Esperanto is the most spoken constructed international auxiliary language. It was created in the late 19th century by a Polish-Jewish ophthalmologist. In 1887, he published a book detailing Unua Libro, under the pseudonym Dr. Esperanto. Esperanto translates to English as "one who hopes". Zamenhof's goal was to create an easy and flexible language that would serve as a universal second language to foster peace and international understanding, to build a community of speakers, as he inferred that one can’t have a language without a community of speakers, his original title for the language was the international language, but early speakers grew fond of the name Esperanto and began to use it as the name for the language in 1889. In 1905, Zamenhof published Fundamento de Esperanto as a definitive guide to the language; that year, he organized the first World Esperanto Congress, an ongoing annual conference, in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. The first congress ratified the Declaration of Boulogne, which established several foundational premises for the Esperanto movement.
One of its pronouncements is that Fundamento de Esperanto is the only obligatory authority over the language. Another is that the Esperanto movement is a linguistic movement and that no further meaning can be ascribed to it. Zamenhof proposed to the first congress that an independent body of linguistic scholars should steward the future evolution of Esperanto, foreshadowing the founding of the Akademio de Esperanto, in part modeled after the Académie française, established soon thereafter. Since 1905, congresses have been held in various countries every year, with the exceptions of years during the World Wars. In 1908, a group of young Esperanto speakers led by Hector Hodler established the Universal Esperanto Association, in order to provide a central organization for the global Esperanto community. Esperanto grew both as a language and as a linguistic community. Despite speakers facing persecution in regimes such as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union under Stalin, Esperanto speakers continued to establish organizations and publish periodicals tailored to specific regions and interests.
In 1954, the United Nations granted official support to Esperanto as an international auxiliary language in the Montevideo Resolution. Several writers have contributed to the growing body of Esperanto literature, including William Auld, who received the first nomination for the Nobel Prize in Literature for a literary work in Esperanto in 1999, followed by two more in 2004 and 2006. Esperanto-language writers are officially represented in PEN International, the worldwide writers association, through Esperanto PEN Centro. Esperanto has continued to develop in the 21st century; the advent of the Internet has had a significant impact on the language, as learning it has become accessible on platforms such as Duolingo and as speakers have networked on platforms such as Amikumu. With two million speakers, a small portion of whom are native speakers, it is the most spoken constructed language in the world. Although no country has adopted Esperanto Esperantujo is the collective name given to places where it is spoken, the language is employed in world travel, cultural exchange, literature, language instruction and radio broadcasting.
While its advocates continue to hope for the day that Esperanto becomes recognized as the international auxiliary language, an increasing number have stopped focusing on this goal and instead view the Esperanto community as a "stateless diasporic linguistic minority" based on freedom of association, with a culture worthy of preservation based on its own merit. Some have chosen to learn Esperanto due to its purported help in third language acquisition. Zamenhof had three goals, as he wrote in Unua Libro: "To render the study of the language so easy as to make its acquisition mere play to the learner." "To enable the learner to make direct use of his knowledge with people of any nationality, whether the language be universally accepted or not. "To find some means of overcoming the natural indifference of mankind, disposing them, in the quickest manner possible, en masse, to learn and use the proposed language as a living one, not only in last extremities, with the key at hand."According to the database Ethnologue, up to two million people worldwide, to varying degrees, speak Esperanto, including about 1,000 to 2,000 native speakers who learned Esperanto from birth.
The Universal Esperanto Association has more than 5500 members in 120 countries. Its usage is highest in Europe, East Asia, South America. Lernu! is one of the most popular on-line learning platforms for Esperanto. In 2013, the "lernu.net" site reported 150,000 registered users and had between 150,000 and 200,000 visitors each month. Lernu has 274,800 registered users, who are able to view the site's interface in their choice of 21 languages — Catalan, Chinese Danish, Esperanto, French, German, Hungarian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Serbian, Slovak and Ukrainian.
Rokkakudō, was a hexagonal wooden retreat overlooking the sea along the Izura coast in Kitaibaraki, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. Dating to 1905, it was part of the Izura Institute of Ibaraki University. Constructed in the sukiya-zukuri style, single-storey, with a tiled roof, an area of nine square metres, painted red, it was designed by scholar and critic Okakura Tenshin who spent time there with painter Yokoyama Taikan. In 2003 it was added to the Tangible Cultural Properties Register. On 11 March 2011 it was swept off to sea in the tsunami, it was rebuilt and opened to the public in April 2012. Tenshin Memorial Museum of Art, Ibaraki Nihon Bijutsuin Registered Cultural Properties Kanrantei Japanese aesthetics Kumada, Yumiko. "Okakura Tenshin and the Rokkakudo - Its Architectural Sources and Traditions in China". The Izura Bulletin. Ibaraki University. 5: 9–28
Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan by population, the most populous municipality of Japan. It is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture, it lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu. It is a major commercial hub of the Greater Tokyo Area. Yokohama's population of 3.7 million makes it Japan's largest city. Yokohama developed as Japan's prominent port city following the end of Japan's relative isolation in the mid-19th century, is today one of its major ports along with Kobe, Nagoya, Hakata and Chiba. Yokohama means "horizontal beach"; the current area surrounded by Maita Park, the Ōoka River and the Nakamura River had been a gulf divided by a sandbar from the open sea. This sandbar was the original Yokohama fishing village. Since the sandbar protruded perpendicularly from the land, or horizontally when viewed from the sea, it was called a "horizontal beach". Yokohama was a small fishing village up to the end of the feudal Edo period, when Japan held a policy of national seclusion, having little contact with foreigners.
A major turning point in Japanese history happened in 1853–54, when Commodore Matthew Perry arrived just south of Yokohama with a fleet of American warships, demanding that Japan open several ports for commerce, the Tokugawa shogunate agreed by signing the Treaty of Peace and Amity. It was agreed that one of the ports to be opened to foreign ships would be the bustling town of Kanagawa-juku on the Tōkaidō, a strategic highway that linked Edo to Kyoto and Osaka. However, the Tokugawa shogunate decided that Kanagawa-juku was too close to the Tōkaidō for comfort, port facilities were instead built across the inlet in the sleepy fishing village of Yokohama; the Port of Yokohama was opened on June 2, 1859. Yokohama became the base of foreign trade in Japan. Foreigners occupied the low-lying district of the city called Kannai, residential districts expanding as the settlement grew to incorporate much of the elevated Yamate district overlooking the city referred to by English speaking residents as The Bluff.
Kannai, the foreign trade and commercial district, was surrounded by a moat, foreign residents enjoying extraterritorial status both within and outside the compound. Interactions with the local population young samurai, outside the settlement caused problems. To protect British commercial and diplomatic interests in Yokohama a military garrison was established in 1862. With the growth in trade increasing numbers of Chinese came to settle in the city. Yokohama was the scene of many notable firsts for Japan including the growing acceptance of western fashion, photography by pioneers such as Felice Beato, Japan's first English language newspaper, the Japan Herald published in 1861 and in 1865 the first ice cream and beer to be produced in Japan. Recreational sports introduced to Japan by foreign residents in Yokohama included European style horse racing in 1862, cricket in 1863 and rugby union in 1866. A great fire destroyed much of the foreign settlement on November 26, 1866 and smallpox was a recurrent public health hazard, but the city continued to grow – attracting foreigners and Japanese alike.
After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the port was developed for trading silk, the main trading partner being Great Britain. Western influence and technological transfer contributed to the establishment of Japan's first daily newspaper, first gas-powered street lamps and Japan's first railway constructed in the same year to connect Yokohama to Shinagawa and Shinbashi in Tokyo. In 1872 Jules Verne portrayed Yokohama, which he had never visited, in an episode of his read novel Around the World in Eighty Days, capturing the atmosphere of the fast-developing, internationally oriented Japanese city. In 1887, a British merchant, Samuel Cocking, built the city's first power plant. At first for his own use, this coal-burning plant became the basis for the Yokohama Cooperative Electric Light Company; the city was incorporated on April 1, 1889. By the time the extraterritoriality of foreigner areas was abolished in 1899, Yokohama was the most international city in Japan, with foreigner areas stretching from Kannai to the Bluff area and the large Yokohama Chinatown.
The early 20th century was marked by rapid growth of industry. Entrepreneurs built factories along reclaimed land to the north of the city toward Kawasaki, which grew to be the Keihin Industrial Area; the growth of Japanese industry brought affluence, many wealthy trading families constructed sprawling residences there, while the rapid influx of population from Japan and Korea led to the formation of Kojiki-Yato the largest slum in Japan. Much of Yokohama was destroyed on September 1923 by the Great Kantō earthquake; the Yokohama police reported casualties at 30,771 dead and 47,908 injured, out of a pre-earthquake population of 434,170. Fuelled by rumours of rebellion and sabotage, vigilante mobs thereupon murdered many Koreans in the Kojiki-yato slum. Many people believed. Martial law was in place until November 19. Rubble from the quake was used to reclaim land for parks, the most famous being the Yamashita Park on the waterfront which opened in 1930. Yokohama was rebuilt, only to be destroyed again by U.
S. air raids during World War II. An estimated seven or eight thousand people were killed in a single morning on
Swami Vivekananda, born Narendranath Datta, was an Indian Hindu monk, a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century, he was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India, contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India. Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission, he is best known for his speech which began with the words - "Sisters and brothers of America..." in which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893. Born into an aristocratic Bengali Kayastha family of Calcutta, Vivekananda was inclined towards spirituality, he was influenced by his guru, from whom he learnt that all living beings were an embodiment of the divine self. After Ramakrishna's death, Vivekananda toured the Indian subcontinent extensively and acquired first-hand knowledge of the conditions prevailing in British India.
He travelled to the United States, representing India at the 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions. Vivekananda conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating tenets of Hindu philosophy in the United States and Europe. In India, Vivekananda is regarded as a patriotic saint, his birthday is celebrated as National Youth Day. Vivekananda was born Narendranath Datta in a Bengali family at his ancestral home at 3 Gourmohan Mukherjee Street in Calcutta, the capital of British India, on 12 January 1863 during the Makar Sankranti festival, he was one of nine siblings. His father, Vishwanath Datta, was an attorney at the Calcutta High Court. Durgacharan Datta, Narendra's grandfather was a Sanskrit and Persian scholar who left his family and became a monk at age twenty-five, his mother, Bhubaneswari Devi, was a devout housewife. The progressive, rational attitude of Narendra's father and the religious temperament of his mother helped shape his thinking and personality. Narendranath was interested in spirituality from a young age and used to meditate before the images of deities such as Shiva, Rama and Mahavir Hanuman.
He was fascinated by wandering monks. Naren was naughty and restless as a child, his parents had difficulty controlling him, his mother said, "I prayed to Shiva for a son and he has sent me one of his ghosts". In 1871, at the age of eight, Narendranath enrolled at Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's Metropolitan Institution, where he went to school until his family moved to Raipur in 1877. In 1879, after his family's return to Calcutta, he was the only student to receive first-division marks in the Presidency College entrance examination, he was an avid reader in a wide range of subjects, including philosophy, history, social science and literature. He was interested in Hindu scriptures, including the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas. Narendra was trained in Indian classical music, participated in physical exercise and organised activities. Narendra studied Western logic, Western philosophy and European history at the General Assembly's Institution.
In 1881 he passed the Fine Arts examination, completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1884. Narendra studied the works of David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Baruch Spinoza, Georg W. F. Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Auguste Comte, John Stuart Mill and Charles Darwin, he became fascinated with the evolutionism of Herbert Spencer and corresponded with him, translating Spencer's book Education into Bengali. While studying Western philosophers, he learned Sanskrit scriptures and Bengali literature. William Hastie wrote, "Narendra is a genius. I have travelled far and wide but I have never come across a lad of his talents and possibilities in German universities, among philosophical students, he is bound to make his mark in life". Narendra was known for the ability at speed reading. Several incidents have been given as examples. In a talk, he once quoted verbatim, three pages from Pickwick Papers. Another incident, given is his argument with a Swedish national where he gave reference to some details on Swedish history that the Swede disagreed with but conceded.
In another incident with Dr. Paul Deussen's at Kiel in Germany, Vivekananda was going over some poetical work and did not reply when the professor spoke to him, he apologized to Dr. Deussen explaining that he was too absorbed in reading and hence did not hear him; the professor was not satisfied with this explanation but Vivekananda quoted and interpreted verses from the text leaving the professor dumbfounded about his feat of memory. Once, he requested some books written by Sir John Lubbock from a library and returned them the next day claiming that he had read them; the librarian refused to believe him until cross examination about the contents convinced him that Vivekananda was being truthful. Some accounts have called Narendra a shrutidhara. In 1880 Narendra joined Keshab Chandra Sen's Nava Vidhan, established by Sen after meeting Ramakrishna and reconverting from Christianity to Hinduism. Narendra became a member of a Freemasonry lodge "at some point before 18
The Meiji period, or Meiji era, is an era of Japanese history which extended from October 23, 1868 to July 30, 1912. This era represents the first half of the Empire of Japan, during which period the Japanese people moved from being an isolated feudal society at risk of colonisation by European powers to the new paradigm of a modern, industrialised nationstate and emergent great power, influenced by Western scientific, philosophical, political and aesthetic ideas; as a result of such wholesale adoption of radically-different ideas, the changes to Japan were profound, affected its social structure, internal politics, economy and foreign relations. The period corresponded to the reign of Emperor Meiji and was succeeded upon the accession of Emperor Taishō by the Taishō period. On February 3, 1867, the 14-year-old Prince Mutsuhito succeeded his father, Emperor Kōmei, to the Chrysanthemum Throne as the 122nd emperor. On November 9, 1867, then-shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu tendered his resignation to the Emperor, formally stepped down ten days later.
Imperial restoration occurred the next year on January 3, 1868, with the formation of the new government. The fall of Edo in the summer of 1868 marked the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, a new era, was proclaimed; the first reform was the promulgation of the Five Charter Oath in 1868, a general statement of the aims of the Meiji leaders to boost morale and win financial support for the new government. Its five provisions consisted of: Establishment of deliberative assemblies. Implicit in the Charter Oath was an end to exclusive political rule by the bakufu, a move toward more democratic participation in government. To implement the Charter Oath, a rather short-lived constitution with eleven articles was drawn up in June 1868. Besides providing for a new Council of State, legislative bodies, systems of ranks for nobles and officials, it limited office tenure to four years, allowed public balloting, provided for a new taxation system, ordered new local administrative rules; the Meiji government assured the foreign powers that it would follow the old treaties negotiated by the bakufu and announced that it would act in accordance with international law.
Mutsuhito, to reign until 1912, selected a new reign title—Meiji, or Enlightened Rule—to mark the beginning of a new era in Japanese history. To further dramatize the new order, the capital was relocated from Kyoto, where it had been situated since 794, to Tokyo, the new name for Edo. In a move critical for the consolidation of the new regime, most daimyōs voluntarily surrendered their land and census records to the Emperor in the abolition of the Han system, symbolizing that the land and people were under the Emperor's jurisdiction. Confirmed in their hereditary positions, the daimyo became governors, the central government assumed their administrative expenses and paid samurai stipends; the han were replaced with prefectures in 1871, authority continued to flow to the national government. Officials from the favored former han, such as Satsuma, Chōshū, Hizen staffed the new ministries. Old court nobles, lower-ranking but more radical samurai, replaced bakufu appointees and daimyo as a new ruling class appeared.
In as much as the Meiji Restoration had sought to return the Emperor to a preeminent position, efforts were made to establish a Shinto-oriented state much like it was 1,000 years earlier. Since Shinto and Buddhism had molded into a syncretic belief in the prior one-thousand years and Buddhism had been connected with the shogunate, this involved the separation of Shinto and Buddhism and the associated destruction of various Buddhist temples and related violence. Furthermore, a new State Shinto had to be constructed for the purpose. In 1871, the Office of Shinto Worship was established, ranking above the Council of State in importance; the kokutai ideas of the Mito school were embraced, the divine ancestry of the Imperial House was emphasized. The government supported a small but important move. Although the Office of Shinto Worship was demoted in 1872, by 1877 the Home Ministry controlled all Shinto shrines and certain Shinto sects were given state recognition. Shinto was released from Buddhist administration and its properties restored.
Although Buddhism suffered from state sponsorship of Shinto, it had its own resurgence. Christianity was legalized, Confucianism remained an important ethical doctrine. However, Japanese thinkers identified with Western ideology and methods. A major proponent of representative government was Itagaki Taisuke, a powerful Tosa leader who had resigned from the Council of State over the Korean affair in 1873. Itagaki sought peaceful, rather than rebellious, he started a school and a movement aimed at establishing a constitutional monarchy and a legislative assembly. Such movements were called People's Rights Movement. Itagaki and others wrote the Tosa Memorial in 1874, criticizing the unbridled power of the oligarchy and calling for the immediate establishment of representative government. Between 1871 and 1873, a series of land and tax laws were enacted as the basis for modern fiscal policy. Private ownership was legalized, deeds were issued, lands were assessed at fair market value with taxes paid in cash rather than in k
Pan-Asianism is an ideology that promotes the unity of Asian peoples. Several theories and movements of Pan-Asianism have been proposed from East and Southeast Asia. Motivating the movement has been resistance to Western imperialism and colonialism and a belief that "Asian values" should take precedence over "European values." During the Cold War, the movement became less vigorous, as nations in the region aligned with one or the other of the superpowers. Pre-World War II Japanese Pan-Asianism was, at its core, the idea that Asia should unite against European imperialism. Japanese Asianism developed in intertwining among debates on solidarity with Asian nations who were under pressure of Europe and on aggressive expansion to the Asian continent; the former debates originated from liberalism. Their ideologues were Tokichi Tarui who argued for equal Japan-Korea unionization for cooperative defence against the European powers, Kentaro Oi who attempted domestic constitutional government in Japan and reforms of Korea.
Pan-Asian thought in Japan began to develop in the late 19th century and was spurred on following the defeat of Russia in the Russo-Japanese War. This created interest from Bengali poets Rabindranath Tagore and Sri Aurobindo and Chinese politician Sun Yat-sen; the growing official interest in broader Asian concerns was shown in the establishment of facilities for Indian Studies. In 1899, Tokyo Imperial University set up a chair in Sanskrit and Kawi, with a further chair in comparative religion being set up in 1903. In this environment, a number of Indian students came to Japan in the early twentieth century, founding the Oriental Youngmen's Association in 1900, their anti-British political activity caused consternation to the Indian Government, following a report in the London Spectator. However, Japanese society had been inclined to ultranationalism from the Freedom and People's Rights Movement; the latter debates on aggressive expansionism to Asia became apparent. Their representatives were the Black Dragon Society.
The Black Dragon Society argued for Japanese imperialism and expansionism, they led to a debate on securing the Asian continent under Japanese control. Exceptionally, Ryōhei Uchida, a member of the Black Dragon Society, was a Japan-Korea unionist and activist of Philippines and Chinese revolutions. Tōten Miyazaki supported a Chinese revolution of Sun Yat-sen with spiritual sacrifice and sympathy under imperial Japan. Okakura Kakuzō criticized European imperialism as a destroyer of human beauty, argued for romantic solidarity with diverse "Asia as one" against European civilization. ASIA is one; the Himalayas divide, only to accentuate, two mighty civilisations, the Chinese with its communism of Confucius, the Indian with its individualism of the Vedas. But not the snowy barriers can interrupt for one moment that broad expanse of love for the Ultimate and Universal, the common thought-inheritance of every Asiatic race, enabling them to produce all the great religions of the world, distinguishing them from those maritime peoples of the Mediterranean and the Baltic, who love to dwell on the Particular, to search out the means, not the end, of life.
In this Okakura was utilising the Japanese concept of sangoku, which existed in Japanese culture before the concept of Asia became popularised. Sangoku means the "three countries": Honshu and Tenjiku. However, most Pan-Asianists were nationalistic and imperialistic and were connected with rightist organizations, they discussed self-righteous solidarity which led to ideology such as a "new order" of East Asia and "Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere" based on Japanese supremacy. In a Chinese perspective, Japanese Asianism was interpreted as a rationalized ideology for Japanese military aggression and political absorption. In 1917, Li Dazhao equal greater Asian union. In 1924, Sun Yat-sen stated that the West was hegemonic and the East was Confucian, he argued for full independence by resisting colonialism with "Greater Asianism" which unified Asian nations. Political leaders from Sun Yat-sen in the 1910s and 20s to Mahathir Mohamad in the 1990s argue that the political models and ideologies of Europe lack values and concepts found in Asian societies and philosophies.
European values such as individual rights and freedoms would not be suited for Asian societies in this extreme formulation of Pan-Asianism. The idea of "Asian values" is somewhat of a resurgence of Pan-Asianism. One foremost enthusiast of the idea was the former Prime Minister of Lee Kuan Yew. In India, Rammanohar Lohia dreamed of a united socialist Asia. ASEAN Asia Council Asian Relations Conference Bandung Conference East Asian Community South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Asia Cooperation Dialogue Pan-nationalism Shumei Okawa Iwane Matsui Chen, Jian. China's Road to the Korean War: The Making of the Sino-American Confrontation. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-10025-0. Saaler, Sven and J. Victor Koschmann, eds. Pan-Asianism in Modern Japanese History: Colonialism and Borders. London and New York: Routledge, 2007. ISBN 0-415-37216-X Saaler, Sven and C. W. A. Szpilman, eds. Pan-Asianism: A Documentary History, Rowman & Littlefield, 2011. Two volumes. ISBN 978-1-4422-0596-3, ISBN 978-1-4422-0599-4 Saaler, Sven and C.
W. A. Szpilman, "Japan and Asia," Saaler, Sven and C. W. A. Szpilman, eds. Routledge Handbook of Mode
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