by modern China, successive governments have been disputing this territorial issue since 1949. For about 25 years, most governments of the world recognized Taiwan, the Republic of China, as a sovereign country.

After President Nixon's policy of extending relations to the People's Republic of China in the 1970s, China has pressured all countries in the world to not recognize Taiwan, which has one of the most developed economies in the world. The United States extends de facto recognition to Taiwan through unofficial channels, and it still considers Taiwan to be a very strong ally. China has threatened the use of military action if the Taiwanese ever vote for independence from mainland China, and, in effect, officially form their own country. Proposals for degrees of independence by the Taiwan legislature have been met by threats from the Chinese government.

With a population exceeding well over one billion people, China has put a law in place that limits most couples to only one child (photo by Paul A. Tucci).

With a population exceeding well over one billion people, China has put a law in place that limits most couples to only one child (photo by Paul A. Tucci).

Is the Great Wall of China the only man-made object that can be seen from space?

No, it is not. Besides the Great Wall of China, there are many other man-made structures visible with the naked eye from space, such as urban areas and highways.

The immense Great Wall of China is the most famous man-made structure that is visible from outer space.

The immense Great Wall of China is the most famous man-made structure that is visible from outer space.

How long is China's Great Wall?

Located in northeastern China, the Great Wall stretches approximately 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers). It averages 25 feet (7.6 meters) tall, is 15 to 30 feet (4.6 to 9.2 meters) wide at the base, and 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.6 meters) wide at the top. The wall was originally erected to keep northern invaders out of China. Though part of the Wall was initially built in the third century b.c.e., the wall was expanded over the course of succeeding centuries.

 
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