General quiz about China 3Intermediate level quiz about the geography, history, traditions and language of China (3)
1. Hong Kong Island became a U.K. possession in which year?
Hong Kong Island was ceded in perpetuity by China at the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842. Kowloon was ceded in the second Opium War (1860). In 1898 the U.K. bought a 99 year lease for the New Territories, which was the main reason the whole of Hong Kong was returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
2. The blue color of Ming porcelain comes from which chemical element?
Cobalt in the form of Cobalt aluminate and carbonate produce the intense blue color glaze of Ming porcelain. It was taken up later in the production of Delftware which tried to copy the Chinese technique. The cobalt was mined in Persia (present day Iran).
Photo by Anonymous, Chinese plate, Ming dynasty, Yongle period 1403-1424, porcelain with under-glaze blue, 23 inches [58 cms] diameter, Honolulu Academy of Arts. Available under a Creative Commons license ➚.
3. Richard Nixon, US President visited Mao Zedong in which year?
The historic meeting took place between February 21st and 28th 1972. Henry Kissinger and Zhou Enlai worked behind the scenes to make the historic visit possible
4. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is what?
Enivornmental action group
Municpal council for Shanghai
Group of provinces of southern China
Group of Eurasian nations
The S.C.O. was set up in 2001 at Shanghai as a Eurasian political, economic and security alliance a bit like NATO, Its members include China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan - China's western and northern neighbors.
Historical buildings on Shanghai's famous Bund
5. The Battle of Yijiangshan Islands took place between which two combatants?
Britain and China
Taiping rebels and Qing army
Republicans (KMT) and Communists (PLA)
Japan and China
6. Jade was historically mined from which range of mountains in China?
The Kunlun mountains in southern Xinjiang was the main source of the precious stone jade. Modern jade now comes mainly from northern Burma (Myanmar).
7. Which one of these is not one of the four treasures of the scholar?
The Four Treasures of the Scholar 文房四宝 wén fáng sì bǎo are: ink stick; ink stone; brushes; and paper (bǐ mò zhǐ yàn). Also usually needed are the seal (or chop); cinnabar paste and a pen-stand in the traditional form of a mountain.
8. Wang Xizhi is most famous as what?
Wang Xizhi [303-361] is considered the sage of calligraphy. His work started to be particularly appreciated after his death during the Tang dynasty.
Buddha sculpture, Yungang caves, Shaanxi
9. The Grand or Emperor's Canal linked which two Chinese cities?
Xi'an and Beijing
Xi'an and Jinan
Nanjing and Beijing
Hangzhou and Beijing
The world's longest canal (1,100 miles [1,770 kms]) carried rice and other freight all the way from Hangzhou in Zhejiang to Beijing
Xu Yang, 18th century painter from Suzhou, China; between 1736 and 1796. Image by Scan by Szilas available under a Creative Commons License ➚
10. What was the nationality of the ambassador killed in Beijing at the time of the Boxer Rebellion?
Klemens Freiherr von Ketteler was killed on 20th June 1900 at the height of the Boxer Rebellion. This marked the start of the ‘Siege of the Legations’ in Beijing which lasted 55 days before a combined Allied force fought their way into Beijing to rescue the staff of the embassies.
11. The governing philosophy of the Qin dynasty was what?
Legalism was rule by the letter of the law. Any deviation by anybody was severely punished. The First Qin Emperor set the laws and so was beyond their power and so he ruled dictatorially. It is quite similar to fascism.
Terracotta charioteer at the tomb of the first Qin Emperor Shihuangdi
12. The tea plant is a close relative of which ornamental plant widely grown for its flowers?
The tea plant (Camellia sinensis) needs moist air to thrive and Fujian is a favored location to grow it. The related ornamental species are grown as garden plants in China and elsewhere; one example is Camellia japonica.
13. The length of Mao's Long March was equivalent to what distance?
New York to San Francisco
New York to San Francisco and back
Paris to Moscow
New York to Miami
The Long March of 1935 of the beleaguered Chinese communists was epic. It started in Jiangxi province and meandered its way through western China until eventually reaching Shaanxi losing about 60,000 marchers dwindled down to 7,000 along the way. It totalled about 6,000 miles. San Francisco to NY is about 3,000 miles (NY to Miami: 1,300; NY to New Orleans 1,300; NY to Austin 1,700; Paris to Moscow 1,800 miles).
14. Which of these is NOT one of the Five classics of Chinese literature
Yi Jing (I Ching)
Art of War
Spring and Autumn Annals
Book of Rites
The five classics were the basis of scholastic study in the Confucian tradition. To pass the Imperial Examination students needed to learn them by heart.
15. The Altay mountains are on the border of China with which country?
The Altay form the border of Xinjiang province with Mongolia and also the short border with Russia in the far north-west.
16. The Yellow River has its source in which province?
Qibnghai province is the source of both the Yangzi (known in China as Chang Jiang and Tongtian He in its upper reaches) and also the Huang He (Yellow River), the two great rivers of China. The mighty Mekong river also rises in the south-east of Qinghai. The area sourcing these three great rivers is designated the Sanjiangyuan: Three Rivers National Park.
17. The earliest printed book was produced in China in which year?
The earliest known printed book is the Diamond Sutra printed in 868CE. It was discovered at Dunhuang in 1907. It is now held at the British Library, London.
18. The Tiananmen Incident of 1989 occurred after the death of which leader?
The reformist Hu Yaobang was Chairman and General Secretary of the Communist 1982-1987. He openly questioned Marxist theory. The student protests were seen as supporting his views on reform and mirrored those that occurred on the death of Zhou Enlai in 1976.
19. Qigong martial art concentrates on particualar control of what?
Different from Tai chi and not really a martial art is the discipline of Qigong; in this school it is the control of breathing and the holding of posture that is important. The discipline controls the flow of qi to maintain health and a long life.
Chinese man practicing traditional martial art (Datang quan) in Chongqing
20. Sima Qian was famous as what?
Sima Qian provided a great deal of detail on the founding days of the Chinese nation, it was the template for historians writing about all the dynasties that followed. He lived in the early Han dynasty [135-86BCE]. Each dynasty afterwards produced a 'Standard History' based on his template. He set high standards in scholarship for example when he found conflicting reports of events he included all the alternatives rather than choosing just one of them.
A pottery dog from the Chinese Han Dynasty. Image by Gary Lee Todd available under a Creative Commons License ➚
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