State Council of the People's Republic of China
The State Council, constitutionally synonymous with the Central Peoples Government since 1954, is the chief administrative authority of the Peoples Republic of China. It is chaired by the Premier and includes the heads of each governmental department, the council has 35 members, the premier, one executive vice premier, three other vice premiers, five state councilors, and 25 additional ministers and chairs of major agencies. The State Council directly oversees the various subordinate Peoples Governments in the provinces, the State Council meets once every six months. Between meetings it is guided by a Standing Committee that meets weekly, the standing committee includes the premier, one executive vice premier, three vice premiers, and five other state councilors. The vice-premiers and state councilors are nominated by the premier, incumbents may serve two successive five-year terms. Each vice premier oversees certain areas of administration, each State Councilor performs duties as designated by the Premier.
The secretary-general heads the General Office which handles the work of the State Council. The secretary-general has relatively little power and should not be confused with the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, commissions outrank ministries and set policies for and coordinate the related activities of different administrative organs. Offices deal with matters of ongoing concern and administrations rank below ministries. In addition to the 25 ministries, there are 38 centrally administered government organizations that directly to the state council. The heads of these organizations attend full meetings of the committee on an irregular basis. The State Council and the Communist Party of China are tightly interlocked, with rare exceptions, State Councilors are high-ranking members of the CPC. Although, as Party members, they are supposed to follow Party instructions and this results in a system which is unlike the Soviet practice in which the Party effectively controlled the State.
Rather, the Party and State are fused at this level of government, the State Council is the functional center of state power and clearinghouse for government initiatives at all levels. With the governments emphasis on modernization, the State Council clearly acquired additional importance and influence. The State Council controls the Ministry for National Defense but does not control the Peoples Liberation Army, which is instead controlled by the Central Military Commission. e
China, officially the Peoples Republic of China, is a unitary sovereign state in East Asia and the worlds most populous country, with a population of over 1.381 billion. The state is governed by the Communist Party of China and its capital is Beijing, the countrys major urban areas include Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. China is a power and a major regional power within Asia. Chinas landscape is vast and diverse, ranging from forest steppes, the Himalaya, Karakoram and Tian Shan mountain ranges separate China from much of South and Central Asia. The Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, the third and sixth longest in the world, Chinas coastline along the Pacific Ocean is 14,500 kilometers long and is bounded by the Bohai, East China and South China seas. China emerged as one of the worlds earliest civilizations in the basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, Chinas political system was based on hereditary monarchies known as dynasties, in 1912, the Republic of China replaced the last dynasty and ruled the Chinese mainland until 1949, when it was defeated by the communist Peoples Liberation Army in the Chinese Civil War.
The Communist Party established the Peoples Republic of China in Beijing on 1 October 1949, both the ROC and PRC continue to claim to be the legitimate government of all China, though the latter has more recognition in the world and controls more territory. China had the largest economy in the world for much of the last two years, during which it has seen cycles of prosperity and decline. Since the introduction of reforms in 1978, China has become one of the worlds fastest-growing major economies. As of 2016, it is the worlds second-largest economy by nominal GDP, China is the worlds largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a nuclear weapons state and has the worlds largest standing army. The PRC is a member of the United Nations, as it replaced the ROC as a permanent member of the U. N. Security Council in 1971. China is a member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the WTO, APEC, BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BCIM, the English name China is first attested in Richard Edens 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa.
The demonym, that is, the name for the people, Portuguese China is thought to derive from Persian Chīn, and perhaps ultimately from Sanskrit Cīna. Cīna was first used in early Hindu scripture, including the Mahābhārata, there are, other suggestions for the derivation of China. The official name of the state is the Peoples Republic of China. The shorter form is China Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó and it was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to Chinas Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing
Changsha is the capital of Hunan province, south central China. It covers 11,819 km2 and is bordered by Yueyang and Yiyang to the north, Loudi to the west and Zhuzhou to the south and Pingxiang of Jiangxi province to the east. According to 2010 Census, Changsha has 7,044,118 residents and it has a moist monsoon climate of the subtropical zone. The average annual air temperature is 16. 8–17.3 °C, Changsha is famous for that it was the capital of Changsha State in the Han Dynasty, and the capital of Chu State in Ten Kingdoms period. The lacquerware and Silk Texts recovered from Mawangdui there are an indication of the richness of local craft traditions, in 1904, Changsha was opened to foreign trade, and large numbers of Europeans and Americans settled there. Changsha was the site of Mao Zedongs conversion to communism and it was the scene of major battles in the Sino-Japanese War and was briefly occupied by the Japanese. Nowadays, Changsha is an important commercial and transportation center in China, the origins of the name Changsha are lost in antiquity.
In the 2nd century AD, historian Ying Shao wrote that the Qin dynasty use of the name Changsha for the area was a continuance of its old name, archeologial evidence provides evidence of settlement 150,000 to 200,000 BC. Development occurred drastically closer to 3000BC when Changsha developed with the proliferation of Longshan culture, despite this and bronze ware have been discovered. In the Central Plain region during the Zhou and Shang dynasties, Sima Qian writes in his Records of the Grand Historian Huangdi, loving his Shaohao, gave him a parcel of land, an area amounted to Changsha and surrounding land. Evidence exists that people lived and thrived in the area during the Bronze Age, numerous examples of pottery and items of interest were discovered and recovered. Changsha entered a time of turmoil, eastern Zhous collapse swept in turmoil with the Spring and Autumn Period. The Yue culture spread and took a stronghold through the region, during the height of the Warring States Period, the Chu Kingdom took a hardline nationalist and reform approach and took a large-scale military operations in South China.
Chu Kingdom took control of Changsha and turned the city into an important part of the part of Chu. After years of war and occupation, Changsha slowly replaced Yue culture with Chu culture, nobles created tombs and got buried in tombs. In 1951-1957, archaeologists explored numerous large and medium-sized Chu tombs from the warring states era, there have been more than 3,000 tombs discovered of various people. The coming of Chu brought a lot of tools and production experience, massive changes quickly propelled Changsha through the Iron Age and into the feudal age of society. The city is sometimes called Qingyang in Warring States period texts, the slow wearing of time and turmoil weakened the Changsha and the region
Zhengzhou is a Chinese city and the provincial capital of Henan Province in east-central China. As a prefecture-level city, it serves as the political, technological. The city lies on the bank of the Yellow River. Zhengzhou has a population of 9,378,000 inhabitants with a population of 6,406,000. Zhengzhou is now a growing city. Greater Zhengzhou was named as one of the 13 emerging megacities or megalopolises in China in a July 2012 report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the Shang dynasty established Aodu or Bodu in Zhengzhou. This prehistorical city had become abandoned as ruins long before the First Emperor of China in BC260, since 1950, archaeological finds in a walled city in Eastern Zhengzhou have provided evidence of Neolithic Shang dynasty settlements in the area. Outside this city, remains of public buildings and a complex of small settlements have been discovered. The site is identified with the Shang capital of Ao and is preserved in the Shang dynasty Ruins monument in Guanchen District.
The Shang, who moved their capital due to frequent natural disasters. The site, remained occupied, Zhou tombs have been discovered, legend suggests that in the Western Zhou period the site became the fief of a family named Guan. From this derives the name borne by the county since the late 6th century BC—Guancheng, the city first became the seat of a prefectural administration in AD587, when it was named Guanzhou. In 605 it was first called Zhengzhou—a name by which it has been virtually ever since. The name Zhengzhou came from the Sui dynasty, even though it was located in Chenggao, the government moved to the contemporary city during the Tang dynasty. It achieved its greatest importance under the Sui and early Song dynasties, when it was the terminus of the New Bian Canal, which joined the Yellow River to the northwest. There, at a place called Heyin, a vast granary complex was established to supply the capitals at Luoyang and Changan to the west, in the Song period, the transfer of the capital eastward to Kaifeng robbed Zhengzhou of much of its importance.
It was a capital during the five dynasties of Xia, Guan and Han, and a prefecture during the eight dynasties of Sui, Five Dynasties, Jin, Yuan and Qing. Zhengzhou thus became a rail junction and a regional center for cotton, peanuts
Xiangyang is a prefecture-level city in northwestern Hubei province, Peoples Republic of China. It was known as Xiangfan until December 2,2010, Xiangyang is divided by the Han River, which runs through its heart and divides the city north-south. The city itself is an incorporation of two separate, ancient cities and Xiangzhou. What remains of old Xianyang is located south of the Han River, both cities served prominent historical roles in both the Ancient and Pre-Modern Periods of Chinese history. Today, the city is, after the capital Wuhan, the second largest in the province and it is considered one of the third tier cities in China and has been a target of government and private investment as the country seeks to urbanize and develop the interior provinces. Its built-up area made up of 3 urban districts had 2,199,689 inhabitants at the 2010 census while the municipality contained approximately 5,500,307 people. The prefecture-level city of Xiangyang administers 9 county-level divisions, including 3 districts,3 county-level cities and 3 counties, Xiangfan has a history of over 2800 years.
It was the location of battles during the Three Kingdoms period in 191 A. D. between Sun Jian and Liu Biao and in 1267-1273 A. D. between the Southern Song and the Mongols. Its major scenic spots and cultural sites include Xiangyang City Moat, the wall of Xiangfan city is very old, but the condition is fine now. The urban area, has a range of 31° 54−32°10 N, or 29 km. It borders Suizhou to the east and Yichang to the south and Shiyan to the west and its administrative border has a total length of 1,332.8 km. Xiangyang has a monsoon-influenced, four season humid subtropical climate, with cold, damp and hot, humid summers. Xiangyang possesses large water energy resources whilst its mineral deposits include rutile, phosphorus, coal, aluminum, manganese, the reserves of rutile and ilmenite rank highly in China. Textile production is the industry of Xiangfan followed by machinery manufacture, chemical processing, electronics. Agricultural resources are significant with Xiangfans chief farm products including grain, vegetable oil crops, tea, as the home of Dongfeng Motors, Xiangfan is a well known automobile hub and partners with foreign manufacturers to produce Nissan and Infiniti models for domestic sales.
In addition, there are a number of chemical fibre enterprises in the city including Birla Jingwei Fibres, the city has invested in many industrial and clean energy parks. Rail and highway transportation facilities in Xiangfan are very good, Xiangfan is a railway junction for the Xiangfan-Chongqing, Hankou-Danjiangkou, and Jiaozuo-Liuzhou Railways. Three National Highways including Route 207 pass through the city, the Han River and four other rivers are open to commercial navigation year-round
Henan is a province of the Peoples Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is 豫, named after Yuzhou, a Han Dynasty state that parts of Henan. Although the name of the province south of the river, approximately a quarter of the province lies north of the Yellow River. Henan is often referred to as Zhongyuan or Zhongzhou which literally means central plain land or midland, although the name is applied to the entirety of China proper. Henan is the birthplace of Chinese civilization with over 3,000 years of recorded history, and remained Chinas cultural, numerous heritages have been left behind including the ruins of Shang Dynasty capital city Yin and the Shaolin Temple. Four of the Eight Great Ancient Capitals of China, Anyang, with an area of 167,000 km2, Henan covers a large part of the fertile and densely populated North China Plain. Its neighbouring provinces are Shaanxi, Hebei, Anhui, Henan is Chinas third most populous province with a population of over 94 million.
If it were a country by itself, Henan would be the 12th most populous country in the world, behind Mexico, Henan is the 5th largest provincial economy of China and the largest among inland provinces. However, per capita GDP is low compared to eastern and central provinces. The economy continues to depend on its dwindling aluminum and coal reserves, as well as agriculture, heavy industry, high-tech industry and service sector is underdeveloped and is concentrated around Zhengzhou and Luoyang. Widely regarded as the Cradle of Chinese civilization along with Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces, Henan is known for its historical prosperity, the economic prosperity resulted from its extensive fertile plains and its location at the heart of the country. However, its location means that it has suffered from nearly all of the major wars in China. In addition, the floods of the Yellow River have caused significant damage from time to time. Kaifeng, in particular, has been buried by the Yellow Rivers silt seven times due to flooding, archaeological sites reveal that prehistoric cultures such as the Yangshao Culture and Longshan Culture were active in what is now northern Henan since the Neolithic Era.
The more recent Erlitou culture has been identified with the Xia Dynasty. Virtually the entire kingdom existed within what is now north and central Henan, the Xia Dynasty collapsed around the 16th century BC following the invasion of Shang, a neighboring vassal state centered around todays Shangqiu in eastern Henan. The Shang Dynasty was the first literate dynasty of China and its many capitals are located at the modern cities of Shangqiu and Zhengzhou. Their last and most important capital, located in modern Anyang, is where the first Chinese writing was created, in the 11th century BC, the Zhou Dynasty of Shaanxi arrived from the west and overthrew the Shang Dynasty
Geography of China
The east and south of the country consists of fertile lowlands and foothills, and is the location of most of Chinas agricultural output and human population. The west and north of the country is dominated by sunken basins, rolling plateaus and it contains part of the highest tableland on earth, the Tibetan Plateau, and has much lower agricultural potential and population. More recently, the 18,000 km coastline has been used extensively for export-oriented trade, the Peoples Republic of China has an area of about 9,600,000 km2. The exact land area is sometimes challenged by border disputes, most notably about Taiwan, Aksai Chin, the Trans-Karakoram Tract, the area of the Peoples Republic of China is 9,596,960 km2 according to the CIAs The World Factbook. Both countries are smaller than Russia and Canada and larger than Brazil, in general, the land is high in the west and descends to the east coast. Mountains and hills account for nearly 70 percent of the land surface. Most of the arable land and population are based in lowland plains and basins.
Northeast plain Northeast of Shanhaiguan a narrow sliver of flat coastal land opens up into the vast Manchurian Plain, the plains extend north to the crown of the Chinese rooster, near where the Greater and Lesser Hinggan ranges converge. The Changbai Mountains to the east divide China from the Korean peninsula, compared with the rest of the area of China, here live the most Chinese people due to its adequate climate and topography. North plain The Taihang Mountains form the side of the triangular North China Plain. The other two sides are the Pacific coast to the east and the Yangtze River to the southwest, the vertices of this triangle are Beijing to the north, Shanghai to the southeast, and Yichang to the southwest. This alluvial plain, fed by the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers, is one of the most heavily populated regions of China, the only mountains in the plain are the Taishan in Shandong and Dabie Mountains of Anhui. Beijing, m at the tip of the North China Plain, is shielded by the intersection of the Taihang.
Further north are the grasslands of the Inner Mongolian Plateau. To the south are agricultural regions, traditionally home to sedentary populations, the Great Wall of China was built in the mountains across the mountains that mark the southern edge of the Inner Mongolian Plateau. The Ming-era walls run over 2,000 km east to west from Shanhaiguan on the Bohai coast to the Hexi Corridor in Gansu. South East of the Tibetan Plateau, deeply folded mountains fan out toward the Sichuan Basin, the floor of the basin has an average elevation of 500 m and is home to one of the most densely farmed and populated regions of China. The Sichuan Basin is capped in the north by the continuation of the Kunlun range, the Qinling
Traditional Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong. Currently, a number of overseas Chinese online newspapers allow users to switch between both sets. In contrast, simplified Chinese characters are used in mainland China, the debate on traditional and simplified Chinese characters has been a long-running issue among Chinese communities. Although simplified characters are taught and endorsed by the government of Mainland China, Traditional characters are used informally in regions in China primarily in handwriting and used for inscriptions and religious text. They are often retained in logos or graphics to evoke yesteryear, the vast majority of media and communications in China is dominated by simplified characters. Taiwan has never adopted Simplified Chinese characters since it is ruled by the Republic of China, the use of simplified characters in official documents is even prohibited by the government in Taiwan.
Simplified characters are not well understood in general, although some stroke simplifications that have incorporated into Simplified Chinese are in common use in handwriting. For example, while the name of Taiwan is written as 臺灣, similarly, in Hong Kong and Macau, Traditional Chinese has been the legal written form since colonial times. In recent years, because of the influx of mainland Chinese tourists, even government websites use simplified Chinese, as they answer to the Beijing government. This has led to concerns by residents to protect their local heritage. In Southeast Asia, the Chinese Filipino community continues to be one of the most conservative regarding simplification, while major public universities are teaching simplified characters, many well-established Chinese schools still use traditional characters. Publications like the Chinese Commercial News, World News, and United Daily News still use traditional characters, on the other hand, the Philippine Chinese Daily uses simplified.
Aside from local newspapers, magazines from Hong Kong, such as the Yazhou Zhoukan, are found in some bookstores. In case of film or television subtitles on DVD, the Chinese dub that is used in Philippines is the same as the one used in Taiwan and this is because the DVDs belongs to DVD Region Code 3. Hence, most of the subtitles are in Traditional Characters, overseas Chinese in the United States have long used traditional characters. A major influx of Chinese immigrants to the United States occurred during the half of the 19th century. Therefore, the majority of Chinese language signage in the United States, including street signs, Traditional Chinese characters are called several different names within the Chinese-speaking world
Luoyang, formerly romanized as Loyang, is a city located in the confluence area of Luo River and Yellow River in Central China. It is a city in western Henan province. It borders the capital of Zhengzhou to the east, Pingdingshan to the southeast, Nanyang to the south, Sanmenxia to the west, Jiyuan to the north. Situated on the plain of China, Luoyang is one of the cradles of Chinese civilization. The name Luoyang originates from the location on the north or sunny side of the Luo River. Since the river flows from west to east and the sun is to the south of the river, Luoyang has had several names over the centuries, including Luoyi and Luozhou, though Luoyang has been its primary name. It has been called, during various periods, Xijing, during the rule of Wu Zetian, the city was known as Shendu The greater Luoyang area has been sacred ground since the late Neolithic period. This area at the intersection of the Luo river and Yi River was considered to be the center of China. Because of this aspect, several cities – all of which are generally referred to as Luoyang – have been built in this area.
In 2070 BC, the Xia Dynasty king Tai Kang moved the Xia capital to the intersection of the Luo and Yi, in 1600 BC, Tang of Shang defeated Jie, the final Xia Dynasty king, and built Western Bo, a new capital on the Luo River. The ruins of Western Bo are located in Luoyang Prefecture, in the 1136 BC a settlement named Chengzhou was constructed by the Duke of Zhou for the remnants of the captured Shang nobility. The Duke moved the Nine Tripod Cauldrons to Chengzhou from the Zhou Dynasty capital at Haojing, a second Western Zhou capital, Wangcheng was built 15 km west of Chengzhou. Wangcheng became the capital of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty in 771 BC, the Eastern Zhou Dynasty capital was moved to Chengzhou in 510 BC. Later, the Eastern Han Dynasty capital of Luoyang would be built over Chengzhou, modern Luoyang is built over the ruins of Wangcheng, which are still visible today at Wangcheng Park. In 25 AD, Luoyang was declared the capital of the Eastern Han Dynasty on November 27 by Emperor Guangwu of Han, for several centuries, Luoyang was the focal point of China.
In AD68, the White Horse Temple, the first Buddhist temple in China, was founded in Luoyang, the temple still exists, though the architecture is of origin, mainly from the 16th century. An Shigao was one of the first monks to popularize Buddhism in Luoyang, in 190 AD, Chancellor Dong Zhuo ordered his soldiers to ransack and raze the city as he retreated from the coalition set up against him by regional lords from across China. The court was moved to the more defensible western city of Changan
Natural disasters in China
China is one of the countries most affected by natural disasters. Natural disasters occur frequently in China, affecting more than 200 million people every year and they have become an important restricting factor for economic and social development. In addition, they threaten Chinas national security and social stability and stand in the way of development in some regions. The Chinese term for natural disasters reveals the traditional view of disasters as divine retribution, tianzai, in ancient beliefs, natural disasters were seen as Heaven’s response to immoral human behaviour, whereby the conduct of different individuals carried different weights. While the behaviour of people ranked last, the actions of bureaucrats had a greater effect. According to the Overseas Development Institute, the nature of humanitarian aid in todays China traces back to these traditional beliefs. Propaganda posters were produced with the slogan, Earthquakes cannot frighten us, China has had 6 of the worlds top 10 deadliest floods and landslides of all times, the top 5 all occurred in China.
Estimated deaths in the 1931 China floods range between 2 million and 4 million, listed as the deadliest flood of all times, which is the deadliest natural disasters of all times. The 1887 Yellow River flood ranked second in death toll in both flood and natural disaster, claiming lives of between 0.9 million to 2 million, the 1938 Yellow River flood was third, with 500, 000–700,000 deaths. After a record grain harvest of 466 million metric tons in 1995, the Yellow River crested at its highest recorded level, inspiring fears of a catastrophic dike breach. Nevertheless, over the past 50 years, natural disasters on average had reduced Chinas harvests by approximately 1% annually, work proceeded on the worlds largest flood-control and hydroelectric project, the controversial Three Gorges Dam on the Chang Jiang above Yichang. Chinese planners were considering huge water-diversification projects to channel water from the Chang Jiang to arid northern regions. The 1976 Tangshan earthquake, with death toll estimated to be between 242,419 and 779,000, is ranked the third deadliest earthquake of all times, and 8th deadliest natural disaster.
The 1920 Haiyuan earthquake killed 200,000 to 240,000, ranked the fourth deadliest earthquake, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake that took lives of close to 70,000 was the greatest since 1976. The Peoples Republic of China established a National Earthquake Administration in 1971 to take charge of monitoring, research and it was renamed China Earthquake Administration in 1998, mandated by the Earthquake Prevention and Disaster Reduction Act of PRC under the State Council. Each provincial, autonomous regional, and centrally administrated municipal government has its own earthquake administration that is under the direction of CEA, China had 6 of the worlds top 10 deadliest famines, the top two occurred in China. The CCP, at the time, officially blamed the Great Chinese Famine between 1958 and 1961 that killed between 20 million and 43 million on natural disasters, if this were true, it would be the #1 deadliest famine. Another famine that occurred in 1907 was said to have claimed 24 million lives, ranked as #2
Pinyin, or Hànyǔ Pīnyīn, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China, Malaysia and Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Chinese, which is written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones, Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters. The pinyin system was developed in the 1950s by many linguists, including Zhou Youguang and it was published by the Chinese government in 1958 and revised several times. The International Organization for Standardization adopted pinyin as a standard in 1982. The system was adopted as the standard in Taiwan in 2009. The word Hànyǔ means the language of the Han people. In 1605, the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci published Xizi Qiji in Beijing and this was the first book to use the Roman alphabet to write the Chinese language. Twenty years later, another Jesuit in China, Nicolas Trigault, neither book had much immediate impact on the way in which Chinese thought about their writing system, and the romanizations they described were intended more for Westerners than for the Chinese.
One of the earliest Chinese thinkers to relate Western alphabets to Chinese was late Ming to early Qing Dynasty scholar-official, the first late Qing reformer to propose that China adopt a system of spelling was Song Shu. A student of the great scholars Yu Yue and Zhang Taiyan, Song had been to Japan and observed the effect of the kana syllabaries. This galvanized him into activity on a number of fronts, one of the most important being reform of the script, while Song did not himself actually create a system for spelling Sinitic languages, his discussion proved fertile and led to a proliferation of schemes for phonetic scripts. The Wade–Giles system was produced by Thomas Wade in 1859, and it was popular and used in English-language publications outside China until 1979. This Sin Wenz or New Writing was much more sophisticated than earlier alphabets. In 1940, several members attended a Border Region Sin Wenz Society convention. Mao Zedong and Zhu De, head of the army, both contributed their calligraphy for the masthead of the Sin Wenz Societys new journal.
Outside the CCP, other prominent supporters included Sun Yat-sens son, Sun Fo, Cai Yuanpei, the countrys most prestigious educator, Tao Xingzhi, an educational reformer. Over thirty journals soon appeared written in Sin Wenz, plus large numbers of translations, some contemporary Chinese literature, and a spectrum of textbooks