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 9th Dec

1935 December Ninth Movement 1935 (81 years ago)

Fact of the day

China is usually thought of warm and humid but the country has some of the hottest and driest deserts in the world. The Taklimakan desert is a large desert in Xinjiang province, which is still a difficult desert to cross. Its Arabic name means something like 'abandoned place'.
Read More

Time in China

Current weather

clearBeijing weather
30 ° F / -1 ° C
Dec 08th 2016 at 7:00pm 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.

Our Provinces section has a detailed map of each province showing roads; railways; mountains; rivers and visitor attractions. The description gives an overview of the history of the province and the sites to be seen. Also included are pages covering the whole of China: airports; cities; universities; geography; thoughts about China's future 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 our 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; survival guide; 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.
giant panda
A young Giant Panda cub just four months old

China Sage Site updates

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

Wed 19th Oct

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
Thu 22nd Sep

The amazing discovery of the 'oracle bones' in the early twentieth century started to change the way Westerners thought about Chinese heritage. For here at the ancient capital of Shang dynasty China was a treasure trove of ancient writings. Not only did they prove that China had an independent written language way back in the Bronze Age but also that the ancient historical journals were proven amazingly accurate. The position of China as an ancient and continuous civilization was at last confirmed by even the most skeptical of Western historians. And it all started with one man's trip to pick up some medicine.

oracle bone, shang dynasty, early writing
Pieces of oracle bone engraved with early Chinese writing. Shang dynasty. Collection of Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford University. Donated by H. L. Dudley Buxton, 1923. Image by BabelStone available under a Creative Commons License
Mon 19th Sep
podcast motif

We have scattered throughout the site links to audio China History Podcasts by Lazlo Montgomery. Lazlo has produced over a hundred excellent podcasts of half an hour to an hour on all aspects of Chinese History.

Wed 14th Sep

More updates and corrections to our quick guide to the most common Chinese characters. We have added more characters and updated others. The main character index is now indexed by first letter of the pinyin. Thanks to Wikimedia Creative Commons, many of the individual entries now have animated graphics showing the order in which the strokes to make each character are made.

Here is the one for the character for yellow 'huang'

yellow character,huang
Mon 22nd Aug

The study of the written Chinese language - the characters - is a really fascinating subject. Each stroke that is made has some meaning. Most of the frequently used characters are very old and tell a story. They are made up of a 'radical' part and a part that either contributes to the meaning or hints as to pronunciation. We have started with over 600 characters and hope to soon build up the number of entries - you need a couple of thousand to read a newspaper. We provide a much fuller range of characters in our free online dictionary.

Chinese character,star,xing
Mon 18th Jul
A visitor kindly pointed out that some of our pinyin had the tone marks over the incorrect vowel. If there are several vowels in sequence the rule for placement is rather odd (as in the case of 'xiao'). The rule is that the tone mark always goes over the 'a' or 'e' if there is one in the sequence, In all other cases (except one) it goes over the last vowel, so in 'ui' it goes over the 'i'. However there is one special case, for the combination 'ou' it goes over the 'o' not the 'u'. We hope we have corrected the offending instances.


Here are some genuine, unsolicited words of praise that people have very kindly sent to us.

“I came upon your site while looking up facts about Sichuan Province and what a great find! It is full of information about all areas of China and Chinese Culture. Your site has answered so many questions about China. Easy to navigate. I just want to search more & more. Excellent site, really!” Sichuan province
“Wonderful synopsis, thank you.” Ming dynasty
“Thank you for your most helpful information!” Guizhou province.
“Hi! I really like this page, really useful for students ! If you could only add some history maps and will be great!” Five dynasties
“Wow, amazing, helped me with my school project on calligraphy so much!” Calligraphy
“Great information and education of the history of the leaders of China's history.” PRC Leaders
“Exquisite, lovely page. I'll return when I have more time and see if I can give you an in-depth critique. From what I can see, damn good work!”
“I think your website is really cool, especially the English translations of some facts about china, Chinese culture and language, etc.”
“I love and appreciate this webpage” : Chinese religion
“This was useful and concise. Thank you.” Architecture
“I always check your website and information, your website id unique and informative for all people across the world . So, special thanks to your kind service, presentation and attention.”.
“Love the website. Thanks. More please.” Language lesson 3
“Very informative and I am inspired to see and learn!” Bamboo
“Great resource for my school project and very interesting to learn about China! Thanks.” PRC leaders
“Thank you for the absolutely amazing site that you have created!”
“Great site!!! Thanks a lot!”


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 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.

China History Podcast

We are delighted to be able to promote links to Lazlo Montgomery's excellent China History Podcast 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.


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 2016