Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/32

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evangelical, educational, and philanthropic channels has played no small part in producing those aspirations for better things which are so evident in China to-day. Without attempting, in detail, to summarise the geographical, historical, and missionary information of the following pages, as given by each writer under his own section, a short introduction to those articles is necessary.

The area of the Chinese Empire is to-day given as 4,277,170 square miles, which is considerably smaller than the Empire was in the prosperous days of Kienlung (A.D. 1737-1796); more than half a million square miles of territory having been taken from China by Russia alone since that date.

From the figures given in the footnote[1] it will be seen that the Chinese Empire comprises about one-twelfth of the total territory of the world, while it occupies nearly one-quarter of the whole continent of Asia, the largest of continents. It is considerably larger than Europe, and is nearly equal to half of the vast continent of North America, being much larger than either the United States or the Dominion of Canada taken separately. Twenty countries equal in size to France, or thirty-five countries equal in area to the British Isles, could be placed within the Chinese Empire, while more than one-third of these would be located within that portion known as China Proper.

For a traveller to encircle China he would need to journey a distance considerably greater than half the circumference of the world. Of this distance some 4000 miles would be coast-line, some 6000 miles would be bordering on Russian territory, another 4800 miles would touch British possessions, while of the remainder,

  1. Area.
    Eng. sq. miles.
    China Proper 1,532,420 407,337,305
    Manchuria 363,610 8,500,000
    Mongolia 1,367,600 2,580,000
    Tibet 463,200 6,430,000
    Chinese Turkestan 550,340 1,200,000
    Total 4,277,170 426,047,305