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.

Thu 20th Feb

A round-up from various news items recently reported in the South China Morning Post .

Studies are showing that the corona-virus is much more infectious than similar viruses, it seems to bind very easily to human cells. Autopsies of those that have died show the virus principally attacks the lungs but also the liver. Some people are being treated with corticosteroids and some results show that their use may lead to damage of the liver and kidneys so these steroids are not recommended for widespread use. There continues to be reports that herbal medicines based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are effective. It looks like that some herbs can significantly aid recovery but will not prevent people becoming infected.

The knock-on effects of the virus are showing in China and other countries. With many people either forced (as in much of Hubei province) or voluntarily staying at home the impact on all sorts of businesses is showing. With far fewer people traveling the airlines are canceling flights and laying off staff. Tourist destinations are pretty much deserted. As people are not out shopping many businesses are struggling, bookshops seem particularly badly hit, people are ordering by post to avoid going out. Restaurants are badly affected and some are quickly turning to offering take-away and delivery services to keep the businesses going. Farms are hard hit with livestock markets closed. Imports of frozen chicken, beef and pork are being held up at the ports due to a shortage of truck drivers to distribute them inland.

On a somewhat lighter note, a popular video game is letting people play at killing off the virus at least in the virtual world. With many millions stuck at home having something useful to do must becoming increasingly hard.

As far as the statistics are concerned there is a glimmer of hope. The number of people still infected has fallen on two consecutive days. If the pattern continues the whole sad episode could be over in a couple of months.

disinfecting coronavirus
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Thu 6th Feb

Tackling the corona-virus outbreak is consuming all the media coverage in China and around the world. Some novel ideas are being used to help out. One is to use drones a lot more and so avoid needing humans to go out and about. Some of the first usagee of drones is to go out and monitor the streets. If the drone sees people not wearing face masks it can use its loudspeakers to warn people to get indoors. More advanced drones have temperature sensors and can detect people who have a fever and alert the authorities that the individual needs quarantining.

Although things remain very bad in Hubei province there is some encouraging signs that the virus is under control elsewhere. Shanghai has seen a drop in the number of quarantined people (6th Feb). However much of this is because the New Year holiday has been extended and most people have stayed put at home. It will soon be necessary for many workers to go back to work to keep the economy moving and with this an increased chance of infection.

drone in flight
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Thu 30th Jan

We tend to leave the big news stories to dedicated news web sites but in the case of the current outbreak of coronavirus it is too significant to overlook. It is difficult to imagine how tough life must be in Wuhan and the rest of Hubei province with the place in lock-down (around 60 million people). Experts are skeptical about how effective this unprecedented government action will be. Although the bulk of the cases is in Hubei (4,586 on 29/1/2) there are already 3,197 or 41% of cases outside this region. [Follow the link for up-to-date statistics] It is fairly easy to live for a few days in lock-down but to expect 50 million people to live in relative comfort for two weeks is stretching even China's capabilities. Thankfully the fatality rate is lower than SARS at about 2%, but many people who catch it require hospital treatment to make a full recovery. If the infection spreads beyond a million people then it is hard to see how health care systems can cope. There is widespread footage of a hospital being built from scratch in a week but this only will be for 1,000 patients which is already looking far too few. The big threat of the virus is that it seems to take quite a time to show symptoms and the person is infectious during these crucial days. It is easy for someone to be in close contact with hundreds of other people during just one trip to a busy city center and so controlling the spread may prove impossible.

As there is no vaccine on the horizon for at least six months it is likely that governments are underplaying the risks to contain possible mass panic. Facemasks offer limited protection, they are more to help prevent infected people spreading the virus further rather than protected uninfected people. Already economic effects are significant with China's predicted growth rate marked down and stock markets worldwide taking a downturn. The next week will be crucial, if the rate of spread does not start slowing down then a global pandemic looks pretty inevitable. Our thoughts are with everyone caught up with this crisis at a time which should be one of rejoicing at the start of a New Year.

Hubei, Wuhan, cityscape, skyscraper
Wuhan, Hebei at night

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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.

Fri 21st Feb
More Jade

We've updated one or our earliest written pages to provide much more information about that great treasure of China - jade. We cover the Imperial jewel the Heshibi and have found some fine illustrations of jade objects that people have kindly uploaded for use on web sites.

jade, bowl, fish
Jade dish with two fishes among reeds, China, late Ming period. British Museum, room 33b ( the Selwyn and Ellie Alleyne Gallery). Image by Vassil available under a Creative Commons License
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Tue 11th Feb
Coronavirus information page

We can not ignore the news story that is dominating the world's news web pages. The new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has the potential to become a major pandemic but so far containment within China seems to be working. It was first recorded on the very last day of 2019 in Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei province. To give information and advice we have put together a web page all about the outbreak from what we believe are trusted, authoritative sources. We aim to keep the page updated frequently until the outbreak is under control.

coronavirus
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Henan, Kaifeng, garden, bridge, pagoda
Classical garden at Qingming Riverside, Kaifeng, Henan

Conventions

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.

Authorship

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.

Acknowledgments

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 2020