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Reading through several learning resources, questions of comparison are always shown of the following type:

XとYと どちら・・・

and statements of comparison are always shown of the following type:

Xより Yのほう・・・

None of the resources I can find however specifically state that the latter type (using より) is or is not grammatical for questions. Eg

*中国は 日本より 大きいですか。

Is this construction rare or outright unacceptable?

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Both constructions are correct but they are asking different questions.

中国と日本とどちらが大きいですか means "Which is bigger between China and Japan?"

中国は日本より大きいですか means "Is China bigger than Japan?"

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