Chinasage : All about China

About Chinasage

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

The name “Chinasage” came about 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.

China Sage News

We keep track of news reports from China but steer clear of the headlines that are well reported elsewhere. Here are the latest couple of reports. For more stories visit news section.

Wed 11th Dec

With popular tourist destinations suffering under the sheer weight of numbers new technology may offer a better solution.

If you have had to queue for hours only to get a brief glimpse of say the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, St Mark's Basilica in Venice or the Dragon Throne in the Forbidden City you may wonder whether it was all worth the trouble. Well with sophisticated virtual reality headsets you can now start to explore the top tourist destinations without the crowds, it is the ultimate in armchair traveling.

In China one of the top destinations is Jinci in Shanxi province for it has buildings that have survived for 1,400 years. Authorities are concerned that the high numbers of visitors is starting to damage the buildings and environment. So they have now digitally recorded Jinci temple in high definition and with a suitable headset you can wonder around as you would the real thing - walking around and admiring the artifacts as if you were in the temple. All this at your leisure and with no-one else around. This approach seems to be the answer to all the congestion and limitations of visiting such popular sites and it is likely to be adopted elsewhere in the world.

Jinci, Shanxi, sculpture, deity
Queen Mother of the West and maidservants in painted clay sculpture at Jinci, Taiyuan, Shanxi. It was built in the Ming dynasty.

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Wed 4th Dec

Shanghai Daily reports on the buzzwords that you were likely to hear in China during 2019.

Many reflect the full-on work culture. The number 996 reflects the need to work 9am to 9pm 6 days a week. From this relentless workload comes ‘’ with ‘icu’ standing for Intensive Care Unit. Alibaba founder Jack Ma is quoted as saying such a long working week was a ‘blessing’ for people. It is not surprising that another 2019 common phrase is wǒ tài nán le ‘I am stressed’. The phrase yìng hé ‘hard-core’ is now applied to people who are highly driven to succeed. The endless toil is making some people embittered and envious so the term 柠檬 níng méng jīng ‘sour lemon spirit’ is applied to those experiencing ‘sour grapes’ at other people’s good fortune.

Catch-phrases from films such as the epic, sci-fi success The Wandering Earth have also made it to the list. A robotic voice says “Beijing No. 3 District’s transport commission reminds you that roads are countless but safety is foremost. Unregulated driving will cause your loved ones to end up in tears”. This has been re-purposed to refer to any official warning such as “Industries are countless but observance of the law is paramount. Cheating and trickery will cause one to end up in tears behind bars”.

Shanghai, people
Nanjing Road, Shanghai Copyright © Dreamstime see image license

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Wed 13th Nov

With everyone turning away from plastic as much as possible the use of wood must be due for a comeback. 62 year old Wang Dewen from Shandong has become an unlikely Internet sensation with his carpentry skills. Only using hand tools he demonstrates the satisfaction of making complex objects such as toys for his grandson from a single block of wood. Watching him work wood with handsaws, chisels and mallets is very satisfying. He does not use nails or glue only good old-fashioned jointing techniques.

This YouTube video shows him making a traditional, sturdy Luban stool. In China his video channel 'Gong Shi Dao' is followed by over 2 million people.

Wang Dewen,carpenter
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China Sage Site updates

Here are the last few news updates about our web site. For older entries please visit our site news section.

Mon 9th Dec
Quizzes update

Our popular quizzes have had a little bit of a make-over. We found that General quiz 4 had not been functioning properly. We also found that about 1% of answers were marked incorrectly - it indicated an incorrect answer as the correct one.

If you spot a problem with a quiz question or have a suggestion for new questions or whole quizzes please contact us.

china, puppet, shadow puppet
Exhibit in the Sichuan University Museum () - Chengdu, Sichuan, China. Photography was permitted in the museum without restriction. Image by Daderot available under a Creative Commons License
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Wed 4th Dec
How to make paper-cuts

In addition to a guide to the history and gneral form of paper-cuts we have now added step-by-step guides to how to make five paper-cuts. This includes a simple one based on the character for Double Happiness.

double happiness, paper-cut
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Zhongnanhai, government
Xinhua Gate is the main ceremonial gate into the Zhongnanhai complex of government buildings, Beijing. The sector is located just to the west of the Imperial centre of government the Forbidden City. Image by Bgabel available under a Creative Commons license


We use a consistent style for links within Chinasage. 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. We highlight any use of the older Wade Giles system. 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 further information about 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.


All the text on the Chinasage 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 200 podcasts totals 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 2019