1902 Encyclopedia > China > Mountain Ranges of China

(Part 4)


Mountain Ranges of China

The rest of the empire may be described as being either mountainous or hilly. Several ranges of high mountains, in connection with the mountain system of Central Asia, enter the western provinces of the empire, and after traversing the western and southern provinces in various directions dwindle down to low hills as they approach the sea-coast. In the eastern portion of Tibet the Kwan-lun range throws off a number of branches, which spread first of all in a south-easterly direction, and eventually take a north and south course, partly in the provinces of Sze-chuen and Yun-nan, where they divide the beds of the rivers which flow into Siam and Cochin-China, as well as the principal northern tributaries of the Yang-tsze Keang. Another range, known as the tung-nan, or Foo-new Shan, which appears to be the eastern termination of the great Kwan-lun range of Central Asia, and which is said to have several snow-clad peaks, enters China in the southern portion of the province, of Kan-suh, and stretches in an easterly direction across the province of Shen-se into that of Ho-nan, where it finally disappears. This range separates the waters which enter the Hwang-ho, or Yellow River, through the Wei and the Lo from those which flow into the Yang-tzse Keang, through the Kia-ling and the Han. Forming the northern frontier of the province of Sze-chuen runs the Kew-lung or Po-mung range, which entering China in 102° long. takes a general course of east as far as 112° long., at about which point it is lost sight of in the province of Hoo-pih. In the south the Nan-shan ranges, some peaks of which are said to reach above the snow-level, take their rise in Yun-nan, and after spreading in a series of ranges over the south and east portions of Kwang-se trend in an easterly direction, covering the entire province of Kwang-tung. Then turning north-eastward, they occupy the whole area of the provinces of Fuh-keen, Keang-se, Che-keang, Hoo-nan, and southern Gan-hwuy, until they reach the Yang-tsze Keang; which river, from the Tung-ting Lake to Chin-keang Foo, forms their northern boundary. It is reckoned that this mounrain region occupies an area of about 300,000 square miles. Besides these more important ranges there are the Lung Mountains in Kan-suh, the Ta-hang Mountains in Shan-se, the Tae Mountains in Shan-tung, and many others, among which may be mentioned the ranges which form the northern frontier of Chih-li. It will thus be seen that there is a general subsidence from the mountain districts in the western portions of the empire to the central and south-eastern provinces, where the mountaians dwindle down to hills, and where the snowy peaks and rugged sides of the ranges in Yun-nan and Sze-chuen are exchanged for the wooded tops and carefully-cultivated terraces of the littoral provinces.

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