Chinasage : All about China

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China sage's information will be of use to anyone wanting to learn more about world's upcoming nation. We cover all about China's history, traditions, language and provinces. China sage is in active development – check back to see new and expanded information.

We have descriptions of each Chinese province , and the dynasties but just as importantly we cover all sorts of cultural traditions. We hope you find the site the best place to start your study of China. We plan to continue to improve and extend our coverage.

If you think you know about China, check out your knowledge with our Quiz section, all the answers to the questions are somewhere on the web site. Our source section has full reviews and descriptions of over a hundred books about China that have been used as reference material for these pages.


Events for 18th Aug

1227 Genghis Khan died 1227 (791 years ago)

Time in China

rainBeijing weather
Rain
72 ° F / 22 ° C
Aug 17th 2018 at 8:00pm UCT
Wunderground data source

The date

Prior to the adoption of the Western calendar on the foundation of the Republic in 1912, China used a lunar based calendar. The year was divided into 12 or 13 months determined by the phase of the moon. The day within the month was named after the constellation that the moon was in (or near) on that particular date. This allowed Chinese people to work out the precise date on a clear night without the need for clocks and calendars.
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The Lay-Osborn Flotilla of 1862-63

The Lay-Osborn Flotilla of 1862-63

History

After China's defeat in the Opium Wars it is amazing that China then chose to buy a naval force from its enemy Britain. Although boats were duly made China refused to take delivery of them and Anglo-Chinese relations went into a further decline.
The mountainous province of Tibet

The mountainous province of Tibet

China

The mountainous province of Tibet forms the highest possible land border between India and China. On the border with Nepal is the world's highest mountain: Mount Everest (or Qomolangma). Tibet's unique culture is a key attraction to visitors.
Three Character Classic

Three Character Classic

Language

The Three Character Classic (San Zi Jing ) was for centuries a language primer for children who aspired to a scholarly life. It introduces the student to Chinese history, philosophy as well as the most common characters. There are many exhortations for the student to study hard.
Daily fact and information

Daily fact and information

Chinasage

Our diary page changes each day to bring you an interesting piece of information about China. The page also lists important events that happened on this day throughout Chinese history.

The Complete Confucius

book cover Understanding the teachings of Confucius is essential to understanding both Chinese history and the future. This modern translation of the old sage's work from 2,500 years ago. It includes not only the Analects of Confucius but also The Doctrine Of The Mean and The Great Learning.
More details...
Thu 28th Jun

Airlines pressured over Taiwan

The Chinese government is ramping up pressure for all nations to consider the island of Taiwan as a province of China. Under the ‘One China’ policy countries have for many years acknowledged the People’s Republic as the only ‘China’. Previously Taiwan was often referred to as ‘Republic of China’ due to the outcome of the Civil war ending in 1949. Now the government is insisting that Taiwan is listed as ‘China - Taiwan’ or ‘China - Taiwan region’ not as if a separate nation. In addition maps of the region should show Taiwan in the same color as mainland China. If airlines do not comply they may face extra tariffs and other sanctions. It represents a toughening up of policy and one more step towards the re-unification long dreamed of in Beijing. The model of two systems for fifty years adopted successfully in Hong Kong may be a preferred solution. This web site continues to treat Taiwan as a separately governed entity to reflect its current status. Should President Trump choose to strongly back Taiwan - as America has done since 1949 - we are all in for interesting times.

Taiwan flag
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Yangzi River

Yangzi River

China

The mighty Yangzi River is the longest in China and third longest in the world. It has carried huge quantities of people and goods over the centuries. Many great cities lie close to its banks: Chongqing, Wuhan, Nanjing and Shanghai.
China's name

China's name

Culture

Why do we call the country of China 'China'? It is not the name used by the Chinese people themselves. In fact there are a number of names used in the 'Middle Kingdom' that reflect the country's rich cultural and historic heritage.

xià down; below

Origin

An abstract notion of something below a line
Full information for

About Chinasage

We're building an exciting new information source all about China. We found other sites were poorly structured, too detailed (such as Wikipedia) or just too old-fashioned. What we thought was needed was a carefully constructed set of pages with strict editorial control so that links and pages are consistent, up-to-date and easy to navigate without clutter.

We chose the name “Chinasage” for the web site because this can be read as either “china sage” ( zhōng guó yīng míng) or “china's age” ( zhōng guó shí dài) , which promotes our new knowledge resource at a time when China has come of age in the World.

China Sage Site updates

Here are the last few updates made to the web site. For older entries please visit our site updates page.

Mon 16th Jul

With some trepidation we decided to add a description of the Imperial Chinese system of justice. It had a deservedly bad reputation for cruelty for centuries. One approach to criminal justice is to make the punishment so painful that the deterrent effect makes people fear the consequences for even a minor crime. For centuries in Imperial China this is how the huge population was kept law abiding. Rumors of the tortures that couldbe used against malefactors did the trick and the country was seen as largely law abiding. The ancient system although heavily reformed still lives on to the present day in the general approach to justice.

torture,  fingers
The punishments of China: illustrated by twenty-two engravings: with explanations in English and French. Image by George Henry Mason available under a Creative Commons License
Thu 28th Jun
The leading academy for scholarship in China and probably the world lasted from 725 until 1911. The Hanlin Academy was an imperial institution that chose its members from candidates who did best in the top level examinations. This pool of talent from all over China helped the Emperor administer the country in all sorts of ways. On one occasion it was tasked with writing an encyclopedia of all human knowledge. The work took thousands of scholars five years to write into eleven thousand volumes - the largest ever written document. It fell into decline in the late Qing and became the victim of a fire during the Boxer Rebellion. It stands as testimony to the prestigious place of scholarship in China from a very early date.
Mon 21st May

We've upgraded the festival page so that it shows the upcoming festivals in date order rather than needing you to scroll down to the current day in the year. We've also included our month calender at the top for convenience. Please let us know if we are missing a festival or have a date incorrect.

Dragon boat festival, Guangxi, people, boat
A dragon boat crew in Guangxi
grand canal, boat
Boats on the ancient Grand Canal, China

Conventions

We use a consistent style for links within Chinasage. An internal link taking you to another page within our site is shown like this while a link to a page on any other web site is shown like this .

We use Chinese characters wherever appropriate. Most browsers should display both the characters and the pinyin correctly. Where the older Wade Giles system is still used we make sure this is highlighted. Except where stated all characters are the modern simplified form used in the People's Republic rather than the traditional ones (pre-1970s). To help you learn Chinese characters many of the very common characters are highlighted thus: hovering the mouse over the character pops up a box showing derivation and usage information for the character.

Dates are given using the BCE/CE (Before Common Era and in Common Era) year convention rather than BC/AD. If a date is not followed by BCE or CE it should be taken as CE.

Authorship

All the text on the Chinasage web site is our own, we do not copy and paste from other web sites. We research each topic from a number of separate sources. The only exception to this are quotations and image credits. All text is our copyright and can not be used/copied without our permission. We are independent of any other company or government, the opinions expressed are our own. We do not receive funding from any external agency or organization.

Teacup Media (China History Podcast)

We are delighted to be able to promote links to Laszlo Montgomery's excellent Teacup Media series created over the last six years. Lazlo Montgomery has in depth knowledge of building commercial contacts with China over 25 years. This set of 175 podcasts totals almost 100 hours of audio commentary which covers every conceivable topic in Chinese history. Highly recommended.

Acknowledgments

We are extremely grateful to the many people who have put their photographs online for anyone to adapt and use. Without them our site would be very drab. If we are not using the image license correctly please let us know. Some pages use Javascript to create special effects such as our airport table and calendar. We are grateful to the original authors for providing their code to be used and adapted by anyone else. The online Chinese dictionary uses the definition from the CC-CEDICT project for which we are grateful for a generous free license.

Feel free to contact Chinasage to point out any errors, omissions or suggestions on how to improve this web site.

Copyright © Chinasage 2012 to 2018