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China Natural Resource

China is abundant with natural resources, like land resource, water resource, mineral resource, plant resource and animal resource.

Land Resource

China has a land area of 9.6 million square kilometers, accounting for about 22% of Asia land. Its land resource is divided into plateau, mountain, grassland, plain, forest, etc., but not all land resource is easily available. Available land resource is like grassland, cultivated land, and forest, while land resource like desert, gobi, is not easily available to agriculture production, which take up about 20 % of the total land.

The composition and distribution of China's land resource have three major features: first, variety in type--cultivated lands, forests, grasslands, deserts and tidelands; second, many more mountains and plateaus than flatlands and basins; third, unbalanced distribution: farmlands mainly concentrated in the east, grasslands largely in the west and north, and forests mostly in the far northeast and southwest.

Cultivated land is mainly distributed in the east and south, especially in plains. Forest is usually in mountainous areas, like Yunnan in the southwest, and Da xing’anling in the northeast. Grassland covers an area of about 400 million hectares, and the Inner Mongolian Prairie is China's largest natural pastureland, and home to Sanhe horses, Sanhe cattle and Mongolian sheep. Desert is mainly distributed in the northwest, like Gansu, Ningxia, Xinjiang, and Qinghai.

Taklimakan desert

Water Resource

China is rich in water resource, for that it has a great number of rivers and lakes.  In 2016, the total volume of water resource is 3,246 billion cubic meters.  Though China has a huge water resource, but its distribution is unbalanced. 70% of water resource is distributed in the southwest which has plentiful rivers.

Water resource consists of surface water and ground water and others.  Surface water is composed of river, lake, marsh , glacier, etc., which almost accounts for 80% of the total water in China, and it is the major part of water resource. Rivers and lakes are two of the major parts of surface water, and China has several big water systems, the Yangtze River water system, the Yarlung Zangbo River water system, the Pearl River water system and the Yellow River water system. The water resource of the Yangtze River water system accounts for about 40% of the total water resource in river.


In China, there are lots of lakes formed due to different geological conditions. Qinghai Lake is the biggest inland lake, and the biggest salt lake in China, with an area of about 4435 square meters, and it has a water reserve of about 105 billion cubic meters. Poyang Lake is the biggest fresh water lake with an area of 3960 square kilometers, and Dongting Lake is the third largest lake.


Ground water is the water covered in the underground, and is composed of four types. The plain-basin type of ground water is the major one, and Huanghuaihai Plain is the biggest collective zone of ground water.

Mineral Resource

China is rich in mineral resources, and has various kinds of minerals. So far, geologists have confirmed reserves of 153 different minerals, putting China third in total reserves in the world. Proven reserves of energy sources include coal, petroleum, natural gas, and oil shale, and those mineral resources are distributed not only in land, but also in ocean.

Some mineral resources proven have a huge reserve, like coal, natural gas, and granite. China has some rare minerals and the reserves of some minerals have a top rank in the world. China has the world's largest reserves of rare earth, tungsten, titanium, barite, stibnite, mirabilite, and wollastonite.

rare earth

Plant & Animal Resources

The large territory with a various topography and across tropic and temperate zones, provide China with a great diversity in wildlife. There are more than 4,400 species of vertebrates, accounting for over 10 percent of the world's total. There are nearly 500 animal species, 1,189 species of birds, more than 320 species of reptiles and 210 species of amphibians. China is home to more than 2,000 species of edible plants and 3,000 species of medicinal plants, which is a great advantage to the development of Chinese medicine.

Wildlife peculiar to China includes well-known animals like the giant panda, golden-haired monkey, South China tiger, brown-eared pheasant, white-flag dolphin, Chinese alligator and red-crowned crane, totaling more than 100 species. The giant panda is an especially attractive sight. With a round shape, it has a docile disposition, and is delightfully adorable. The red-crowned crane with a height of 1.2 meters is a snow-white migratory bird. A distinctive patch of red skin is on the top of its grey-brown head, and from which it is given such a name. The white-flag dolphin is one of the two species of freshwater whale in the world. In 1980, a male white-flag dolphin was caught for the first time in the Yangtze River, which aroused great attention among dolphin researchers worldwide.

red-crowned crane

Plant resource is usually rich in mountainous areas and tropic areas. Yunnan in China is a treasure to plant resource, and it has a complicated topography, with many large rivers and mountains. In Yunan, there is the famous Xishuangbanna primitive forest park,  and the three parallel rivers of Yunnan protected areas, and the two places has a large number of plants, and frequently visited by geographers and botanists from home and abroad. In the flowering period, mountain slopes covered with flowers in a riot of colors form a delightful contrast with undulating ridges and peaks.


In order to protect those animals and plants, the government has established about 1,146 nature reserves to protect animals and plants at different protection level, and also has established zoos and botanical gardens, parks to protect those resources. Among those natural reserves, there are 15 famous reserves, namely, Sichuan's Wolong and Jiuzhaigou, Jilin's Changbai Mountains, Guangdong's Dinghu Mountains, Guizhou's Fanjing Mountains, Fujian's Wuyi Mountains, Hubei's Shennongjia, Inner Mongolia's Xilingol, Xinjiang's Mt. Bogda, Yunnan's Xishuangbanna, Jiangsu's Yancheng, Zhejiang's Tianmu Mountains Nanji and Islands Guizhou's Maolan and Heilongjiang's Fenglin, have joined the “International People and Bio-sphere Protection Network.” Heilongjiang's Zhalong, Jilin's Xianghai, Hunan's Dongting Lake, Jiangxi's Poyang Lake, Qinghai's Bird Island, Hainan's Dongzhai Harbor and Hong Kong's Mai Po have been included in the listing of the world's important.

Some animal and plant resources are developed to tour spots, and you may go to a forest park, a zoo or a natural reserve to see some rare animals and plants.