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Gobi, vast desert in central Asia, which extends to North China. It covers about 500,000 sq mi (1,295,000 sq km) in the Mongolian plateau and is between 3,000 to 5,000 ft (910 to 1,520 m) high, with fierce wind and sand storms. Its steppeland fringes are inhabited by Mongol herdsmen. There are valuable coal and oil deposits in the Gobi.

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