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China proper

China proper, or The Eighteen Provinces (十八省) as the Chinese call it, is a geographical term which refers to China excluding the regions of Xinjiang, Tibet, Manchuria, and Inner Mongolia.

This term is especially used in history texts, when the above mentioned regions (called Outer China) were not an integral part of pre-Qing dynasty China.

It is bounded north by Mongolia, west by Tibet and Kyrgyzstan, southwest by Burma, south by Tonkin, Vietnam and the Gulf of Tonkin, southeast by the South China Sea, east by the East China Sea, the Yellow Sea, Bo Hai and Manchuria. Its area is approximately 1,500,000 kmē.

The entire China proper was divided into several thousand counties at the beginning of the 20th century.

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