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Ancient China was an isolated land because of the numerous mountains dangerous deserts and vast seas In fact thousands of years passed before overland and sea routes to the West gradually connected China to Central Asia India and Europe The Pacific Ocean to the east of China also prevented foreigners from reaching China The Gobi Desert in ancient China is one of the driest deserts in the world The Taklamankan Desert which means enter and you shall never return is in the northwest China also has some of the highest mountain ranges in the world One of these mountain ranges is known as the Himalayas Mountains occupy about forty-three percent of Chinas land area Only about twelve percent of Chinas land is plains and most of that is in the eastern part of China Ancient China had two major river systems that generally flowed in a western to eastern direction Huang He which is also known as the Yellow River Yangtze which is also known as the Chang Jiang The Huang He river system is about 3000 miles long This is about the distance from California to New York The river empties into the Yellow Sea This river system provided fertile soil and farmers were able to grow plenty of food The civilization of ancient China developed along this river This river has also caused many heartaches because when it floods the land it kills many people and destroys crops Without food to eat people die The Yangtze River is the longest in China and the third longest river in the world It is about 3 964 miles long It also empties into the Yellow Sea The river passes through some of Chinas best farmland and many of its towns and villages At its lowest point during the winter or early spring the Yangtze is about 25 feet deep After the snow melts it can rise to 160 feet The ancient Chinese built
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