The Peculiar Truth
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The Peculiar Truth

The Peculiar Truth about China’s Hu Line

  • In terms of square miles, the United States and China are fairly similar in size.
  • Yet China’s population is over four times larger.
  • And nearly all of China’s citizens live in the eastern half of the country.
  • More than half of the US population lives east of the Mississippi River on roughly 26 percent of the nation’s land.
  • But nearly 95 percent of China’s population lives east of the imaginary Hu Line, which accounts for about 43 percent of the country’s geography.
  • The Heihe–Tengchong Line, or Hu Line, is an imaginary border that bisects the nation in a north-south diagonal.
  • To the east are almost all of China’s major cities and fertile farmlands.
  • The area to the west makes up 57% of the country’s land masss.
  • That includes China’s numerous deserts, most notably the Gobi, which is the 5th largest in the world, and the Taklamaken, which is further west near the borders with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
  • The Himalayan Mountains form China’s southwestern border.
  • Sandwiched between the mountains to the south and the deserts of the north is the Tibetan Plateau, a region of tens of thousands of glaciers.
  • Only 4% of the population live west of the Hu Line.
  • This includes China’s most notable ethnic groups, the Tibetans and the Uyghurs.
  • Those minorities reside in areas not ideal for human living conditions.
  • Everyone else lives east of the Hu Line.
  • And although China is wider than the United States, the country’s government recognizes only one time zone for the entire nation.


  • Over 90% of all Canadians live within 150 miles of the US border.
  • That border runs on a relatively straight line from Northern Minnesota to Western Washington State.
  • That’s the 49th Parallel.
  • Over 72% of all Canadians live below that line in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
  • And roughly half of all Canadians live south of Seattle.


  • All of Maine is further south than Seattle.

Dan is the author of over a dozen novels. His latest is Tight Five.



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Dan Spencer

Dan Spencer


Author of over a dozen novels, including Tight Five. I publish The Peculiar Truth every Tuesday.