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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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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1answer
62 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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387 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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228 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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1answer
82 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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4answers
306 views

How close were the living standards of India compared to England during the medieval period?

India, China and the African continent today are mostly associated with poverty in Europe, the US and so on. Looking at India specifically, did it during the medieval era share a similar standard of ...
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104 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
65 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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1answer
89 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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88 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
145 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
64 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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1answer
461 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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680 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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3answers
3k views

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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0answers
120 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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2answers
576 views

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

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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3answers
386 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
804 views

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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439 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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0answers
89 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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1answer
164 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
87 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
137 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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4answers
8k views

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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64 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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593 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
196 views

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

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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202 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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1answer
245 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
99 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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160 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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5answers
751 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
198 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 ...
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325 views

What was the social status of a man who failed the civil service exams in Imperial China ( 1200 - 1800 AD )?

Generally the merchant class was viewed with disdain while peasants were viewed with more respect as they were the producers. Scholars were perhaps most respected, and many important posts were held ...
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1answer
191 views

Was a technological advantage more effective in European warfare than in China's history?

In Europe, the Spartans won against the Persians due to hoplites fighting in a phalanx formation. Then the Spartans were defeated by Macedonians because the Macedonians used longer spears called ...
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1answer
142 views

Identification of a treacherous general of 17th century China

My aunt is part of an informal discussion group interested in the history of China. Apparently, during the Ming dynasty in the 1600s, there was a general whose treachery (I the charge was he was ...
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3answers
1k views

How has Chinese GDP as a percentage of world GDP changed over time and why?

I've heard it's 33% during the Qing dinasty. 4% during cultural revolution. Now it's climbing up steadily to 11%. Where can I see the table of those actually tracking those numbers? What were the ...
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6answers
545 views

Why didn't the silk road run north of the Black Sea?

I have read many times that the only way for Europeans to get to China, or vice versa, was through Anatolia and Persia. This gave Istanbul an advantage in throttling trade, as well as Mesopotamia and ...
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51 views

Is there any story about a King who make promises to his sons or general to stay in power? [closed]

I recall there's a story somewhere from history (possibly Chinese history) which tells the story of a powerful man, be it Emperor, King or general that mislead his princes or successor to believe that ...
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1answer
105 views

Qin's use of the number six

Writing about the Qin's ascent to power, John Keay in his popular history book China: A History mentions: He [Shi Hunagdi] himself wore black, while his troops in black armour issued from ...
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3answers
3k views

Were there Samurai equivalents in Korea or China?

Considering that the Samurai class had its distant roots in Chinese political structure, did China or Korea have a similar warrior class?
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4answers
39k views

Did the fights in the Ip Man movie series actually occur in real life? [closed]

In a series of movies called Ip Man 1 and 2, based in WW2, a Wing Chun martial arts master called Ip Man fought with a Japanese general and a western boxer named Twister. Did these events actually ...
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0answers
77 views

Credibility of “Mao: The Unknown Story” [closed]

I was reading a controversial book, Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, and found it quite biased. However, they cite a variety of sources to back up their information. Therefore, I ...
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0answers
78 views

What are laws regarding corruption in China, and how effective are they? [closed]

I'm wondering how effective the government is at keeping corruption to a minimum, the laws regarding corruption, and how corruptible the police are. I'm fine with either information on a specific ...
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196 views

To what extent was China unified?

Earlier this week, I asked the question, why was China able to unify and not Europe? I was given some very good responses that made me wonder, how unified was the government China. After all, it was ...
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12answers
3k views

Why China was able to unify and not Europe

If you look at a map of China through the ages, you will usually find (from about the Han up) a huge mass representing China. On the other hand, you look at a map of Europe, and you'll usually see a ...
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2answers
155 views

How would one have gone about setting up a business during Communist Revolutionary China?

In 1966, Mao Zedong launched a movement towards Socialism, to, solidify his power after a disastrous Great Leap Forward, called the Cultural Revolution. Though the movement moved towards a total ...