Tagged Questions

Generally refers to the country referred to as the People's Republic of China, a country in E Asia. With a surface area of 3,691,502 sq. mi. (9,560,990 sq. km). The current Capital is Beijing.

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When did the Chinese begin using night soil as fertilizer?

Farmers in China, Japan and Korea use human waste as fertilizer. But farmers in other parts of Asia where the main crop is paddy rice, like Thailand and Malaysia, do not. Some sources (like King ...
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134 views

What are the oldest primary sources of recorded history in china?

There is for instance Sima Qian, according to Wikipedia the first Chinese historian, who wrote the Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian) in 109 BCE. But does this primary source still exist, or do ...
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98 views

How were Chinese Dynasties named?

What were the rules or conventions for choosing the name of a new dynasty chosen? Was there a single method for naming all of the Chinese dynasties?
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Are there historical sources from Chinese travelers about Europe? [closed]

I am referring to Ahmed Ibn Fadlan, who traveled in the 10th century around europe, as far as the European part of Russia. It is frequently mentioned that China was far more isolated, but I do not ...
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1answer
122 views

Is there an equivalent in chinese history to the spartans?

One thing the spartans are known for is their militaristically flavored way of life. Militaristic Decisions about their further life started as soon as childbirth, when it was decided whether to keep ...
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63 views

Was breaching the Yellow River dykes Chiang Kai-Shek's Mers-el-Kebir?

In 1938 Chiang Kai-Shek's nationalist opted to breach the dykes of the Yellow River to flood the area in front of the Japanese advance and thereby slow down their enemy and protect the the key city of ...
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88 views

How important were “columnar” strategies in Japan's invasion of China?

In trying to invade a large country like China, there are at least two main strategies 1) a narrow "columnar" strategy, usually based along an artery such as the Yangtze River that provides a natural ...
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57 views

Capitalization of countries names in 1965 [closed]

On a random search using google ngram viewer (looking at relative word usage by year) I noticed that there was a spike in the use of "japan", "korea", "vietnam" and "china" without capital letters in ...
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365 views

How did Chinese sausages come about?

In the west, sausages has had a lengthy history. According to Wikipedia: Evidence suggests that sausages were already popular both among the ancient Greeks and Romans, and most likely with the ...
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1answer
123 views

When was tofu invented? Was it specifically for vegetarian consumption from the beginning?

The Wikipedia page on tofu states that this food was first produced in Han dynasty China. However, the source cited seems to me quite doubtful: The oldest evidence of tofu production is a Chinese ...
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41 views

What were the social and political hierarchies in Early Han China [closed]

Ok, I have just read through the section in my history textbook (more than a few times), and I am just as lost as when I began. Overall, I would appreciate it if someone explained what the social and ...
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0answers
68 views

What were conditions like for Chinese men subject to recruitment by the army during the Second Sino-Japanese War and Chinese Civil War?

In several accounts, it is claimed that conditions of men being recruited by the Chinese army were comparable to those in Nazi death camps. Are such accounts hyperbolic or largely accurate? Thunder ...
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509 views

Why is China a member of the UN Security Council?

The United Nations was formed at the end of world war II, to maintain peace throughout the world. Within the structure of UN, Security Council is ranked above all. There were only five permanent ...
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317 views

Does Chinese history really span the past 5000 years?

Chinese kids the world over are frequently taught that there is "5000 years of Chinese history". What basis is there for this claim?
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113 views

How many people did Liu Pengli kill?

He was a 2nd-century B.C. Han prince. He is one of the earliest serial killers attested by historical sources. My questions are: how many people did he kill, why did he kill them, and is he depicted ...
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534 views

Historical reasons of peaceful co-existence between China and India?

It is quite interesting to observe that for millenia, two neighbouring countries, ethnically, linguistically, racially diverse and for some time religiously as well were able to co-exist for thousands ...
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1answer
189 views

Ancient China military sizes

When reading about warfare records in ancient China, I see a lot of references to "# of chariots" instead of "#k soldiers" or something like that. Do we know how big these armies actually were? As in, ...
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107 views

Ancient China nobility ranks

I would like to ask a question about ancient Chinese nobility. I was researching some background on Confucius, and I found a weird discrepancy on Wikipedia about his homeland, Lu. About its ruler, the ...
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2answers
298 views

What were Chiang Kai-shek's biggest strategic blunders during the Second Sino-Japanese war?

Just as it is often said that Operation Barbarossa is Hitler's biggest strategic blunder (either the whole thing, its timing or execution), what were Chiang Kai-shek's biggest strategic blunders in ...
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2k views

Is Taiwan always a part of People's Republic of China?

Since young, I am informed that Taiwan is always a part of People's Republic of China and should not seek independence, and that the Chinese Communist Party will not hesitate to use force to stop the ...
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109 views

Why did Hideyoshi invade Korea?

Hideyoshi launched the invasion of Korea in 1592, with the aim of conquering Korea first and using it as a base for eventual conquest of China. As things turned out, although the superior Japanese ...
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134 views

Was the Taiping Rebellion the deadliest war of the 19th Century?

According to Wikipedia: With no reliable census at the time, estimates are necessarily based on projections, but the most widely cited sources put the total number of deaths during the 15 ...
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1answer
88 views

How historical are early Chinese (Shang dynasty and earlier) dynastic records?

Early Chinese dynastic records look like actual history in some places (in particular the exact dating of reigns, back to and including the Yellow Emperor). Elsewhere, there is clearly a lot of myth ...
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110 views

Did Mete Khan and Hsiung-nu serve the Chinese Emperor?

I was reading Nicolae Jorga's "History of Ottoman Empire vol. 1" and he gave an information that, Mete Khan who freed Hsiung-nu people from the rule of Yue-chi, was a servant of Chinese Emperor. But ...
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2answers
121 views

Why was the Battle of Noryang fought?

In the Battle of Noryang, the combined navy of Chosun (Korean kingdom) and Ming (China) tried to prevent the Japanese from making a safe retreat. But considering the fact that the Koreans or the ...
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1answer
170 views

To what extent did the CPC avoid fighting with the Japanese?

There's general agreement that the Japanese invasion of China benefited the CPC by interrupting the civil war, forcing the KMT to fight the Japanese instead of continuing the CPC purge, which they ...
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1answer
74 views

What is the significance of roof charms outside of the Forbidden City?

I've been travelling around Asia for a few months and one recurring theme is that in important places in China and Taiwan the buildings have "Roof Charms" on them. When I first encountered them in the ...
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842 views

Is there any evidence Chairman Mao restricted or confiscated guns?

It's often said that Chairman Mao removed the guns from the peasantry that he armed. Is this substantiated in any reliable source?
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1k views

How did the conquering Mongols and Manchus of China end up becoming part of China?

The Mongols conquered China and established the Yuan dynasty. The Manchus conquered China and established the Qing dynasty. Why is it in both cases, the conquering countries became part of China at ...
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5answers
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Why was 19th-century Japan able to modernize and not China?

At the start of the 19th century, Asian countries had militaries less effective than Western nations. In 1853, the US Navy forced Japan to enter into trade with the United States. The Japanese ...
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1answer
188 views

Battle of Xiaoting: was Shu's invasion doomed from the start?

The Battle of Xiaoting was one of the three major battles of China's Three Kingdoms period; after the kingdom of Wu invaded Jing province a few years earlier, the state of Shu amassed an army to ...
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3answers
807 views

Why didn't Zheng He colonize the countries he explored like what the Europeans did to the New World? [closed]

Hundreds of years ago, China was more advanced than Europe and even the Ottomans. Why didn't China become a colonial master? Ming Dynasty Zheng He went on huge shipping expeditions and could have ...
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4answers
507 views

Does History confirm that prosperity, capitalism, and some form “democracy” or representative republican form of government always go hand in hand?

Many historians, politicians and economists find a link between the economic success of a nation and its form of government. For example, the idea that the USA's form of government was responsible ...
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2answers
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Why didn't China try to explore or colonize the Americas?

The Ming Dynasty had, reportedly, one of the largest navies in the world during the 15th and 16th centuries, which is when the "New World" was being "discovered" by Europeans. They also had made ...
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1answer
565 views

Why has Hainan been so little fought over?

There are two really substantial islands off the coast of China, namely Taiwan (Formosa) and Hainan. Whereas Taiwan has been occupied, colonised, renamed and fought over for the last 600 years, Hainan ...
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190 views

Chiang's allies were “a kidnapper, a hooligan and a bully” but which was which?

It is said that Chiang Kai-shek complained bitterly about his allies Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union (the latter admittedly not at war with Japan till the very end). But when he ...
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1answer
1k views

Great Wall of China Controversy

Until several years ago the eastern end of the Great Wall of China was considered to end at Shanhaiguan where the wall goes into the sea, but the Chinese have revealed (in 2009) new portions of the ...
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198 views

How much did the Chinese Summer Palace cost to build?

According to Wikipedia, Empress Cixi embezzled 30 million taels of silver from the modernization of Qing Navy to build the Summer Palace. What is 30 million taels of silver equivalent to in modern ...
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1answer
91 views

What family or other connection bound Chiang Kaishek and Cai Yuanpei, two ideological opposites?

Politically, Nationalist China's Chiang Kaishek must be considered a "strange bedfellow with Cai Yuanpei. Chiang was a disciplined, narrow-minded conservative of the type one might expect from a ...
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3answers
143 views

How and why did the “Green Gang” hold the balance of power in Shanghai in 1927?

The line ups were a bit unusual, to say the least. On one side, you have some thousands of Communist party workers (probably not well armed) loosely aligned with several hundred thousand workers. On ...
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Why was China not colonized by any country?

Why didn't China become a colony of anybody, unlike most other Asian countries?
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72 views

Did Marco Polo really play Weiqi (Go)?

Somebody told me that until the twentieth century Marco Polo was the strongest westerner ever to play go (weiqi). Is this true? I can't find any reference to it. Googling Marco Polo and go doesn't ...
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751 views

Why did the clocks go back in Shanghai on December 31, 1927?

If you are a Stack Overflow user you may already have read Jon Skeet's excellent answer that discusses a time zone change at the end of 1927 in Shangai, when the clocks went back for 5 minutes and 52 ...
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3answers
213 views

Were China's problems in the past two centuries due to “missing out” on the industrial age? [closed]

Until the industrial revolution, China was (mostly) an "advanced" or at least "state of the art" country. That is, until it fell behind the West, starting in the late 18th century. Recently, China ...
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216 views

When has serious unemployment among educated young populations not led to revolution or war?

For background: The Eurozone crisis has moved on to the next chapter and we hear a lot of bad news this time from Cyprus. While I empathize with the people of Cyprus, I have little doubt that also ...
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332 views

Why did the British control Hong Kong over 99 years? [closed]

There is different version why British Empire took control over Hong Kong. Britain helped China to eliminate pirates in South China Sea. As a sign of appreciation China give control of Hong Kong to ...
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2answers
109 views

How did the Chinese help Khrushchev?

I read this in the source cited in this answer Initially the Soviet assistance in China’s nuclear programme was limited to the civil nuclear energy field. However, Moscow’s attitude shifted in ...
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176 views

Motivation Behind the USSR Assisting China's Nuclear Program

What motivated the USSR to assist China with the development of Nuclear Weapons? Why would the USSR want China to have this technology during the 1950s and early 1960s? What did they get out of this ...
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960 views

How did a nomadic minority group the Manchus come to rule over China?

The population of the Chinese empire was about 120 times larger than the Jurchen tribe, who later renamed themselves to Manchus. Yes, the Manchus were very skilled warriors and the late Ming dynasty ...
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3answers
242 views

Did emperor Kangxi indirectly contribute to China's massive population and subsequent problem?

Emperor Kangxi, especially towards the latter part of his reign, firmly believed that China was in a secure economic position and the treasury was adequate. To stimulate economic activity, he froze ...