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.

Fact of the day

Sun Yatsen in London
Sun Yatsen's revolutionary work soon brought him to the attention of the Qing authorities. In 1896 while visiting London he was kidnapped and held at the Chinese Chargé d'affaires. Strong public support in the British newspapers and the efforts of Sun's former teacher James Cantlie led to his release 12 days later. Read More

Time in China

Current weather

clearBeijing weather
57 ° F / 14 ° C
Oct 13th 2015 at 8:30pm 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 had a description 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 further pages on cities, current affairs, 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 source material for the 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 reflects our aim of launching a new knowledge resource at a time when China has come of age in the World.

Our 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.
The extensive and fascinating history of China is covered by pages on each major dynasty. Modern history is not neglected, there are pages on all the leaders of the PRC and the structure of the current government of China.
We 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; An extensive Chinese dictionary; Ancient classics; Chinese numbers and how they are written as well as poetry.
The remaining section of our site is loosely categorized as ‘Traditions’ and covers all sorts of things: jade; pandas; I Ching; traditional medicine; silk; porcelain; religion; festivals and many more.

China sage book January 2015. Chinasage is now available in convenient and updated eBook format. Click here for more details.
garden, Foshan, Guangdong, architecture
Moon gate in Qinghui garden, Foshan city, Guangdong

Site updates

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

Tue 6th Oct
We use a knowledge database to maintain the sources used for the content of the China Sage web site. From the database we can easily generate the source references that appear at the bottom of our pages. To help users find out more about the books we use, we have added a page with over a hundred book reviews. The reviews include a star rating, categories and full information about the book, including a link to an online bookstore (if available). With so many books about China we hope this proves a useful resource.
Mon 24th Aug

The ‘treaty ports’ of China 1840-1945 demonstrate the rapacious interest of foreign powers in opening up China for trade. The first treaty ports, including Shanghai and Hong Kong were opened after China's defeat in the First Opium War. The numbers grew to about a hundred by about 1900. Numbers began to fall at the start of the Republican era.

china, empires, foreign enclaves
Newer version of THE SITUATION IN THE FAR EAST (局图). Its author (Tse Tsan-tai, 1872-1939) depicted the western powers encroaching on China at the end of the nineteenth century in symbolic form. At the left "to be clear at a glance" (), at the right, "self-evident" (). The bear representing Russia is intruding from the north, the bulldog head with a lion body representing the United Kingdom is in south China, with its tail around the Shantung peninsula (Wehai english colony was the seat of the British bulldog in the first version of the cartoon), the frog (representation by english of french, "the froggies", french themselves use Gallic rooster instead), is in southeast Asia, with an inscription "Fashoda", in reference to Fashoda Incident opposing Britain and France in Africa. The frog has the Hainan Island in its right hand, in reference to Guangzhouwan, and part of the Sichuan in its left hand. The bald eagle representing the United States is approaching from the Philippines (the U.S. had already invaded the Philippines at this time). On the eagle is written "Blood is thicker than water", a reference to U.S. Navy Commodore Josiah Tattnall's saying in 1859. The symbolic Sun behind Japan spreads its rays across Korea onto China, while Japan fishes for Taiwan. Qing Amban is on Tibet and chinese teacher on Mongolia and Xinjiang with turco-mongol man. Some other European countries, following Prussia and some other countries, are waiting to invade China at the bottom of the map. 1900. Image by 缵泰 available under a Creative Commons License
Mon 10th Aug

The tumultuous years of China 1860-1949 is reflected in the history of the development of the railways. Once again it was the foreign powers that took advantage of a weak Chinese government to build the railways and use them as a weapon for further exploitation.

Beijing, steam train, Zhengyangmen
Postcard of train at Zhengyang, Beijing. c. 1901-1912 Image by Unknown available under a Creative Commons License
Mon 3rd Aug
We've been through all the pages of the web site yet again; fine tuning the layout, the text and the illustrations. We have started adding cross-links to related information so it it easier to locate other pages that overlap in content. The quizzes have been given a new look, and you can now publish your quiz results on Facebook.
Mon 20th Jul

Having completed a book on the Long March, I decided to greatly expand the description on the Chinasage web site. It is a fascinating tale, and came very close to disaster on a number of occasions. What could have been a heroic failure turned out to shape the politics of China for the next sixty years.

Mon 13th Jul

We have made a full scan of the text making some relatively minor corrections and re-organization. We have introduced more sub-headings to make it easier to find relevant sections in the text. Also, we have changed the quizzes so you get a summary of all the questions and answers at the end. Single quiz questions are now scattered over the site and these will change regularly.


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-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 assumed that is CE.


All the text on this web site is our own, we do not just 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.


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 2015