IntroductionMongolia (mŏn-gōˈlēə, mŏng–) [key], Asian region (c.906,000 sq mi/2,346,540 sq km), bordered roughly by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, on the west; the Manchurian provinces of China on the east; Siberia on the north; and the Great Wall of China on the south. It now comprises the country of Mongolia (traditionally known as Outer Mongolia) and the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of China.
Mongolia is chiefly a region of desert and of steppe plateau from c.3,000 to 5,000 ft (910–1,520 m) high. Winters are cold and dry and summers are warm and brief. The Gobi desert, which is entirely wasteland, is in the central section. To the west are the Altai Mts., which rise to 15,266 ft (4,653 m). Rivers include a section of the Huang He (Yellow River) in the south and the Selenga, Orkhon, and Kerulen in the north. Rainfall averages less than 15 in. (38.1 cm) a year.
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