General quiz about China 4Intermediate level quiz about the geography, history, traditions and language of China (4)
1. Amber is considered a potent medicine because it was thought to contain the essence of a what?
Its orange color has led to an association with tigers. There is an ancient belief that the spirit of a tiger goes back into the earth on its death to form amber.
2. Chiang Kaishek is associated with which event in 1936?
Marrying Song Meiling
Kidnapping at Xi'an
Meeting with Mao Zedong
Battle with Japanese
Chiang was kidnapped by his own generals at Xi'an, Shaanxi to force him to form to form a united front with the Communists against Japanese occupation of Manchuria
Chiang Kaishek, March 1945. Image available under a Creative Commons license ➚.
3. In Beijing a 'hutong' is what?
The narrow and winding lanes between traditional courtyard houses are called hutongs 胡同. A few districts remain in Beijing which are famous for their hutongs.
A horseman riding over the grasslands of Inner Mongolia
4. The Yangzi River is one of the longest rivers in the world, where does it stand in the world standings for length?
The Yangzi river is the 3rd longest river after the Nile and Amazon
Barge on the Yangzi river near the Three Gorges dam
5. How long did Marco Polo's visit to china last?
In 1275 Marco Polo and his father and uncle went to China and all three spent 17 years there. On return to Italy he was imprisoned by the Genoese and it was while in prison that he dictated his book, the ‘Description of the World’. It was printed in many editions and languages and promoted a lot of interest and speculation throughout Europe about this vast, rich country far away.
Marco Polo in Tartar costume. Source: Scann? de Coureurs des mers, Poivre d'Arvor. Photo by Grevembrock, available under a Creative Commons license ➚.
6. What was probably the earliest use for kites?
measuring wind speed
Kites were used in fishing, the kite would trail a line with hooks and bait allowing the kite-flier to fish in areas some way out over rivers or the sea.
7. The number of Imperial eunuchs has at one time reached how many people?
During the Ming dynasty the vast new Forbidden City was home to many thousands of eunuchs engaged in serving the Emperor and administering the Empire.
Ming Emperor Xuande with his imperial eunuchs. 1425-35. Image by unknown court artist available under a Creative Commons license ➚
8. Gunpowder tea is a famous export from which province?
Zhejiang is the province associated with production of gunpowder tea. It gets its name because it looks like pellets of gunpowder
9. In which province is the Taklamakan desert?
The provinces in China's far north-west are very dry and receive very little rainfall.
10. Du Fu, the famous Tang poet had a thatched cottage that can still be seen where?
Du Fu held an appointment at Chengdu in Sichuan towards the end of his life. There is a commemorative museum that can be visited.
11. You may hear that 'guanxi' is very important in China what is it?
Many Chinese spend considerable effort to cultivate a network of people that they may call upon at some time for a favor. A contact may get you a job, discounted prices or promotion.
12. An explosion on 12th September 2015 killed 173 people, in which city did it happen?
The large explosion at a storage depot at Binhai, Tianjin led to 173 deaths and 797 non-fatal injuries.
Copyright © Dreamstime see image license
13. The formation of the May 4th movement was a response to which event?
Arrest of Sun Yatsen
Installation of Yuan Shikai as President
Death of Sun Yatsen
Treaty of Versailles 1919
The signing of the Versailles Treaty in Paris May 4th 1919 caused uproar in China because the parts of Shandong that had been governed by Germany were given to Japan rather than returned to Chinese control. The treaty came at the end of WW1.
Students of Beijing Normal University (arrested at the May Fourth Movement) returned to the university on May 7th, 1918. Available under a Creative Commons License ➚
14. Where you can find a smaller version of the Forbidden City?
The Manchu kingdom built a mini-version of Beijing's Forbidden City before they conquered China in 1644.
15. The Meiji restoration was an important event in which neighboring country?
The Meiji system of 1868 allowed Japan to rapidly modernize and so provided a blueprint as to how an Asian country could catch up and take on the European powers.
16. The world famous Shaolin monastery for martial arts is located in which province?
Henan attracts many martial arts enthusiasts particularly to Shaolin near Mount Song.
Shaolin martial arts display Copyright © Dreamstime see image license
17. At which university did Sun Yatsen study?
University of Hong Kong
Peking University, Beijing
Tsinghua University, Beijing
University of Hawai'i
Sun Yatsen was born in furthermost southern China: Cuiheng, Guangdong in 1866. He had a brother living in Hawaii, and at the age of 12 joined him there to escape poverty and was educated at a Hawaiian school and converted to Christianity. He returned to China for an arranged marriage and studied medicine at Hong Kong, graduating as a doctor in Western medicine in 1892.
Statue of Dr. Sun Yatsen at memorial hall in Taipei, Taiwan
18. What is the name of the range of mountains separating Tibet and Xinjiang provinces?
The Kunlun mountains have had a strong presence in Chinese legends. The Queen Mother of the West is said to have her palace there, and for centuries precious jade was mined there.
19. Jingdezhen is famous for the production of what?
It was near Jingdezhen, Jiangxi that the first deposits of kaolin (China Clay) were discovered and exploited. Huge amounts of porcelain have been produced there since the Song dynasty
Waterfall on Lushan mountains, Jiangxi
20. About how many Chinese characters in common use are all pronounced 'shi'?
'Shi' is one of the most common sounds in mandarin Chinese. There are about 50 characters all pronounced 'shi' but spread over the five tones so there are only ten true homophones to take into account. This explains why many English words need two Chinese characters to make them unambiguous in meaning.
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