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. The areas covered include China's provinces, history, language and traditions. China sage is under active development, rather than wait until all is complete we have decided to publish pages as quickly as we can. Please check back regularly to look at the revised and expanded information.

Events for 31st Oct

Chiang Kaishek born at Xikou Zhejiang 1887 (127 years ago)
Liu Shaoqi no longer Chairman Peoples Republic of China 1968 (46 years ago)

Fact of the day

Kiwis
Kiwi fruits originate from Southern China when they were known as Chinese Gooseberries (yáng táo). New Zealanders finding they grew well in their country marketed them as 'kiwis' and now they are associated more with New Zealand rather than China. Read More

Time in China

Current weather

hazyBeijing weather
Mist
52 ° F / 11 ° C
Oct 30th 2014 at 6:30pm UCT
Wunderground data source

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

We found existing web sites about China were poorly structured, too detailed (like Wikipedia) or just too old-fashioned. What we think is needed is 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 maps of the provinces that make up China, this was followed by the dynasties that follow China's history and we are now adding all sorts of special features on traditions and culture. We hope you find the site the best place to start your study of China. We plan to release sections on cities, current affairs, 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.

China sage book August 2014. Much of the content of Chinasage is now available in convenient eBook format. Click here for more details.

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 reflects our aim of launching a new knowledge resource at a time when China has come of age in the World.


Chinese geographyOur Provinces section has a detailed map of each province showing roads; railways; mountains; rivers; airports and tourist sites. The description gives an overview of the history of the province and the sites to be seen. Also included are current weather conditions; airports; cities; universities; geography and a climate guide.
Horse medallionThe extensive and fascinating history of China is covered by pages on each major dynasty. Modern history is not neglected, there are pages on the leaders of the PRC and the structure of the current government of China.
Good fortuneWe believe it is important to know something of the Chinese Language to fully appreciate the country. We have included Chinese characters on many of our pages. Within the Language section of the site there is a Basic Chinese introduction; an introduction to characters; Chinese numbers and how they are written as well as poetry.
TraditionsThe remaining section of our site is loosely categorized as ‘Traditions’ and covers all sorts of things: jade; pandas; traditional medicine; silk; porcelain; religion; festivals and many more.

Tang dynasty, woman, music
Chinese artwork of lady musicians in a raised-relief, from the Capital Museum in Beijing, dated to the Five Dynasties and the Ten Kingdoms Period (907-960CE) Image by gongfu_king available under a Creative Commons license .

Site updates

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

Thu 30th Oct
When reviewing the maps recently we found that they were missing something. They did not show mountain ranges and had very little Chinese on them. We have therefore gone through and added the key geographical features (mountains, seas, rivers) as well as the Chinese characters for the major cities.
Fri 24th Oct
We have added many new pictures to pages across the whole web site (hundreds of them). These are all modern, recent photographs which should greatly enhance the appreciation of each of China's provinces and traditions. At the same time we have added two important and hopefully useful new pages. The first is one focusing on the customs of the Chinese people, looking at particular aspects like 'face'; 'connections'; 'travel advice' and 'hobbies'; this should be very useful to anyone traveling or doing business in China. The second page is on architecture. A knowledge of traditional Chinese architecture will enrich any visit to the many tourist sites in China, we describe the detailed construction of a courtyard house and look at garden and temple architecture too.
Fri 26th Sep
Our aim in providing Chinese characters on this web site has been to use the 'modern' simplified forms wherever possible and clearly flag the few occasions where the traditional characters are used. However we found that a scattering of old form characters had crept into some pages. We have now scanned through all the pages and put this right. At the same we have added information about some Geographical terms. as well as a glossary of Chinese traditional gods and goddesses.
Fri 1st Aug
We are delighted to announce that the bulk of the web site content is now available in a convenient eBook format. You can now buy a copy of the text while retaining all the many internal and external reference hyperlinks. We offer both an illustrated and text-only version of the eBook to suit all eReaders including Kindle Fire.
Fri 25th Jul
We've been busy going through the whole text of the web site (over 100,000 words) putting in corrections; it has become quite a daunting task and many visitors probably will not notice the changes. However removing the typographical, spelling and grammatical errors do all help to make the site look more professional.
Fri 9th May
Of interest of the increasing number of people wishing to study in China is the status of Chinese universities. We have added a new information page giving a description of all the universities in China ranked in the top 500 in the world. At the same time we have released the first set of revisions and corrections on our pages. Many thanks to all those who have contacted us to suggest changes.
Wed 9th Apr
With some trepidation we've added a page on the traditional attitudes to women over the centuries. This topic is a little sensitive because Confucian doctrine was so heavily weighted towards men. It is all a bit strange to those unfamiliar with this topic seen from modern enlightened eyes. We also cover traditional marriages and widowhood as well as the much misunderstood term 'concubine'. At the same time we have released quite a few of the less well-known traditional festivals including such things as the 'Clothes Drying Day'. They are now marked on our calendar page.
Mon 24th Mar
Another pair of rather different pages have been added to the site. Throughout Chinese Imperial history the role of the court eunuchs has been significant. Such a possibility now seems very strange but the practise of deliberate castration was not restricted to China it was used in Arabia and of course to maintain the vocal talents of castrati. Contrasting to this is a brief page about the Cantonese language, spoken differently to Mandarin and yet amazingly written down in the same way.
Wed 12th Mar
As a background activity we've been enhancing our pages on the early history of China, we have now got as far as the Tang dynasty. A new section on the 100 Schools of Thought has been added. Our main addition just released is a broad survey page of food in China, with reference to all the main regional cuisines including Chuan; Cantonese; Min; Su and Tianjin.
China motif

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 we feel it 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-1950s). 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 assumed that is CE.

Authorship

All the text on this web site is our own, we do not just copy and paste from other sources. 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.

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.

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

Copyright © Chinasage 2012 to 2014