Chinasage : All about China



About Chinasage

We're building an exciting information source all about China. We found other sites were poorly structured, too detailed (such as Wikipedia) or just too old-fashioned. What we thought was needed was a carefully constructed set of pages with strict editorial control so that links and pages are consistent, up-to-date and easy to navigate without clutter.

The name “Chinasage” came about because this can be read as either “china sage” ( zhōng guó yīng míng) or “china's age” ( zhōng guó shí dài) , which promotes our new knowledge resource at a time when China has come of age in the World.

China Sage News

We keep track of news reports from China but steer clear of the headlines that are well reported elsewhere. Here are the latest news stories, for more visit our news page.

Fri 8th Oct

It used to be common in the early morning, less so now, to see groups of people gathering in public parks to dance together. Although tai chi is done in silence the dance groups perform to the loud blare of amplified music. All the noise does cause problems at times and rival groups sometimes try to out compete each other by tweaking the volume still higher. The up to 100 million 'dancing grannies' are formidable opponents if you complain about the noise. Some groups have taken to wearing airpods but others have refused to turn down the music. Technology may now have a solution, a special gizmo can be pointed at the offending loudspeaker from over 164 feet [50 meters] away to silence it. The dance steps keep the participants fit and healthy and maybe the new quieter atmosphere will encourage younger people to take up the custom.

dancer, dance
Street dancer at the shore of Xihu (West Lake) on Sangongyuan (Three Parks) - Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, 22.11.2014. Image by Hermann Luyken available under a Creative Commons License

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Thu 30th Sep

A major water diversion project has been opened in Gansu province, north-west China. The project was started as early as 1958 but soon stalled before restarting again in 2006. It will bring 550 million cubic meters of water every year from a tributary of the Yellow River to the parched lands of southern Gansu. It will allow agriculture to flourish to a region that been constantly hit by periods of drought. It is one of China's poorest regions with limited access to tap water. The project forms part of several ambitious projects to redirect rainwater from the wet south to the dry north.

Gansu, lake, desert
The famous crescent lake near Dunhuang, Gansu

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Sun 19th Sep

This year the annual celebration of the start of autumn chill is on the same day as the equinox 21st September.

The Autumn Moon Festival takes place at full moon in the 8th lunar month (15th day), it marks the end of harvest. Lanterns are lit and round moon cakes are cooked and consumed in large numbers - these are usually filled with soybean paste, lotus seeds and egg yolk and covered in pastry. As there is a tradition that a rabbit lived on the moon, rabbits are a popular image. Another tradition is to layout peaches, melon or grapes in a circle of thirteen as there are 13 lunar months in a year. Ancient pagodas were decorated with lanterns to shine at night. It celebrates Chang'e, the goddess of the moon, and particularly the romance with the archer god Houyi. Traditionally, spirits of the dead came forth to feast on the fruits of summer harvest. People would climb hills and mountains to watch the rising of the full moon with the greeting Kàn yuè liang ‘Look at the bright moon!’.

Ivory figure of Chang 'E

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Fri 10th Sep
Saihanba, park, Hebei
18 July 2005. Image by available under a Creative Commons License

The effects of long term soil degradation by inappropriate farming and tree felling had turned the Saihanba area in northernmost Hebei into a desert of dust of little value to anyone.

Efforts to keep back the Gobi desert in north China began as early as 1962 with the planting of trees as a shelter belt. The efforts of nearly 60 years of continuous management are now bearing fruit. It has become national forest park and nature reserve and received an international ‘Champions of the Earth’ award in 2017. It is the world's largest planted forest and absorbs over 860,000 tons of CO2 each year.

The foresters have developed skills in nurturing tree seedlings and claim a 98.9% survival rate compared to about 8% in the early years. Trees are still being planted and by 2030 should cover over 309 sq miles [800 sq kms]. As well as trees the park is home to 610 species of plants and 261 species of animals. The park should have a noticeable effect on the air quality as far away as Beijing.


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Chinasage Site updates

We continue to improve the web site as you can see from these updates and upgrades, for older entries please visit our site news page.

Thu 10th Jun
Larger images
We've spent quite a bit of time maing the web site look better and load up quicker. You won't see much different as it is all behind the scenes. The iamges associated with promoting other pages has moved from 150px to 400px and this should make the pages more graphically attractive as lets face it 150px is a little too small to appreciate an image. If you spot any problems, as ever please let us know.
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Tue 9th Mar
A survey of Chinese literature

As books were first printed in China it is not surprising that China has a long history of literature. There are a handful of classic literature that everyone has read - or seen as they have all had several TV versions prodcued. Our new, short survey looks at the development of the Classics and the novels that make up Chinese literature.

novel, Romance of the three Kingdoms
Painting on the Summer Palace Promenade: Romance of the three Kingdoms. Image by Shizhao available under a Creative Commons License
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Anhui, Huangshan, mountains
Stone Monkey' gazing over view from Huangshan (Yellow) Mountains in Anhui Province

Conventions

We use a consistent style for links within Chinasage. An internal link taking you to another page within our site is shown like this while a link to a page on any other web site is shown like this .

We use Chinese characters wherever appropriate. Most browsers should display both the characters and the pinyin correctly. We highlight any use of the older Wade Giles system. Except where stated all characters are the modern simplified form used in the People's Republic rather than the traditional ones (pre-1970s). To help you learn Chinese characters many of the very common characters are highlighted thus: hovering the mouse over the character pops up a box showing further information about the character.

Dates are given using the BCE/CE (Before Common Era and in Common Era) year convention rather than BC/AD. If a date is not followed by BCE or CE it should be taken as CE.

Authorship

All the text on the Chinasage web site is our own, we do not copy and paste from other web sites. We research each topic from a number of sources. The only exception to this are quotations and image credits. All text is our copyright and can not be used/copied without our permission. We are independent of any other company or government, the opinions expressed are our own. We do not receive funding from any external agency or organization.

Teacup Media (China History Podcast)

We are delighted to be able to promote links to Laszlo Montgomery's excellent Teacup Media series created over the last ten years. Laszlo Montgomery has in depth knowledge of building commercial contacts with China over 30 years. The set of 250 podcasts totals 130 hours of audio commentary which covers every conceivable topic in Chinese history. Highly recommended.

Acknowledgments

We are extremely grateful to the many people who have put their photographs online for anyone to adapt and use. Without them our site would be very drab. If we are not using the image license correctly please let us know. We are grateful to Kim Dramer for permission to use her short videos all about Chinese culture and traditions. Some pages use Javascript to create special effects such as our airport table and calendar. We are grateful to the original authors for providing their code to be used and adapted by anyone else. The online Chinese dictionary uses the definition from the CC-CEDICT project for which we are grateful for a generous free license. Sound files kindly provided by shtooka.net under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License.

Feel free to contact Chinasage to point out any errors, omissions or suggestions on how to improve this web site.