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The History of China encompasses the time period from prehistory to the present day.

Yellow River is said to be the

cradle of Chinese civilization, although cultures originated at various regional centers along both the Yellow River and
the Yangtze Rivervalleys in the Neolithic era. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the
world's oldest civilizations. Records of written history can be found as early as the Shang dynasty (c. 17001046
BC), although ancient historical texts such as the Records of the Grand Historian (ca. 100 BC) and Bamboo
Annals assert the existence of a Xia dynasty before the Shang. Much of
Chinese culture,literature and philosophy further developed during the Zhou dynasty(1045256 BC).
The Zhou dynasty began to bow to external and internal pressures in the 8th century BC, and the kingdom
eventually broke apart into smaller states, beginning in the Spring and Autumn period and reaching full expression in
theWarring States period. This is one of multiple periods of failed statehood in Chinese history (the most recent of
which was the Chinese Civil War).
In between eras of multiple kingdoms and warlordism, Chinese dynasties have ruled parts or all of China; in some
eras, including the present, control has stretched as far asXinjiang and/or Tibet. This practice began with the Qin
dynasty: in 221 BC, Qin Shi Huangunited the various warring kingdoms and created the first Chinese empire.
Successivedynasties in Chinese history developed bureaucratic systems that enabled the Emperor of China to directly
control vast territories. China's last dynasty was Qing, which was replaced by the Republic of China in 1912, and in
the mainland by the People's Republic of China in 1949.
The conventional view of Chinese history is that of alternating periods of political unity and disunity, with China
occasionally being dominated by steppe peoples, most of whom were in turn assimilated into the Han
Chinese population. Cultural and political influences from other parts of Asia and the Western world, carried by
successive waves of immigration, expansion, foreign contact, and cultural assimilation are part of the modern culture
of China.

What is now China was inhabited by Homo erectus more than a million years ago. Recent study shows that the
stone tools found at Xiaochangliang site are magnetostratigraphically dated to 1.36 million years ago. The
archaeological site ofXihoudu in Shanxi Province is the earliest recorded use of fire by Homo erectus, which is dated
1.27 million years ago. The excavations at Yuanmou and later Lantian show early habitation. Perhaps the most
famous specimen of Homo erectusfound in China is the so-called Peking Man discovered in 192327.
The Neolithic age in China can be traced back to about 10,000 BC.
Early evidence for proto-Chinese millet agriculture is radiocarbon-dated to about 7000 BC. Farming gave rise to
the Jiahuculture (7000 to 5800 BC). At Damaidi in Ningxia, 3,172 cliff carvings dating to 60005000 BC have been
discovered, "featuring 8,453 individual characters such as the sun, moon, stars, gods and scenes of hunting or
grazing." These pictographs are reputed to be similar to the earliest characters confirmed to be written
Chinese. Excavation of aPeiligang culture site in Xinzheng county, Henan, found a community that flourished in
5,5004,900 BC, with evidence of agriculture, constructed buildings, pottery, and burial of the dead. With agriculture
came increased population, the ability to store and redistribute crops, and the potential to support specialist
craftsmen and administrators. In late Neolithictimes, the Yellow River valley began to establish itself as a center
of Yangshao culture (5000 BC to 3000 BC), and the first villages were founded; the most archaeologically significant
of these was found at Banpo, Xi'an. Later, Yangshao culturewas superseded by the Longshan culture, which was also
centered on the Yellow River from about 3000 BC to 2000 BC.
The early history of China is obscured by the lack of written documents from this period, coupled with the existence
of later accounts that attempted to describe events that had occurred several centuries previously. In a sense, the
problem stems from centuries of introspection on the part of the Chinese people, which has blurred the distinction
between fact and fiction in regards to this early history
Marriage,Family, and Kinship
Marriage. According to custom, marriages are arranged by the couple's parents. While this system is less rigid than
it once was, it is still common for young people to use matchmakers. People take a pragmatic approach to marriage,
and even those who chose their own spouses often take practical considerations as much as romantic ones into
Weddings are usually large, expensive affairs paid for by the groom's family. For those who can afford it,
Western-style weddings are popular, with the bride in a white gown and the groom in a suit and tie.
The legal age for marriage is twenty for women and twenty-two for men. A marriage law enacted by the
communists in 1949 gave women the right to choose their husbands and file for divorce. While it is difficult to obtain
a divorce, rates are rising.
Domestic Unit. It is common for several generations to live together under one roof. After marriage, a
woman traditionally leaves her parents' home and becomes part of her husband's family. The husband's mother runs
the household and sometimes treats a new daughter-in-law harshly. Although today practical reasons compel most
children to leave the parents' home, the oldest son often stays, as it is his duty to care for his aging parents. Even
today, many young adults continue to live with their parents after marriage, partly because of a housing shortage in
the cities.
Inheritance. The estate generally passes to the oldest son, although, especially in the case of wealthy and
powerful men, most of their personal possession traditionally were buried with them. The remaining property went to
the oldest son. Since the communists came to power in 1949, women have been able to inherit property.
Kin Groups. Extended family is extremely important, and the wealthy and well educated often hire
genealogists to research their family trees. Family members, even distant relations, are valued above outsiders. The
passing on of the family name is of great importance. If the oldest son in a family has no son of his own, he often is
expected to adopt the son of his next youngest brother. If no sons are born in the clan, a sister's son may be
adopted to carry on the name.

General Introduction to Must-Sees
China has a large number of wonderful tour destinations including delicate water towns, imposing imperial palaces,
splendid national cultural heritage and colorful folk custom. It will take years to visit all of these attractions, but it
is fairly easily to tour the top attractions. Over years, Travel China Guide has handpicked many tour itineraries to
cover these highlights throughout the country.
Beijing, Shanghai and Xian are the three major tourist cities. The well-know Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer
Palace and Temple of Heaven depict the long and colorful history of Beijing. The waning residential Beijing Hutongs
have transformed into pedestrian streets with trendy shops and bars. Shanghai has become a worldwide metropolis
in the last fifty years during last century. From the Bund on the Huangpu River, you can see the citys rapid
development, demonstrated by the great changes on two banks. Xian should is the shining pearl on the Yellow River
along which the ancient Chinese culture originated. The astonishing Terracotta Warriors and Horses of Emperor Qin
Shihuang were excavated in this city and the famous Silk Road started here via brilliant Dunhuang to Europe
thousands of years ago.
Winding through eleven provinces and cities, the Yangtze River is the longest river in China. A Yangtze River Cruise
from Chongqing to Yichang will be an enjoyable holiday with endless green mountains. Comparatively, the
picturesque Li River in Guilin is calmer, and the beautiful West Lake in Hangzhou is well cultivated. Various folk
customs and landscapes also formed along these rivers. The cradle of the Yangtze River is on the mysterious
Qinghai-Tibet Plateau where you could see the holy Potala Palace, snow-capped Mt. Everest and heavenly Namtso
Lake. When the river reaches the lower Sichuan Basin, there are cute giant pandas and multicolored water of the
Jiuzhaigou Valley. Mt. Huangshan situated at the downstream of the Yangtze River was included in the UNESCOs
World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site in 1990.
Great Wall of China
A view of the Great Wall of China, which is more than 1,500 miles long and is the only man-made structure visible
from the moon.

The Great Wall, one of the greatest wonders of the world, was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987. Just
like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus,
stretching approximately 8,851.8 kilometers (5,500 miles) from east to west of China. With a history of more than
2000 years, some of the sections are now in ruins or have disappeared. However, it is still one of the most appealing
attractions all around the world owing to its architectural grandeur and historical significance.
The Wall we see today was mostly built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). It starts from Hushan in the
east to Jiayuguan Pass in the west traversing Liaoning, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia,
Shaanxi, Gansu and Qinghai. Here lists the famous sections for you to know the incredible diversity of scenery along
the wall and practical travel tips.
Excitement abounds regarding the vicissitude of the Wall of the Qin, Han, and Ming Dynasties.
The Great Wall was originally built in the Spring and Autumn, and Warring States Periods as a defensive fortification
by the three states: Yan, Zhao and Qin. It went through constant extensions and repairs in later dynasties. It began
as independent walls for different states when it was first built, and did not become the "Great" wall until the Qin
Dynasty. Emperor Qin Shihuang succeeded in his effort to have the walls joined together to fend off the invasions
from the Huns in the north. Since then, the Wall has served as a monument of the Chinese nation throughout
Great Wall carries a considerable part of Chinese culture. It has long been incorporated into Chinese
mythology and symbolism. The most well-known legend is about the collapse of a section of the Wall caused by Meng
Jiangnu, who cried bitterly over the death of her husband after he died while building the wall. This legend has been
spread widely through textbooks, folk songs and traditional operas.
Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses
The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is
ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum in Lintong,
Xian, Shaanxi Province. It is a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China.

Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had
begun to work for his mausoleum. It took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and
sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his after life. A group of peasants uncovered some pottery while
digging for a well nearby the royal tomb in 1974. It caught the attention of archeologists immediately. They came to
Xian in droves to study and to extend the digs. They had established beyond doubt that these artifacts were
associated with the Qin Dynasty (211-206 BC).
The State Council authorized to build a museum on site in 1975. When completed, people from far and
near came to visit. The Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses have become landmarksonallvisitors'
Life size terracotta figures of warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are the star features at the
museum. They are replicas of what the imperial guard should look like in those days of pomp and vigor.
The museum covers an area of 16,300 square meters, divided into three sections: No. 1 Pit, No. 2 Pit, and
No. 3 Pit respectively. They were tagged in the order of their discoveries. No. 1 Pit is the largest, first opened to the
public on China's National Day - Oct. 1st, 1979. There are columns of soldiers at the front, followed by war chariots
at the back.

No. 2 Pit, found in 1976, is 20 meters northeast of No. 1 Pit. It contained over a thousand warriors and 90 chariots of
wood. It was unveiled to the public in 1994.Archeologists came upon No. 3 Pit also in 1976, 25 meters northwest of
No. 1 Pit. It looked like to be the command center of the armed forces. It went on display in 1989, with 68 warriors,
a war chariot and four horses.
Altogether over 7,000 pottery soldiers, horses, chariots, and even weapons have been unearthed from these
pits. Most of them have been restored to their former grandeur.

Since Oct. 1st, 2010 the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses and the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum have
been combined into one large attraction area, Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum Site Park, which also includes
three other small sites opened in 2011. The Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum and the nearby three unopened sites (namely
the Museum of Terracotta Acrobatics, the Museum of Terracotta Civil Officials and the Museum of Stone Armor)
constitute the so-called Lishan Garden. Besides, 30 free shuttle buses have been available for visitors' convenience to
travel between the Lishan Garden and the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses from then on.
The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses is a sensational archeological find of all times. It has put Xian on the map for
visitors. It was listed by UNESCO in 1987 as one of the world cultural heritages.
Yangtze River
Winding about 3,964 miles, Yangtze River is the largest in China and the third largest in the world after the
Nile in Africa and the Amazon in South America. Originating from the Tanggula Range in Qinghai Province in western
China, it traverses eleven provinces and cities from west to east, including Qinghai, Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan,
Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu and Shanghai. Finally it pours into the East China Sea at Shanghai.
Acting as the largest water system in China, Yangtze River is historically, economically and culturally important to the
country. It has numerous tributaries including Min River, Han River, Jialing River, Gan River and Huangpu River etc.
The Three Gorges Dam on the river is the largest dam project and hydro-electric power station in the world.
Generally, people consider the river a dividing line between North China and South China. Areas to the north and the
south of the river have many differences in climate, scenery, economics, culture and folk customs.

Forbidden City (Palace Museum)
Lying at the city center and called Gu Gong in Chinese, it was the imperial palace for twenty-four emperors during
the Ming and Qing dynasties. It was first built throughout 14 years during the reign of Emperor Chengzu in the Ming
Dynasty (1368-1644). Ancient Chinese Astronomers believed that the Purple Star (Polaris) was in the center of
heaven and the Heavenly Emperor lived in the Purple Palace. The Palace for the emperor on earth was so called the
Purple City. It was forbidden to enter without special permission of the empeor. Hence its name 'The Purple
Forbidden City', usually 'The Forbidden City'.

Now known as the Palace Museum, it is to the north of Tiananmen Square. Rectangular in shape, it is the world's
largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares. Surrounded by a 52-meter-wide moat and a 10-meter-high wall
are more than 8,700 rooms. The wall has a gate on each side. Opposite the Tiananmen Gate, to the north is the Gate
of Divine Might (Shenwumen), which faces Jingshan Park. The distance between these two gates is 960 meters, while
the distance between the east and west gates is 750 meters. There are unique and delicately structured towers on
each of the four corners of the curtain wall. These afford views over both the palace and the city outside.
It is divided into two parts. The southern section, or the Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme
power over the nation. The northern section, or the Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family. Until 1924
when the last emperor of China was driven from the Inner Court, fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten
emperors of the Qing dynasty had reigned here. Having been the imperial palace for some five centuries, it houses
numerous rare treasures and curiosities. Listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987, the Palace
Museum is now one of the most popular tourist attractions world-wide.

Construction of the palace complex began in 1407, the 5th year of the Yongle reign of the third emperor (Emperor
Chengzu, Zhu Di) of the Ming dynasty. It was completed fourteen years later in 1420, and then the capital city was
moved from Nanjing to Beijing the next year. It was said that a million workers including one hundred thousand
artisans were driven into the long-term hard labor. Stone needed was quarried from Fangshan District. It was said a
well was dug every fifty meters along the road in order to pour water onto the road in winter to slide huge stones on
ice into the city. Huge amounts of timber and other materials were freighted from faraway provinces.

Ancient Chinese people displayed their very considerable skills in building it. Take the grand red city wall for
example. It has an 8.6 meters wide base reducing to 6.66 meters wide at the top. The angular shape of the wall
totally frustrates attempts to climb it. The bricks were made from white lime and glutinous rice while the cement is
made from glutinous rice and egg whites. These incredible materials make the wall extraordinarily strong.
Since yellow is the symbol of the royal family, it is the dominant color in it. Roofs are built with yellow glazed tiles;
decorations in the palace are painted yellow; even the bricks on the ground are made yellow by a special process.
However, there is one exception. Wenyuange, the royal library, has a black roof. The reason is that it was believed
black represented water then and could extinguish fire.

Potala Palace
Brief Intro
Situated on the Red Hill of central Lhasa, Potala Palace is the highest ancient palace in the world, reaching
3,767.19m (12,359.55ft) at the topmost point.
Potala named after a holy hill in South India is a Sanskrit word meaning "Abode of the Avalokitesvara (Buddha of
Mercy)." Legend has it that in the 7th century, to greet his bride Princess Wen Cheng of the Tang Dynasty (618B.C. -
907B.C.) of China, the then Tibet King Songtsen Gampobuilt a 9-storey palace with a thousand rooms up on the Red
Hill and named it Potala. Later, with the collapse of the Songtsen Gampo Dynasty, the ancient palace was almost
destroyed in wars. What we see at present is the architecture of the Qing Dynasty (1644B.C. - 1911B.C.) and the
continuous expanding work outcome since the 17th century.

Major Structures
Potala Palace is composed of 2 parts, the Red Palace as the center and the White Palace as two wings.
The Red Palace or Potrang Marpo is the highest part in the center that is completely devoted to religious
study and Buddhist prayer. It was painted to red to represent stateliness and power. It consists of a complicated
layout of different halls, chapels and libraries on many levels with an array of smaller galleries and winding passages:
The Great West Hall, Dharma Cave, The Saint's Chapel, The Tomb of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and etc. The 725 sq
meters (about 7,804 sq ft) Great West Hall is the largest hall of Potala Palace, with beautiful murals painted on its
inner walls. Around the Great West Hall are three chapels, the east chapel, the north chapel as well as the south
chapel. The Dharma Cave and the Saint's Chapel are the only two remained constructions of the 7th century with the
statues of Songtsen Gampo, Princess Wen Cheng, and Princess Bhrikuti inside.
The White Palace or Potrang Karpo once served as the office building of Tibet local government makes up the living
quarters of Dalai Lama. Its wall was painted to white to convey peace and quiet. The Great East Hall on the fourth
floor, occupying a space of 717 sq meters (about 7,718 sq ft), was the site for momentous religious and political
events. The fifth and sixth floors are used as the living quarters and offices of regents while the seventh floor, the
top one, is the living quarters of Dalai Lama consisting of two parts named the East Chamber of Sunshine and the
West Chamber of Sunshine due to the plentiful sunshine.

Potala Palace has other annexes including the School of Buddhist Logic, the seminary, the printing House, gardens,
courtyards and even the jail. For more than 300 years, It has treasured many culture relics such as murals, stupas,
statues, thangkas, and rare sutras.

74 Interesting Facts About . . .
1. The modern word China most likely derives from the name of the Qin (pronounced chin) dynasty. First Emperor
Qin Shi Huang (260-210 B.C.) of the Qin dynasty first unified China in 221 B.C., beginning an Imperial period which
would last until A.D. 1912.

2. China is often considered the longest continuous civilization, with some historians marking 6000 B.C. as the dawn of
Chinese civilization. It also has the worlds longest continuously used written language.
3. China is the fourth largest country in the world (after Russia, Canada, and the U.S.). It has an area of 3,719,275
square miles (slightly smaller than the U.S.) and its borders with other countries total more than 117,445 miles.
Approximately 5,000 islands lie off the Chinese coast.
4. One in every five people in the world is Chinese. Chinas population is estimated to reach a whopping 1,338,612,968
by July 2009. Chinas population is four times that of the United States.
5. Fortune cookies are not a traditional Chinese custom. They were invented in 1920 by a worker in the Key Heong
Noodle Factory in San Francisco.
6. China is also known as the Flowery Kingdom and many of the fruits and flowers (such as the orange and orchid)
are now grown all over the world.
7. Toilet paper was invented in China in the late 1300s. It was for emperors only.
8. The Chinese invented paper, the compass, gunpowder, and printing.
9. The Chinese invented kites (paper birds or Aeolian harps) about 3,000 years ago. They were used to frighten the
enemies in battle, and Marco Polo (1254-1324) noted that kites were also used to predict the success of a voyage. It
was considered bad luck to purposely let a kite go.
10. Cricket fighting is a popular amusement in China. Many Chinese children keep crickets as pets.
11. Despite its size, all of China is in one time zone.
12. Many historians believe soccer originated in China around 1000 B.C.
13. Ping-pong is one of the most popular games in China, but it was not invented in China. It originated in Britain, where
it is called table tennis.
14. The number one hobby in China is stamp collecting.
15. Giant Pandas (bear cat) date back two to three million years. The early Chinese emperors kept pandas to ward off
evil spirits and natural disasters. Pandas also were considered symbols of might and bravery
16. White, rather than black, is the Chinese color for mourning and funerals.
17. Though Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) is credited with designing the first parachute, Chinese alchemists
successfully used man-carrying tethered kites by the fourth century A.D. Parachutes were not used safely and
effectively in Europe until the late 1700s.

18. The custom of binding feet (euphemistically called golden lilies) began among female entertainers and members of
the Chinese court during the Song dynasty (A.D. 960-1279). Tightly wrapped bandages gradually broke the arch of
the foot and caused the woman's toes and heel to grow inward toward one another. Her leg muscles would also
atrophy and become very thin. Bound feet were seen as highly sexual.
19. Historians speculate that as the Chinese population grew, people had to conserve cooking fuel by chopping food into
small pieces so that it could cook faster. These bite-sized foods eliminated the need for knives and, hence,
chopsticks were invented.
20. In A.D. 130, Zhang Heng, an astronomer and literary scholar, invented the first instrument for monitoring
earthquakes. The machine could detect and indicate the direction of an earthquake.
21. China invented ice cream, and Marco Polo is rumored to have taken the recipe (along with the recipe for noodles)
back with him to Europe.
22. A civil servant named Su Song built the first mechanical clock between A.D 1088 and 1092. It could tell the time of
day and also track the constellations so that accurate horoscopes could be determined.
23. On September 27, 2008, Zhai Zhigang made the first spacewalk by a Chinese astronaut.
24. The Chinese were the first to invent the waterwheel to harness water in A.D. 311,200 years before the Europeans.
China was also the first country in the world to use an iron plow. Europe didnt begin using the iron plow until the
seventeenth century.
25. The name of Chinas capital has changed over the centuries. At one time or another it has been known as Yanjing,
Dadu, and Beiping. Peking or Beijing means Northern Capital. Beijing is the officially sanctioned pinyin spelling
based on the Mandarin dialect. Beijing is the second largest city after Shanghai.
26. It was customary for wealthy men and women in the late empire to grow the nails of their little fingers extremely long
as a sign of their rank. They often wore decorative gold and silver nail guards to protect their nails.
27. By the fourth century B.C., the Chinese were drilling for natural gas and using it as a heat source, preceding Western
natural gas drilling by about 2,300 years.
28. By the second century B.C., the Chinese discovered that blood circulated throughout the body and that the heart
pumped the blood. In Europe, circulation wasnt discovered until the early seventeenth century by William Harvey
29. The Chinese were using the decimal system as early as the fourteenth century B.C., nearly 2,300 years before the
first known use of the system in European mathematics. The Chinese were also the first to use a place for zero.
30. The crossbow was invented and first used by the Chinese. They were also the first in the world to use chemical and
gas weapons, 2,000 years before gas was used in Europe during WWI.
31. The Three Gorges Hydroelectric Dam spans the Yangtze River and is the largest dam in the world. It is also the most
controversial dam in the world because it has been plagued by corruption, human rights violations, technological
difficulties, and has caused dramatic environmental changes.
32. According to popular legend, tea was discovered by the Chinese emperor Shennong in 2737 B.C. when a tea leaf
fell into his boiling water. The Chinese consider tea to be a necessity of life.
33. Martial arts are practiced throughout China and were largely developed from ancient farming and hunting methods.
34. The most important holiday in China is the Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year. Chinese traditionally believe that
every person turns one year older on the New Year and, thus, that day is considered to be everyones birthday.
35. Chinese is spoken by 92% of Chinas population. There are at least seven major families of the Chinese language,
including Mandarin, Cantonese, Wu, Hakka, Gan, Xiang, and Min.
36. Red symbolizes happiness for the Chinese and is commonly used at Chinese festivals and other happy occasions
such as birthdays and weddings.
37. In ancient China, the lotus was seen as a symbol of purity and was sacred to both the Buddhists and Daoists. The
peony (King of Flowers) symbolized spring, the chrysanthemum symbolized long life, and the narcissus was
thought to bring good luck.
38. The Chinese have made silk since at least 3,000 B.C. The Romans knew China as Serica, which means Land of
Silk. The Chinese fiercely guarded the secrets of silk making, and anyone caught smuggling silkworm eggs or
cocoons outside of China was put to death.
39. According to a Chinese legend, silk was discovered in 3000 B.C. by Lady Xi Ling Sui, wife of the Emperor Huang Di.
When a silk worm cocoon accidentally dropped into her hot tea, fine threads from the cocoon unraveled in the hot
water and silk was born.
40. The oldest piece of paper in the world was found in China and dates back to the second or first century B.C. Paper
was so durable, it was sometimes used for clothing and even light body armor.
41. The Chinese were the first in the world to use stirrups in the third century A.D.
42. Chinas one child policy has contributed to female infanticide and has created a significant gender imbalance.
There are currently 32 million more boys than girls in China. In the future, tens of millions of men will be unable to
find wives, prompting some scholars to suggest that this imbalance could lead to a threat to world security.
43. The first known species of Homo erectus, the Peking Man, was found in China and lived between 300,000-550,000
years ago. It is thought that he knew how to manipulate fire.
44. During the first half the twentieth century, Shanghai was the only port in the world to accept Jews fleeing the
Holocaust without an entry visa.
45. Chinese mathematics evolved independently of Greek mathematics and is consequently of great interest to
historians of mathematics.
46. Originating as far back as 250 B.C., Chinese lanterns were an important symbol of long life. Lanterns were once
symbols of a familys wealth, and the richest families had lanterns so large, it required several people with poles to
hoist them into place.
47. In the Tang dynasty, anyone with an education was expected to greet as well as say goodbye to another person in
poetic verse composed on the spot.
48. In 1974, a group of farmers digging for a well in the Shaanxi province uncovered some bits of very old pottery. They
discovered the tomb of Qin (259-210 B.C.) the first emperor who united China. The tomb contained thousands of
amazing life-sized soldiers, horses, and chariots.
49. Chinas Grand Canal is the worlds oldest and longest canal at 1,114 miles (1,795 km) long with 24 locks and around
60 bridges.
50. The bat is a traditional good luck symbol that is frequently depicted in designs for porcelain, textiles, and other crafts.
51. The bicycle was introduced into China around 1891 by two American travelers named Allen and Sachtleben. The
bicycle is now the primary transportation for millions of Chinese. The last Qing emperor (Puyi) rode a bicycle around
the Forbidden City in Beijing. China is currently the leading bicycle manufacturer.
52. The Boxer Rebellion between 1898 and 1901 in northern China was against Christian missionaries, foreign
diplomats, and technology by a secret group called the Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists (Yihequan or I-
ho-chuan) so named because its members practiced weaponless martial arts as well as secret rituals. Westerns
called it shadow boxing and the members Boxers.
53. Suspension bridges were invented in China in 25 B.C, 1,800 years before such bridges were known in the West.
54. The first American woman to win the Nobel Prize was Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973) for her novels about China, most
notably The Good Earth (1931). Amy Tan (1952-) is a best-selling Chinese-American author of The Joy Luck Club.
55. The Chinese word for civilization (wen) is pronounced the same as the word for script, pattern, or calligraphy. In fact,
calligraphy was thought to reveal the calligraphers moral and spiritual self-cultivation as a type of heart print.
56. The carp is a symbol of strength and perseverance. The scales and whiskers of the fish make it resemble a dragon,
the greatest symbol of power in China. Fish in general play a large role in Chinese culture and the words for fish
and abundance are pronounced the same in Chinese (yu)
57. In some parts of China, pigtails were associated with a girls marital status. A young girl would wear two pigtails,
and when she married, she would wear just one. This may have contributed to the Western view that pigtails are
associated with children and young girls.
58. In ancient China, mirrors were believed to protect their owners from evil, making hidden spirits visible and revealing
the secrets of the future. A person who had been scared by a ghost could be healed by looking in the mirror. Mirrors
were often hung on the ceilings of burial chambers.
59. The longest river in China is the 3,494-mile Yangtze (Changjian) River and the 2,903-mile-long Yellow (Huanghe)
60. The Chinese developed a theory of three levels of heavenHeaven, Earth, and manwhich has been influential in
landscape painting and flower arrangements.
61. The horse most likely originated in Central Asia and became very important in China. A horse is considered to be
associated with the masculine symbol, yang, and with the element of fire. A person born in the Year of the Horse is
considered cheerful, independent, clever, talkative, quick to anger, and able to handle money.

62. Because the cicada (katydid) has the longest life span of any insect (up to 17 years) and sheds its skin, it has long
been a symbol of regeneration and rebirth for the Chinese. In ancient China, the Chinese would place jade cicadas
in the mouths of the dead because they were thought to slow down the decay process and speed up the rebirth in
another world.
63. Concubinage has been practiced throughout Chinese history, primarily by wealthy men who could afford it. Chinese
emperors had large harems with hundreds of concubines.
64. The phoenix is the most important bird in Chinese legend and represents the feminine power of the empress. The
graceful crane, which is a symbol of long life, is the second most important bird in Chinese legend. Ducks are also
important symbols and represent happiness and marital faithfulness.
65. The Cultural Revolution (the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution) from1966-1976 resulted in severe famine,
thousands of deaths, and the erosion of thousands of acres of farmland.
66. While the dragon is typically seen as an evil creature in Western culture, it holds first place among the four greatest
creatures in Chinese mythology, including the phoenix, tiger, and tortoise. It is typically associated with the emperor.
67. The highest mountain in the world (29,028 feet) is named in the honor the Englishman Sir George Everest who was
the first surveyor of India. The Chinese call Mount Everest Qomolangma, which means Mother Goddess of the
68. Chinas national flag was adopted in September 1949 and first flown in Tiananmen Square (the worlds largest public
gathering place) on October 1, 1949, the day the Peoples Republic of China was formed. The red in the flag
symbolizes revolution. The large star symbolizes communism and the little stars represent the Chinese people. The
position of the stars represents the unity of the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party.
69. China has the worlds oldest calendar. This lunar calendar originated in 2600 B.C. and has 12 zodiac signs. It takes
60 years to complete.
70. The number of birth defects in China continues to rise. Environmentalist and officials blame Chinas severe pollution.
71. The consumption of mushrooms was recorded in Chinese historical documents more than 3,000 years ago. In 1996,
China produced 600,000 tons of mushrooms, making it the worlds leading producer, and it has 60% of the worlds
mushroom varieties.
72. In 2007, dog food and toothpaste products made in China were recalled because they contained poisonous
ingredients. In July, Chinas head of the State Food and Drug Administration was found to have accepted bribes from
pharmaceutical companies. He was executed.
73. Famous Chinese and Chinese-American actors include Jackie Chan (Hong Kong), Chow Yun Fat (Hong Kong),
Bruce Lee (San Francisco), Jet Li (Beijing), Zhang Ziyi (Beijing), and Lucy Lui (New York).
74. The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing were the most expensive games in history.
While the 2004 Athens Games were
estimated to cost around $15 billion, the Beijing Games were estimated to cost a whopping $40 billion.

Will and Guy's Twenty Amusing Facts and Trivia From China

30% of Chinese adults still live with their parents.

Approximately 200 million people in China live on less than $1 a day.

Fish consumption in China is more than 3 times that in the United States. In China, the average person
eats over 45 pounds of seafood each year.

China produces 66% of the world's garlic, 15 billion pounds in 2009. Next are South Korea 6%, India 5%,
and the USA 2.5%.

There are 120 million internet users in China; but not everyone can contact all websites.

China is the source of 68% of the worlds "pirated" goods.

The hog, swine, or pig, was first domesticated almost 10,000 years ago in China.

20% of the world's population lives in China.

Twenty percent of China's plants are used in medicine.

China Day is October 1st.

There are over 400 different varieties of kiwi fruit [Yangtao] in China where they have been used for over
700 years.

According to insurance statistics: the most dangerous cars are green, and driven by the Chinese.

When KFC [Kentucky Fried Chicken] first translated its advertising slogan "finger lickin' good" into
Chinese, it came out as "eat your fingers off".

Chopsticks originated in China almost 4,000 years ago, and the replacement of chopsticks for knives for
eating at the table supposedly indicates the increased respect for the scholar over the warrior in Chinese
society so Will and Guy have been told.

Ketchup [Catsup] originated in China as a pickled fish sauce called ke-tsiap.

The story of Cinderella may not originate with Disney, some say it originated in China around AD 860.

35 children are born every minute in China.

A classic piece of trivia: The wheelbarrow was invented by a Chinese.

About 700,000 engineers graduate annually from schools in China.

There are about 42,000 characters in Chinese language. An adult is only expected to know 5,000 of
For example,

means clean free jokes, stories pictures and video-clips.

The Significance of the Chinese Dragon
Chinese around the world, proudly proclaim themselves "Lung Tik Chuan Ren" which may be translated as
Descendents of the Dragon. Unlike the negative energies associated with Western Dragons, most Eastern
Dragons are beautiful, friendly, and wise. They are the angels of the Orient. Instead of being hated, they are
loved and worshipped.
Chinese dragons have a horse's head and a snake's body. Often they have four jaws. Chinese dragons are
divided into Heavenly Dragons, Earthly Dragons and Dragons in water. The most well-known dragons are the
Four Sea Dragon Kings governing the east, south, west, north side of the sea. These Four Sea Dragon Kings are
in charge of creating clouds and rains for human world. Chinese people do not call a water faucet a tap, but a
"Water Dragon Head".
The dragon is regarded as the symbol of the Chinese nation and can be seen everywhere in its culture: including
literature, architecture, art, furniture and even clothing.
Dragon Folklore
Dragons are an important part of many Chinese festivals, including Chinese New Year. In ancient China, dragons
did not breathe fire. Dragons were wise and caring. They guarded the wind, the rain, the rivers, precious metals
and gems.
Many countries use dragons in their art, especially China, Korea and Japan. It's easy to tell the difference
between Chinese, Korean and Japanese dragons. Just count the dragon's toes. Of course, you have to get really
close. Sometimes it looks as if they have 3 toes, when they really have 5, because some are hidden from sight.
But, for a quick rule of toe:

Chinese dragons have five toes

Korean dragons have four toes

Japanese dragons have three toes

Funny Legend of the Dragon
The farther dragons travel from their home in China, the more toes they lose. Fortunately, Will and Guy have
discovered, when wandering dragons return home to China, all their missing toes grow back. Since most
dragons would prefer to keep all their toes, all the time, few dragons ever wander very far from home.
More Interesting Chinese Trivia

China has more English-speaking inhabitants than England.

The Mandarin word for China is Zhongguo which translates as "middle country", implying China is the centre
of the world.

Ice cream was invented in China around 2,000 BC when the Chinese placed a milk and rice mixture in the

Did you know that it is considered quite rude to blow your nose in public?

When a Chinese child loses a baby tooth, it doesn't get tucked under the pillow for the tooth fairy. If the child
loses an upper tooth, the child's parents plant the tooth in the ground, so the new tooth will grow in
straight and healthy. Parents toss a lost bottom tooth up to the rooftops, so that the new tooth will grow
upwards, too. Cheaper than in the West say Will and Guy!

A complete cycle of the Chinese calendar takes 60 years.

It is considered good luck for the gate to a house to face south.

The most common surname in Beijing is Wang.

China was the first country to invent gun powder and fireworks and also use gun powder for guns, rockets
and other arms.

China's number of listed languages totals approximately 206.

400 million Chinese people are under 18.

The Great Wall of China is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is indeed great because it can be
observed by man even from outer space. This wall measures more than 13,000 miles in length.

Tree hugging in China is strictly forbidden.

Chopsticks originated from, and were used by, the Chinese people approximately 4,000 years ago.

China's money is called renminbi, meaning the "people's currency".

When you write your name in China you put your family name first then your first name.

Did you know that 20th September is National "Love Your Teeth Day" in China?

In 550 AD, two Chinese monks smuggled silkworms out of China and started the western world's silk boom.

China's consumption of Coca-Cola is not trivial, in fact, they are the world's largest imbiber.

Acupuncture treats illnesses with inserting sharp thin needles in various pressure spots, it originated over
5,000 years ago in China
China: Further Fascinating Fun Facts
Did You Know?

The world's largest producer of apples is China.

The Chinese never give apples to invalids because "ping", the Chinese for apple, sounds a bit like "bing",
which is Chinese for illness.

14 countries share a border with China and they are Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, India,
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia and North Korea

In ancient China, mouse meat was considered a delicacy, now, a favorite food of most Chinese is sun-
dried maggots.

In China, there is a type of tea called white tea which is actually simply boiled water.

24% of the world speaks Chinese. There are over 200 different Chinese languages and regional dialects.
The official state language is Pu-tong-hwa [Mandarin].

China manufactures 60% of the world's bicycles.

People of ancient China believed that swinging your arms could cure a headache.

According to economists, China will become the world's wealthiest nation by the year 2012.

Fingerprinting was used in China as early as 700 AD.
One for luck: 20% of China's plants are used in medicine
New and Funny China World Records
A Chinese man has made a stunning Guinness world record of driving across two rows of bottled beers for over
60 metres in Wenzhou.
Li Guiwen, an army driver from Beijing, steered along 1,798 bottles for 60.19m in a time of eight minutes and 28
seconds in eastern China's Zhejiang province. He had previously attempted the same record in 2009, but due to
rain, the right tyre of his vehicle slipped off the bottle track. Li, who thought of creating this record after a
drinking bet with friends, added, "Since the failure last year, I have been training constantly."
Keepie-Up Record
Over 1,000 Chinese people have broken a Guinness world record after juggling footballs for 10 seconds together.
The new record was created over the weekend at Yanbian University when a total of 1,062 participants
successfully completed the challenge in China's Jilin Province.
This broke the previous record, set last year in Hungary by 792 people.
Fourteen-year-old Song Zixin was the youngest participant. He said, 'To attend this event, I practiced at home
every day. The record I made at home is juggling the ball for 303 times without touching the ground.'
Will and Guy are impressed by his dedication.