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China's Topography

Mountains cover 33 percent of China’s landmass, plateaus 26 percent, basins 19 percent, plains 12 percent, and hills 10 percent. Thus, 69 percent of China’s land is mountains, hills, and highlands.

China has five main mountain ranges, and seven of its mountain peaks are higher than 8,000 meters above sea level. The main topographic features include the Qingzang (Qinghai-Tibet) Plateau at 4,000 meters above sea level and the Kunlun, Qin Ling, and Greater Hinggan ranges.

In the Himalaya Mountains, the world’s highest, are Mount Everest (known in China as Qomolangma) at 8,844.4 meters (based on new official measurements) and K–2 at 8,611 meters, shared with Nepal and Pakistan, respectively.

The lowest inland point in China— the second lowest place in the world after the Dead Sea—is at Turpan Pendi, 140 kilometers southeast of Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, at 154 meters below sea level. With temperatures that have reached 49.6 C, it also ranks as one the hottest places in China.

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