Amazing Earth – Internet travel magazine
China – a mysterious country
Thanks to ancient history and modern progress, trips to China are hugely popular with travelers. Dynamic Chinese cities are famous for a large number of historical and cultural monuments (Imperial Palace) and ultramodern skyscrapers (Shanghai Tower, 632 m), many shopping centers, restaurants and nightclubs. Beijing, the country’s capital, delights visitors with a combination of architectural structures of different styles – from ancient imperial palaces to modern Olympic facilities. In Guangzhou you can visit one of the festivals and do shopping. Located on Hainan Island, the resort of Sanya is suitable for beach vacations all year round.
- The People’s Republic of China is the official name of the country.
- It borders Russia, the DPRK, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Laos. The country is washed by the waters of the western seas of the Pacific Ocean.
- Beijing is the capital city.
- The country has an area of about 9.6 million square kilometers.
- The population of China reaches more than 1.3 billion people.
- The form of government is a one-party parliamentary republic.
- The official language is Chinese.
- The largest cities are Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
- The major religions are Daoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam, and Christianity.
- The official currency is the Chinese yuan.
- Time zone UTC+8.
Origin of name
The word “China” comes from the name “Cathay”, derived from the name of a proto-Mongolian nomadic group from Manchuria, the Kidans (or Chinas). After conquering northern China in 907, they founded the Liao dynasty. The name of the nomadic tribes stuck as a toponym for North China. This name in the form “Katay” came to medieval Western Europe with European merchants, in particular Marco Polo, and supplanted the Latin “China”. It gradually passed into Slavic languages, where it was transformed into “China. Sometimes “Cathay” is used in the West as a poetic name for “China.
A variety of written sources combined with archaeological evidence make it possible to reconstruct the social processes and political life of China from antiquity.
Ancient Chinese historical and religious-philosophical texts, especially those expounding the teachings of Confucius, themselves influenced the development of Chinese civilization and the worldview of the Chinese people.
Chinese civilization since the time of Confucius has been characterized by a high social and political activity of each individual aimed at achieving well-being and happiness in earthly life. It is believed that one’s destiny depends on one’s own efforts rather than on divine predestination.
The Chinese civilization is one of the oldest in the world. According to Chinese scientists, its age is five thousand years, and the existing written sources cover a period of not less than 3,500 years.
Visible advantages for the Chinese state were created by the longstanding administrative system, which was developed and improved by successive dynasties. The economy of the country was based on developed agriculture. The Chinese civilization was strengthened with the introduction of Confucianism as the state ideology and united system of writing.
Throughout the millennia, China went through repeated periods of socio-political unity and disintegration, in some cases becoming part of foreign countries. The Celestial Empire was constantly subjected to invasions from outside, but sooner or later the invaders fell under Chineseness and were likened to the Chinese community, and the territories of these states became part of China.
Contemporary Chinese society and state are the result of political and cultural interaction and interpenetration over several centuries with the many surrounding peoples of Asia, accompanied by assimilation and displacement of the human masses.
The civil war of 1949 was won by the armed forces of the Communist Party of China. In the fall of the same year, the People’s Political Consultative Council of China, which proclaimed the People’s Republic of China, began its work. In 1954 they adopted a Constitution.
With the help of the USSR in 1949-1956 the basic industries were formed, nationalization and collectivization were carried out, socialist construction unfolded. In 1966-1976. – The “cultural revolution”.
In 1978 the Plenum of the CPC Central Committee set a course for a socialist market economy. Late 1980s – early 1990s China removed the problem of food supply, developed high rates of industrial production and GDP growth, raised the standard of living of the people. Deng Xiaoping’s reforms are successfully continued by his successors.
Located in East Asia, China is the largest Asian country. China is the third largest country in the world, behind Russia and Canada.
China’s topography is varied, with high mountains and plateaus, vast plains and deserts, and depressions. China has three regions: the Tibetan Plateau in the southwest, which is the highest and most extensive plateau on the planet with a height of more than 2,000 meters above sea level; a belt of mountains and high plains in the north with heights from 200 to 2,000 meters; low accumulative plains in the south, east and northeast, including the Pearl River basin and delta, the Yangtze River basin and delta, the Manchurian Plain and the Great Chinese Plain with heights below 200 meters.
China’s climate varies widely, from subtropical (southeast) to sharply continental in the northwest. Monsoons determine the weather on the southern coast. The seasonal air movements and accompanying winds contain ample moisture in the summer, while in the winter season they are quite dry.
The eastern and southern regions of China suffer destructive typhoons, monsoons, floods, droughts, and tsunamis up to five times a year. Every spring, yellow dust storms form in the northern deserts and are carried by winds toward Japan and Korea.
All of China’s major rivers originate in the mountains. The main transport arteries: the Yangtze, Mekong, Huang He, and Salween are supplied with water by melting snow on the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. Along the coast is the Great Canal of China, built in the 7th-8th centuries, which is 2,470 km long.
China has vast mineral resources, a major producer of graphite, antimony, zinc, tungsten. It also has resources of coal, bauxites, oil, diamonds, iron ore, gold, lead, manganese, natural gas, mercury, uranium, etc. Leading the world in reserves of tin and tungsten. The country has the world’s highest hydroelectric potential thanks to its mountain rivers and vast mountain ranges.
Plant and animal life
China is clearly divided into western and eastern parts by the nature of flora and fauna.
The long-standing and highly intensive economic use of the area has greatly affected the present vegetation cover of the eastern part of the country. The lowlands are almost entirely cultivated, and only in the mountainous areas are native forests. But the flora of eastern China is diverse: among several thousand species one finds relics left over from the Tertiary period.
Moving from north to south, several natural zones replace each other. In the Amur basin, the area is occupied by taiga, dominated by Korean cedar and larch; broad-leaved species are also found among the conifers. Moving southward, the taiga is gradually replaced by mixed (coniferous-broadleaved) forests; linden, oak, walnut, and maple grow on the slopes of the Qinlin Ridge.
Further southward begin subtropical forests, represented by numerous species of laurel, magnolia, and camellia. Cuningamia and Masson pine produce “business” wood. Deciduous species grow in mountainous areas. Tropical forests predominate on the ferrite soils of the far south. Savannahs are found in the western parts of Yunnan.
In western China, the vegetation is monotonous. The vegetation cover is sparse, dominated by drought-resistant perennial shrubs – xerophytes. Western Prehingan is richer in vegetation species. Cereal high-grass steppes are replaced by dry steppes, then by sagebrush and sagebrush-weed semi-deserts, and finally, poor or devoid of vegetation deserts.
In the Tibetan Plateau, a small number of species adapted to drought with increased solar radiation and strong winds occur in the highland cold deserts. In the eastern part of the highlands, with a milder and wetter climate, mountain meadows appear, further down the slopes – coniferous forests.
Significant damage to the fauna of China is caused by deforestation and hunting of wild animals. These mammals are found only in mountainous hard-to-reach areas. In the Northeast, predators are prevalent: polecats, wolves, raccoon dogs, also hares and squirrels.
Northwest China is inhabited by semi-desert and desert animals: rodents (gerbils and gophers), ungulates (gazelle and gazelle); endemic – Przewalski’s horse. In Tibet there are highland animals: the kiang (horse-like), orongo (similar to the antelope), the Himalayan bear, the Tibetan baibak, and the red wolf.
The fauna is the richest and most diverse in the southwestern forests of China. It is home to such tropical animals as leopards, flying dog, tupaia, and lory. The endemics of this region are the great and small pandas.
Numerous lakes of nature reserves are inhabited by ducks, cranes, swans, gray and white herons, and bustards. The seas surrounding China offer favorable conditions for the development of a variety of marine flora and fauna.
Chinese cuisine consists of regional cuisine and the culinary traditions of the Chinese diaspora. The history of Chinese cuisine dates back to the New Stone Age. Over the centuries different regions developed their own preferences depending on the climate and in no small measure on the court fashion. Chinese cuisine gradually combined foreign ingredients and cooking customs. There are culinary peculiarities peculiar to people of different nationalities and social class.
The most common and popular Chinese dishes are fried rice, Peking duck, century-old egg, turtle soup, and dim sum.
In the Chinese diaspora, there are such varieties of cuisine as American Chinese cuisine, Malay cuisine, and Singaporean cuisine. However, everywhere the Chinese live, they have their own varieties in cooking.
Rice has always been of particular importance to the Chinese – as a staple food and as a technical crop. Ten thousand years B.C., the tradition of rice cultivation originated in Southern China, even though the method of flood fields only reached perfection after several thousand years. Nowadays, rice is cultivated almost everywhere in China. Chinese rice accounts for 35% of world production.
Historical and Cultural Monuments
The Great Wall of China or the Great Wall of China (as the Chinese call it) stretches across North China for 8851.8 km. Most of the wall (6260 km) consists of masonry, a smaller part (2232.5 km) is made up of natural rock masses. 360 km of the wall are ditches filled with water.
The construction of the wall began in the 4th-3rd centuries B.C. During this period, the fragmented Chinese states needed to defend themselves against the raids of nomads from Central Asia.
When China was united under the Qin dynasty in 221 BC, Emperor Shi Huangdi issued an order to link all defensive lines into a single wall. During the next Han dynasty, construction of the Long Wall continued and was completed in the third century AD. The western section of the Great Wall is now preserved in its original form, while the eastern section, after much destruction, appears in places as an earthen berm.
The base of the preserved wall is up to nine meters wide, at the top – up to six meters, height – up to ten meters. The watchtowers of a rectangular shape stand approximately every 200 metres, with tall perforated merlons on the outer side of the wall.
The paved plane of the wall used to be a wide road for warriors. It is now asphalted in some sections, and cars drive along it. The wall runs through mountainous areas, repeating the irregularities of the terrain and blends well into the landscape.
In the center of Beijing is the Imperial Palace , otherwise known as the “Purple Forbidden City” – the largest palace complex in the world. In its five-hundred-year history, only the emperor and his family could live here, while everyone else: courtiers and officials lived outside. Until 1925, ordinary people were forbidden to enter the palace.
In 1987 it was inscribed on the World Heritage List. The palace complex was built from 1406 to 1420 and was the residence of 24 Chinese emperors. On an area of 720,000 square meters there are 9,999 rooms. The structure is surrounded by a long wall and a moat filled with water, called the Golden Water. The entire complex is divided into an Outer Palace and an Inner Palace. In the main rooms of the Outer Palace (Southern sector), the emperor performed actions related to the administration of the state. Here are the halls of Supreme Harmony (the largest), Central (Complete) Harmony (for preparation for ceremony and rest), Conservation Harmony (for rehearsing ceremonies), also the Hall of Military Greatness, the Hall of Literary Glory, etc.
The inner palace (Northern sector) houses the living quarters in which the emperor, empresses, princes, princesses, and concubines lived, worked, played, and worshipped the gods. In the center are the main rooms, a group of three halls: the Hall of Celestial Purity, the Hall of Unification and Peace, and the Hall of Earthly Tranquility.
Behind the three halls is the Imperial Garden: small in design, but incorporating artfully landscaped components. Next are the Gate of Divine Power, the Hall of Mindfulness, and the Palace of Serene Longevity.
The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang is less than forty kilometers east of the city of Xi’an. It was built for the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, who unified China and joined all the links of the Great Wall of China, in 221-210 B.C. About 700,000 workers were involved in the construction. The area of the underground palace – more than 56.25 sq. km, there are about 400 tombs.
Terracotta statues were buried with the Emperor Qin Shi Huang. “Terracotta army” – the main exhibit of the complex were accidentally discovered in 1974 by local peasants during drilling operations. The three underground chambers contain figures of nearly 7,400 soldiers and horses, as well as ninety military chariots – that’s practically the entire composition of the imperial army. The soldier figures are made full-length, 1.8 meters high, the face of each person is unique.
China, unlike other countries, always remains a mystery to the world! Fascinating trips to the Celestial Empire help to lift the veil of these mysteries. Visiting the main sights and financial centers of China, resting on a tropical island is a good combination for a vivid experience.
This entry was posted on April 22, 2016 by newrosinka in China and tagged mountains, palaces, mausoleums, skyscrapers, rivers, fauna, flora. Rate this article:
China – a mysterious country with a fascinating history
China. One of the most beautiful and one of the oldest countries in the world. It is a country with centuries-old traditions, centuries-old culture and numerous historical monuments. This country will not leave indifferent any traveler and connoisseur of ancient culture and history.
About the country
This state is located in the center and east of Asia. And the area of China is roughly equal to 6.5 percent of the size of the entire planet. Or, in another system of calculation, 9.6 million square kilometers. For comparison, this is the area of Europe with all the states. In terms of territorial size, China is second only to such giants as the Russian Federation and Canada.
About the country itself
But this Asian country is in first place in terms of population. The number of inhabitants of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) exceeds one billion, which is approximately one-third of the population of the entire Earth, no less than one-third. It is very appropriate to say that every third inhabitant of the globe is Chinese. The country’s population is mostly Chinese, accounting for 93 percent, with 55 other nationalities in much smaller numbers.
This mysterious unusual country, with unusual force attracts a huge number of tourists and fans of antiquity every year. Now this wonderful country is open to all comers, and everyone can visit the mysterious world of the East, with its own, unique customs and interesting places. A trip here can be compared to an amazing adventure. When going on a trip to China take a camera and a video camera to portray the beauty and mysteriousness of the country, especially because you don’t have to pay any fees.
When visiting the capital of China, Beijing, you just have to look at the former imperial palace, called “Forbidden City”. The name of the palace speaks for itself. In the old days an average person could approach these huge walls only under threat of death. Now it is a museum, and thousands of tourists visit this fabulously beautiful and amazing place every day. “The Forbidden City was the seat of the imperial family for four centuries, until 1911.
The Forbidden City
It really is huge: the palace itself consists of ten thousand rooms, which was supposed to indicate that the owner can be compared to the God of Heaven Himself. Visitors will marvel at the wealth and elegance they will see inside, as well as the passageways between the chambers and the squares. When you leave the palace, you will find yourself in the most amazing and beautiful garden. There are many small ponds and stones, and among the trees lurks a bronze Cilin, a mysterious creature from myth, guarding the walls of the imperial house from invisible evil entities.
The Forbidden City
When in the capital, be sure to visit Beihai Park, one of the favorite spots of Beijingers themselves. The Wall of Nine Dragons is a remarkable composition. Here you can look at these mythical creatures, which in reality are much more numerous. Another interesting object is the white stupa. Not far from the park is the building of the ruling Communist Party of China.
And to the south of the city is the Temple of Heaven, its other name is Tian tan. Here in former times, the emperors of China made sacrifices for the sake of the future harvest. This temple is as old as the imperial palace. A special attraction for all visitors is the “Wall of Whispers”. Standing at the beginning, you can whisper something to your friend, and he who is at the very end will be able to hear the words you said.
It is in Beijing that Tiananmen Square is located, the largest in the world. It is home to the Grand People’s Palace, the local parliament building, as well as the mausoleum where Mao Zedong was laid to rest, and the state museum dedicated to the revolution in China.
Any tourist should definitely visit the zoo in Beijing, where you will see huge good-natured pandas and feel great satisfaction watching their life in the green enclosure.
Beijing is also famous for the Summer Palace, the favorite residence of Qi Xi, the emperor’s wife. Many historians believe that she was like the Chinese Catherine the Great. Having earned the love of her powerful husband and produced a son, after her husband’s death Ci Xi was the real ruler of the great empire. Her “little” quirk was her order to build a tea pavilion, which is a marble ship. It still stands on the lakeshore.
When visiting the Celestial Empire, it is necessary to see in Xi’an the terracotta “army” with which Emperor Qin Shi Huang defended his own tomb. This army guards the peace of its celestial ruler. Surprisingly, the sculptures were discovered about 40 years ago, but many scholars still argue that only one hundredth of this strange but amazing army has been found.
In the same area, the settlement of Ban Po is also worth seeing. Our Neolithic ancestors lived here, which means that it is more than 3 thousand years old. The same town is home to the world-famous hot natural spring Huacin. The temperature here is constant – +43 ° C. In ancient times, the rulers of China with beautiful concubines often spent time in the healing waters of this place. Now there is a balneological resort open to all.
Shanghai is the “second” capital of China and at the same time the largest city in the country. The most popular tourist destination is Shanghai’s waterfront. Visiting the stores you will be pleasantly surprised, because the prices here are much lower than in Beijing. Here you can buy the most beautiful products of jadeite and jadeite stones, which attract happiness to the owners, if the legends are believed. Here you can also buy clothing made of natural, world-famous silk or choose healing compositions of alternative medicine. However, they should be used with caution and after consulting a doctor who specializes in it.
And, of course, you have to visit Hangzhou, where the clear Xihu Lake is located, which is world-known for its picturesque sceneries. It is surrounded by beautiful wooded mountains and in the middle of the lake there is an island covered with bamboo, surrounded by lotuses and thickets of bulrushes. This is a favorite place for honeymooners, boating and admiring the wonderful nature, this natural wonder of our planet, which in ancient times have composed poetic lines of the great writers and philosophers. It’s enough to see this fairy tale once and never forget it.
And finally, it’s impossible not to remember the Great Wall of China. A structure that magnified human labor, it can be seen even from outer space. Construction, begun at the end of the third century BC by order of the ruler Qin Shi Huangdi (whose tomb is now guarded by an army of statues), lasted more than a millennium. The wall is 6,000 kilometers long and 10 meters high. When you are at this truly grandiose construction, you will feel proud of all humanity for being able to create such a miracle.
This great country will always be worthy of attention and respect. Be sure to arrange a tour for yourself and your friends to the wonderful world of the Asian East.