China is the most populous country in the world, but it hasn't been a major player in the world for a long time. That's all about to change, though -- the country that invented paper money has had the fastest-growing economy in the world for years.
Three Gorges Dam in Sandouping, which should be completed in 2011, will be the biggest dam in the world. It cost $30 billion to build, and more than a million people were forced to relocate because of it.
Wuhan is the hottest of the "Three Furnaces" -- the average temperature in July is 99° Fahrenheit (37.2° Celsius). The other two steamy cities are Nanjing and Chongqing.
Nanjing is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, and it was most recently the capital city from 1927 to 1949. The Japanese invaded in 1937 and carried out the brutal Nanking Massacre, and then the People's Liberation Army conquered the city in 1949. The capital was then moved back to Beijing, where it remains.
This cave system near Beijing has been the site of many archaeological discoveries, like the "Peking Man" (one of the first Homo erectus ever found) and the skeleton of an enormous hyena.
Because Manchuria falls in both China and Russia, it has been the subject of many border disputes over the years and was also a crucial area for the Communist Party when it was moving in from Russia in the 1940s.
Portugal handed over this island to China in 1999. Now, strangely, it is one of the busiest gambling centers in the world.
The Hangzhou Bay Bridge, which opened in 2008, is a 22-mile span that connects Shanghai to the city of Ningbo. It's the longest sea bridge in the world.
The Burma Road linked Burma (now Myanmar) to China. It was finished in 1939 and became an important route for the transport of outside goods, including war supplies, into China. But the Chinese and their allies had to change their tactics when the Japanese captured the road in 1942.
The Lhasa Railway, which connects the capital of Tibet with seven Chinese cities, opened in July 2006. Passengers can request personal oxygen masks for the journey.
Beichuan is a county in Sichuan province that was particularly hard-hit in the earthquake.
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