The portions of the Chinese Empire beyond the limits of the Eighteen Provinces, though of far greater extent than China Proper, are comparatively of minor importance. Their vast regions are peopled by different races, whose languages are mutually unintelligible, and whose tribes are held together under the Chinese sway rather by interest and reciprocal hostilities or dislike, than by force. European geographers have vaguely termed all that space lying north of Tibet to Siberia, and east of the Tsung ling to the Pacific, Chinese Tartary while the countries west of the Tsung ling or Belur tag, to the Aral Sea, have been collectively called Independent Tartary. Both these names have already become nearly obsolete on good maps of those regions; the more accurate knowledge brought home by recent travellers having ascertained that their inhabitants are neither all Tartars (or Mongols) nor Turks, and further that the native names and divisions are preferable to a single comprehensive one. Such names as Manchuria, Mongolia, Songaria, and Turkestan, derived from the leading tribes dwelling in those countries, are more definite, though these are not permanent, owing to the migratory, changeable habits of the people. From their ignorance of scientific geography, the Chinese have no general designations for extensive countries, long chains of mountains, or devious rivers, but apply many names where, if they were better informed, they would be content with one.