Hanyu Pinyin abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, 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, in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters; the pinyin system was developed in the 1950s by many linguists, including Zhou Youguang, based on earlier forms of romanizations of Chinese. It was published by revised several times; the International Organization for Standardization adopted pinyin as an international standard in 1982, was followed by the United Nations in 1986. The system was adopted as the official standard in Taiwan in 2009, where it is used for international events rather than for educational or computer-input purposes, but "some cities and organizations, notably in the south of Taiwan, did not accept this", so it remains one of several rival romanization systems in use.
The word Hànyǔ means'the spoken language of the Han people', while Pīnyīn means'spelled sounds'. In 1605, the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci published Xizi Qiji in Beijing; this was the first book to use the Roman alphabet to write the Chinese language. Twenty years another Jesuit in China, Nicolas Trigault, issued his Xi Ru Ermu Zi at Hangzhou. Neither book had much immediate impact on the way in which Chinese thought about their writing system, 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, Fang Yizhi; 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 stunning effect of the kana syllabaries and Western learning there; 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 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, further improved by Herbert Giles in the Chinese–English Dictionary of 1892, it was popular and used in English-language publications outside China until 1979. In the early 1930s, Communist Party of China leaders trained in Moscow introduced a phonetic alphabet using Roman letters, developed in the Soviet Oriental Institute of Leningrad and was intended to improve literacy in the Russian Far East; this Sin Wenz or "New Writing" was much more linguistically sophisticated than earlier alphabets, but with the major exception that it did not indicate tones of Chinese. In 1940, several thousand 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 Society's new journal.
Outside the CCP, other prominent supporters included Sun Fo. Over thirty journals soon appeared written in Sin Wenz, plus large numbers of translations, some contemporary Chinese literature, a spectrum of textbooks. In 1940, the movement reached an apex when Mao's Border Region Government declared that the Sin Wenz had the same legal status as traditional characters in government and public documents. Many educators and political leaders looked forward to the day when they would be universally accepted and replace Chinese characters. Opposition arose, because the system was less well adapted to writing regional languages, therefore would require learning Mandarin. Sin Wenz fell into relative disuse during the following years. In 1943, the U. S. military engaged Yale University to develop a romanization of Mandarin Chinese for its pilots flying over China. The resulting system is close to pinyin, but does not use English letters in unfamiliar ways. Medial semivowels are written with y and w, apical vowels with r or z.
Accent marks are used to indicate tone. Pinyin was created by Chinese linguists, including Zhou Youguang, as part of a Chinese government project in the 1950s. Zhou is called "the father of pinyin," Zhou worked as a banker in New York when he decided to return to China to help rebuild the country after the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, he became an economics professor in Shanghai, in 1955, when China's Ministry of Education created a Committee for the Reform of the Chinese Written Language, Premier Zhou Enlai assigned Zhou Youguang the task of developing a new romanization system, despite the fact that he was not a professional linguist. Hanyu Pinyin was based on several existing systems: Gwoyeu Romatzyh of 1928, Latinxua Sin Wenz of 1931, the diacritic markings from zhuyin. "I'm not the father of pinyin," Zhou said years later. It's a lo
The Zhou dynasty was a Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang dynasty and preceded the Qin dynasty. The Zhou dynasty lasted longer than any other dynasty in Chinese history; the military control of China by the royal house, surnamed Ji, lasted from 1046 until 771 BC for a period known as the Western Zhou and the political sphere of influence it created continued well into Eastern Zhou for another 500 years. During the Zhou Dynasty, centralized power decreased throughout the Spring and Autumn period until the Warring States period in the last two centuries of the Zhou Dynasty. In this period, the Zhou court had little control over its constituent states that were at war with each other until the Qin state consolidated power and formed the Qin dynasty in 221 BC; the Zhou Dynasty had formally collapsed only 35 years earlier, although the dynasty had only nominal power at that point. This period of Chinese history produced; the Zhou dynasty spans the period in which the written script evolved into its almost-modern form with the use of an archaic clerical script that emerged during the late Warring States period.
According to Chinese mythology, the Zhou lineage began when Jiang Yuan, a consort of the legendary Emperor Ku, miraculously conceived a child, Qi "the Abandoned One", after stepping into the divine footprint of Shangdi. Qi was a culture hero credited with surviving three abandonments by his mother and with improving Xia agriculture, to the point where he was granted lordship over Tai and the surname Ji by his own Xia king and a posthumous name, Houji "Lord of Millet", by the Tang of Shang, he received sacrifice as a harvest god. The term Hòujì was a hereditary title attached to a lineage. Qi's son, or rather that of the Hòujì, Buzhu is said to have abandoned his position as Agrarian Master in old age and either he or his son Ju abandoned agriculture living a nomadic life in the manner of the Xirong and Rongdi. Ju's son Liu, led his people to prosperity by restoring agriculture and settling them at a place called Bin, which his descendants ruled for generations. Tai led the clan from Bin to Zhou, an area in the Wei River valley of modern-day Qishan County.
The duke passed over his two elder sons Taibo and Zhongyong to favor Jili, a warrior who conquered several Xirong tribes as a vassal of the Shang kings Wu Yi and Wen Ding before being treacherously killed. Taibo and Zhongyong had already fled to the Yangtze delta, where they established the state of Wu among the tribes there. Jili's son Wen moved the Zhou capital to Feng. Around 1046 BC, Wen's son Wu and his ally Jiang Ziya led an army of 45,000 men and 300 chariots across the Yellow River and defeated King Zhou of Shang at the Battle of Muye, marking the beginning of the Zhou dynasty; the Zhou enfeoffed a member of the defeated Shang royal family as the Duke of Song, held by descendants of the Shang royal family until its end. This practice was referred to Three Reverences. According to Nicholas Bodman, the Zhou appear to have spoken a language not different in vocabulary and syntax from that of the Shang. A recent study by David McCraw, using lexical statistics, reached the same conclusion.
The Zhou emulated extensively Shang cultural practices to legitimize their own rule, became the successors to Shang culture. At the same time, the Zhou may have been connected to the Xirong, a broadly defined cultural group to the west of the Shang, which the Shang regarded as tributaries. According to the historian Li Feng, the term "Rong" during the Western Zhou period was used to designate political and military adversaries rather than cultural and ethnic'others.' King Wu maintained the old capital for ceremonial purposes but constructed a new one for his palace and administration nearby at Hao. Although Wu's early death left a young and inexperienced heir, the Duke of Zhou assisted his nephew King Cheng in consolidating royal power. Wary of the Duke of Zhou's increasing power, the "Three Guards", Zhou princes stationed on the eastern plain, rose in rebellion against his regency. Though they garnered the support of independent-minded nobles, Shang partisans and several Dongyi tribes, the Duke of Zhou quelled the rebellion, further expanded the Zhou Kingdom into the east.
To maintain Zhou authority over its expanded territory and prevent other revolts, he set up the fengjian system. Furthermore, he countered Zhou's crisis of legitimacy by expounding the doctrine of the Mandate of Heaven while accommodating important Shang rituals at Wangcheng and Chengzhou. Over time, this decentralized system became strained as the familial relationships between the Zhou kings and the regional dynasties thinned over the generations. Peripheral territories developed local prestige on par with that of the Zhou; when King You demoted and exiled his Jiang queen in favor of the beautiful commoner Bao Si, the disgraced queen's father the Marquis of Shen joined with Zeng and the Quanrong barbarians to sack Hao in 771 BC. Some modern scholars have surmised that the sack of Haojing might have been connected to a Scythian raid from the Altai before their westward expansion. With King You dead, a conclave of nobles declared the Marquis's grandson King Ping; the capital was moved eastward to Wangcheng, marking the end of the "Western Zhou" and the beginning of the "Eastern Zhou" dynasty.
The Eastern Zhou was characterized by an accelerating collapse of royal authority, although the king's ritual importance allowed over five more cent
National Palace Museum
The National Palace Museum, located in Taipei and Taibao, Chiayi County, has a permanent collection of nearly 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks, making it one of the largest of its type in the world. The collection encompasses 8,000 years of history of Chinese art from the Neolithic age to the modern. Most of the collection are high quality pieces collected by China's emperors; the National Palace Museum shares its roots with the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City, whose extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties. The National Palace Museum was established as the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City on 10 October 1925, shortly after the expulsion of Puyi, the last emperor of China, from the Forbidden City by warlord Feng Yuxiang; the articles in the museum consisted of the valuables of the former Imperial family. In 1931, shortly after the Mukden Incident Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Government ordered the museum to make preparations to evacuate its most valuable pieces out of the city to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Imperial Japanese Army.
As a result, from 6 February to 15 May 1933, the Palace Museum's 13,491 crates and 6,066 crates of objects from the Exhibition Office of Ancient Artifacts, the Summer Palace and the Imperial Hanlin Academy were moved in five groups to Shanghai. In 1936, the collection was moved to Nanking after the construction of the storage in the Taoist monastery Chaotian Palace was complete; as the Imperial Japanese Army advanced farther inland during the Second Sino-Japanese War, which merged into the greater conflict of World War II, the collection was moved westward via three routes to several places including Anshun and Leshan until the surrender of Japan in 1945. In 1947, it was shipped back to the Nanjing warehouse; the Chinese Civil War resumed following the surrender of the Japanese resulting in Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's decision to evacuate the arts to Taiwan, handed over to the ROC in 1945. When the fighting worsened in 1948 between the Communist and Nationalist armies, the National Beijing Palace Museum and other five institutions made the decision to send some of the most prized items to Taiwan.
Hang Li-wu director of the museum, supervised the transport of some of the collection in three groups from Nanking to the harbor in Keelung, Taiwan between December 1948 and February 1949. By the time the items arrived in Taiwan, the Communist army had seized control of the National Beijing Palace Museum collection so not all of the collection could be sent to Taiwan. A total of 2,972 crates of artifacts from the Forbidden City moved to Taiwan only accounted for 22% of the crates transported south, although the pieces represented some of the best of the collection; the collection from the National Beijing Palace Museum, the Preparatory Office of the National Central Museum, the National Central Library, the National Beiping Library was stored in a railway warehouse in Yangmei following transport across the Taiwan Strait and was moved to the storage in cane sugar mill near Taichung. In 1949, the Executive Yuan created the Joint Managerial Office, for the National Beijing Palace Museum, the Preparatory Office of the National Central Museum and the National Central Library to oversee the organization of the collection.
For security reasons, the Joint Managerial Office chose the mountain village of Beigou, located in Wufeng, Taichung as the new storage site for the collection in the same year. In the following year, the collection stored in cane sugar mill was transported to the new site in Beigou. With the National Central Library's reinstatement in 1955, the collection from the National Beijing Library was incorporated into the National Central Library; the Joint Managerial Office of the National Beijing Palace Museum and the Preparatory Office of the National Central Museum stayed in Beigou for another ten years. During the decade, the Office obtained a grant from the Asia Foundation to construct a small-scale exhibition hall in the spring of 1956; the exhibition hall, opened in March 1957, was divided into four galleries in which it was possible to exhibit more than 200 items. In the autumn of 1960, the Office received a grant of NT$32 million from AID; the Republic of China government contributed more than NT$30 million to establish a special fund for the construction of a museum in the Taipei suburb of Waishuanxi.
The construction of the museum in Waishuanxi was completed in August 1965. The new museum site was christened the "Chung-Shan Museum" in honor of the founding father of the ROC, Sun Yat-sen, first opened to the public on the centenary of Sun Yat-sen's birthday. Since the museum in Taipei has managed and exhibited the collections of the National Beiping Palace Museum and the Preparatory Office of the National Central Museum. During the 1960s and 1970s, the National Palace Museum was used by the Kuomintang to support its claim that the Republic of China was the sole legitimate government of all China, in that it was the sole preserver of traditional Chinese culture amid social change and the Cultural Revolution in mainland China, tended to emphasize Chinese nationalism; the People's Republic of China government has long said that the collection was stolen and that it legitimately belongs in China, but Taiwan has defended its collection as a necessary act to protect the pieces from destruction during the Cultural Revolution.
However, relations regarding this treasure have warmed in recent years and the Palace Museum in Beijing has agreed to lend relics to the National Palace Museum for exhibitions since 2009. The Palace Museum curator Zheng Xinmiao has sa
The Zizhi Tongjian is a pioneering reference work in Chinese historiography, published in 1084 in the form of a chronicle. In 1065 AD, Emperor Yingzong of Song ordered the great historian Sima Guang to lead with other scholars such as his chief assistants Liu Shu, Liu Ban and Fan Zuyu, the compilation of a universal history of China; the task took 19 years to be completed, and, in 1084 AD, it was presented to his successor Emperor Shenzong of Song. The Zizhi Tongjian records Chinese history from 403 BC to 959 AD, covering 16 dynasties and spanning across 1,400 years, contains 294 volumes and about 3 million Chinese characters; the principal text of the Zizhi Tongjian was recorded on 294 juan, which are scrolls corresponding to a volume, chapter, or section of the work. The text is a chronological narrative of the history of China from the Warring States to the Five Dynasties; the major contributor, Sima Guang, was active in each step from collecting events and dates from various previous works to drafting and publication.
Sima Guang left the traditional usage in Chinese historiography. For 1,000 years since the Shiji was written, standard Chinese dynastic histories had divided chapters between annals of rulers, biographies of officials. In Chinese terms, the book changed the format of histories from biographical style to chronological style, better suited for analysis and criticism. According to Wilkinson: "It had an enormous influence on Chinese historical writing, either directly or through its many abbreviations and adaptations, it remains an extraordinarily useful first reference for a quick and reliable coverage of events at a particular time." The 294 juan sweep through 11 Chinese historical periods. It was one of the largest historical magna opera in history. In the 12th century, Zhu Xi produced a reworked, condensed version of Zizhi Tongjian, known as Tongjian Gangmu, or Zizhi Tongjian Gangmu; this condensed version was itself translated into Manchu as ᡨᡠᠩᡤᡳᠶᠠᠨᡬᠠᠩᠮᡠ Wylie: Tung giyan g'ang mu, Möllendorff: Tung giyan g'ang mu, upon the request of Qing Dynasty Kangxi Emperor.
This Manchu version was itself translated into French by French Jesuit missionary Joseph-Anna-Marie de Moyriac de Mailla. His twelve-volume translation, "Histoire générale de la Chine, ou Annales de cet Empire; the Zhonghua Shuju edition contains textual criticism made by Yuan Dynasty historian Hu Sanxing. The philosopher Wang Fuzhi wrote a commentary on Tongjian, titled "Comments after reading the Tongjian". Historian Rafe de Crespigny has published translations of chapters 54-59 and 59-69 under the titles "Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling" and "To Establish Peace" covering 157-220 CE, while the next ten chapters covering up to 265 CE were translated by Achilles Fang in "The Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms". Chapters 1-8, covering the years 403-207 BCE, have been translated into English with copious notes and annotations; some additional sections of Zizhi tongjian pertaining to China's relations with the Xiongnu have been translated into English. The book consisted of 294 chapters, of which the following number describe each respective dynastic era: 5 chapters - Zhou 3 chapters - Qin 60 chapters - Han 10 chapters - Wei 40 chapters - Jin 16 chapters - Liu Song 10 chapters - Qi 22 chapters - Liang 10 chapters - Chen 8 chapters - Sui 81 chapters - Tang 6 chapters - Later Liang 8 chapters - Later Tang 6 chapters - Later Jin 4 chapters - Later Han 5 chapters - Later Zhou Culture of the Song dynasty History of the Song dynasty Records of the Grand Historian Zizhi Tongjian "Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government" — Chinaknowledge Xu Elina-Qian, Historical Development of the Pre-Dynastic Khitan, University of Helsinki, 2005.
273 pages. 2.1 Introduction to the Sources on the Pre-dynastic Khitan > The Zizhi Tongjian, p.20 Zizhi Tongjian
Culture of the Song dynasty
The Song dynasty was a culturally rich and sophisticated age for China. There was blossoming of and advancements in the visual arts, music and philosophy. Officials of the ruling bureaucracy, who underwent a strict and extensive examination process, reached new heights of education in Chinese society, while general Chinese culture was enhanced by widespread printing, growing literacy, various arts. Appreciation of art among the gentry class flourished during the Song dynasty in regard to paintings, an art practiced by many. Trends in painting styles amongst the gentry notably shifted from the Northern to Southern Song periods, influenced in part by the gradual embrace of the Neo-Confucian political ideology at court. People in urban areas enjoyed theatrical drama on stage, restaurants that catered to a variety of regional cooking, lavish clothing and apparel sold in the markets, while both urban and rural people engaged in seasonal festivities and religious holidays. Chinese painting during the Song dynasty reached a new level of sophistication with further development of landscape painting.
The shan shui style painting—"shan" meaning mountain, "shui" meaning river—became prominent features in Chinese landscape art. The emphasis laid upon landscape painting in the Song period was grounded in Chinese philosophy; the making of glazed and translucent porcelain and celadon wares with complex use of enamels was developed further during the Song period. Longquan celadon wares were popular in the Song period. Black and red lacquerwares of the Song period featured beautifully carved artwork of miniature nature scenes, landscapes, or simple decorative motifs; however though intricate bronze-casting and lacquerware, jade carving, sculpture and the painting of portraits and viewed objects like birds on branches were held in high esteem by the Song Chinese, landscape painting was paramount. By the beginning of the Song dynasty a distinctive landscape style had emerged. Artists mastered the formula of creating intricate and realistic scenes placed in the foreground, while the background retained qualities of vast and infinite space.
Distant mountain peaks rise out of high clouds and mist, while streaming rivers run from afar into the foreground. There was a significant difference in painting trends between the Northern Song period and Southern Song period; the paintings of Northern Song officials were influenced by their political ideals of bringing order to the world and tackling the largest issues affecting the whole of their society, hence their paintings depicted huge, sweeping landscapes. On the other hand, Southern Song officials were more interested in reforming society from the bottom up and on a much smaller scale, a method they believed had a better chance for eventual success. Hence, their paintings focused on smaller, visually closer, more intimate scenes, while the background was depicted as bereft of detail as a realm without substance or concern for the artist or viewer; this change in attitude from one era to the next stemmed from the rising influence of Neo-Confucian philosophy. Adherents to Neo-Confucianism focused on reforming society from the bottom up, not the top down, which can be seen in their efforts to promote small private academies during the Southern Song instead of the large state-controlled academies seen in the Northern Song era.
Since the Southern and Northern Dynasties, painting had become an art of high sophistication, associated with the gentry class as one of their main artistic pastimes, the others being calligraphy and poetry. During the Song dynasty there were avid art collectors that would meet in groups to discuss their own paintings, as well as rate those of their colleagues and friends; the poet and statesman Su Shi and his accomplice Mi Fu partook in these affairs, borrowing art pieces to study and copy, or if they admired a piece an exchange was proposed. The small round paintings popular in the Southern Song were collected into albums as poets would write poems along the side to match the theme and mood of the painting. Although they were avid art collectors, some Song scholars did not appreciate artworks commissioned by those painters found at shops or common marketplaces, some of the scholars criticized artists from renowned schools and academies. Anthony J. Barbieri-Low, a Professor of Early Chinese History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, points out that Song scholars' appreciation of art created by their peers was not extended to those who made a living as professional artists: During the Northern Song, a new class of scholar-artists emerged who did not possess the tromp l'oiel skills of the academy painters nor the proficiency of common marketplace painters.
The literati's painting was simpler and at times quite unschooled, yet they would criticize these other two groups as mere professionals, since they relied on paid commissions for their livelihood and did not paint for enjoyment or self-expression. The scholar-artists considered that painters who concentrated on realistic depictions, who employed a colorful palette, or, worst of all, who accepted monetary payment for their work were no better than butchers or tinkers in the marketplace, they were not to be considered real artists. However, during the Song period, there were many acclaimed court painters and they were esteemed by emper
Empress Xiang was a Chinese Empress consort of the Song Dynasty, married to Emperor Shenzong of Song. She acted as co-regent of China during the reign of her son, Emperor Huizong of Song, in 1100. Empress Xiang was elevated to the rank of Empress to Emperor Shenzong in 1068, she had only one child, a daughter Shuhuai, born in 1067, died in 1078. However, as the empress, she was the legal mother of the emperor’s heir and successor, the future Emperor Zhezong of Song, born to Consort Zhu, she was the legal mother of the future Emperor Huizong of Song, son of Consort Chen. In 1085, her stepson and adoptive son, Emperor Zhezong of Song, succeeded to the throne, until 1093 under the regency of her mother-in-law, Empress Dowager Gao. During the reign of Zhezong, Xiang was ceremoniously honoured as the legal mother of the Emperor, she had a long dislike toward the biological mother of the Emperor, Consort Dowager Zhu. She had a good relationship with her first daughter-in-law, Empress Meng, whom she considered educated in both literature and wifely manners, she disapproved when Emperor Zhezong deposed Meng from the position of Empress after a witch trial in 1096.
She claimed, that the edict deposing the empress, issued in her name as empress dowager, had been forged and that she had not seen it. In 1099, she and Consort Dowager Zhu selected the brides and concubines of the emperor’s brothers, prince Bi and prince Huizong. In 27 December 1100, Consort Liu was elevated to the position of empress, not approved by Xiang; when the Emperor died in 1100, the succession was not clear, Empress Xiang called upon the officials of state, selected the next heir to the throne. When her younger adoptive son, Emperor Huizong of Song, succeeded his brother on the throne at the age of seventeen in 1100, he expressed a wish to the Council of State that his mother was to act as his regent; because he was seventeen years old and therefore no longer regarded as a minor, his wish caused some debate among the ministers as to how this could be arranged, to find a precedence case to legitimatize it. On two occasions, Empress Dowager had ruled during the minority of an Emperor: in the case of Emperor Renzong of Song, in the case of Emperor Zhezong of Song, during which the child Emperor and Empress Dowager regent both sat together behind a screen in the audience chamber when the Council of State spoke to them, the birthday of the Empress Dowager was ritually celebrated as that of the ruler and she was declared as such to the Liao state by diplomats.
A different precedence was that of Emperor Yingzong of Song, who had not been a minor, but were the Empress Dowager Cao had been regent during his illness, during which the Council of State had formally called first at the Emperor, but visited the audience hall of the Empress Dowager, repeated their subject and adjusted to her words: in that case, the Empress Dowager regent had not been ritually treated as the ruler, the measure was treated as temporary. Zeng Bu of the Council of State concluded that the latter arrangements were more appropriate in the case of the co-regency of Empress Xiang: he informed the Emperor, they continued to inform Empress Xiang, she assured the Council that she had not been behind the wish to co-rule with her son, that she accepted to be regent on the same terms as the Empress Cao. It was decided, that she would not appear in the Imperial audience chamber, nor would she be ritually celebrated as a ruler or referred to as such in the diplomatic reports. During her co-reign, Empress Xiang was active foremost within palace affairs.
She gave audiences and conferred with the government, expressed concerns that she was not suitable because she had difficulty in reading. She wrote a statement, in which she promised to step down from her position as soon as the funeral rituals of her late spouse was completed, she reported suspicions to Zeng Bu that she suspected the biological mother of Emperor Zhezong, Consort Zhu, of at least two plots for placing her other son, Prince Si, on the throne. Xiang used her power as co-regent to push her view, that Emperor Zhezong had done wrong by demoting Empress Meng in favor of Empress Liu, she declared, that the demotion had been forged, that Meng should be given back the states of Empress, while Liu should bee stripped from hers. This led to a conflict with the council, who argued that an emperor could not change the status of his late brother's widow; the affairs ended with a compromise: on 23 June 1100, Xiang succeeded with having the status of empress returned to Meng, but was prevented from stripping Liu of her title, resulting in Emperor Zhezong having two Empresses Dowager.
The affair, however resulted in concern in the Council of State that the influence of Xiang was in danger of becoming to great, that a rivaling power fraction could form around her. When the son of Emperor Huizong of Song had been born, the Council of State therefore pointed out to the emperor, that as he was now the father of a son, he was no longer in need of a co-regent. Xiang has been portrayed as a conservative: however, she prevented the attempts to remove reformist Cai Jing from government. Empress Dowager Xiang stepped down from co-regency on 1 June 1100
Standard Chinese known as Modern Standard Mandarin, Standard Mandarin, Modern Standard Mandarin Chinese, or Mandarin, is a standard variety of Chinese, the sole official language of China, the de facto official language of Taiwan and one of the four official languages of Singapore. Its pronunciation is based on the Beijing dialect, its vocabulary on the Mandarin dialects, its grammar is based on written vernacular Chinese. Like other varieties of Chinese, Standard Chinese is a tonal language with topic-prominent organization and subject–verb–object word order, it has more initial consonants but final consonants and tones than southern varieties. Standard Chinese is an analytic language, though with many compound words. There are two standardised forms of the language, namely Putonghua in Mainland China and Guoyu in Taiwan. Aside from a number of differences in pronunciation and vocabulary, Putonghua is written using simplified Chinese characters, Guoyu is written using traditional Chinese characters.
Many characters are identical between the two systems. In Chinese, the standard variety is known as: 普通话 in the People's Republic of China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Standard Chinese is commonly referred to by generic names for "Chinese", notably 中文. In total, there have been known over 20 various names for the language; the term Guoyu had been used by non-Han rulers of China to refer to their languages, but in 1909 the Qing education ministry applied it to Mandarin, a lingua franca based on northern Chinese varieties, proclaiming it as the new "national language". The name Putonghua has a long, albeit unofficial, history, it was used as early as 1906 in writings by Zhu Wenxiong to differentiate a modern, standard Chinese from classical Chinese and other varieties of Chinese. For some linguists of the early 20th century, the Putonghua, or "common tongue/speech", was conceptually different from the Guoyu, or "national language"; the former was a national prestige variety. Based on common understandings of the time, the two were, in fact, different.
Guoyu was understood as formal vernacular Chinese, close to classical Chinese. By contrast, Putonghua was called "the common speech of the modern man", the spoken language adopted as a national lingua franca by conventional usage; the use of the term Putonghua by left-leaning intellectuals such as Qu Qiubai and Lu Xun influenced the People's Republic of China government to adopt that term to describe Mandarin in 1956. Prior to this, the government used both terms interchangeably. In Taiwan, Guoyu continues to be the official term for Standard Chinese; the term Guoyu however, is less used in the PRC, because declaring a Beijing dialect-based standard to be the national language would be deemed unfair to speakers of other varieties and to the ethnic minorities. The term Putonghua, on the contrary, implies nothing more than the notion of a lingua franca. During the government of a pro-Taiwan independence coalition, Taiwan officials promoted a different reading of Guoyu as all of the "national languages", meaning Hokkien and Formosan as well as Standard Chinese.
Huayu, or "language of the Chinese nation" simply meant "Chinese language", was used in overseas communities to contrast Chinese with foreign languages. Over time, the desire to standardise the variety of Chinese spoken in these communities led to the adoption of the name "Huayu" to refer to Mandarin; this name avoids choosing a side between the alternative names of Putonghua and Guoyu, which came to have political significance after their usages diverged along political lines between the PRC and the ROC. It incorporates the notion that Mandarin is not the national or common language of the areas in which overseas Chinese live. Hanyu, or "language of the Han people", is another umbrella term used for Chinese. However, it has confusingly two different meanings: Standard Chinese; this term, as well as Hànzú, is a modern concept. A related concept is Hànzì; the term "Mandarin" is a translation of Guānhuà, which referred to the lingua franca of the late Chinese empire. The Chinese term is obsolete as a name for the standard language, but is used by linguists to refer to the major group of Mandarin dialects spoken natively across most of northern and southwestern China.
In English, "Mandarin" may refer to the standard language, the dialect group as a whole, or to historic forms such as the late Imperial lingua franca. The name "Modern Standard Mandarin" is sometimes used by linguists who wish to distinguish the current state of the shared language from other northern and historic dialects; the Chinese have different languages in different provinces, to such an extent