What is China?
The today’s People’s Republic of China, commonly known as China, is one of the largest, most populous and culturally rich countries in the world.
It is one of the six known cradles of civilization, along with Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, Mesoamerica, and the South American Andean Region.
The Great Wall of China is a fortification built from the 5th century BC.
The history of China dates back almost 460,000 years to human habitation, going through a number of monarchic dynasties that ruled and unified their territory from 200 B.C. until its transformation in the Modern Age into a republic and, later, into the Communist Court Republic following its Civil War.
China has occupied an important place in the imaginary of Western cultures, as a place of ancient secrets and secret knowledge.
This despite the fact that their enormous migration has brought Chinese citizens to all corners of the world and with them, above all, their gastronomy.
Chinese traditional folk music
Features of China
It is estimated that the first settlers of present-day China were the so-called”Peking man”, a form of Homo erectus (the Peking synantrhropus pekinensis) that existed almost 500,000 years ago.
Its discovery between 1921 and 1937 was an important test in defense of the Theory of Evolution.
The first human dynasties in China dated from 2205 B.C. approximately, and had the Xia as rulers, although the first dynasty to leave true historical records was the Shang, between the seventeenth and eleventh centuries B.C.
The Chinese monarchies succeeded one another in controlling the territory for millennia.
Of the former (Xia and Shang), hardly any historical records are kept, although the latter is credited with the first signs of a writing that contemplated forms similar to traditional Chinese characters. The Chinese dynasties were as follows:
- Xia Dynasty (around 2205 BC)
- Shang Dynasty (1766 – 1027 BC)
- Zhou Dynasty (1027 – 256 B.C.)
- Quin Dynasty (255 – 206 B.C.)
- Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 9 A.D.)
- Xin Dynasty (9 – 23 AD)
- Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25-206)
- Sui Dynasty (581 – 617 C.)
- Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD)
- North Song Dynasty (960 – 1120 AD)
- South Song Dynasty (1120 – 1279 AD)
- Yuan Dynasty (1279 – 1368 AD)
- Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644 AD)
- Quing or Manchu Dynasty (1644 – 1912 AD)
China’s current population is 1300 million, making it the most populous country in the world.
This population recognizes 56 different ethnic groups, of which the Han group is the most abundant.
China’s most populous city is Shanghai, with 20 million inhabitants, one of the most populous cities in the world.
China covers an area of 9,596,960 km2, which gives it borders with fourteen different countries, making it the third largest country in the world after Russia and Canada.
In the geography occupied by this country, it is possible to find all the existing climates, as well as an immense variety of reliefs and topographies, from the plateaus and mountains to the islands and the tropical forests.
The Chinese language is actually the composition of a series of Sino-Tibetan dialects, of which Mandarin is the most common and commonly spoken (70% of the population), as opposed to others such as Wu, Yue, Min, Xiang, Gan, and Hakka.
For this reason, the official language of China is the standard Mandarin, which is spoken in Beijing.
The writing of this language is now done in simplified Chinese characters, which replaced the traditional Chinese characters since 1956, which dated back thousands of years and allowed for written communication of the various Chinese kingdoms, despite the dialectal diversity.
Map of China with its 22 provinces.
The Chinese territory is composed of 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities under the central jurisdiction and 2 regions of special administration.
The Chinese government also claims jurisdiction over Taiwan, which is currently a political dispute between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China, whose territory is limited to Taiwan and some Pacific islands.
From 1912 China abandoned its monarchical model in favour of a Republican one until it was occupied by the Japanese Empire in the Second World War.
After the defeat and withdrawal of the latter in 1945, tensions between the nationalist and socialist groups led to a civil war in which a one-party socialist government headed by Mao Tse Tung was imposed in 1949.
Despite being a communist regime, China’s economy is one of the most robust in the world today, which is why it has been considered an emerging superpower for decades.
China is the world’s largest exporter and importer of goods, as well as the first recognized industrial power.
It is also the second largest power in terms of nominal Gross Domestic Product and has the second largest military budget in the world, after the United States.
The Chinese constitution enshrines the right to freedom of religion, as it is a secular state.
However, their particular religiosity consists of a syncretism between three main doctrines: Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism.
In much smaller proportions, it is possible to find Christian and Muslim settlers.
A video with the best of China
If China is one of the most visited countries in the world, it is not because it is also the most inhabited, but because it brings together impressive natural spaces and an ancestral culture that will leave anyone who dares to travel to the Far East with an open mouth.
Shanghai is the most populous city in China.
The main Chinese cities are:
- Shanghai. With more than 20,000,000 inhabitants.
- Beijing. With around 18,000,000,000 inhabitants.
- Canton-Foshan. With about 17,000,000,000 inhabitants.
- Shenzhen. With more than 12,000,000,000 inhabitants.
- Tianjin. With more than 9,000,000,000 inhabitants.
Chinese culture is of great historical importance, given its great infrastructure works (bridges, temples, the Great Wall of China) and the invention of writing, gunpowder, silkworm breeding, the compass and numerous other implements, techniques, and knowledge that still provide an aura of mystery, wisdom and transcendence for Western culture.