Chinasage : All about China

We hope China sage's information will be of use to everyone with an interest in the World's most important nation. We cover China's provinces, history, language and traditions. China sage remains under active development; please check back regularly to look at the revised and expanded information.

Events for 25th Sep

1711 Emperor Qianlong born 1711 (306 years ago)
1881 Lu Xun born at Shaoxing Zhejiang 1881 (136 years ago)

Fact of the day

Minorities
Although the Han Chinese form the conspicuous majority population of China (over 90%) there are many ethnic groups that live within the borders of modern China. The next largest ethnic people are the Zhuang (about 1.2%) who live mainly in Guangxi province. They have close links with people in neighboring Vietnam.
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Time in China

Current weather

clearBeijing weather
Clear
73 ° F / 23 ° C
Sep 24th 2017 at 8:30pm UCT
Wunderground data source

We're building an exciting new information source all about China.

We found other sites about China 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.

Our first release included descriptions of each province that makes up China, this was followed by the dynasties that follow China's history and we are now adding all sorts of features on traditions and culture. We hope you find the site the best place to start your study of China. We plan to release further pages on news, key figures, cultural background and anything else we hope you will find relevant to understanding this vast country.

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.

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.


The Great Wall

One of China's great accomplishments that is genuinely awe-inspiring is the Great Wall. On our page describing the wall we debunk some of the many myths surrounding its construction. For centuries the wall has stood unused and so large sections have fallen into disrepair. The sections to the north of Beijing are the most visited and here the Great Wall snakes its way up and over mountains.
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The famous Ming dynasty

The famous Ming dynasty

History

The most famous Chinese dynasty was the Ming dynasty. China built up a pre-eminent nation, with the greatest wealth, population and foreign trade. However by its end Europe had begun to make inroads in many areas and so marked a transition in world power.

Dip into history

Our history section has a page for each major dynasty, for the whole period from the time of myths and legends 5,000 years ago all the way through the Han, Tang, Song, Ming dynasties to the last great dynasty the Qing .
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Air travel in China

Air travel in China

China

Here we list all China's main airports, giving information on location, facilities and easy to use distance calculator so you can plan a complex itinerary around China. We also give useful visitor information about air transport in China.
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.

Looking for something?

You can use our search facility to find almost anything Chinese on our web site. We have also included a 'tag cloud' with all the Chinese related keywords so you also use this facility to find something or just explore the host of information available on this web site.
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Symbols and Motifs

Symbols and Motifs

Culture

Chinese arts and handicrafts are full of hidden symbols. Bats, goldfish, peonies and bees all give a specific meaning to a painting or decoration. Exploring the world of Chinese symbolism opens up a whole new layer of appreciation.

Superpower China

There is worldwide speculation on where the future will take China. For thousands of years China was by any measure the top nation on Earth, and so it seems natural that after 150 years of turmoil China will become the leading country again. In this page we speculate on what this might mean to China and the rest of the world.
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China Sage Site updates

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

Fri 12th May

For much of the last two thousand years China was by any standard the most advanced nation on Earth, and yet by the early twentieth China was classed as a third world country needing massive food aid to alleviate famine. The reason why China did not maintain a lead in science and technology has puzzled scholars; in particular it was Joseph Needham who posed his famous question ‘Science in general in China - Why did it not develop??. Many answers have been proposed but none of them seem to totally fit the bill.

Fri 17th Mar

We've been through all the web pages and updated the list of references. We continue to receive requests for citation and it is important that we clearly present all our sources. We found that some source references were missing and some mentioned that were not actually used by the text. All the source references are stored in a knowledge database - no notes or card references and so we can quickly trace back to the source of facts.

At the same time we have continued to improve the web site content as soon as new material is researched and added.

Mon 16th Jan

The story of the isolated community of Jews in China was a sensation in Europe and America of the late 19th century. At the former Chinese capital of Kaifeng a community had lived at peace with the local Chinese for one thousand years. They had built their synagogue in the Chinese style and held the sacred Torah. The community grew to about one thousand before coming to an end in the early 19th century.

Kaifeng, jews
Jews of K'ai-Fun-Foo (Kaifeng Subprefecture), China. A picture from the public domain en:Jewish Encyclopedia. Available under a Creative Commons License
Thu 22nd Dec 2016

As another year comes to close, we at Chinasage have been working hard on a new look for our web site. As more and more people use smartphones rather than desktops to access the web we have developed a solution that should be both faster and more attractive for all users.

We surveyed many leading web sites and looked at how they have solved the problem of providing information in an attractive manner. We decided that we wanted to promote other content on the web site rather than relying on users exploring the sire using old fashioned navigation bars, so we have littered many pages with little boxes advertising related content elsewhere. We hope you like the new design, if you experience any difficulties in using the it - it may not work well with your particular browser - please let us know so we can investigate.

emblem
Wed 19th Oct 2016

We've added a major new article on China's population. The number of people in China has been a major concern for many years. With 20% of the world's population, China governs more people than any government has ever done before. With the imposition of the much hated 'One Child Policy', the only policy of its kind ever enacted, the population projections show the total numbers leveling off in about ten years time before a gradual decline. The issue of population in China is not a new one, it has been the most populated country throughout much of the last two thousand years.

China population chart 1-2100
Gansu, Jiayuguan, mountains
Jiayuguan fort with snowy Qilian mountains, Gansu

Conventions

We use a consistent style for links within the site. 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.

China sage authorship

All the text on this 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 2017