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62

Despite common misconception, both Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula were ceded to the United Kingdom in perpetuity, via the Treaty of Nanking and the Convention of Peking, respectively. London was under no legal obligation to return them to China. However, most of the Crown Colony of Hong Kong actually consists of the New Territories. That was ...


58

They did. Depending on the preferred definition of "colonies", Chinese states in fact established innumerable colonies throughout history. Certainly the most common form was overland colonies created in conquered "barbarian" territories. This processes lasts up till today; Beijing's sinicisation and settlement policies in Tibet and Xinjiang are viewed with ...


42

China (or at least its core) had a central, unifying culture built around philosophers such as Confucius and Lao-tse that was attractive to people over a wide land area. Also, the Chinese written language was developed from pictograms that represented "words," which although pronounced differently in different locations, could have the same meaning over wide ...


32

The Chinese situation was fundamentally different from the Western European colonial empires. In fact it's rather more like Russia, who also managed to keep her Eurasian empire, or the United States, who acquire vast territories West of the Mississippi. In the case of China, those lands you refer to are mostly Sinkiang and Tibet. Most notably there is the ...


29

The nature of the silk road meant that it had to pass through commercial centres. "The Silk Road was largely fragmented and very few merchants travelled the whole route. Goods were passed from one merchant to another until it reached the final buyers" source So deviation over the steppes wasn't really possible as it was not the intermediaries goal to ...


25

Well there were a few reasons They pretty much had all they needed resource-wise in the country, trade was not a prerogative and even though Zheng He did go out exploring they were not interested in colonies or mercantilism. Mercantilism was pretty much frowned upon within the Confucian system, merchants did not produce goods they moved them around and ...


24

Because China was actually pretty far from India. For most of the past millennia, China and India were not "neighbouring countries" in any meaningful sense of the word. Most Chinese empires did not actually stretch all the way to the Indian subcontinent. It seems you're considering China and India based on their modern borders, but that is misleading: ...


23

Everyone learnt from the Korean War and wished to avoid a repeat of a bloody direct Chinese-American fighting. At the onset of the escalated American involvement in 1965, Beijing made it clear where the Chinese line in the sand is: [I]f the Americans went beyond the bombing of the North and used ground forces to invade North Vietnam, China would have to ...


18

In Rome and China: Comparative Perspectives on Ancient World Empires, the first chapter by Walter Scheidel, From the "Great Convergence" to the "First Great Divergence", makes the case that the Chinese style of government focussed on centralising power while the Roman style allowed for a great deal of autonomy for appointed officials. The Warring States era ...


18

I take it you mean why was there no "Scramble for China" in the 19th century. Excluding Hong Kong, ceded to Britain after the First Opium War. The Second Sino-Japanese War makes an excellent case study of the problems of invading China. In 1937 China had a completely out of date military and an ineffective industrial base, and was fighting a civil war. ...


18

One possible term for the situation you described is technological lock in. This is more commonly associated with the development of sustainable energy (vs cheap oil), so it is probably not the specific name you were looking for. It does however refer to a similar situation where non-optimal (for a given definition thereof) technology becomes dominant, and ...


17

In Europe, armies were often of generally the same size and makeup (at least in the instances you mention) and tactics codified, so in open engagements equipment and (that being equal) minor differences in proficiency could well mean the difference between winning and losing a battle. In the Chinese example you mention, sheer force of numbers caused Qing to ...


17

Well, the short answer is no, unless you define "always" to start at around 1683. Historically, Taiwan is in fact the ancestral home of the Austronesian language family. Prior to modern times, this was the world's most geographically diverse language family, with speakers ranged from Madagascar to Easter Island to Hawaii. There are several subgroups in ...


17

Gibraltar was defensible, but Hong Kong was not. In the 1990s, the distance from the UK would have made Hong Hong impossible to defend. Also, Hong Kong is primarily occupied by Chinese, unlike Gibraltar, which is occupied by UK citizens, many of whom are soldiers. Gibraltar is a fortress, and it is relatively close to the UK and hence easily suppliable. ...


15

All the sources I've perused can, just as Wikipedia does, only surmise on the how and why gunpowder made its way to Europe. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology offers a nutshell overview of the possible routes that might have been taken: Just how the secret of gunpowder traveled west-ward to Europe will probably never be ...


15

It is a wrong assumption that Europe was never unified politically. First, in the ancient times the cultural development of different European peoples was very diverse. The most advanced peoples of Europe adopted the Greek culture, alphabet and gods. You can see this on the example of Etruscans who used the Greek alphabet and worshiped the Greek gods. The ...


15

This is a good question that must come to many people's minds when they see the two very similarly sized (Taiwan only slightly larger) islands. The similarities are a even more numerous than the visual. They were both long at the margins of power in Chinese empires, had significant minorities who vigorously defended their autonomy (in Hainan it was the ...


14

And if you'd lived your life in the Republic of China you'd have learned that Taiwan is an independent nation, the one true China, and that the rebel government in Beijing is illegally in power there (that may have been toned down now, but that used to be the line in the ROC). Both are of course propaganda. Truth is Taiwan wasn't "always" part of China ...


14

In Dutch this is known as wet van de remmende voorsprong, which has been translated to Law of the handicap of a head start on Wikipedia. The page has a few examples similar to yours. That a page with such an awful name exists plus the number of discussions I find about how to translate the Dutch phrase makes me think that there is no exact name for this ...


13

Wikipedia provides an excellent answer on the Descendants of Genghis Khan. Some of the main points: Another important consideration is that Genghis's descendants intermarried frequently. For instance, the Jochids took wives from the Ilkhan dynasty of Persia, whose progenitor was Hulagu Khan. As a consequence, it is likely that many Jochids had ...


13

What I can find from Chinese sources all seem to have been derived from the one source, which seems reasonably reliable. It says that: She married Mao when he was 14 and she 18. She died of dysentry some time in the spring of 1910, when she was 20. She had a good relationship with the Mao family. Mao Zedong, after some initial awkardness owing to his ...


13

Just take a look at any political map, let it be Classical period, or early Medieval times. When travelling to China you need water, supplies of food, fodder, etc. Also it's safer to spend a night in a city or some kind of inn instead of open steppe spaces. Then what Joe mentioned, between the cities you've got roads, which again - are safer. South of Black ...


13

It has long been known that the eastern end of the Great Wall is not Shanhaiguan. Sections of wall exist all over China's North East as well as what is now Mongolia and Korea, well beyond Shanhaiguan. Your 2009 date seems spurious as the wall at Hushan near Dandong city was already a well known tourist attraction by that date. We must be careful with the ...


12

After Mongols lost control of China (end of Yuan dynasty), there were many struggles between Mongols and Chinese as well as different Mongol tribes. These struggles weakened the integration among Mongols. After a successful but short-lived unification attempt by Dayan Khan, a more organized disintegration took place giving birth to Khalkha Mongols (formerly ...


12

The downfall of Zhou began with the end of Western Zhou, over 500 years before Zhou's final demise. King You's actions in seeking to please his concubine Baosi (including replacing the heir apparent with her son) led to a revolt by the forces of Marquis Shen and assisted by the Western Rong and Quan (Dog) Rong tribes. King You was killed and the capital ...


12

A possible description of the one depicted in your picture (source): The most popular continued to be the strange dagger-axe. Dagger-axes came in various lengths from 9–18 ft and were now used as thrusting spears with a slashing blade available if needed. The Qin particularly seemed to like the Dagger-axe, creating an eighteen foot long pike version. ...


12

Hong Kong became British colony as a result of First Opium War, which was lost by Qing Dynasty of China to United Kingdom. It was part of agreements of Treaty of Nanking that was signed in 1842, as well as huge war reparations. What's important, original agreement established that Hong Kong becomes British for eternity, not for the exact amount of years. ...


12

If by "colonize", you mean ethnicly and culturally take over the territory, like was done in North America and Austrialia: This is one of the questions touched on by Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel. The basic thesis is that Eurasians had an advantage due to their large shared pool of (termperate-climate) domesticated crops/animal technology, and ...


12

The basis for the 5,000 years figure comes from tracing Chinese "history" to the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors. This figure includes over 1,000 years of legends. The next 1000 years are semi-legendary, being only somewhat corroborated by historical evidence. We start to have fragmentary historical records for a few centuries after that, but true ...


11

I think that stems from both geographic and cultural factors. At first it is almost like Jim Thio said. Only that it may not exactly be mountains. If you look at the early agricultural societies in the West, those would be 1) along the Nile river (Egypt) 2) Tigris and Euphrates rivers (Mesopotamia). Those are two places divided not only by mountains, but by ...



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