China is as large as the whole continent of Europe, it stretches over four time-belts and fosters a diversity of crops and livestock. Its economy continues rapid development and the Chinese subcontinent, inhabited by over 1.3 billion people (representing 23% of humanity), holds only 7% of the planet's arable land. Now the sheer size and potential of China's consumer market has gained the attention of foreign firms. In return the importation of foreign technology and ideas, China has fostered an admiration for global culture and achievements. China offers picturesque rural landscapes, vibrant urban cityscapes and captivating beauty - from the windswept plans of Gobi Desert to Guilin's fascinating karst hills towering above the paddy fields, from the tremendous northern face of Mt Everest to volcanic crater lakes shining on the grassland.