China is a vast country with various topographical pecularities. As regard the climate of China however the great stretch in latitude and diversity in topo-graphy make no significant differences. The general character of the climate is, in the first place, determined by the prevalence of the monsoons. In winter cold air flows out all over the Far East from the grand anticyclonic area over south-eastern Siberia with its centre near Lake Baikal. This monsoon current bifurcates into two branches, one of them flowing around the Aleutian low in a cyclonic sense, and the other into the equatorial low area to the south of the China sea in an anticyclonic sense. Thus the winter monsoon comes from the northwest in north China and from the northeast in south China. In the cold season the monsoon blows very strongly and continues for many days together. Winter is very cold and dry in north China. The mean January temperature is -4.5°C. at Peking and -7.3°C. at Tayuan. The total fall of precipitation in January is 2.5mm at Peking and 2.1mm at Tayuan. In Summer the air flows into the Mongolian area of low pressure from the neighbouring seas and oceans. This monsoon blows from south to east in north China and southwesterly in south China. The summer monsoon is weak and intermittent. The isotherms run almost parallel to the coast line, the temperature becoming higher as we go to the interior. Thus the July temperature is 26.4°at Peking, 27.2° at Shanghai, 28.1° at Foochow and 27.9° at Hongkong. We have 30.8°C. at Hangchow, 29.9° at Kiukiang and 28.5°C. at Hankow. The rain falls copiously, the total fall in July being 200mm at Peking, 129mm at Shanghai, 180mm at Hankow, 202mm at Chengtu, and 333mm at Hongkong. The most noteworthy phenomena in the climatology of north China is dust storm in early spring and that in central China the Mai-yu or the plum-rain in early summer. China proper may be divided into four climatic regions, namely, north, central, south, and interior China climatic divisions. To these we may add the Outer Mongolia and Tibet as the remaining climatic regions.
The Three of China's “Five Holy Mountains”, the Tai-shan in Shantung, the Sung-shan in Honan, and the Hua-shan in Shensi are formed of the Archaean rocks or the Tai-shan complex, so called after the first named. The complex is composed chiefly of crystalline schists and gneisses, with intrusions of granites and of various dykes of a later age, probably pre-Cambrian. Another series of schists and gneisses, assigned to the early Proterozoic, occurs in a typical development in the Wu-tai-shan district of northern Shansi, after which it is named the Wu-tai system. Although an actual contact of the Tai-shan complex with the Wu-tai has not yet been ascertained, an unconformable relation can easily be inferred from their lithological and structural features. Widely distributed throughout China limestones occur in several thick beds, each attaining a thickness of some 1, 000 meters or more, in which many beautiful canyons are carved out. In Northern China are found two thick beds of limestone, the Nan-kou limestone (Sinian) and the Ki-chou limestone (Cambro-Ordovician), while in the Yangtze valley at least four beds may be enumerated, namely, the Tong-ying (Sinian), I-chang (Cambro-Ordovician), the Yang-hsin (upper Car-boniferous to Permian), and the Ta-yeh (Permian to Triassic). The Sinian lime-stones are underlain by a sequence of arenaceous and argillaceous beds, in which sedimentary hematite deposits of the Lungyen type are interbedded. In Central China upon the I-chang limestone lies a thick succession of limestone, shale, and sandstone, which falls within Silurian, Devonian, and lower Carboniferous, while in Northern China the Ki-chou limestone immediately underlies a coal-bearing formation of Permo-Carboniferous age, showing a hiatus of the first magnitude. Red formations, ranging from Triassic to Cretaceous in age, are characteristic features of basin areas, of which the Szechuan and the Shenpei basins are most important. The most remarkable superficial deposits are Pleistocene loess in Northern China and Pliocene red-earth with vermiculated mottling in Central China. There are four principal periods of igneous activities since Mesozoic time. The first period, very likely included in late Jurassic, is represented chiefly by granitic and andesitic rocks, the second, probably in early Cretaceous, by liparitic and andesitic eruptions, the third, in middle Cretaceous, by granodiorites, syenites, granites and porphyries, and the fourth, in early Tertiary, by basaltic flows. According to both productions and reserves hitherto estimated the following seven may be mentioned as principal mineral resources in China: coal, tungsten, antimony, tin, iron, gold and aluminous shales, of which the first three are of the world importance. The probable coal resources estimated by the Chinese Geological Survey in 1934 are 239, 100 million tons; of which according to geological age 60 per cent are Palaeozoic, 36 per cent Mesozoic, 4 per cent of unknown age; classified according to kinds 77 per cent bituminous coal, 19 per cent anthracite, 1 per cent lignite, 3 per cent unclassified; according to regions 89 per cent Northern China, 6 per cent Central, 1 per cent Southern, 4 per cent Northwestern. Our estimate is about 300, 000 million tons with Shansi alone, exceeding the above total by some 600 million tons. Iron are deposits may be classified into seven types, namely, sedimentary, hydrothermal, contact, magmatic, regional metamorphic, residual and detrital, the first three being most important. The total reserve of iron are has been estimated at about 323 million tons, of which 172 in Mimi tons are in Northern China, 117 million tons in the Central and remainig 34 million tons in the Southern. According to our estimation the total figures of reserves, each above 1 million tons, are about 368 million tons.
“HonsO-Kamoku” published in or about the year 1578 contains a fairly detailed description of all the oil seepages found in the province of Shensi. As this book which treats of medicine has been very popular in Japan and China, knowledge about seepages of Shensi and oil in general seems to have been widely spread about the time of its publication. It is of special interest to note that “Sekiyu”the Japanese word for “petroleum” now in common use is found in this book and it is also very interesting that “Sekiyu” is made of two words “Seki” stone and “yu” oil, having a similar etymological construction as in word “petroleum”. As stated above oil was known in China long ago and its character was fairly well recognized, but as to its industrial utilization, it remained unknown until the beginning of the present century. Towards the end of the 19th century foreigners who travelled in the interior of China increased and those who saw the actual spots of the seepages in Shensi were highly interested in them and thought of their industrial utilization. This interest in the mind of foreigners was reflected on the Chineses who came to recognize in their turn the value of these seepages. The first endeavour to exploit these seepages was made by a German capitalist who had applied in 1901 to the men of Shensi province. But as China as a whole did not like to allow exploration of natural resources to foreigners at that time, she declined this application as well as all subsequent ones and decided to work them by the hands of her own people. -Under such circumstances the authorities of Shensi province attempted to drill holes themselves, importing the necessary drilling machines drillers from Japan. This Attempt succeeded and the oil was hit at the depth of 230 feet, yielding 60 barrels a day. But the work was soon given up, owing to the lack of money. But as the result of the revolution of 1912, the Chinese Government and her people suffered a severe financial pressure and was obliged to grant the mining exploration right for loans. And this Shensi oil-field was offered to a Japanese capitalist as a security for the loan, but while this negotiation was going on, the Standard Oil Company (present Socony-Vacuum Oil Company) suddenly made a provisional contract with the Chinese Government, signing in February, 1914. Based on this contract, the Standard despatched six geological and five topographical surveying parties which more engaged in survey during the period from May of that year to February next. These parties surveyed Shensi as the centre of their study, but also neighbouring Shansi, Kansu, Honan and even Ordos in order to examine the geological structure of the region throughly. They also surveyed the area now called Nekka province where seepages were said to exist. Besides the above, the Standard, after the rough survey, attempted the test drillings in Yichang and other three spots as from December, 1914. But the Standard did not sign the final contract in March, 1915, as previously arranged and withdrew completely the staffs for survey and exploration in February, 1916. Though the reason why the Standard has withdrawn is not clearly known, it seems probable that the results obtained by the geological survey were not very promising.