Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A letter from China

some days ago I chatted with some people. One of them was a student from China. Look what a nice memo he sent to me: my name in Chineese and a name of my country in Chineese. I like this gift very much:)
Hope to meet you soon again:)

Generally I have to say the guy was probably from Beijing or another big city like that -as much as I remember and told to me many interesting facts about historical prejudices between Chineese and Japaneese people dating back to IIWW and earlier.

In the meantime I found an interesting on-line blog about China where I found the next two pictures:
First - is it "have fun" in Chineese??? and second with Great Wall:

And finally last - but not least - some historical things about China from Wikipedia:

Chinese Pre-history

Archeological evidence suggests that the earliest occupants in China date as long as 2.24 million to 250,000 years ago by an ancient human relative (hominin) known as Homo erectus. One particular cave in Zhoukoudian (now known as Peking) has fossilised evidence dating to 300,000 and 550,000 years old. Evidence of primitive stone tool technology and animal bones in association to H. erectus have been studied since the late 18th century to 19th century in various areas of Eastern Asia including Indonesia (in particular the Island of Java) and Malaysia. Originally it is thought that these early hominis first evolved in Africa during the Pleistocene. It is thought that human evolution first took place in Africa expanding 7 million years. By 2 million years ago the first wave of migration from the species in association with H. erectus settled into various areas in the Old World.

Fully modern humans (homo sapiens) are believed to originally have evolved roughly 200,000 and 168,000 years ago in Ethiopia or Southern Africa (ei. Homo sapiens idaltu). By 100,000 to 50,000 years ago modern human beings settled in all parts of the Old world (including the New World, Americas 25,000 to 11,000 BCE). By less than 100,000 years ago all proto-human populations disappeared as modern humans took over or drove other human species into extinction. It remains a controversial subject to whether fully modern humans evolved from separate H. erectus populations (known as "multiregional") as some evidence in ancient bones show a transitional change from H. erectus to H. sapiens having archaic features. However it is now more widely accepted that all modern humans genetically share a direct ancestor, a female nicknamed "Mitochondrial Eve" from Eastern Africa 150,000 years BCE. This model is known as Mitochondrial Eve Hypothesis.

The earliest evidence examples of fully modern humans in China come from Liujiang, China where a cranium dates 67,000 years BCE. Another is a partial skeleton from Minatogawa being just 18,000 years old.

History of China

China was one of the earliest centers of human civilization. Chinese civilization was also one of the few to invent writing independently, the others being ancient Mesopotamia (Sumerians), India (Indus Valley Civilization), the Mayans, and, some hold, Ancient Egypt—though it may have been learned from the Sumerians.

The first dynasty according to Chinese historical sources was the Xia Dynasty.

Until scientific excavations were made at early bronze-age sites at Erlitou in Henan Province, it was difficult to separate myth from reality in regard to the existence of the Xia Dynasty. But since then, archaeologists have uncovered urban sites, bronze implements, and tombs that point to the possible existence of the Xia dynasty at the same locations cited in ancient Chinese historical texts.

However, the first confirmed dynasty is the Shang, who settled along the Huang He river, dating from the 18th to the 12th centuries BC. The Shang were in turn invaded by the Zhou (12th to 5th centuries BC), whose centralized authority was slowly eroded by the ceding of state-like authority to warlords ruling small states; eventually, in the Spring and Autumn period, many strong independent states, in continuous war, paid but nominal deference to the Zhou state as the Imperial centre. They were all unified under one emperor in 221 BC by Qin Shi Huang, ushering in the Qin Dynasty, the first unified centralized Chinese state.

This state, however, did not last for long, as it was way too authoritarian, destroying many sources of competition for power that were also sources of good governance and development, such as scholars and intellectuals. After the fall of authoritarian Qin Dynasty in 207 BC came the Han Dynasty which lasted until 220 AD. A period of disunion followed again. In 580, China was reunited under the Sui. Under the succeeding Tang and Song dynasties, China reached its golden age. For a long period of time, especially between the 7th and 14th centuries, China was one of the most advanced civilizations in the world in technology, literature, and art. The Song Dynasty fell to the invading Mongols in 1279. The Mongols, under Kublai Khan, established the Yuan Dynasty. A peasant named Zhu Yuanzhang overthrew the Mongols in 1368 and founded the Ming Dynasty, which lasted until 1644. After the Ming dynasty, came the Qing (Manchu) dynasty, which lasted until the overthrow of Puyi in 1911.

Oftentimes regime change was violent and strongly opposed and the ruler class needed to take special measures to ensure their rule and the loyalty of the overthrown dynasty. For example, after the foreign Qing (Manchus) conquered China, because they were ever suspicious of the Han Chinese, the Qing rulers put into effect measures aimed at preventing the absorption of the Manchus into the dominant Han Chinese population. However, these restrictions proved ineffective against the assimilation of Manchus into the Chinese identity and culture.

In the 18th century, China achieved a decisive technological advantage over the peoples of Central Asia, which it had been at war with for several centuries, while simultaneously falling behind Europe in that respect. This set the stage for the 19th century, in which China adopted a defensive posture against European imperialism while itself engaging in imperialistic expansion into Central Asia. See Imperialism in Asia.

However the primary cause of the decline of the Chinese empire was not European and American interference, as the ethnocentric Western historians would lead many to believe. On the contrary it was a series of internal upheavals. Most prominent of these was the Taiping Civil War which lasted from 1851 to 1862. The civil war was started by an extremist believer in a school of thought partly influenced by Christianity who believed himself to be the son of God and the younger brother of Jesus. Although the imperial forces were eventually victorious, the civil war was one of the bloodiest in human history - costing at least twenty million lives (more than the total number of fatalities in the First World War). Prior to this conflict a number of Islamic Rebellions, especially in Central Asia, had occurred. Later, a second major rebellion took place, although this latter uprising was considerably smaller than the cataclysmic Taiping Civil War. This second conflict was the Boxer Rebellion which aimed to repel Westerners. Although secretly supporting the rebels, the Empress, Ci Xi, aided foreign forces in suppressing the uprising.

In 1912, after a prolonged period of decline, the institution of the Emperor of China disappeared and the Republic of China was established. The following three decades were a period of disunion — the Warlord Era, the Sino-Japanese War, and the Chinese Civil War. The latter ended in 1949 with the Communist Party of China in control of mainland China. The CPC established a communist state—the People's Republic of China—that laid claim to be the successor state of the Republic of China. Meanwhile, the disorganized and potentially corrupt ROC government of the Kuomintang fled to Taiwan, where it continued to be recognized as the legitimate government of all China by the Western bloc and the United Nations until the 1970s, when most nations and the UN switched recognition to the PRC.

The United Kingdom and Portugal transferred their colonies of Hong Kong and Macau on the southern Chinese coast to the PRC in 1997 and 1999, respectively. China used in a modern context often refers to just the territory of the PRC, or to "Mainland China" (the territory of the PRC excluding Hong Kong and Macau).

The PRC does not recognize the ROC, as it claims to have succeeded the ROC as the legitimate governing authority of all of China including Taiwan. On the other hand, the ROC—while never formally renouncing its earlier claims or changing official maps that show its territory as including both the modern-day PRC, Mongolia and Tibet—has moved away from this former identity representing its rule over all of China, and increasingly identifies itself as Taiwan. The PRC has historically resisted the ROC's identification of itself as Taiwan, especially in light of the movement supported by residents of Taiwan and others who advocate Taiwan's identity as an independent political entity. Significant disputes persist as to the nature and extent of China, possible Chinese reunification and the political status of Taiwan.

Hope you have a good time reading my blog!!!:)


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