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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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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 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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Why was Britain willing to return Hong Kong but not Gibraltar?

Why was Britain willing to return Hong Kong to China, but not Gibraltar to Spain? Was it because Gibraltar has more strategic value than Hong Kong?
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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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Did Chinese emperors wear a rectangular hat with suspended gems?

The mythical Jade Emperor is sometimes depicted as wearing a mortarboard hat with strings of jewels suspended from its edges: According to Shen Yun's post: Hanging from the front and back of the ...
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Why aren't there any Chinese colonies?

It seems like European nations are all establishing colonies, but I don't understand why China would be any different. It seems like it has the power and resources to do so numerous times throughout ...
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If the Ch’in dynasty was so short-lived, why was China named for it?

If the Ch’in dynasty was so short-lived, why was China named for it? The Ch’in Dynasty, which lasted for only 39 years, was China’s shortest-lived dynasty. (Compare that to the Shang’s 750 years, ...
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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 could China keep most of the lands it conquered after 17th century but European powers could not?

If we look at the map of Ming dynasty, we see a much smaller China. Most of the northern and western part of today's China was conquered during Qing dynasty. In contrast, many European powers have ...
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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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Why didn't China assist in the Vietnam War like they did in Korea?

In the Korean War (1950 - 1953), China sent in about 1 million troops fairly quickly and actually fought the American and UN forces. In the Vietnam War (1950's - 1975), the only Chinese assistance I ...
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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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Given their reputation for fighting to the last man in the Pacific, why did 700,000 Japanese troops surrender in Manchuria?

I just read this. It says: On August 8, 1945 ... the Soviet Union launched the invasion of Manchuria, a massive military operation mobilizing 1.5 million soldiers against one million Kwantung Army ...
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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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Why did the Republic of China retract its simplified Chinese characters?

The image below shows part of the list of simplified Chinese characters introduced by the Republic of China Department of Education in 1935. They were retracted in 1936, so China continued to use ...
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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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Have there been 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 ...
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Why did the Chinese Nationalist party members go to the island of Taiwan and not to any other island?

The nationalists could have escaped to the present day Phillippines which is further from the Chinese and would keep them more safe or to any other island but why only Taiwan and also why didn't the ...
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Has Taiwan always been a 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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Why did Sun Tzu believe you shouldn't wait beside a river when eager to fight?

In Sun Tzu's Art of War, Chapter 9 (The Army on the March), Verse 5, Tzu says If you are anxious to fight, you should not go to meet the invader near a river which he has to cross. My thinking is ...
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What is the name of the theory that says an early discovery can stop technological development?

Some time ago I read a claim that an early discovery can lead to a great scientific stagnation. The example given was the Chinese porcelain, that resolved all the known problems, and stopped the ...
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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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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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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 be?...
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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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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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Before European influence circa 1600, did any Chinese believe the Earth was spherical, and did they ever try to measure it?

The Pythagorans, Aristotle, and Eratosthenese believed the Earth was spherical. Eratosthenes made a measure based on shadows at two cities on the same meridian. An Indian mathematician, Aryabhata, ...
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Why does Japan celebrate the Gregorian New Year but China still celebrates Chinese New Year?

Before Meiji Restoration, Japan used Chinese calendar and celebrated Chinese New Year just as China did. Nowadays, both Japan and China have adopted Western calendar. However, Japan celebrates ...
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In the USSR, what if any was the formal, ideological response to the Cultural Revolution in China?

How did the USSR parse and explain an ostensibly uber-communist movement which was dedicated to overthrowing the leadership of the country's communist party? Did they see this as 'Trotskyism', or some ...
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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 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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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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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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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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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 is Russian far east less populated than Chinese north east regions?

I was comparing the Russia's Far Eastern zone with the equivalent Northeast China. Anyway the two regions have many difference but by comparing regions at the same latitude I found vast difference to ...
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Who made this Sino-Soviet Propaganda Poster?

Who made this Sino-Soviet Propaganda Poster? And, why was it made so early? By the left armpit, there is a signature: The Who: I believe this says "ВИКТОР ИВАНОВ" which google says translates to "...
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Were there any Chinese expeditions to explore the world? If not, why not?

It occurred to me today that all essential historical exploration was done by the Europeans, who discovered the Americas and mapped most of the world. This got me wondering about Eastern civilization....
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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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Why didn't China vote in UNSC Resolution 344?

According to this Wikipedia article, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 344 in 1973 with 10 votes from non-permanent members and 4 abstentions from the permanent members France, ...
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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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Why were China and India able to peacefully co-exist for so long?

It is quite interesting to observe that for millennia, two neighbouring countries, ethnically, linguistically, racially diverse (and for some time religiously as well) were able to co-exist for ...
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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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How did the ancient Chinese coordinate armies of tens and hundreds of thousands?

According to what I've read, during the Warring States period and also later during the Three Kingdoms period there were armies of the magnitude of (a few) hundred thousands. How could they ...
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When was tofu invented? Was it specifically for vegetarian consumption from the beginning?

The Wikipedia page on tofu states that this food was first produced in Han dynasty China. However, the source cited seems to me quite doubtful: The oldest evidence of tofu production is a Chinese ...
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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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What happened at the Battle (or not?) of Luding Bridge, during the Long March of Chinese Communists in 1935?

I've just finished reading Mao: The Unknown Story by Chang and Halliday. She seems very biased against Mao and revels in accusing him of lying and manipulating. If this were to be taken as a serious ...
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Did any Chinese scholars propose a heliocentric model?

After this related question, I now want to ask about the heliocentric model. Did any Chinese scholars propose a heliocentric model of the universe? The time period I'm interested is any time before ...
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Why did China annex Tibet?

This is probably a very naive question, but here it goes: Was there an economical or political reason for the invasion of Tibet by China in 1950? It does not seem to me that Tibet is a particularly ...
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Have Moscow and Beijing ever been cities under the same rule?

Have Moscow and Beijing ever been cities under the rule of the same empire? It should have been Mongol Empire, I suppose. How long has it lasted?