all such systems are important, the Proterozoic column This volume concerns the geology of China, and it examinesthat concern by expositionsofthe stratigraphy, possibly is unique in its continuous sedimentary devel the paleogeography,and the tectonics ofthat remarkable opment and in its reference section of global rank. In paleogeography, this volume describes and illustra country. In this sense, therefore, our aims and purposes are explicit in the title. The senior author and his tes first the broad distribution of Proterozoic deposits. colleagues, furthermore, do not have in mind any special Succeeding descriptions and illustrations trace the ebb and flow of shallow marine waters across China as or specific audience. This volume is quite simply for all geologists. By far the majority will be those whose Phanerozoic time of more than 600 million years elapses native tongue is English, or those who understand from the beginning of the Cambrian to the present. In structure, this volume emphasizes the importance English. Not to be overlooked, moreover, is the large number ofChinese geologists who not only read English of paraplatforms, platforms, geosynclines, and great but also who themselves write studies in English that east-west zones of fracture in the Precambian, also the appear in publications in both their homeland and effects of these early structural elements on structure abroad. in the ensuing Phanerozoic. In the Phanerozoic itself, north-south stress developed in the pre-Phanerozoic A constantly growing interest in the geology of China continued through much of the Paleozoic.