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.

Tue 16th Apr

Last November we highlighted a news story about the spread of Asian Swine Fever. Despite tough action by the authorities it continues to be reported in isolated cases all over China. The fever has no cure and it is fairly easily transmitted. Pig farmers face hardship or ruin if the disease strikes so it seems likely that farmers are delaying reporting sick animals in the hope they'll escape a cull of all their animals.

Previously the authorities banned farmers from testing their own animals, in a significant reversal the ban has been removed. Hopefully farmers will test and report cases earlier and so allow the disease to be contained before it spreads.

It's possible that 200 million pigs will need to be killed to try to limit the disease which in itself is raising concerns about availability of pig meat. Pig meat is the staple meat particularly in northern China. 54 million tons is consumed annually and China is home to half the pigs in the whole world so it is a big deal.

The rarer, native pig breeds are being pushed out by the faster growing imported breeds and this is having an effect on specialist meat production for example dried hams. The more universal breeds may be fueling the disease as the declining native breeds may be more disease resistance.

The authorities are not yet calling it an epidemic but are concerned that early detection and hygiene procedures are not being carried out as diligently as they need to control the disease.

Read more…
Wed 10th Apr

The nomadic herdsmen of northern and north-western China have seen their way of life under threat. Youngsters are moving to the cities to avoid a dreary, impoverished life as nomads out in the Gobi desert fringes on the northern steppes.

Technology is now delivering answers that make the nomadic life more attractive. One approach involves putting electronic tags on the whole herd of camels. The herders no longer need to spend lots of time finding stray animals - they can just use a phone app to discover where they all are.

Hi tech is also helping shepherds and cowherds - a new piece of technology detects when animals approach a drinking station and automatically dispenses water for them. This saves wasting a great deal of time that would otherwise be needed to go round to keep topping up drinking water.

It's estimated that these and other innovations can save the herdsmen about half their working time making it far less arduous.

Xinjiang, kazakh, camel, people
Kazakh nomads on the road, Xinjiang Copyright © Dreamstime see image license

Read more…
Wed 3rd Apr
Hong Kong has always been short of building land. When Britain came on the scene in the 1840s the rocky Hong Kong Island was considered to be rather unsuited for habitation. With flat land in such short supply a whole new 'island' was needed to be reclaimed in order to build Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok off Lantau island. Land prices continue to be very high and so an ambitious scheme to build a new island for new housing has been proposed. Priced at HK$624bn ($80bn) it will create about 2,500 acres [1,012 hectares] of land to the south-east of Lantau island. Around 250,000 new flats would be built on the new land. Environmentalists are concerned about the effect on wildlife and would prefer the development to be on brown field sites within the existing city. Critics also point out the the former colony's population is due to drop in the next 50 years reducing the demand for new housing. The new island will be close to the newly opened sea bridge over the Pearl River estuary to mainland China.
Hong Kong, modern housing, view
Densely populated Hong Kong

Read more…

China Sage Site updates

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

Thu 18th Apr
Chinese Steles
If you visit China you will see many inscribed stones that are called 'steles'. They stand outside famous buildings, on sacred mountains, in graveyards and in their hundreds within museums. We have provided a rough overview of whats sorts of stele you may come across in China and some of the most famous ones.
Read more…
Thu 4th Apr
Quiz on traditions and customs

Another two quizzes focusing in on your knowledge of Chinese customs and traditions have been added. Have a go and let us know what you think - too easy, too hard?

lion dance, people, festival
Young lion dancers
Read more…
Qinghai, lake, mountains
Mirror lake in Qinghai


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