Salt in Chinese history
Salt, salt production, salt taxes played key roles in Chinese history, economic development, relations between state and society. The lure of salt profits led to new ways to organize capital. Debate over government salt policies brought forth conflicting attitudes toward the nature of government, private wealth, the relation between the rich and the poor, while the administration of these salt policies was a practical test of a government's competence; because salt is a necessity of life, the tax on it had a broad base and could be set at a low rate and still be one of the most important sources of government revenue. In early times, governments gathered salt revenues by managing production and sales directly. After innovations in the mid-8th century, imperial bureaucracies reaped these revenues safely and indirectly by selling salt rights to merchants who sold the salt in retail markets. Private salt trafficking persisted because monopoly salt was more expensive and of lower quality, while local bandits and rebel leaders thrived on salt smuggling.
Over time, this basic system of bureaucratic oversight and private management yielded revenue second only to the land tax, with considerable regional variation and periodic reworking, remained in place until the mid-20th century. Salt played a role in Chinese society and culture. Salt is one of the "seven necessities of life" mentioned in proverbs and "salty" is one of the "five flavors" which form the cosmological basis of Chinese cuisine. Song Yingxing, author of the 17th century treatise, The Exploitation of the Works of Nature explained the essential role of salt: as there are five phenomena in weather, so are there in the world five tastes… A man would not be unwell if he abstained for an entire year from either the sweet or sour or bitter or hot. In earliest times and island salterns used earthen and iron boiling pans to reduce sea water to salt. By the 3rd century BCE, workers filtered sea water through flat beds of ashes or sand into pits to produce a brine which could be boiled or evaporated by the sun.
By the Ming dynasty, salterns in the salt marshes of northern Jiangsu and the eastern seaboard at Changlu, Bohai Bay, near present-day Tianjin, became the largest salt producers and by the late 19th century supplied some 80% of China's salt. Over the course of the 20th century, industrial evaporators replaced these coastal salterns. Well salt: produced in Sichuan, most famously at Zigong, but to some extent in Yunnan. Deep borehole drilling technology tapped subterranean salt pools, sometimes to the depth of half a mile, which produced the natural gas used to boil it; however by the end of the 19th century, Sichuan produced only 8% of China's salt. Lake salt: produced from salt water lakes in Western China and Central Asia using the same evaporative techniques as for sea water. Earth salt: found in sand from the dried beds of ancient inland seas in Western areas and extracted by rinsing it to produce brine. Rock salt: found in caves in Shaanxi and Gansu. Song Yingxing, the Ming dynasty technology writer, explains that in the prefectures where there is no sea salt or salt wells, people find “rocky caves which produce salt by themselves, its color being like that of red earth.
People can obtain it by scraping it off without refining it.” As in other ancient centers of civilization, when agriculture replaced hunting, who ate little meat, needed salt for themselves and for their draft animals. More than a dozen sites on the southwest coast of the Bohai Bay show that the Dawenkou culture was producing salt from underground brine more than 6,000 years ago during the Neolithic. In the same region, the late Shang dynasty produced salt on a large scale and moved it inland in "helmet shaped-vessels"; these pottery jars may have served as "standard units of measurement in the trade and distribution of salt". Oracle bones mention "petty officers for salt", suggesting that the Shang had officials who oversaw salt production and provisioning; the earliest surviving record of salt production in what is now China is a text from 800 BCE which reports that the much earlier Xia dynasty reduced sea water for salt. There are reliable reports of the use of iron salt pans in the 5th century BCE.
Early states located their capital cities near ready sources of salt, a consideration which affected locations in times. In the 3rd century BCE, Li Bing, an official of the expansionist and innovative Qin dynasty, in addition to organizing the Sichuan basin water control system at Dujiangyan, discovered that the salt pools, used for many centuries were fed from deep under the ground, the remnants of an ancient inland sea, he ordered first that the pools be made deeper that wells be dug, that narrower and more efficient shafts be sunk. By the end of the 2nd century CE, workers had devised a system of leather valves and bamboo pipes which drew up both brine and natural gas, which they burned to boil the brine. Before the Qin's wars of unification in 221 BCE, salt was produced and traded and presented as tribute to the courts of the regional states; the Guanzi, a Han dynasty comp
Towns of China
When referring to political divisions of China, town is the standard English translation of the Chinese 镇. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China classifies towns as third-level administrative units, along with townships and ethnic minority townships. A township is smaller in population and more remote than a town. To a higher-level administrative units, the borders of a town would include an urban core, as well as rural area with some villages. Towns in China are small in size and in population compared to cities, but those with particular characteristics can enjoy great popularity among tourists. For example, the ancient town of Fenghuang attracts young backpackers every year for its minority ethnic culture and architecture. A typical provincial map would show a zhen with a circle centered at its urban area and labeled with its name, while a more detailed one would show the borders dividing the county or county-level city into town and/or township units; the town in which the county government is located is "invisible" on less-detailed maps, because its circle is labeled with the name of the county rather than the name of the actual zhen into which this urban area falls.
For example, the county government of Tongshan County, Hubei is located in Tongyang Town, but the maps would show it with a circle labeled "Tongshan County" or "Tongshan". Road signs would normally show distance to "Tongshan" rather than "Tongyang". On the other hand, more detailed maps - e.g. maps of individual prefecture-level cities in a provincial atlas - would label the county seat location with both the name of the county and, in a smaller font, with the name of the township. Intercity buses, trains, or riverboats destined to, or stopping at a county seat may designate its destination either by the name of the county or the name of the county-seat township. In contrast to the PRC, in the official translation adopted in the ROC, both xiāng and zhèn are translated as "townships", with zhèn being "urban" township,'with xiāng translated as "rural" township
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
Hangzhou romanized as Hangchow, is the capital and most populous city of Zhejiang Province in East China. It sits at the head of Hangzhou Bay, which separates Ningbo. Hangzhou grew to prominence as the southern terminus of the Grand Canal and has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China for much of the last millennium; the city's West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage site west of the city, is among its best-known attractions. A study conducted by PwC and China Development Research Foundation saw Hangzhou ranked first among "Chinese Cities of Opportunity". Hangzhou is considered a World City with a "Beta+" classification according to GaWC. Hangzhou is classified as a sub-provincial city and forms the core of the Hangzhou metropolitan area, the fourth-largest in China. During the 2010 Chinese census, the metropolitan area held 21.102 million people over an area of 34,585 km2. Hangzhou prefecture had a registered population of 9,018,000 in 2015. In September 2015, Hangzhou was awarded the 2022 Asian Games.
It will be the third city in China to host the Asian Games after Beijing 1990 and Guangzhou 2010. Hangzhou, an emerging technology hub and home to the e-commerce giant Alibaba hosted the eleventh G20 summit in 2016; the celebrated neolithic culture of Hemudu is known to have inhabited Yuyao, 100 km north-east of Hangzhou, as far back as seven thousand years ago. It was during this time. Excavations have established that the jade-carving Liangzhu culture inhabited the area around the present city around five thousand years ago; the first of Hangzhou's present neighborhoods to appear in written records was Yuhang, which preserves an old Baiyue name. Hangzhou was made the seat of the prefecture of Hang in AD 589, entitling it to a city wall, constructed two years later. By a longstanding convention seen in other cities like Guangzhou and Fuzhou, the city took on the name of the area it administered and became known as Hangzhou. Hangzhou was at the southern end of China's Grand Canal; the canal evolved over centuries but reached its full length by 609.
In the Tang dynasty, Bai Juyi was appointed governor of Hangzhou. An accomplished poet, his deeds at Hangzhou have led to his being praised as a great governor, he noticed that the farmland nearby depended on the water of West Lake, but due to the negligence of previous governors, the old dyke had collapsed, the lake so dried out that the local farmers were suffering from severe drought. He ordered the construction of a stronger and taller dyke, with a dam to control the flow of water, thus providing water for irrigation and mitigating the drought problem; the livelihood of local people of Hangzhou improved over the following years. Bai Juyi used his leisure time to enjoy the West Lake, visiting it daily, he ordered the construction of a causeway connecting Broken Bridge with Solitary Hill to allow walking, instead of requiring a boat. He had willows and other trees planted along the dyke, making it a beautiful landmark; this causeway was named "Bai Causeway", in his honor. It is listed as one of the Seven Ancient Capitals of China.
It was first the capital of the Wuyue Kingdom from 907 to 978 during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Named Xifu at the time, it was one of the three great bastions of culture in southern China during the tenth century, along with Nanjing and Chengdu. Leaders of Wuyue were noted patrons of the arts of Buddhist temple architecture and artwork; the dyke built to protect the city by King Qian Liu gave the Qiantang its modern name. Hangzhou became a cosmopolitan center, drawing scholars from throughout China and conducting diplomacy with neighboring Chinese states, with Japan and the Khitan Liao dynasty. In 1089, while another renowned poet Su Shi was the city's governor, he used 200,000 workers to construct a 2.8 km long causeway across West Lake. The lake was once a lagoon tens of thousands of years ago. Silt blocked the way to the sea and the lake was formed. A drill in the lake-bed in 1975 found the sediment of the sea. Artificial preservation prevented the lake from evolving into a marshland.
The Su Causeway built by Su Shi, the Bai Causeway built by Bai Juyi, a Tang dynasty poet, once the governor of Hangzhou, were both built out of mud dredged from the lake bottom. The lake is surrounded by hills on the western sides; the Baochu Pagoda sits on the Baoshi Hill to the north of the lake. Arab merchants lived in Hangzhou during the Song dynasty, due to the fact that the oceangoing trade passages took precedence over land trade during this time. There were Arabic inscriptions from the 13th century and 14th century. During the period of the Yuan dynasty, Muslims were persecuted through the banning of their traditions, they participated in revolts against the Mongols; the Fenghuangshi mosque was constructed by an Egyptian trader. Ibn Battuta is known to have visited the city of Hangzhou in 1345. During his stay at Hangzhou, he was impressed by the large number of well-crafted and well-painted Chinese wooden ships with colored sails and silk awnings in the canals, he attended a banquet held by Qurtai, the Yuan Mongol administrator of the city, who according to Ibn Battuta, was fond of the skills of local Chinese conjurers.
Hangzhou was chosen as the new capital of the Southern Song dynasty in 1132, wh
Sixth National Population Census of the People's Republic of China
The Sixth National Population Census of the People's Republic of China referred to as the 2010 Chinese Census, was conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics of the People's Republic of China with a zero hour of November 1, 2010. Census procedure was governed by the Regulations on National Population Census and the Circular of the State Council on the Conduct of the 6th National Population Census; the census cost 700 million RMB. It found the total population of Mainland China to be 1,339,724,852 persons, an increase of 73,899,804 persons from the previous census conducted in 2000; this represented a growth rate of 5.84% over the decade, an average annual growth rate of 0.57%. The population undercount rate of the census was estimated at 0.12%. The census listed the population of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as 7,097,600 persons, the population of Macau Special Administrative Region as 552,300 persons, the population of Taiwan as 23,162,123 persons; the census found a total of 401,517,330 family households in Mainland China, with an average of 3.10 persons per household, a decrease of 0.34 persons from the 2000 census.
51.27% of the population is male, 48.73% is female, giving a male to female ratio of 105.20 men for every 100 women, a decrease from the 2000 figure of 106.74. 49.68% of the population resided in urban areas, 50.32% resided in rural areas, an increase of 13.46% in the proportion of the urban population. 261,386,075 people had lived in a place different from their household registration for at least six months, with 221,426,652 of these living in a different city from their registration.16.60% of the population was aged 0–14, 70.14% was aged 15–59, 13.26% were aged 60 or over. This represented a decrease of 6.29% in the share of the population in the youngest age group, increases of 3.36% and 2.93% for the 15-59 and 60+ shares, respectively. 91.51% of the population was of the Han Chinese nationality, 8.49% was of other ethnic groups. The Han population increased by 5.74%, the population of other groups increased by a combined 6.92%. The census found that, in Mainland China, 119,636,790 people had completed higher education, 187,985,979 had completed only senior secondary education, 519,656,445 had completed only junior secondary education, 358,764,003 had completed only primary education, 54,656,573 were illiterate.
Since 2000, out of every 100,000 people, the number with higher education has increased from 3,611 to 8,930, the number with senior secondary education has increased from 11,146 to 14,032, the number with junior secondary education increased from 33,961 to 38,788, the number of people with only primary education decreased from 35,701 to 26,779. The illiteracy rate declined from 6.72% to 4.08%. The census recorded 593,832 foreign nationals, 234,829 residents of Hong Kong SAR, 21,201 residents of Macau SAR, 170,283 residents of Taiwan residing in Mainland China, a total of 1,020,145 additional persons. 605,821 of these were male, 414,324 were female. Of the foreign nationals, 120,750 were from the Republic of Korea, 71,493 were from the United States, 66,159 were from Japan, 39,776 were from Myanmar, 36,205 were from Vietnam, 19,990 were from Canada, 15,087 were from France, 15,051 were from India, 14,446 were from Germany, 13,286 were from Australia; the remaining 181,589 were from other countries.
According to The Economist, China had only 1,448 naturalised Chinese in total at the 2010 census
The Qing dynasty the Great Qing, was the last imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636, ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912, it was succeeded by the Republic of China. The Qing multi-cultural empire lasted for three centuries and formed the territorial base for modern China, it was the fifth largest empire in world history. The dynasty was founded by the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan in Manchuria. In the late sixteenth century, Nurhaci a Ming Jianzhou Guard vassal, began organizing "Banners", military-social units that included Manchu and Mongol elements. Nurhaci formed the Manchu clans into a unified entity. By 1636, his son Hong Taiji began driving Ming forces out of the Liaodong Peninsula and declared a new dynasty, the Qing. In an unrelated development, peasant rebels led by Li Zicheng conquered the Ming capital, Beijing, in 1644. Rather than serve them, Ming general Wu Sangui made an alliance with the Manchus and opened the Shanhai Pass to the Banner Armies led by the regent Prince Dorgon.
He seized the capital. Resistance from the Southern Ming and the Revolt of the Three Feudatories led by Wu Sangui delayed the Qing conquest of China proper by nearly four decades; the conquest was only completed in 1683 under the Kangxi Emperor reign. The Ten Great Campaigns of the Qianlong Emperor from the 1750s to the 1790s extended Qing control into Inner Asia; the early Qing rulers maintained their Manchu customs, while their title was Emperor, they used "Bogd khaan" when dealing with the Mongols and they were patrons of Tibetan Buddhism. They governed using Confucian styles and institutions of bureaucratic government and retained the imperial examinations to recruit Han Chinese to work under or in parallel with Manchus, they adapted the ideals of the tributary system in dealing with neighboring territories. During the Qianlong Emperor reign the dynasty reached its apogee, but began its initial decline in prosperity and imperial control; the population rose to some 400 millions, but taxes and government revenues were fixed at a low rate guaranteeing eventual fiscal crisis.
Corruption set in, rebels tested government legitimacy, ruling elites failed to change their mindsets in the face of changes in the world system. Following the Opium Wars, European powers imposed "unequal treaties", free trade, extraterritoriality and treaty ports under foreign control; the Taiping Rebellion and the Dungan Revolt in Central Asia led to the deaths of some 20 million people, most of them due to famines caused by war. In spite of these disasters, in the Tongzhi Restoration of the 1860s, Han Chinese elites rallied to the defense of the Confucian order and the Qing rulers; the initial gains in the Self-Strengthening Movement were destroyed in the First Sino-Japanese War of 1895, in which the Qing lost its influence over Korea and the possession of Taiwan. New Armies were organized, but the ambitious Hundred Days' Reform of 1898 was turned back in a coup by the conservative Empress Dowager Cixi; when the Scramble for Concessions by foreign powers triggered the violently anti-foreign "Boxers", the foreign powers invaded China, Cixi declared war on them, leading to defeat and the flight of the Imperial Court to Xi'an.
After agreeing to sign the Boxer Protocol, the government initiated unprecedented fiscal and administrative reforms, including elections, a new legal code, abolition of the examination system. Sun Yat-sen and other revolutionaries competed with constitutional monarchists such as Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao to transform the Qing Empire into a modern nation. After the deaths of Cixi and the Guangxu Emperor in 1908, the hardline Manchu court alienated reformers and local elites alike by obstructing social reform; the Wuchang Uprising on 11 October 1911, led to the Xinhai Revolution. General Yuan Shikai negotiated the abdication of Puyi, the last emperor, on 12 February 1912. Nurhaci declared himself the "Bright Khan" of the Later Jin state in honor both of the 12th–13th century Jurchen Jin dynasty and of his Aisin Gioro clan, his son Hong Taiji renamed the dynasty Great Qing in 1636. There are competing explanations on the meaning of Qīng; the name may have been selected in reaction to the name of the Ming dynasty, which consists of the Chinese characters for "sun" and "moon", both associated with the fire element of the Chinese zodiacal system.
The character Qīng is associated with the water element. This association would justify the Qing conquest as defeat of fire by water; the water imagery of the new name may have had Buddhist overtones of perspicacity and enlightenment and connections with the Bodhisattva Manjusri. The Manchu name daicing, which sounds like a phonetic rendering of Dà Qīng or Dai Ching, may in fact have been derived from a Mongolian word "ᠳᠠᠢᠢᠴᠢᠨ, дайчин" that means "warrior". Daicing gurun may therefore have meant "warrior state", a pun, only intelligible to Manchu and Mongol people. In the part of the dynasty, however the Manchus themselves had forgotten this possible meaning. After conquering "China proper", the Manchus identified their state as "China", referred to it as Dulimbai Gurun in Manchu; the emperors equated the lands of the Qing state as "China" in both the Chinese and Manchu languages, defining China as a multi-ethnic state, rejecting the idea that "China" only meant Han areas. The Qing emperors proclaimed that bo
The li known as the Chinese mile, is a traditional Chinese unit of distance. The li has varied over time but was about one third of an English mile and now has a standardized length of a half-kilometer; this is divided into 1,500 chi or "Chinese feet". The character 里 combines the characters for "field" and "earth", since it was considered to be about the length of a single village; as late as the 1940s, a "li" did not represent a fixed measure but could be longer or shorter depending on the effort required to cover the distance. There is another li that indicates a unit of length 1⁄1000 of a chi, but it is used much less commonly; this li is used in the People's Republic of China as the equivalent of the centi- prefix in metric units, thus limi for centimeter. The tonal difference makes it distinguishable to speakers of Chinese, but unless noted otherwise, any reference to li will always refer to the longer traditional unit and not to either the shorter unit or the kilometer; this traditional unit, in terms of historical usage and distance proportion, can be considered the East Asian counterpart to the Western league unit.
Like most traditional Chinese measurements, the li was reputed to have been established by the Yellow Emperor at the founding of Chinese civilization around 2600 BC and standardized by Yu the Great of the Xia Dynasty six hundred years later. Although the value varied from state to state during the Spring and Autumn period and Warring States periods, historians give a general value to the li of 405 meters prior to the Qin Dynasty imposition of its standard in the 3rd century BC; the basic Chinese traditional unit of distance was the chi. As its value changed over time, so did the li's. In addition, the number of chi per li was sometimes altered. To add further complexity, under the Qin Dynasty, the li was set at 360 "paces" but the number of chi per bu was subsequently changed from 6 to 5, shortening the li by 1⁄6. Thus, the Qin li of about 576 meters became the Han li, standardized at 415.8 meters. The basic units of measurement remained stable over the Han periods. A bronze imperial standard measure, dated AD 9, had been preserved at the Imperial Palace in Beijing and came to light in 1924.
This has allowed accurate conversions to modern measurements, which has provided a new and useful additional tool in the identification of place names and routes. These measurements have been confirmed in many ways including the discovery of a number of rulers found at archaeological sites, careful measurements of distances between known points; the Han li was calculated by Dubs to be 415.8 metres and all indications are that this is a precise and reliable determination. Under the Tang Dynasty, the li was 323 meters. In the late Manchu or Qing Dynasty, the number of chi was increased from 1,500 per li to 1,800; this had a value of 644.6 meters. In addition, the Qing added a longer unit called the tu, equal to 150 li; these changes were undone by the Republic of China of Chiang Kai-shek, who adopted the metric system in 1928. The Republic of China continues not to use the li at all but only the kilometer. Under Mao Zedong, the People's Republic of China reinstituted the traditional units as a measure of anti-imperialism and cultural pride before adopting the metric system in 1984.
A place was made within this for the traditional units. A modern li is thus set at half a kilometer. However, unlike the jin, still preferred in daily use over the kilogram, the li is never used. Nonetheless, its appearance in many phrases and sayings means that "kilometer" must always be specified by saying gongli in full; as one might expect for the equivalent of "mile", li appears in many Chinese sayings and proverbs as an indicator of great distances or the exotic: One Chinese name for the Great Wall is the "Ten-Thousand-Li Long Wall". As in Greek, the number "ten thousand" is used figuratively in Chinese to mean any "immeasurable" value and this title has never provided a literal distance. Nonetheless, the actual length of the modern Great Wall is around 13,000 modern li – 3,000 more than the name's proverbially "immeasurable" length; the Chinese proverb appearing in chapter 64 of the Tao Te Ching and rendered as "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" in fact refers to a thousand li: 千里之行，始于足下.
The greatest horses of Chinese history – including Red Hare and Hua Liu – are all referred to as "thousand-li horses", since they could travel a thousand li in a single day. Li is sometimes used for example: Wulipu, Hubei; the present day Korean ri and Japanese ri are units of measurements that can be traced back to the Chinese li. Although the Chinese unit was unofficially used in Japan since the Zhou Dynasty, the countries adopted the measurement used by the Tang Dynasty; the ri of an earlier era in Japan was thus true to Chinese length, corresponding to six chō, but evolved to denote the distance that a person carrying a load would aim to cover on mountain roads in one hour. Thus, there had been various ri of 36, 40, 48 chō. Tokugawa shogunate of Edo period defined 36 chō be 1 ri, allowing other variants, the Japanese government in 18