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keskiviikko 16. maaliskuuta 2016

China, Cool Facts #105

<= 104. Taiwan                                                                                                          106. Botswana =>

1. China's Name 

China got its name from the Qin Dynasty, which ruled China between 221-206 BC. The kingdom had fragmented into seven kingdoms during the Zhou Dynasty, when Emperor Qin Shi Huang managed to conquest the other six kingdoms establishing the first unified Chinese state. Qin Shi Huang proclaimed himself the "First Emperor". 

Most important actions during the Qin Dynasty

- uniform system of writing
- currency standardization 
- weight standardization 
- measure standardization 
- building of the Great Wall of China was initiated 

One of the most infamous events during the Qin Dynasty was when they burned books and buried scholars in order to destroy all the traces of old dynasties.

The Qin Dynasty is the origin of the country's English name. China's own name for itself is Zhōngguó, which means middle state.

Qin Shi Huang

2. Ming dynasty

The Ming Dynasty followed after the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty collapsed in 1368. The Ming Dynasty was the last imperial dynasty ruled by ethnic Han Chinese as its successor Qing Dynasty was ruled by the Manchu people

The Ming Dynasty ruled China between 1368-1644 and it has been described as "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history". 

Achievements and inventions of the Ming Dynasty: 

- The Great Wall of China was completed into its modern form 
- The Grand Canal was restored 
- Construction of the Forbidden City 
- China's famous blue and white porcelain was created
- Yongle Encyclopedia was written
- Famous literature works like: Journey to the West, Outlaws of the Marsh
- New printing processes
- Bristle toothbrush 
- Ship rudders 

The Chinese made voyages until Africa and the Red Sea. The Emperor even got a giraffe, which was brought from Malindi East Africa. Suddenly in 1433 the Emperor decided to isolate China and stopped the voyages by disbanding their naval fleet making it easier for the Portuguese and other Western naval power to gain power over the seas of the world. 

Ming Dynasty of China 1368-1644

- The Qin Dynasty 221-206 BC started the construction of the wall by linking the walls that had been built by states he conquered
- The Ming Dynasty 1368-1644 completed the Great Wall of China to its modern form
- Official length 21,196km

- Badaling the most visited section of the wall
- Due to desertification and change in human land use sections in Gansu and Ningxia likely to disappear in 20 years
- The Jiankou section with its steep hills most frequently depicted in books and post cards

- Since 1644 no further work has been done, only restorations for tourism
- Restoration and protection began in Badaling in 1957
- Cannot be seen from space by human eye 

Great Wall of China
4. Four Great Inventions of China

1. Compass
- Invented during the Han Dynasty in about 206BC and was adopted to navigation during the Song Dynasty in the 11th century
-The use of compass in Western Europe and Persia was recorded during the 13th century

2. Gunpowder: 
- Chinese alchemists invented it during the Tang Dynasty in the 9th century as they were searching an elixir for immortality
- The earliest written formula has been found from the 11th century in Song Dynasty
- In the 13th century the Mongols through their conquests introduced gunpowder to the Old World
- The development of effective artillery started in the 15th century and came to dominate warfare in Europe by the 17th century

3. Papermaking: 
- Papermaking was invented during the Han Dynasty 202 BC-220 AD.
- Paper as a writing medium became popular by the 3rd century
- Paper used as toilet paper was used since the 6th century
- Song Dynasty 960-1279 first government to issue paper-printed money
- In the 8th century paper spread to the Islamic world

4. Printing
- Woodblock printing on cloth invented during the Han Dynasty
- Paper printing in the 1st century
- Song Dynasty artisans created the wooden movable type in the 11th century
- Western-style printing press became known in East Asia by the 16th century

Four Great Inventions of China
5. Tibet 

The last Chinese imperial Dynasty fell after the Xinhai Revolution which started in 1911 and ended in 1912. China became a republic after thousands of years of imperial rule. In 1913 Tibet declared independence without the recognition of the Chinese government. 

Tibet remained autonomous until 1951 when China incorporated it or like Chinese describe the event the "peaceful liberation of Tibet" occurred. In 1959 the Dalai Lama fleed Tibet after the Tibetan uprising and the Tibetan government was dissolved. 

Tibetan rebels had already started fighting against the Chinese army in 1956 before the revolt erupted in Lhasa in 1959. 

Tibet was a mighty Empire in the 7th to 9th century after which it declined and became part of Mongol and Chinese states before declaring independence. 
The current Dalai Lama is the 14th and had to flee from Tibet to India after the revolt in 1959. He still lives in India as a refugee. In 1989 he received the Nobel Peace Price.

Tibet in 1942


c.2070 - c.1600 BC Xia Dynasty
c.1600 - c.1046 BC Shang Dynasty the earliest dynasty to be confirmed by contemporary records
c.1046 - 256 BC Zhou Dynasty, in the end fragmented into seven powerful independent states
221-206 BC Qin Dynasty conquered the other six kingdoms and established the first unified Chinese state. Qin's Emperor Qin Shi Huang proclaimed himself the "First Emperor"
206 BC - 220 Han Dynasty created a lasting Han cultural identity lasting to the present days. The Han Dynasty adopted Confucianism
220 - 280 Three Kingdoms Wei, Shu and Wu ruled the Chinese areas
265 - 420 Jin Dynasty
420 - 589 Northern and Southern Dynasties, the age of civil war and political chaos but also flourishing arts and culture, advancement in technology and spread of Buddhism and Taoism
581 - 618 Sui Dynasty reunited China again
618 - 907 Tang Dynasty, the capital Chang'an current Xi'an was the most populous city in the world at the time
907 - 960 Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms, during this period five states quickly succeeded one another as a dozen concurrent states were founded elsewhere
907 - 1125 Liao Dynasty, first state to control all of Manchuria in northern China
960 - 1279 Song Dynasty, first government in the world history to issue paper money
1271 - 1368 Yuan Dynasty, first foreign dynasty to rule all of China, established by Mongol Kublai Khan
1368 - 1644 Ming Dynasty, the construction of the Great Wall of China was completed and China started voyages around the world and became the world's leading and most prosperous civilization
1433 Suddenly the emperor decided that China will isolate completely from the outside world
1557 The Portuguese managed to rent Macao as a trading post
1644 - 1911 Qing Dynasty, established by the Manchu people was the last imperial dynasty in China
1839 - 1842 First Opium War as the Chinese tried to prevent the British bringing opium from India, after losing the war the Chinese had to cede the British Hong Kong and the permission to use five harbors
1851 - 1864 Taiping rebellion about the feudal land ownership
1856 - 1860 Second Opium War with France and UK
1894 - 1895 First Sino-Japanese War, China loses Taiwan and the Korean Peninsula to Japan
1899 - 1901 Anti-Western Boxer Rebellion
1911 - 1912 Xinhai Revolution brought an end to the Qing Dynasty
1912 Republic of China starts ruling with Sun Yat-sen from the Kuomintang party as the president, who was soon replaced by general Yuan Shikai the former Qing general
1916 Yuan Shikai died and China was politically fragmented
1921 The Communist party of China was established and it got vast land areas under its control
1927 Civil War started when the Kuomintang and Communist party started fighting against each other
1932 Japan conquered Manchuria declaring it the independent Manchukuo
1934 - 1936 The Communists were forced on a 10.000km long march across China after the Kuomintang under Chiang Kai-shek's leadership had conquered communist areas
1937 - 1945 The Second Sino-Japanese War between China and Japan 
1949 Chian Kai-shek retreated to Taiwan with Kuomintang, the civil war ended as the communists controlled the mainland China
1949 Mao Zedong declared the establishment of the People's Republic of China in Beijing
1951 Tibet was conquered and its political and spiritual leader Dalai-lama fled to India
1957 Mao's Great Leap Forward was started with large scale economic and social reforms leading to the death of millions of people, mostly from starvation 
1964 China became a nuclear weapon state
1971 People's Republic of China got the seat of China in the UN from Republic of China (Taiwan)
1976 Deng Xiaopeng became the leader making the transition from planned economy to mixed economy opening the markets increasingly 
1982 China adopted its current constitution
1989 Student demonstration in Tiananmen Square was violently suppressed
1993 Planned economy was replaced by socialistic market economy in the constitution
1997 UK returned Hong Kong to China
1999 Portugal returned Macao to China
2001 China joined the WTO 

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