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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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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611 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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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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How did Europeans first acquire gunpowder?

I know that gunpowder was first invented in China around the 10th century, and it seems that gunpowder likely made its way to Europe via the "Silk Road." However, there doesn't seem to be a ton of ...
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Why did China shut itself out of the world in the 15th century?

After a period of maritime explorations (see Zheng He) in the early 15th century, the Ming Dynasty started shutting the Middle Kingdom out of the rest of the world. This of course continued with the ...
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What events led to the fall of the Zhou Dynasty during the Warring States period?

The title above is fairly broad, so more specifically, what specific events led to the Warring States period experienced towards the end of the Western Zhou Dynasty in ancient China? As the lineage ...
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873 views

Any notable battles fought with steel vs. bronze weapons?

In answering the question Was the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age violent I found out a few facts that I hadn't expected. Namely, that the early iron weapons weren't necessarily much ...
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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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930 views

Where are Genghis Khan's Mongols?

In the 13th century, Mongol hordes invaded most of the known world and Genghis Khan's nobles had strong legacies to rule in China, Iran and Central Asia in the the following centuries. What about the ...
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How were dagger axes used in battle?

During the Chinese warring states, weapons knowns as dagger axes were used and there is a wide body of evidence that those were common at one time -- so so I believe. Is there any record of fighting ...
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Why is the Qing Dynasty in China considered Feudalistic?

From my understanding of the Qing Dynasty (and a few more dyansties before it as well), the Empire (under the Emperor) owned all land. Power and responsibilities were delegated to state elected ...
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522 views

What historical conditions (culture, technology, events, etc.) contributed to China's current lead in population?

If their growth rate was comparable to the rest of the world over the past several millenia, then was it only a matter of having a "head start"? (If so, then how did this initial condition come to ...
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568 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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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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217 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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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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399 views

What happened to Mao Zedong's first wife?

Reading Red Star Over China by Edgar Snow, I noted that Mao Zedong was married four times. His first wife gets only a passing remark in the book. She was called Luo, she was some 4 to 6 years older ...
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754 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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152 views

1901 Boxer Protocol settlement to Norway

The Boxer Protocol was the settlement made in 1901 after the Boxer Rebellion in China. The victors, consisting of eight major Western powers, got large indemnities from the Chinese government, as well ...
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151 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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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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Why did Mongolia split in two when they declared independence?

When Mongolia declared independence from the Qing Empire in 1911, part of it stayed under Qing control. This is the part known today as Inner Mongolia. But even before their independence, there were ...
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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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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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Why was old Shanghai called “Whore of the Orient”?

I've been doing research on Old Shanghai, during the 19th Century and early 20th Century. I know all about the Opium Wars and the Opium trade and their effect on the country. But I'm still not sure ...
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176 views

Books on the history of modern China for pleasure reading?

I'm interested in learning about this history of modern China, which to me means roughly the 19th-20th centuries. I'm kind of interested in the industrial development of China, and its role during the ...
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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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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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1answer
119 views

What is a good, authoritative source on the history of Tibet?

I'd like to know more about this topic as people often discuss it with me. What is a good book for me to read to gain a better understanding of Tibetan history?
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320 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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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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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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193 views

Why is the Ping Yuen river in Hong Kong called River Ganges?

Why is the Ping Yuen river in Hong Kong called River Ganges? From the wikipedia: Ping Yuen River (also known as River Ganges) (平原河) is a river in northern New Territories, Hong Kong. Its source ...
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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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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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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 ...
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229 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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2answers
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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
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 ...
6
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1answer
171 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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3answers
539 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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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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514 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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3answers
810 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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2answers
865 views

How did the Chinese Self-Criticism work in practice?

During the Maoist era often "enemies" were put through "self-criticisms" where they needed to note where they were in error and how they strayed from the party. I've seen multiple records of this in ...
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1answer
122 views

What unique personal experiences contributed to the formation of Mao's brand of Communism?

Political scientists cite his personal attributes and exposure to the proletariat as synergistic in the formation of his doctrine. What particular experiences in Mao Zedong's formative years ...
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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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299 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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1answer
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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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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 ...