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China is an ancient and vast land in Asia. It has several different climates due to its immense size. It is the most populated country in the world, with a rich historical record that spans Chinese civilization over the last 3500 years. The Great Wall of China on the northern border was built to protect China against Mongolian invaders. China became a communist government in 1949. People from Tibet and some Buddhists are active in religious life. Most Chinese, while they appear nonreligious, still respect traditional gods from the pre-communist era. There are four distinct regions in China, and cuisine differs among these regions. Cantonese is from the southern portion of China. Sweet and sour foods and dim sum are from this region. Shanghai food is from the eastern part of China; it includes seafood, soy sauces, and rice wines. The Peking area is in the North and is famous for Peking duck as well as moo shu. Western-style cuisine is known as Szechwan and is noted for its use of hot and spicy peppers.
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