Questions tagged [china]

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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How long have Chinese speaking peoples used rape for cooking oils?

The Chinese term for rape is “油菜”, or literally, “oil plant,” which is also its traditional name when eaten as a steamed or fried vegetable dish. In recent decades there has been growing controversy ...
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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 ...
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Can anyone help me identify this silver Chinese dragon dollar?

These coins were historically minted at the Nanking mint in Kiangnan province but the obverse of this coin appears to reference the "Zhejiang" mint. I've not been able to locate any other ...
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Was silent reading or reading aloud the norm in pre-modern (esp. Tang through Ming eras) China?

Many scholars argue that in ancient Greco-Roman culture, reading aloud was the norm, as seen in examples like Augustine's Confessions, where Augustine sees someone reading silently and sees this as ...
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Which 'evidence' is there for a claim that 'Chinese discovered America in 636'?

The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics is a branch of the Ministry of Planning, Budget, and Management. On its own website it has a history timeline with a few curious dates: catálogo ID:...
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Why was the US so pro-China and so anti-Japan before WW2?

There is little doubt that the US embargoes on Japan pushed an already aggressive Japan towards Pearl Harbor. Japanese Navy doctrine had already been contemplating a conflict with the US and this ...
31 votes
4 answers
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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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Was there animosity between Mandarin-speaking and Cantonese-speaking Chinese?

The PRC-ROC schism aside, has there historically been (or is there today) any animosity or feelings of cultural or racial superiority between Mandarin-speaking Chinese and Cantonese-speaking Chinese? ...
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Have Chinese (and surrounding) cultures traditionally heated their milk?

I’ve spoken with many middle aged Chinese people who have reported that for as long as they can remember, even growing up on a farm, they would never drink milk, even their own cattle’s, without first ...
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Why are there no pandas in historical Chinese art?

Something seemingly anomalous within China’s historical record is the lack of giant pandas within almost any art until the 20th century. I found a paper in Polish, but with an English abstract which ...
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Did China ever consider a phonetic writing system?

I was surprised to learn the following about the Japanese and Korean languages: Japanese used a lot of Chinese characters in their language and had no phonetic system, until around the year 800 when ...
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(Why) did the PRC not [ever] recognize the incorporation of the Baltic states into the USSR?

I'm aware that the relationship between the PRC and the USSR was rocky at times, but it seems a little odd the PRC never recognized the three Baltic states as part of the USSR, that is according to ...
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Did Diaochan really love Lü Bu?

I am watching a series on Three kingdoms (2010), were it is shown that, Diaochan was really in love with Lü Bu, it was only Wang Yun, who schemed an act of proposing her daughter as a bride to Dong ...
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Did either Chinese government (Beijing or Taipei) operate an administrative structure in the Kowloon Walled City at any time between 1898 and 1994?

The Kowloon Walled City was a 6-acre enclave in Hong Kong that was accepted by the British authorities during the time of British rule over Hong Kong as being under de jure Chinese sovereignty. One of ...
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Why did China and some other communist countries boycot the 1980 Summer Olympics?

The 1980 Summer Olympics was held in Moscow, Soviet Union. Many countries boycotted the games initiated by the United States for Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. But there were some communist ...
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Did people in China resort to cannibalism during the reign of Mao?

I have often heard and read this, but I wonder if credible sources can support these claims. I even heard stories of merchants selling human flesh and children under 12 sold to be eaten. I read about ...
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Why did Filipinos form the guards of the Ever Victorious Army?

The Ever Victorious Army was formed under the Chinese imperial authority and the commercial counters in Shanghai. It was formed by Frederick Ward, an American. During a time (I could not identify the ...
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How did the Ten Attendants gain power in the imperial palace?

How did the Ten Attendants group became powerful? My reasoning as follows:- Eunuchs were used as a servants for royal family. So, they don't have any power other than that, neither being respected by ...
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What became of the daughter of Cixi‘s photographer?

„Princess“ DerLing has written several books on Empress Dowager Cixi. Her brother Xunling took the only photographs of Cixi known to me. But on some of the pictures from 1903 (example below) a little ...
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Was there the potential for additional alternate supply routes to China toward the end of World War II?

For most of the war, the Allies airlifted a trickle of supplies to China from Assam (India) to Kuming (China) over the (Himalayan) "Hump", enough to keep China in the war. In the winter of ...
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Did China colonize any countries? [closed]

A lot of Asian countries used to use the Chinese alphabet to write such as Japan or Vietnam, were there any countries actually colonized by China that is not apart of modern day China?
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What does "new royal power centers" mean?

I'm reading The Search for Modern China by Jonathan Spence, and he said in the first chapter, talking about the context of 1600 A.D.: Rulers in Europe, India, Japan, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire ...
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Are there cases where a civil war divided a country unevenly but stably, like China and Taiwan?

The Chinese Civil War split the Republic of China into the victorious People's Republic of China and the defeated Republic of China (Taiwan). This split appears to have been extremely one-sided, with ...
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Why does Japan celebrate the Gregorian New Year but China still celebrates Chinese New Year?

Before the Meiji Restoration, Japan used the Chinese calendar and celebrated Chinese New Year just as China did. Nowadays, both Japan and China have adopted the Western calendar. However, Japan ...
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Are there any archeological finds or primary source drawings of the Chinese "blade shaped" bamboo-copter or rotary fans?

Bamboo-copter was a toy in China, dated to 400 BC. A Rotary Fan also existed in China around 180 AD. I'm interested in both of those things, as they work on the exact same principle. Do we have any ...
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How did Mao regain and consolidate power after the Great Famine?

Mao Zedong's position had weakened after the Great Famine, and in the period during and leading up to the Cultural Revolution, he regained and consolidated his power. I am interested in getting a ...
22 votes
8 answers
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Why do some sections of Great Wall of China seem to be bidirectional?

Official historiography says that Great Wall of China is built "across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various ...
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Why was the Tea Horse Route through Tibet less prevalent than the Silk Road route through Tarim Basin, for contact between China and India?

The two major travellers to India, Faxian and Xuanzang visited India from the circuitous western route, while the third one Yijing travelled by sea. Xuanzang described hardships in his journey, and ...
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How did Larry Wu-tai Chin's leak in Oct. 1970 — of a classified document — allow China "to alter [...] volume of anti-U.S. rhetoric in the press"?

In the course of his nearly forty-year espionage career, [Larry Wu-tai] Chin [金无怠] supplied the PRC with information on U.S. intelligence requirements and foreign policy initiatives relating to China, ...
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What did modern China do with food sold to the state?

I understand that communes, later, "production units", and eventually, households sold food to the state at a set price. If the state wants to pay a lower-than-market price for food, do they ...
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On what basis did Mao denounce Confucianism?

I have had three view points already about the organization named Revolutionary Rebel Liaison Station to Annihilate the Kong Family Business and Establish the Absolute Authority of Mao Zedong Thought ...
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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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What is the historical basis for the claim that "Taiwan has always been part of China"?

Since young, I am informed that Taiwan is always a part of China and should not seek independence, and that the Chinese Communist Party will not hesitate to use force to stop the Taiwanese from ...
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To what extent has ideographic script contributed to the unification of China?

The different languages of Europe are, by Chinese standards, just successive variants of one language. But the phonetic alphabet is so flexible that the same set of letters can spell almost any ...
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Why was this ancient Chinese rocket so decorated?

This picture doesn't make sense. Who would want to carve a head statue just for a rocket that will blow up? How does it work?
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Did the Joseon dynasty ask the Ming/Qing emperors for permission to crown a new king?

Since they were vassals of Ming and Qing dynasties, did the Joseon kings ask permission for their coronation?
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Was Ottawa, Canada the origin of the "Free Tibet" movement that became world famous in the 80's and 90's?

Free Tibet as a slogan became world-famous starting from 1986-1987 And the only reference I can find as to the sparks that ignited the movement are a demonstration in Ottawa in 1986, where Tibetans ...
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1 answer
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Why did China hate dogs? Why were dogs abject creatures in China?

I quote page 240 in Yuan-tsung Chen's 2008 Return to the Middle Kingdom | One Family, Three Revolutionaries, and the Birth of Modern China. This quote flummoxes me! I have a pet dog! I live in a ...
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How does the "conspiracy theory" work in China and for what purpose? [closed]

I am Chinese and have been surrounded by the "conspiracy theory" that the U.S. has been intending to destroy China for a long time. Proponents of this theory cite the Plaza Accord as ...
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Did the Chinese aim guns above ships in 19th century?

I have read some things that don't seem true about the Chinese opposing English and other western forces during the 19th century and early 20th. What seems to be true is that China was very aware of ...
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What was Hunanese cuisine like before chili peppers were imported to China?

Today, chilis are strongly associated with Hunanese cuisine, which is regarded as the spiciest Chinese regional cuisine. However, Chinese recipe books didn't start mentioning chilis until the 1790s, ...
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In Shanghai before World War II what were relations like between the Europeans living there and the local Chinese?

My Uncle has been telling me a lot about my great grandfather. He was in the merchant marine and, before World War II, he was stationed in Shanghai which at the time had a large European population. ...
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Did archers lay on their back to draw bows?

I saw a movie called "The Hero" from 2002. I know the movie has a lot of artistic scenes, and less to do with reality. In one scene, many of the Chinese archers laid on the ground and used a big ...
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Did (other) PRC or Soviet leaders give 3+ hour congress speeches?

Fidel Castro is well-known for giving 4- or even 7-hour speeches. Xi Jinping gave a 3h 20min communist party congress speech. How does the latter compare to typical PRC or Soviet leaders speeches at ...
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Were Russians in the cold war era USA discriminated against for their ethnicity?

As a Chinese living in the western world, I am a little bit concerned about the next decades where there might be a war or a series of conflicts between the rising Chinese power and the current world ...
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What does Deng Xiaoping mean by "Hide your capacities, bide your time '?

I came across this interesting quote by Deng Xiaoping: Hide your capacities and bide your time however I didn't find much about this quote on the Internet explaining the exact context and meaning ...
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Did Harry Dexter White obstruct a proposed $200 million loan to Nationalist China in 1943 as a U.S. Treasury department official?

Another example of White acting as an agent of influence for the Soviet Union was his obstruction of a proposed $200 million loan to Nationalist China in 1943, which he had been officially instructed ...
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After the First Opium war, Why didn't Britain demand large amounts of territory from China?

The first Opium war was a total British victory. With such a total British victory, and with the expansionist ideals that existed in Britain, forcing China into an unconditional surrender seemed to be ...
2 votes
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What led Chiang Kai-shek to do a U-turn against the Japanese?

The Japanese feel that Western countries are unfair in imposing the status quo on Japan and calling it “peace.” Their whole conception of diplomatic machinery and collective security is that it is ...
15 votes
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How did the First Emperor of Qin "burn the books" prior to the invention of paper?

The first emperor of China, Qin Shihuang, is recorded as burning books (among other things). At the same time, the invention of paper is generally ascribed to the Han Dynasty, i.e., the dynasty after ...

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