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Old 5th April 2006, 07:08 AM
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Talking China: My •••• is bigger than yours!

China disputes CIA website claim China is smaller in area than the U.S.

Shanghai. April 4. INTERFAX-CHINA - China's country area is said to be "slightly smaller than the U.S.," according to the general information pages of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) website. The statement is contrary to China's commonly held wisdom that it is the third largest country in area worldwide, next to Russia and Canada. The issue has been headline news in some Chinese media.

According to the CIA site, China's area totals 9.597 mln km sq, as compared to the 9.631 mln km sq for the U.S. Chinese school textbooks and the official declaration is that China's physical area is 9.6 mln km sq, a little larger than the U.S.

"The U.S.' country area may not be larger than ours. We haven't released a new area figure yet. The number of 9.6 mln km sq was announced after the new China was founded and is just a rough number. We have been surveying the area to get the exact number, but due to territorial disputes with some neighboring countries, it hasn't been settled yet," an official with China's State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping told Interfax.

The Chinese press are quoting the Encyclopedia Britannica saying that China's area is 9.5729 mln km sq, and the U.S.' is 9.5183 mln km sq.
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