Interesting Facts About China
China is a colossal country with a fantastic variety of landscapes, wildlife and people. It is the most populous nation on earth. More than 1.1 billion people live in China and so the Chinese make up roughly one-fifth of the world's population.
The east coast region is lined with bustling mega cities and ports. Jungles and tropical lowlands lie in southeast, while the Plateau of Tibet, which meets the Himalayas lies in the southwest. Two mighty rivers, the Yangtze and the Yellow River, cut across China and provide vital transport links.
For the last 4,000 years China has been the oldest continuous civilization on Earth. China's early warlords often fought each other and the country was not united as a single empire until 221 BCE with the birth of the Qin dynasty (221-207 BCE).
China's imperial system lasted until 1912, when China became a republic. After the defeat of Japan in 1945, the People's Republic of China was established in 1949 by the Communist leader Mao Zedong.
The communist leader Mao Zedong began a "cultural revolution" that banned religion and private wealth and reformed farming, business and education. He was ruler whose policies killed at least 30 million Chinese through famine in 1958 - 1961.
Today's Chinese flag was adopted in 1949 after the revolution in which the Communist party gained power.
The red background of the Chinese flag symbolizes the blood shed throughout the revolution and it's also the traditional color of the Chinese people.
The large gold star stands for leadership and the four smaller stars represent different classes of the society peasants, workers, bourgeoisie, and capitalists, all united under the Communist Party.
Many everyday objects and useful technologies were invented by the Chinese long before they were introduced to other countries.
Early Chinese inventions include paper, printing, silk, kites, umbrellas, the abacus, porcelain and gunpowder.
The Invention of Paper- Paper was invented in China in the second century BCE. People started to use plants,such as hemp, to make thin paper. Before this time, people wrote on pottery, bones, stone silk wood and bamboo. Cai Lun, an official of the Han court improved the technology of paper making and his name has been associated with paper making ever since. Eight centuries later, paper making spread to the Arab world and from there in Europe.
PRINTING- Before printing was invented, every book had to be copied by hand. In the 17th century, the Chinese invented wood block printing. The text was first written on a piece of thin paper, then glued face down on to a wooden plate. The characters, letters or words were carved out to make a wood block printing plate, which was used to print the text.
GUNPOWDER- Gunpowder is a mixture of saltpetre, sulphur and charcoal. In the 10th century, weapon-makers in China discovered that if they combined gunpowder and arrows they could create a new weapon. This new explosive crossbow destroyed their enemies. Thousand of workers produced several thousands of this weapons every day in the Song capital.
In the middle of 13th century, the Arabs learned how to make gunpowder from the Chinese and called it "China Snow" Europeans eventually found out about gunpowder from the Arabs.
In the 20th century, China earned a reputation as a workshop for mass-produced cheap goods. Today, some Chinese companies are becoming global brands, especially in chemicals, computers and manufacturing.
Food and Drink
China has one of the world's oldest and most varied cooking traditions. Every region, town and ethnic group has its own specialty dishes and different mealtime customs. Food plays an important part of every festival, family gathering and business meeting. Much of the basic diet in China is based on rice and noodles and the usual drink is tea.
People eat using chopsticks made of wood, bamboo or plastic and did you know that 45 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks are used in China each year.
TEAS - Dozens of different varieties of tea (cha) are grown in China, where tea drinking is part of healthy lifestyle. In ancient China, tea was used as a medicine. Today people drink tea to relax and chat with friends.
DIM SUM - Dim sum is Cantonese for "touch the heart". These light tasty Chinese snacks are traditionally served to accompany a bowl of tea.
DUMPLINGS - Cantonese cooking is famous for its dumplings, which are always a part of dim sum. These are made from rice flour and contain various fillings such as prawns, pork, chicken or vegetables. They are presented hot in a steamer.
RICE - Rice is a vital dietary staple in China and bowls of rice accompany almost every meal.
PANDA - Giant pandas are probably China's best loved animal and are regarded as a national treasure. They roam the remote forests of the mountains in southwest China, eating almost nothing but bamboo.
They are endangered in the wild but scientists have bred captive pandas successfully
GREAT WALL OF CHINA - During the third century BCE, the Qin emperors started to build a huge wall to stop smuggling. Later dynasties built walls against Mongolian tribes to the north.
The Great Wall is one of the largest building construction projects ever completed. It stretches across the mountains of northern China, winding north and northwest of Beijing. It is constructed of masonry, rocks and packed-earth.
During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Great Wall was enlarged to 6,400 kilometers (4,000 miles) and renovated over a 200 year period, with watch-towers and cannons added.
BEIJING (FORBIDDEN CITY) - The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia. It is north of Tiananmen Square. Rectangular in shape, it is the world's largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares.
The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
The Terracotta Army
In 1974, a peasant digging for water accidentally discovered an army made of terracotta a few miles away from the First Emperor of Qin's tomb. Thousands of clay soldiers, horses and chariots have now been excavated.
They are all life-sized and have different faces, hairstyles and expressions. Several pits containing clay soldiers surround the emperor's tomb because he believed that his terracotta army would protect his soul in the afterlife.
Today nearly million people visit this site annually. The Terracotta Army now serves as both a phenomenal archaeological discovery as well as an icon of China's distant past recognizable the world over.
Collection of Chinese Hubs
- Witty and Wise Chinese Proverbs - Here is a delightful collection of Chinese proverbs which gives us a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the Chinese people.
- Witty and Wise Chinese Proverbs II Chinese sayings are simple, short and witty but they give a direct message that will reach the heart and mind of the readers, they are condensed truth that are evident in our daily life.
- Sayings of Confucius - This collection of profound, thought-provoking, and wise thoughts about virtues, learning and life in general is compiled from the timeless wisdom of the great Chinese philospher Confucius.