China's Topography

China is a mountainous country. The mountains, upland and plateau cover two thirds of the total area. The variety of landscape includes the high hills (33%), the plateau (26%), the basin (19%) and the plain (12%).


The Tibetan Plateau was gradually formed millions of years ago. The crust movement of the earth in that area formed the beginning of the current Chinese landscape. The surface of China is like several stages. It slopes down in steps from west to east. The Indian Ocean Plate and Eurasian Plate have forced the constant rising of Tibetan Plateau, which now averages about 4,000 meters above sea level. The "roof of the world" eventually became the first phase in China's topography. The Himalayan Mountains are also found in this region. With a height of 8,848 meters, Mount Everest, the peak of the Himalayas, is also the highest peak in the world. The second stage consists of Inner Mongolia, Huangtu, Yungui Plateau, Tarim, Jungar and Sichuan Basin. This region has an average height of 1,000 to 2,000 meters above sea level. Across the east edge of the second stage, the area of the Daxing'an Range, Taihang Mountain, Wu Mountain and Xuefeng Mountain lie straight east to the Pacific Ocean. This area is regarded as the third stage and ranges from 500 to 1,000 meters above sea level. It runs from north to south covering the Northeast Plain, North China Plains and middle and low reaches of the Yangtze River. On the edge of the plain are low mountains and uplands. To the east, there is the Chinese continental shelf, a shallow sea area known as the fourth stage. The water here is generally less than 200 meters deep.