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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6answers
477 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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1answer
915 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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3answers
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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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2answers
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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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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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1answer
650 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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3answers
694 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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3answers
6k 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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410 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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2answers
928 views

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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1answer
354 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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3answers
963 views

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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3answers
192 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 ...
9
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1answer
364 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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1answer
128 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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1answer
133 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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2answers
501 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 ...
8
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2answers
285 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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2k 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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2answers
2k views

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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3answers
151 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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1answer
99 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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1answer
95 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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170 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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2answers
94 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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5answers
649 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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2answers
151 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 ...
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
6
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2answers
171 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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1answer
60 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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0answers
101 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
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 ...
5
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1answer
104 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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3answers
358 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 ...
5
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2answers
508 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 ...
5
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1answer
81 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 ...
5
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1answer
126 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
2k 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 ...
4
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2answers
109 views

Who captured Kaifeng from the Jin during the war between Jin and the Sung Mongol alliance?

I've heard that the Jin are the first people that used cannon to defend Kaifeng when attacked by the Mongols. However, I've also heard that one of the disputes between Kubilai Khan and Sung is that ...
4
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3answers
131 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 ...
4
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2answers
629 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 ...
4
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1answer
115 views

Are the Xibe people the same as the Manchu?

Xibe people living in Xinjiang are Qing dynasty colonists in the region. They clearly speak the same language as the Manchu did, which bears a question: Are the Xibe and Manchu people the same ethnic ...
4
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2answers
152 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 ...
3
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1answer
175 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 ...
3
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2answers
605 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 ...
3
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1answer
138 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 ...
3
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1answer
109 views

When and why China started to make a difference in the superpower arena?

China is starting to be more and more remarked on the superpowers' podium, but this surely didn't happened overnight, so what would be that decade that was very auspicious for China, and why?
3
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1answer
151 views

Tarim Mummies origins and theories separating fact from fiction

Is there any conclusive evidence of where the Tarim Mummies originate from? What were these "westerners" doing in China? The theories I have heard are that they are the fore bearers of the Kazaks or ...
3
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2answers
213 views

Why did Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng receive different punishments for their role in the Xi'an Incident?

Having failed to persuade Chiang Kai-shek to abandon war with the communists and instead unite to fight Japan, Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng finally opted for force and captured Chiang in the Xi'An ...