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Useful Notes / China

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If we didn't include Taiwan, we'd be Banned in China.note 

"Let China sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world."
—attributed to Napoléon Bonaparte, though we don't actually know who really originated it

A huge East Asian country, when people mention "Asia", the first country to pop up in your head, if not Japan, is probably going to be China (Chinese: 中国, Zhongguo), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC) (Chinese: 中华人民共和国, Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo). This has become so common that for some people, China is synonymous with Asia, much to the annoyance of everyone who isn't ignorant. As the most populated country in the world and third largest in area after Russia and Canada, and with an economy on the rise daily, the People's Republic of China is a country well worth understanding better, partly to avoid the many stereotypes of the country and the Chinese people over the years.

China is one of the world's oldest civilizations — having been one of only six to have formed independently (meaning not having an already-established civilization give them the idea of civilization creation), one of only five to have developed a writing system independently (the only one still in use today!), and has the longest continuous history of any country in the world. The main "centers" of Chinese civilization in modern Sinology are considered to be the Yellow River, Liao River, and Yangtze River. This is in contrast to the old theory that Chinese civilization began solely at the Yellow River and radiated outwards although the Yellow River region would remain by far the most important area in Chinese history. Even today there is a genetic cline in China — Northern Han Chinese have highly uniform paternal and maternal lines, being a fairly genetically homogeneous group that formed about 3000 years ago while Southern Han Chinese have uniform paternal lines like the Northern Han and the Northern Han are indeed the greatest contributors to the Southern Han gene pool but they have more diverse maternal lines that increase in diversity the further south one travels.


The tribes that lived by the Yellow River underwent extensive cultural and technological advancements largely due to the unpredictability of the river which they depended on. Chinese civilization began in what is today northern China along the banks of the Yellow River where early Sinitic-speaking agricultural tribes from the Yangshao culture formed a confederacy with the Liao River people from the Hongshan culture. The two river cultures had interacted with each other extensively before the people of the Hongshan culture made a southward migration to the Yellow River likely due to climate change. Chinese culture was more strongly influenced by the Yangshao people in terms of language, silk production, millet agriculture, and potterymaking but with the religious practises of the Hongshan people thus early Chinese religion was shamanistic. Shamanism would lose its importance after the Shang Dynasty but the grand religious ceremonies and rituals of the Xia such as dragon worship and feng shui would remain. Combined, the Yangshao and Hongshan became known as the Huaxia. With the Hua in the name meaning "illustrious" in reference to their elaborate clothing (the Yangshao people were involved in silk production) and the "Xia" meaning "grand" in reference to their ceremonial etiquette (the Hongshan people had complicated religious rituals).


The Huaxia began to conquer surrounding territories and absorb foreign populations which allowed for their expansion. The Huaxia would go on to form empires with the Qin Dynasty being the first unified Chinese empire. The Han Dynasty is considered one of the early great eras of the Chinese civilization thus the Huaxia would go on to call themselves "Han people" and are known as the "Han Chinese" in English. Well, that's some of the basics of early Chinese history which is still largely a mystery due to it being centred around the Yellow River which was a poor region for archaeological preservation and the details are still hotly debated today. Even what is "common knowledge" now may be outdated in the next few years.

What is far better recorded is the period known as Imperial China, starting from the Qin, China would have a dynastic imperial system of governance for the next 2000 years. The Chinese state would constantly alternate between periods of extreme chaos and peaceful golden eras as it fractured and reunited over time. China was the dominant cultural powerhouse of East Asia for most of its existence. Although ironically, the best known Chinese eras to Westerners were the foreign dynasties of the Yuan and Qing due to Marco Polo's adventures in Yuan China and because China was being brutally colonized by Western powers and Japan in the Qing — these were the periods when China was arguably at it's "least Chinese" and it contributed to the poor understanding the West had of the nation. Even today the West is largely ignorant of Chinese history with its preference to undervalue Chinese studies due to the bad blood that generated between China and the West starting from the late Qing.

In 2003, China became the third nation to have sent a man into space. The President and Vice President of the People's Republic of China serve for five year terms with no term limits; this, plus the lack of political opposition, basically allows them to serve for life. However, true authority lies with the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Chinanote  while top military command goes to Chairman of the Central Military Commission, a role usually also hold by the General Secretary who's usually elected as the President (still known as the State Chairman in Chinese). Basically one has to hold these three positions to gain full power of the head of government of China. The General Secretary is secretly decided by the Communist Party.

    Administrative divisions 
China is divided into 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 independent municipalities, and 2 special administrative regions (SAR). Autonomous regions are provinces with a substantial percentage of ethnic minorities, while municipalities are centered on cities with a high degree of autonomy and population, although bear in mind that they still include swathes of rural land outside the urban area. Meanwhile, the two SAR, Hong Kong and Macau, are former European colonies that were transferred back to China in recent history, but they still retain a degree of independence and democratic mindset compared to mainland China (a common parlance for their status is "one country, two systems"; though they are part of China, they, to a certain extent, are still governed through colonial-era laws).

Other than the above, China is currently locked in territorial disputes with several outside parties. The most significant is Taiwan, whose gray status in international politics is a decades-long legacy of the Chinese Civil War that remains unresolved to this day. Taiwan is governed by a separate government (the "Republic of China") and effectively a country of its own, but China, as a superpower, threatens boycott to any country that recognizes it, hence why only a handful countries still have formal relations with Taiwan and the RoC is not a member of the United Nations. Other than Taiwan, China also maintains territorial disputes with Japan, India, Bhutan, and, as an extension of the South China Sea dispute, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Population given is as of the 2010 census.

Provinces (省, Sheng)

  • Anhui (安徽)
    Capital: Hefei (合肥)
    Population: 59,500,510 (8th)
  • Fujian (福建)
    Capital: Fuzhou (福州)
    Population: 36,894,216 (17th)
  • Gansu (甘肃)
    Capital: Lanzhou (兰州)
    Population: 25,575,254 (22nd)
  • Guangdong (广东)
    Capital: Guangzhou (广州)
    Population: 104,303,132 (1st)
  • Guizhou (贵州)
    Capital: Guiyang (贵阳)
    Population: 34,746,468 (19th)
  • Hainan (海南)
    Capital: Haikou (海口)
    Population: 9,171,300 (28th)
  • Hebei (河北)
    Capital: Shijiazhuang (石家庄)
    Population: 71,854,202 (6th)
  • Heilongjiang (黑龙江)
    Capital: Harbin (哈尔滨, Ha'erbin)
    Population: 38,312,224 (15th)
  • Henan (河南)
    Capital: Zhengzhou (郑州)
    Population: 94,023,567 (3rd)
  • Hubei (湖北)
    Capital: Wuhan (武汉)
    Population: 57,237,740 (9th)
  • Hunan (湖南)
    Capital: Changsha (长沙)
    Population: 65,683,722 (7th)
  • Jiangsu (江苏)
    Capital: Nanjing (南京)
    Population: 78,659,903 (5th)
  • Jiangxi (江西)
    Capital: Nanchang (南昌)
    Population: 44,567,475 (13th)
  • Jilin (吉林)
    Capital: Changchun (长春)
    Population: 27,462,297 (21st)
  • Liaoning (辽宁)
    Capital: Shenyang (沈阳)
    Population: 43,746,323 (14th)
  • Qinghai (青海)
    Capital: Xining (西宁)
    Population: 5,626,722 (31st)
  • Shaanxi (陕西, Shanxinote )
    Capital: Xi'an (西安)
    Population: 37,327,378 (16th)
  • Shandong (山东)
    Capital: Jinan (济南)
    Population: 95,793,065 (2nd)
  • Shanxi (山西)
    Capital: Taiyuan (太原)
    Population: 35,712,111 (18th)
  • Sichuan (四川)
    Capital: Chengdu (成都)
    Population: 80,418,200 (4th)
  • Yunnan (云南)
    Capital: Kunming (昆明)
    Population: 45,966,239 (12th)
  • Zhejiang (浙江)
    Capital: Hangzhou (杭州)
    Population: 54,426,891 (10th)

Autonomous Regions (自治区, Zizhiqu)

  • Guangxi Zhuang (广西壮族, Guangxi Zhuangzu)
    Capital: Nanning (南宁)
    Population: 46,026,629 (11th)
  • Inner Mongolia (內蒙古, Nei Menggu)
    Capital: Hohhot (呼和浩特, Huhehaote)
    Population: 24,706,321 (23rd)
  • Ningxia Hui (宁夏回族, Ningxia Huizu)
    Capital: Yinchuan (银川)
    Population: 6,301,350 (30th)
  • Tibet (西藏, Xizang)
    Capital: Lhasa (拉萨, Chengguan)
    Population: 3,002,166 (32nd)
  • Xinjiang Uyghur (新疆维吾尔, Xinjiang Weiwu'er)
    Capital: Ürümqi (乌鲁木齐, Wulumuqi)
    Population: 21,813,334 (25th)

Municipalities (市, Shi)

  • Beijing (北京)
    Population: 19,612,368 (26th)
  • Chongqing (重庆)
    Population: 28,846,170 (20th)
  • Shanghai (上海)
    Population: 23,019,148 (24th)
  • Tianjin (天津)
    Population: 12,938,224 (27th)

Special Administrative Regions (特别行政区, Tebie Xingzhengqu)

  • Hong Kong (香港, Xianggang)
    Population: 7,061,200 (29th)
  • Macau (澳门, Aomen)
    Population: 552,300 (33rd)

Chinese Culture

Chinese Geography

Chinese History

Works from China

The Chinese flag
The red field is a historic color of communism, but also of the ethnic Han; the four golden stars apparently surrounding a larger star symbolize the peasants, workers, the middle-class and patriotic capitalists guided by the Communist Party of China.

National Emblem of the People's Republic of China
Like the flag, the coat of arms was adapted on September 20, 1950 through a nationwide competition. The meaning is the same with the flag but includes a cog, two types of crops (wheat and rice) and the Tiananmen Gate, the gate in the Forbidden City where Mao Zedong establishes the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949.

The Chinese national anthem
把我们的血肉, 筑成我们新的长城!
起来! 起来! 起来!
冒着敌人的炮火, 前进!
冒着敌人的炮火, 前进!
前进! 前进! 进!

Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves!
With our flesh and blood, let us build a new Great Wall!
As China faces her greatest peril,
From each one the urgent call to action comes forth.
Arise! Arise! Arise!
Millions of but one heart
Braving the enemies' fire! March on!
Braving the enemies' fire! March on!
March on! March on! On!

  • Unitary Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic
    • CCP General Secretary, President & Military Chairman: Xi Jinping
    • Premier: Li Keqiang
    • Congress Chairman: Li Zhanshu
    • CPPCC Chairman: Wang Yang
    • 1st Party Secretariat's Member: Wang Huning
    • Party Discipline Secretary: Zhao Leji
    • 1st Vice Premier: Han Zheng
    • Vice President: Wang Qishan
    • Chief Justice: Zhou Qiang
    • Prosecutor-General: Zhang Jun
    • Supervisory Commission Director: Yang Xiaodu

Video Example(s):


March of the Volunteers

The March of the Volunteers is the national anthem of the People's Republic of China.

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Example of:

Main / NationalAnthem

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Main / NationalAnthem