The Qianlong Emperor was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. Born Hongli, the fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, he reigned from 11 October 1735 to 8 February 1796. On 8 February, he abdicated in favour of his son, the Jiaqing Emperor—a filial act in order not to reign longer than his grandfather, the illustrious Kangxi Emperor. Despite his retirement, however, he retained ultimate power as the Emperor Emeritus until his death in 1799; as a capable and cultured ruler inheriting a thriving empire, during his long reign the Qing Empire reached its most splendid and prosperous era, boasting a large population and economy. As a military leader, he led military campaigns expanding the dynastic territory to the largest extent by conquering and sometimes destroying Central Asian kingdoms; this turned around in his late years: the Qing empire began to decline with corruption and wastefulness in his court and a stagnating civil society.
A British valet who accompanied his diplomat master to the Qing court in 1793 described the emperor: The Emperor is about five feet ten inches in height, of a slender but elegant form. His dress consisted of a loose robe of yellow silk, a cap of black velvet with a red ball on the top, adorned with a peacock's feather, the peculiar distinction of mandarins of the first class, he wore silk boots embroidered with gold, a sash of blue girded his waist. Hongli was adored by both his grandfather, the Kangxi Emperor, his father, the Yongzheng Emperor; some historians argue that the main reason why the Kangxi Emperor appointed the Yongzheng Emperor as his successor was because Hongli was his favourite grandson. He felt that Hongli's mannerisms were similar to his own; as a teenager, Hongli possessed literary ability. After his father's enthronement in 1722, Hongli was made a qinwang under the title "Prince Bao of the First Rank". Like many of his uncles, Hongli entered into a battle of succession with his elder half-brother Hongshi, who had the support of a large faction of the officials in the imperial court, as well as Yinsi, Prince Lian.
For many years, the Yongzheng Emperor did not designate any of his sons as the crown prince, but many officials speculated that he favoured Hongli. Hongli went on inspection trips to the south, was known to be an able negotiator and enforcer, he was appointed as the chief regent on occasions when his father was away from the capital. Hongli's accession to the throne was foreseen before he was proclaimed emperor before the assembled imperial court upon the death of the Yongzheng Emperor; the young Hongli was the favourite grandson of the Kangxi Emperor and the favourite son of the Yongzheng Emperor. In the hope of preventing a succession struggle from occurring, the Yongzheng Emperor wrote the name of his chosen successor on a piece of paper and placed it in a sealed box secured behind the tablet over the throne in the Palace of Heavenly Purity; the name in the box was to be revealed to other members of the imperial family in the presence of all senior ministers only upon the death of the emperor.
When the Yongzheng Emperor died in 1735, the will was taken out and read before the entire Qing imperial court, after which Hongli became the new emperor. Hongli adopted the era name "Qianlong", which means "Lasting Eminence"; the Qianlong Emperor was a successful military leader. After ascending the throne, he sent armies to suppress the Miao rebellion, his campaigns expanded the territory controlled by the Qing Empire. This was made possible not only by Qing military might, but by the disunity and declining strength of the Inner Asian peoples. Under the Qianlong Emperor's reign, the Dzungar Khanate was incorporated into the Qing Empire's rule and renamed Xinjiang, while to the west, Ili was conquered and garrisoned; the incorporation of Xinjiang into the Qing Empire resulted from the final defeat and destruction of the Dzungars, a coalition of Western Mongol tribes. The Qianlong Emperor ordered the Dzungar genocide. According to the Qing dynasty scholar Wei Yuan, 40% of the 600,000 Dzungars were killed by smallpox, 20% fled to the Russian Empire or Kazakh tribes, 30% were killed by the Qing army, in what Michael Edmund Clarke described as "the complete destruction of not only the Zunghar state but of the Zunghars as a people."
Historian Peter Perdue has argued that the decimation of the Dzungars was the result of an explicit policy of massacre launched by the Qianlong Emperor. The Dzungar genocide has been compared to the Qing extermination of the Jinchuan Tibetan people in 1776, which occurred during the Qianlong Emperor's reign; when victorious troops returned to Beijing, a celebratory hymn was sung in their honour. A Manchu version of the hymn was sent to Paris; the Qing Empire hired Zhao Yi and Jiang Yongzhi at the Mili
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 the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, in the Kangxi Dictionary; the modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, have been more or less stable since the 5th century. The retronym "traditional Chinese" is used to contrast traditional characters with Simplified Chinese characters, a standardized character set introduced by the government of the People's Republic of China on Mainland China in the 1950s. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau. In contrast, Simplified Chinese characters are used in mainland China and Malaysia in official publications. However, several countries – such as Australia, the US and Canada – are increasing their number of printed materials in Simplified Chinese, to better accommodate citizens from mainland China.
The debate on traditional and simplified Chinese characters has been a long-running issue among Chinese communities. A large number of overseas Chinese online newspapers allow users to switch between both character sets. Although simplified characters are taught and endorsed by the government of China, there is no prohibition against the use of traditional characters. Traditional characters are used informally in regions in China in handwriting and used for inscriptions and religious text, they are retained in logos or graphics to evoke yesteryear. Nonetheless, the vast majority of media and communications in China is dominated by simplified characters. In Hong Kong and Macau, Traditional Chinese has been the legal written form since colonial times. In recent years, simplified Chinese characters in Hong Kong and Macau has appeared to accommodate Mainland Chinese tourists and immigrants; this has led to concerns by many residents to protect their local heritage. Taiwan has never adopted simplified characters.
The use of simplified characters in official documents is prohibited by the government of Taiwan. Simplified characters are understood to a certain extent by any educated Taiwanese, learning to read them takes little effort; some stroke simplifications that have been incorporated into Simplified Chinese are in common use in handwriting. For example, while the name of Taiwan is written as 臺灣, the semi-simplified name 台灣 is acceptable to write in official documents. 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, 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, used in Philippines is the same as the one used in Taiwan. 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 latter half of the 19th century, before the standardization of simplified characters. Therefore, United States public notices and signage in Chinese are in Traditional Chinese. Traditional Chinese characters are called several different names within the Chinese-speaking world; the government of Taiwan calls traditional Chinese characters standard characters or orthodox characters. However, the same term is used outside Taiwan to distinguish standard and traditional characters from variant and idiomatic characters. In contrast, users of traditional characters outside Taiwan, such as those in Hong Kong and overseas Chinese communities, users of simplified Chinese characters, call them complex characters.
An informal name sometimes used by users of simplified characters is "old characters". Users of traditional characters sometimes refer them as "Full Chinese characters" to distinguish them from simplified Chinese characters; some traditional character users argue that traditional characters are the original form of the Chinese characters and cannot be called "complex". Simplified characters cannot be "standard" because they are not used in all Chinese-speaking regions. Conversely, supporters of simplified Chinese characters object to the description of traditional characters as "standard," since they view the new simplified characters as the contemporary standard used by the vast majority of Chinese speakers, they point out that traditional characters are not traditional as many Chinese characters have been made more elaborate over time. Some people refer to traditional characters as "proper characters" and modernized characters as "simplified-stroke characters" (sim
East Asia is the eastern subregion of Asia, defined in either geographical or ethno-cultural terms. China, Japan and Vietnam belong to the East Asian cultural sphere. Geographically and geopolitically, the region includes China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea; the region was the cradle of various ancient civilizations such as ancient China, ancient Japan, ancient Korea, the Mongol Empire. East Asia was one of the cradles of world civilization, with China, an ancient East Asian civilization being one of the earliest cradles of civilization in human history. For thousands of years, China influenced East Asia as it was principally the leading civilization in the region exerting its enormous prestige and influence on its neighbors. Societies in East Asia have been part of the Chinese cultural sphere, East Asian vocabulary and scripts are derived from Classical Chinese and Chinese script; the Chinese calendar preserves traditional East Asian culture and serves as the root to which many other East Asian calendars are derived from.
Major religions in East Asia include Buddhism and Neo-Confucianism, Ancestral worship, Chinese folk religion in Greater China and Shintoism in Japan, Christianity and Sindoism in Korea. Shamanism is prevalent among Mongols and other indigenous populations of northern East Asia such as the Manchus. East Asians comprise around 1.6 billion people, making up about 38% of the population in Continental Asia and 22% of the global population. The region is home to major world metropolises such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo. Although the coastal and riparian areas of the region form one of the world's most populated places, the population in Mongolia and Western China, both landlocked areas, is sparsely distributed, with Mongolia having the lowest population density of any sovereign state; the overall population density of the region is 133 inhabitants per square kilometre, about three times the world average of 45/km2. In comparison with the profound influence of the Ancient Greeks and Romans on Europe and the Western World, China would possess an advanced civilization nearly half a millennia before Japan and Korea.
As Chinese civilization existed for about 1500 years before other East Asian civilizations emerged into history, Imperial China would exert much of its cultural, economic and political muscle onto its neighbors. Succeeding Chinese dynasties exerted enormous influence across East Asia culturally, economically and militarily for over two millennia. Imperial China's cultural preeminence not only led the country to become East Asia's first literate nation in the entire region, it supplied Japan and Korea with Chinese loanwords and linguistic influences rooted in their writing systems. In addition, the Chinese Han dynasty hosted the largest unified population in East Asia, the most literate and urbanized as well as being the most technologically and culturally advanced civilization in the region. Cultural and religious interaction between the Chinese and other regional East Asian dynasties and kingdoms occurred. China's impact and influence on Korea began with the Han dynasty's northeastern expansion in 108 BC when the Han Chinese conquered the northern part of the Korean peninsula and established a province called Lelang.
Chinese influence would soon take root in Korea through the inclusion of the Chinese writing system, monetary system, rice culture, Confucian political institutions. Jōmon society in ancient Japan incorporated wet-rice cultivation and metallurgy through its contact with Korea. Vietnamese society was impacted by Chinese influence, the northern part of Vietnam was occupied by Chinese empires and states for all of the period from 111 BC to 938 AD. In addition to administration, making Chinese the language of administration, the long period of Chinese domination introduced Chinese techniques of dike construction, rice cultivation, animal husbandry. Chinese culture, having been established among the elite mandarin class, remained the dominant current among that elite for most of the next 1,000 years until the loss of independence under French Indochina; this cultural affiliation to China remained true when militarily defending Vietnam against attempted invasion, such as against the Mongol Kublai Khan.
The only significant exceptions to this were the 7 years of the anti-Chinese Hồ dynasty which banned the use of Chinese, but after the expulsion of the Ming the rise in vernacular chữ nôm literature. Although 1,000 years of Chinese rule left many traces, the collective memory of the period reinforced Vietnam's cultural and political independence; as full-fledged medieval East Asian states were established, Korea by the fourth century AD and Japan by the seventh century AD, Korea and Vietnam began to incorporate Chinese influences such as Confucianism, the use of written Han characters, Chinese style architecture, state institutions, political philosophies, urban planning, various scientific and technological methods into their culture and society through direct contacts with succeeding Chinese dynasties. For many centuries, most notably from the 7th to the 14th centuries, China stood as East Asia's most advanced civilization, commanding influence across the region up until the early modern period.
The Imperial Chinese tributary system shaped much of East Asia's history for over two millennia due to Imperial China's economic and cultural influence over the region, thus played a huge role in the history of East Asia in particular. The trans
Cantonese is a variety of Chinese spoken in the city of Guangzhou and its surrounding area in Southeastern China. It is the traditional prestige variety and standard form of Yue Chinese, one of the major subgroups of Chinese. In mainland China, it is the lingua franca of the province of Guangdong and neighbouring areas such as Guangxi, it is the official language of Hong Kong and Macau. Cantonese is widely spoken amongst Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia and throughout the Western world. While the term Cantonese refers to the prestige variety, it is used in a broader sense for the entire Yue subgroup of Chinese, including related but mutually unintelligible languages and dialects such as Taishanese; when Cantonese and the related Yuehai dialects are classified together, there are about 80 million total speakers. Cantonese is viewed as a vital and inseparable part of the cultural identity for its native speakers across large swaths of Southeastern China, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as in overseas communities.
Although Cantonese shares a lot of vocabulary with Mandarin, the two varieties are mutually unintelligible because of differences in pronunciation and lexicon. Sentence structure, in particular the placement of verbs, sometimes differs between the two varieties. A notable difference between Cantonese and Mandarin is; this results in the situation in which a Cantonese and a Mandarin text may look similar but are pronounced differently. In English, the term "Cantonese" can be ambiguous. Cantonese proper is the variety native to the city of Canton, the traditional English name of Guangzhou; this narrow sense may be specified as "Canton language" or "Guangzhou language". However, "Cantonese" may refer to the primary branch of Chinese that contains Cantonese proper as well as Taishanese and Gaoyang. In this article, "Cantonese" is used for Cantonese proper. Speakers called this variety "Canton speech" or "Guangzhou speech", although this term is now used outside Guangzhou. In Guangdong and Guangxi, people call it "provincial capital speech" or "plain speech".
Academically called "Canton prefecture speech". In Hong Kong and Macau, as well as among overseas Chinese communities, the language is referred to as "Guangdong speech" or "Canton Province speech", or as "Chinese". In mainland China, the term "Guangdong speech" is increasingly being used amongst both native and non-native speakers. Given the history of the development of the Yue languages and dialects during the Tang dynasty migrations to the region, in overseas Chinese communities, it is referred to as "Tang speech", given that the Cantonese people refer to themselves as "people of Tang". Due to its status as a prestige dialect among all the dialects of the Yue branch of Chinese varieties, it is called "Standard Cantonese"; the official languages of Hong Kong are English, as defined in the Hong Kong Basic Law. The Chinese language has many different varieties. Given the traditional predominance of Cantonese within Hong Kong, it is the de facto official spoken form of the Chinese language used in the Hong Kong Government and all courts and tribunals.
It is used as the medium of instruction in schools, alongside English. A similar situation exists in neighboring Macau, where Chinese is an official language alongside Portuguese; as in Hong Kong, Cantonese is the predominant spoken variety of Chinese used in everyday life and is thus the official form of Chinese used in the government. The Cantonese spoken in Hong Kong and Macau is mutually intelligible with the Cantonese spoken in the mainland city of Guangzhou, although there exist some minor differences in accent and vocabulary. Cantonese first developed around the port city of Guangzhou in the Pearl River Delta region of southeastern China. Due to the city's long standing as an important cultural center, Cantonese emerged as the prestige dialect of the Yue varieties of Chinese in the Southern Song dynasty and its usage spread around most of what is now the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi. Despite the cession of Macau to Portugal in 1557 and Hong Kong to Britain in 1842, the ethnic Chinese population of the two territories originated from the 19th and 20th century immigration from Guangzhou and surrounding areas, making Cantonese the predominant Chinese language in the territories.
On the mainland, Cantonese continued to serve as the lingua franca of Guangdong and Guangxi provinces after Mandarin was made the official language of the government by the Qing dynasty in the early 1900s. Cantonese remained a dominant and influential language in southeastern China until the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and its promotion of Standard Chinese as the sole official language of the nation throughout the last half of the 20th century, although its influence still remains strong within the region. While the Chinese government vehemently discourages the official use of all forms of Chinese except Standard Chinese, Cantonese enjoys a higher standing than other Chinese langua
Injo of Joseon
Injo of Joseon was the sixteenth king of the Joseon dynasty in Korea. He was son of Grand Prince Jeongwon. King Injo was king during both the first and second Manchu invasions, which ended with the surrender of Joseon to the Qing dynasty in 1636. King Injo was born in 1595 as a son of Grandprince Jeongwon, whose father was the ruling monarch King Seonjo. In 1607, Grandprince Jeongwon's son was given the title, Prince Neungyang and Grand Prince Neungyang. In 1608, King Seonjo fell sick and died, his son, succeeded him to the throne. At the time, the government was divided by various political factions; the Eastern faction split during the last days of King Seonjo in the Northern and Southern political factions. The Northern faction wanted radical reform. At the time of Seonjo's death, the Northern faction, who gained control of the government at the time, was divided into left-wing Greater Northerners and less radical Lesser Northerners; as Gwanghaegun inherited the throne, the Greater Northern political faction, which supported him as heir to the crown, became the major political faction in the royal court.
Meanwhile, conservative Western political faction remained a minor faction, far from gaining power. Although King Gwanghaegun was an outstanding administrator and great diplomat, he was unsupported by many politicians and aristocrats because he was not the first-born and he was born of a concubine. Greater Northerners tried to stomp out those opinions, suppressing Lesser Northerners and killing Prince Imhae, the oldest son of Seonjo, Grand Prince Yeongchang, the queen's son, it was not Gwanghaegun's plan to keep his throne. The actions made Gwanghaegun more unpopular among wealthy aristocrats, they began plotting against him. In 1623, members of the ultra-conservative Westerners faction, Kim Ja-jeom, Kim Ryu, Yi Gwi and Yi Gwal, launched a coup that resulted in the dethroning of Gwanghaegun, sent into exile on Jeju Island. Jeong In-hong and Yi Yicheom were killed, followed by the Westerners replacing the Greater Northerners as the ruling political faction; the Westerners crowned him as the new King of Joseon.
Although Injo was king, he did not have any authority since all of the power was held by the Western faction that dethroned Gwanghaegun. Yi Gwal received too small reward for his role in the coup. In 1624, he rebelled against Injo after being sent to the Northern front as military commander of Pyongyang to fight against the expanding Manchus, while other major leaders of the coup were rewarded with positions in the King's court. Yi Gwal led 12,000 troops, including 100 Japanese, to the capital, where Yi Gwal defeated a regular army under the command of General Jang Man and surrounded Hanseong in what is known as the Battle of Jeotan. Injo fled to Gongju, Hanseong fell into the hands of the rebels. On February 11, 1624, Yi Gwal enthroned Prince Heungan as the new king; the Korean army recaptured the capital soon after, Yi Gwal was murdered by his bodyguard, which resulted in the end of the rebellion. Though Injo was able to keep his throne, the rebellion displayed the weaknesses of royal authority, while asserting the superiority of the aristocrats, who had gained more power by the fighting against the rebellion.
The economy, experiencing a slight recovery from Gwanghaegun's reconstruction, was once again ruined and Korea would remain in a poor economic state for a few centuries. King Gwanghaegun, considered a wise diplomat, kept his neutral policy between the Chinese Ming Dynasty, Joseon's traditional ally, the growing Manchus. However, following the fall of Gwanghaegun, conservative Westerners took hard-line policy toward the Manchus, keeping their alliance with Ming Dynasty; the Manchus, who had up until that time remained friendly to Joseon, began to regard Joseon as an enemy. Han Yun, who participated in the rebellion of Yi Gwal, fled to Manchuria and urged the Manchu leader Nurhaci to attack Joseon. In 1627, 30,000 Manchu cavalry under General Amin and former Korean General Gang Hong-rip invaded Joseon, calling for restoration of Gwanghaegun and execution of Westerners leaders, including Kim Ja-jeom. General Jang Man again was unable to repel the invasion. Once again, Injo fled to Ganghwa Island.
Meanwhile, the Manchus had no reason to attack Korea and decided to go back to prepare for war against China, peace soon settled. Qing and Joseon were declared brother nations and the Manchus withdrew from Korea; the war is called first Manchu invasion of Korea. However, most Westerners kept their hard-line policy despite the war. Nurhaci, who had good opinion toward Korea, did not invade Korea again.
May Fourth Movement
The May Fourth Movement was an anti-imperialist and political movement which grew out of student participants in Beijing on 4 May 1919. They protested against the Chinese government's weak responses to the stipulations of the Treaty of Versailles it allowing Japan to receive territories in Shandong, surrendered by Germany after the Siege of Tsingtao in 1914. China had fallen victim to the expansionist policies of the Empire of Japan, which had conquered large areas of Chinese-controlled territory with the support of France, the UK, the US; this was finalized at the Treaty of Versailles. The demonstrations sparked national protests and marked an upsurge of Chinese nationalism, a shift towards political mobilization and away from cultural activities, a move towards a populist base rather than intellectual elites. Many of the radical political and social leaders of the next two decades emerged at this time; the term "May Fourth Movement" in a broader sense refers to the period during 1915–1921 more called the New Culture Movement.
"The atmosphere and political mood that emerged around 1919," in the words of Mitter, "are at the centre of a set of ideas that has shaped China's momentous twentieth century." Following the Xinhai Revolution in 1911, the Qing dynasty disintegrated. This marked the end of thousands of years of powerful imperial rule, theoretically ushered a new era in which political power rested with the people. However, the reality was that China was a fragmented nation dominated by warlords, who were more concerned with their own political powers and private armies than national interests; the Chinese Beiyang government was occupied with suppressing internal affairs and did little to counter the influence exerted by foreign powers. The March 1st Movement that happened in Korea in 1919, the Russian Revolution of 1917, defeats by foreign powers and the presence of spheres of influence inflamed a sense of Chinese nationalism among the emerging middle class and cultural leaders. Leaders of the New Culture Movement believed that traditional Confucian values were responsible for the political weakness of the nation.
Chinese nationalists called for a rejection of traditional values and the selective adoption of Western ideals of "Mr. Science" and "Mr. Democracy" in place of "Mr. Confucius" in order to strengthen the new nation; these iconoclastic and anti-traditional views and programs have shaped China's politics and culture down until the present. China had entered World War I on the side of the Allied Triple Entente in 1917 with the condition that all German spheres of influence, such as Shandong, would be returned to China. Although in that year 140,000 Chinese labourers were sent to France, the Versailles Treaty of April 1919 awarded German rights in Shandong Province to Japan; the representatives of the Chinese government put forth the following requests: abolition of all privileges of foreign powers in China, such as extraterritoriality cancelling of the "Twenty-One Demands" with the Japanese return to China of the territory and rights of Shandong, which Japan had taken from Germany during World War I.
The Western Allies dominated the meeting at Versailles, paid little heed to Chinese demands. Britain and France were interested in punishing Germany. Although the United States promoted Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points and the ideals of self-determination, they were unable to advance these ideals in the face of stubborn resistance by David Lloyd George, Georges Clemenceau and the U. S. Congress. American advocacy of self-determination at the League of Nations was attractive to Chinese intellectuals, but their failure to follow through was seen as a betrayal. Chinese diplomatic failure at the Paris Peace Conference touched off the May Fourth Movement, became known as the "Shandong Problem". On the morning of 4 May 1919, student representatives from thirteen different local universities met in Beijing and drafted five resolutions: to oppose the granting of Shandong to the Japanese under former German concessions. To draw awareness of China's precarious position to the masses in China. To recommend a large-scale gathering in Beijing.
To promote the creation of a Beijing student union. To hold a demonstration that afternoon in protest to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. On the afternoon of May 4 over 4,000 students of Yenching University, Peking University and other schools marched from many points to gather in front of Tiananmen, they shouted such slogans as "Struggle for the sovereignty externally, get rid of the national traitors at home", "Do away with the'Twenty-One Demands'", "Don't sign the Versailles Treaty". They voiced their anger at the Allied betrayal of China, denounced the government's spineless inability to protect Chinese interests, called for a boycott of Japanese products. Demonstrators insisted on the resignation of three Chinese officials they accused of being collaborators with the Japanese. After burning the residence of one of these officials and beating his servants, student protesters were arrested and beaten; the next day, students in Beijing as a whole went on strike and in the larger cities across China, patriotic merchants, workers joined protests.
The demonstrators skillfully appealed to the newspapers and sent representatives to carry the word across the country. From early June and businessmen in Shanghai went on strike as the center of the movement shifted from Beijing to Shanghai. Chancellors from thirteen universities arranged for the release of student prisoners, Cai Yuanpei, the principal of Peking University resigned in protest. Newspapers, magazines, ci
History of China
The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty, during the king Wu Ding's reign, recorded as the twenty-first Shang king by the written records of Shang dynasty unearthed. Ancient historical texts such as the Records of the Grand Historian and the Bamboo Annals describe a Xia dynasty before the Shang, but no writing is known from the period, Shang writings do not indicate the existence of the Xia; the Shang ruled in the Yellow River valley, held to be the cradle of Chinese civilization. However, Neolithic civilizations originated at various cultural centers along both the Yellow River and Yangtze River; these Yellow River and Yangtze civilizations arose millennia before the Shang. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest civilizations, is regarded as one of the cradles of civilization; the Zhou dynasty supplanted the Shang, introduced the concept of the Mandate of Heaven to justify their rule.
The central Zhou government began to weaken due to external and internal pressures in the 8th century BC, the country splintered into smaller states during the Spring and Autumn period. These states became warred with one another in the following Warring States period. Much of traditional Chinese culture and philosophy first developed during those troubled times. In 221 BC, Qin Shi Huang conquered the various warring states and created for himself the title of Huangdi or "emperor" of the Qin, marking the beginning of imperial China. However, the oppressive government fell soon after his death, was supplanted by the longer-lived Han dynasty. Successive dynasties developed bureaucratic systems that enabled the emperor to control vast territories directly. In the 21 centuries from 206 BC until AD 1912, routine administrative tasks were handled by a special elite of scholar-officials. Young men, well-versed in calligraphy, history and philosophy, were selected through difficult government examinations.
China's last dynasty was the Qing, replaced by the Republic of China in 1912, in the mainland by the People's Republic of China in 1949, resulting in two de facto states claiming to be the legitimate government of all China. Chinese history has alternated between periods of political unity and peace, periods of war and failed statehood – the most recent being the Chinese Civil War. China was dominated by steppe peoples, most of whom were assimilated into the Han Chinese culture and population. Between eras of multiple kingdoms and warlordism, Chinese dynasties have ruled parts or all of China. Traditional culture, influences from other parts of Asia and the Western world, form the basis of the modern culture of China. What is now China was inhabited by Homo erectus more than a million years ago. Recent study shows that the stone tools found at Xiaochangliang site are magnetostratigraphically dated to 1.36 million years ago. The archaeological site of Xihoudu in Shanxi Province has evidence of use of fire by Homo erectus, dated 1.27 million years ago, Homo erectus fossils in China include the Yuanmou Man, the Lantian Man and the Peking Man.
Fossilised teeth of Homo sapiens dating to 125,000–80,000 BC have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Dao County in Hunan. Evidence of Middle Palaeolithic Levallois technology has been found in the lithic assemblage of Guanyindong Cave site in southwest China, dated to 170,000–80,000 years ago; the Neolithic age in China can be traced back to about 10,000 BC. The earliest evidence of cultivated rice, found by the Yangtze River, is carbon-dated to 8,000 years ago. Early evidence for proto-Chinese millet agriculture is radiocarbon-dated to about 7000 BC. Farming gave rise to the Jiahu culture. At Damaidi in Ningxia, 3,172 cliff carvings dating to 6000–5000 BC have been discovered, "featuring 8,453 individual characters such as the sun, stars and scenes of hunting or grazing"; these pictographs are reputed to be similar to the earliest characters confirmed to be written Chinese. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BC, Dadiwan from 5800 BC to 5400 BC, Damaidi around 6000 BC and Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BC.
Some scholars have suggested. Excavation of a Peiligang culture site in Xinzheng county, found a community that flourished in 5,500 to 4,900 BC, with evidence of agriculture, constructed buildings and burial of the dead. With agriculture came increased population, the ability to store and redistribute crops, the potential to support specialist craftsmen and administrators. In late Neolithic times, the Yellow River valley began to establish itself as a center of Yangshao culture, the first villages were founded. Yangshao culture was superseded by the Longshan culture, centered on the Yellow River from about 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Bronze artifacts have been found at the Majiayao culture site, The Bronze Age is represented at the Lower Xiajiadian culture site in northeast China. Sanxingdui located in what is now Sichuan province is believed to be the site of a major ancient city, of a unknown Bronze Age culture; the site was first discovered in 1929 and re-dis