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 14th Feb

1871 Emperor Guangxu born 1871 (145 years ago)

Fact of the day

The town of Qufu, Shandong was the home of Confucius ( Kǒngfūzǐ ) and descendents now in the 83rd generation still live there. The size and grandeur of the buildings rival that of the Forbidden City in Beijing. Read More

Time in China

Current weather

clearBeijing weather
19 ° F / -7 ° C
Feb 13th 2016 at 6:00pm UCT
Wunderground data source

We're building an exciting 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 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 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 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; 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.
kite, skyscraper, park, people
Flying kites in a city park

Site updates

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

Tue 9th Feb
Qiao Renjie, Maccartney embassy
William Alexander's portrait of the official Qiao Renjie who accompanied the 1794 British embassy.

The impressive civil administration of dynastic China was a model that other countries sought to emulate. Open appointment on scholastic merit allowed a job as an official to become most family's dream. Read how the system evolved over two thousand years and how to quickly determine an official's position in the complex hierarchy.

Fri 15th Jan

We have been keeping busy on extending the web site. We have added a large index of objects that may have a hidden meaning in Chinese art work of all kinds: painting, embroidery, porcelain and film. Symbols such as bats, bees, butterflies, birds are all covered. We provide a full list of 173 entries many with illustrations split into categories and with an index by association.

Wed 21st Oct 2015

Only five months since the last full site review we have undertaken another scan. This is in preparation for producing a new edition of our book. This scan found very little that was wrong just a host of many typos. (the full site text is over 100,000 words) and some rephrasing to increase clarity.

A dusk view of Chongqing Downtown. April 2009. Image by Chen Hualin available under a Creative Commons License
Tue 6th Oct 2015
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 2015

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 2015

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


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 2016