Northeast China or Dongbei is a geographical region of China. It historically corresponds with the term Inner Manchuria in the English language, it consists of the three provinces of Liaoning and Heilongjiang, collectively referred as the Three Northeastern Provinces, but broadly encompasses the eastern part of Inner Mongolia. The region is separated from Far Eastern Russia to the north by the Amur and Ussuri rivers, from North Korea to the south by the Yalu River and Tumen River, from the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region to the west by the Greater Khingan Range; the heartland of the region is the Northeast China Plain. Due to the shrinking of its once-powerful industrial sector and decline of its economic growth, the region is called the Rust Belt in China; as the result, a campaign named Northeast Area Revitalization Plan has been launched by the State Council of the People's Republic of China, in which five prefecture-level cities of eastern Inner Mongolia, namely Xilin Gol, Tongliao and Hulunbuir, are formally defined as regions of the Northeast.
The region is nearly congruent with some definitions of "Manchuria" in historical foreign usage. Another term for the area is Guandong, meaning "east of the Pass", referring to the famous Shanhai Pass between Liaoning Province and the neighboring Hebei Province to the west; this name was used by the occupying Japanese colonists referring to their leased territory of Dalian after the 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki, as the Kwantung Chou, which gave name to the occupying Kwantung Army, mobilized to set up the puppet state of Manchukuo. Provincial capitals in bold. Northeast China was the homeland of several ethnic groups, including the Manchus, Hezhen. Various ethnic groups and their respective kingdoms, including the Sushen and Mohe have risen to power in the Northeast. Many Korean kingdoms have risen to power in Manchuria, including Gojoseon, Buyeo and Balhae. Yan State once occupied the Liaodong Peninsula, Han Chinese dynasties in China loosely controlled the southern parts of the region. During the Song dynasty, the Khitan set up the Liao Dynasty in Northeast China.
The Jurchen overthrew the Liao and formed the Jin dynasty, which went on to conquer northern China. In AD 1234, the Jin dynasty fell to the Mongols, whose Yuan Dynasty was replaced by the Ming Dynasty in 1368. In 1644, the Manchu established the Qing dynasty. Northeast China came under influence of the Russian Empire with the building of the Chinese Eastern Railway through Harbin to Vladivostok; the Empire of Japan replaced Russian influence in the region as a result of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904–1905, Japan laid the South Manchurian Railway in 1906 to Port Arthur. During the Warlord Era in China, Zhang Zuolin established himself in Northeast China, but was murdered by the Japanese for being too independent; the last Qing dynasty emperor, was placed on the throne to lead a Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. After the atomic bombing of Japan in 1945, the Soviet Union invaded the region as part of its declaration of war against Japan. From 1945 to 1948, Northeast China was a base area for the Communist People's Liberation Army in the Chinese Civil War.
With the encouragement of the Soviet Union, the area was used as a staging ground during the Civil War for the Chinese Communists, who were victorious in 1949 and have been controlling this region since. Northeast China has a total population of about 107,400,000 people, accounting for 8% of China’s total population; the overwhelming majority of the population in the Northeast is Han Chinese, many of whose ancestors came in the 19th and 20th centuries during a migration movement called "Chuang Guandong". Northeast China had a significant Han Chinese population, reaching over 3 million by the end of Ming Dynasty, but they were subjected to cleansing and assimilation by the conquest of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, who set up Willow Palisades during the reign of Shunzhi Emperor and prohibited any settlement of Han Chinese into the region; the Northeast remained sparsely populated until the ban was lifted during the late Qing in response to the Russian incursions into Outer Manchuria, a large influx of migrant settlers landless peasants from the nearby Hebei and Shandong provinces, came in a scale equivalent to the 19th century American westward expansion, resulting in the local Han Chinese population to grow over 20 million before the Second Sino-Japanese War.
After the establishment of the People's Republic of China at the end of the Chinese Civil War, further immigrations were organized by the Central Government to "develop the Great Northern Wilderness" peaking the population over 100 million people. Because most people in Northeast China trace their ancestries back to the migrants from the Chuang Guandong era, Northeastern Chinese were more culturally uniform compared to other geographical regions of China. People from the Northeast would first identify themselves as "Northeasterners" before affiliating to individual provinces and cities/towns. Ethnic Manchus form the second significant ethnic group in Northeast China, followed by the Mongols and the Huis, as well as 49 other ethnic minorities such as Daurs, Hezhens, Evenks, etc. Taoism and Chinese Buddhism were never well established in this region - instead Chinese folk religions led by local shamans predominate
Jin dynasty (265–420)
The Jin dynasty or the Jin Empire (. It was founded by Sima Yan, son of Sima Zhao, who himself was made the King of Jin and posthumously declared one of the founders of the dynasty, along with his older brother, Sima Shi, father, Sima Yi, it followed the Three Kingdoms period, which ended with the conquest of Eastern Wu by Jin, culminating in the reunification of China. There are two main divisions in the history of the dynasty; the Western Jin was established as a successor state to Cao Wei after Sima Yan usurped the throne, had its capital at Luoyang and Chang'an. The rebels and invaders began to establish new self-proclaimed states along the Yellow River valley in 304, inaugurating the "Sixteen Kingdoms" era; these states began fighting each other and the Jin Empire, leading to the second division of the dynasty, the Eastern Jin, when Sima Rui moved the capital to Jiankang. The Eastern Jin dynasty was overthrown by Liu Yu and replaced with the Liu Song in 420. Under the Wei, who dominated the northern parts of China during the Three Kingdoms period, the Sima clan—with its most accomplished individual being Sima Yi—rose to prominence after the 249 coup d'état.
After Sima Yi's death, his eldest son, Sima Shi, kept a tight grip on the political scene, after his own death, his younger brother, Sima Zhao, assisted his clans' interests by further suppressing rebellions and dissent, as well as recovering all of Shu and capturing Liu Shan in 263. His ambitions for the throne remain proverbial in Chinese, but he died in 265 before he could rise higher than a King of Jin, a title named for the Zhou-era marchland and duchy around Shaanxi's Jin River; the Jin dynasty was founded in AD 266 by Sima Yan, posthumously known as Emperor Wu. He forced Cao Huan's abdication but permitted him to live in honor as the Prince of Chenliu and buried him with imperial ceremony; the Jin dynasty united the country. The period of unity was short-lived as the state was soon weakened by corruption, political turmoil, internal conflicts. Sima Yan's son Zhong, posthumously known as Emperor Hui, was developmentally disabled. Conflict over his succession in 290 expanded into the devastating War of the Eight Princes.
The weakened dynasty was engulfed by the Uprising of the Five Barbarians and lost control of northern China. Large numbers of Chinese fled south from the Central Plains; the Jin capital Luoyang was captured by Xiongnu King Liu Cong in 311. Sima Chi, posthumously known as Emperor Huai, was captured and executed, his successor Sima Ye, posthumously known as Emperor Min, was captured at Chang'an in 316 and later executed. The remnants of the Jin court fled to the south-east, reestablishing their government at Jiankang within present-day Nanjing, Jiangsu. Sima Rui, the prince of Langya, was enthroned in 318; the rival northern states, who denied the legitimacy of his succession, sometimes referred to his state as "Langya". At first, the southerners were resistant to the new ruler from the north; the circumstances obliged the Emperors of Eastern Jin to depend on both local and refugee gentry clans, the latter convinced the former of the emperor enjoying high prestige by showing superficial respect to Rui, the pinnacle of menfa politics, Several immigrated gentry clans were active and they grasped the national affairs: Wang clans from Langya and Taiyuan, Xie clan from Chenliu, Huan clan from Qiao Commandery, Yu clan from Yingchuan.
The Emperors of Eastern Jin had limited power. There was a prevalent remark that "王與（司）馬，共天下" among the people, it is said that when Emperor Yuan was holding court, he invited Dao to sit by himself accepting jointly the congratulations from ministers, but Dao declined it. The local gentry clans were at odds with the immigrants; as such, tensions increased. Two of the biggest local clans: Zhou clan from Yixing and Shen clan from Wuxing's ruin was a bitter blow from which they never quite recovered. Moreover, there was a conflict among the immigrated clans' interests. Although there was a stated goal of recovering the "lost northern lands", paranoia within the royal family and a constant string of disruptions to the throne caused the loss of support among many officials. Military crises—including the rebellions of the generals Wang Dun and Su Jun, but lesser fangzhen revolts—plagued the Eastern Jin throughout its 104 years of existence. Special "commanderies of immigrants" and "white registers" were created for the massive amounts of Han Chinese from the north who moved to the south during the Eastern Jin dynasty.
The southern Chinese aristocrac
Siberia is an extensive geographical region spanning much of Eurasia and North Asia. Siberia has been a part of modern Russia since the 17th century; the territory of Siberia extends eastwards from the Ural Mountains to the watershed between the Pacific and Arctic drainage basins. The Yenisei River conditionally divides Siberia into two parts and Eastern. Siberia stretches southwards from the Arctic Ocean to the hills of north-central Kazakhstan and to the national borders of Mongolia and China. With an area of 13.1 million square kilometres, Siberia accounts for 77% of Russia's land area, but it is home to 36 million people—27% of the country's population. This is equivalent to an average population density of about 3 inhabitants per square kilometre, making Siberia one of the most sparsely populated regions on Earth. If it were a country by itself, it would still be the largest country in area, but in population it would be the world's 35th-largest and Asia's 14th-largest. Worldwide, Siberia is well known for its long, harsh winters, with a January average of −25 °C, as well as its extensive history of use by Russian and Soviet administrations as a place for prisons, labor camps, exile.
The origin of the name is unknown. Some sources say that "Siberia" originates from the Siberian Tatar word for "sleeping land". Another account sees the name as the ancient tribal ethnonym of the Sirtya, an ethnic group which spoke a Paleosiberian language; the Sirtya people were assimilated into the Siberian Tatars. The modern usage of the name was recorded in the Russian language after the Empire's conquest of the Siberian Khanate. A further variant claims; the Polish historian Chyliczkowski has proposed that the name derives from the proto-Slavic word for "north", but Anatole Baikaloff has dismissed this explanation. He said that the neighbouring Chinese and Mongolians, who have similar names for the region, would not have known Russian, he suggests that the name might be a combination of two words with Turkic origin, "su" and "bir". The region has paleontological significance, as it contains bodies of prehistoric animals from the Pleistocene Epoch, preserved in ice or in permafrost. Specimens of Goldfuss cave lion cubs and another woolly mammoth from Oymyakon, a woolly rhinoceros from the Kolyma River, bison and horses from Yukagir have been found.
The Siberian Traps were formed by one of the largest-known volcanic events of the last 500 million years of Earth's geological history. Their activity continued for a million years and some scientists consider it a possible cause of the "Great Dying" about 250 million years ago, – estimated to have killed 90% of species existing at the time. At least three species of human lived in Southern Siberia around 40,000 years ago: H. sapiens, H. neanderthalensis, the Denisovans. In 2010 DNA evidence identified the last as a separate species. Siberia was inhabited by different groups of nomads such as the Enets, the Nenets, the Huns, the Scythians and the Uyghurs; the Khan of Sibir in the vicinity of modern Tobolsk was known as a prominent figure who endorsed Kubrat as Khagan of Old Great Bulgaria in 630. The Mongols conquered a large part of this area early in the 13th century. With the breakup of the Golden Horde, the autonomous Khanate of Sibir was established in the late 15th century. Turkic-speaking Yakut migrated north from the Lake Baikal region under pressure from the Mongol tribes during the 13th to 15th century.
Siberia remained a sparsely populated area. Historian John F. Richards wrote: "... it is doubtful that the total early modern Siberian population exceeded 300,000 persons."The growing power of Russia in the West began to undermine the Siberian Khanate in the 16th century. First, groups of traders and Cossacks began to enter the area; the Russian Army was directed to establish forts farther and farther east to protect new settlers from European Russia. Towns such as Mangazeya, Tara and Tobolsk were developed, the last being declared the capital of Siberia. At this time, Sibir was the name of a fortress at Qashlik, near Tobolsk. Gerardus Mercator, in a map published in 1595, marks Sibier both as the name of a settlement and of the surrounding territory along a left tributary of the Ob. Other sources contend that the Xibe, an indigenous Tungusic people, offered fierce resistance to Russian expansion beyond the Urals; some suggest. By the mid-17th century, Russia had established areas of control; some 230,000 Russians had settled in Siberia by 1709.
Siberia was a destination for sending exiles. The first great modern change in Siberia was the Trans-Siberian Railway, constructed during 1891–1916, it linked Siberia more to the industrialising Russia of Nicholas II. Around seven million people moved to Siberia from European Russia between 1801 and 1914. From 1859 to 1917, more than half a million people migrated to the Russian Far East. Siberia has extensive natural resources. During the 20th century, large-scale exploitation of these was developed, industrial towns cropped up throughout the region. At 7:15 a.m. on 30 June 1908, millions of trees were felled near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in central Siberia in the Tunguska Event. Most scientists believe this resulted from the air burst of a comet. Though no crater has been found, the landscape in the area still bears the scars of this event. In the early decades of the Soviet Union (
The Göktürks, Celestial Turks, Blue Turks or Kok Turks were a nomadic confederation of Turkic peoples in medieval Inner Asia. The Göktürks, under the leadership of Bumin Qaghan and his sons, succeeded the Rouran Khaganate as the main power in the region and established the Turkic Khaganate, one of several nomadic dynasties which would shape the future geolocation and dominant beliefs of Turkic peoples. Speaking, the common name Göktürk is the Anatolian Turkish form of the ethnonym; the Old Turkic name for the Göktürks was Türük,: Kök Türük, or Türk. They were known in Middle Chinese historical sources as the tɦutkyat. According to Chinese sources, the meaning of the word Tujue was "combat helmet" because the shape of the Altai Mountains where they lived, was similar to a combat helmet. Göktürk means "Celestial Turks", or sometimes "Blue Turks"; this is consistent with "the cult of heavenly ordained rule", a recurrent element of Altaic political culture and as such may have been imbibed by the Göktürks from their predecessors in Mongolia.
The name of the ruling Ashina clan may derive from the Khotanese Saka term for āššɪna. According to American Heritage Dictionary The word Türk meant "strong" in Old Turkic; the Göktürk rulers originated from the Ashina clan, who were first attested to 439. The Book of Sui reports that in that year, on October 18, the Tuoba ruler Emperor Taiwu of Northern Wei overthrew Juqu Mujian of the Northern Liang in eastern Gansu, whence 500 Ashina families fled northwest to the Rouran Khaganate in the vicinity of Gaochang. Peter Benjamin Golden points out that the khaghans of the Turkic Khaganate, the Ashina, who were of an undetermined ethnic origin, adopted Iranian and Tokharian titles. German Turkologist W.-E. Scharlipp points out. According to the Book of Zhou and the History of the Northern Dynasties, the Ashina clan was a component of the Xiongnu confederation, but this connection is disputed, according to the Book of Sui and the Tongdian, they were "mixed Hu" from Pingliang. Indeed, Chinese sources linked the Hu on their northern borders to the Xiongnu just as Graeco-Roman historiographers called the Pannonian Avars and Hungarians "Scythians".
Such archaizing was a common literary topos, implied similar geographic origins and nomadic lifestyle but not direct filiation. As part of the heterogeneous Rouran Khaganate, the Türks lived for generations north of the Altai Mountains, where they'engaged in metal working for the Rouran'. According to Denis Sinor, the rise to power of the Ashina clan represented an'internal revolution' in the Rouran Khaganate rather than an external conquest. According to Charles Holcombe, the early Tujue population was rather heterogeneous and many of the names of Türk rulers, including the two founding members, are not Turkic; this is supported by evidence from the Orkhon inscriptions, which include several non-Turkic lexemes representing Uralic or Yeniseian words. Göktürk began to invade Sui Dynasty of China. However, the war ended due to the division of Turkish nobles and their civil war for the throne of Khagan. With the support of Emperor Wen of Sui, Jami Qayan won the competition. However, the Göktürk empire was divided to Western empires.
Weakened by the civil war, Jami Qayan declared allegiance to Sui Dynasty. When Sui began to decline, Shibi Khah began to assault its territory and surrounded Emperor Yang of Sui in Siege of Yanmen with 100,000 cavalry troops. After the collapse of Sui dynasty, the Göktürks intervened in the ensuing Chinese civil wars, providing support to the northeastern rebel Liu Heita against the rising Tang in 622 and 623, he enjoyed a long string of success but was routed by Li Shimin and other Tang generals and executed. Although Göktürk Khaganate once provided support to the Tang Dynasty in the early period of Chinese civil war, the conflicts between Göktürk and Tang broke out when Tang was reuniting China. Göktürk began to attack and raid the northern border of Tang Empire and once marched their main force to Chang'an, the capital of Tang. Having not been recovered from the civil war, Tang Empire had to pay tribute to Göktürk nobles. Allied with tribes against Göktürk Khaganate, Tang Empire defeated the main force of Göktürk army in Battle of Yinshan 4 years and captured Illig Qaghan in 630 AD.
With the submission of Turk tribes, Tang conquered Mongolia Plateau. After hard court debate, Emperor Taizong decided to pardon the Göktürk Nobles and offered them the positions of imperial guards. However, the plan ended in an assassination of the emperor. On May 19, 639 Ashina Jiesheshuai and his tribesmen directly assaulted Emperor Taizong of Tang at Jiucheng Palace. However, they did not succeed and fled to the north, but were caught by pursuers near the Wei River and were killed. Ashina Hexiangu was exiled to Lingbiao. After the unsuccessful raid of Ashina Jiesheshuai, on August 13, 639 Taizong installed Qilibi Khan and ordered the settled Turkic people to follow him north of the Yellow River to settle between the Great Wall of China and the Gobi Desert. However, many Göktürk generals still remain loyal service in Tang Empire. In 679, Ashide Wenfu and Ashide Fengzhi, who were Turkic leaders of the Chanyu Protectorate, declare
Liaoning is a province located in the northeastern part of China, being the smallest but the most populous province in the region. The modern Liaoning province was established in 1907 as Fengtian or Fengtien province and was renamed Liaoning in 1929 known as Mukden Province at the time for the Manchu pronunciation of Shengjing, the former name of the provincial capital Shenyang. Under the Japanese-puppet Manchukuo regime, the province reverted to its 1907 name, but the name Liaoning was restored in 1945 and again in 1954. Liaoning is the southernmost province of Northeast China also known as Manchuria, it is known in Chinese as "the Golden Triangle" from its shape and strategic location, with the Yellow Sea in the south, North Korea's North Pyongan and Chagang provinces in the southeast, Jilin to the northeast, Hebei to the southwest, Inner Mongolia to the northwest. The Yalu River marks its border with North Korea, emptying into the Korea Bay between Dandong in Liaoning and Sinuiju in North Korea.
In the past Liaoning formed part of Korean kingdoms as Gojoseon and Goguryeo, as well as Chinese polities such as the Yan State and the Han Dynasty. It was inhabited by non-Han peoples such as Xiongnu, Xianbei. In addition, the Balhae, Jurchen, Mongol Empire and Northern Yuan ruled Liaoning; the Ming Empire took control of Liaoning in 1371, just three years after the expulsion of the Mongols from Beijing. Around 1442, a defense wall was constructed to defend the agricultural heartland of the province from a potential threat from the Jurchen-Mongol Oriyanghan from the northwest. Between 1467 and 1468, the wall was expanded to protect the region from the northeast as well, against attacks from Jianzhou Jurchens. Although similar in purpose to the Great Wall of China, this "Liaodong Wall" was of a lower-cost design. While stones and tiles were used in some parts, most of the wall was in fact an earth dike with moats on both sides. Despite the Liaodong Wall, the Manchus conquered Liaodong, or eastern Liaoning, in the early 17th century, decades before the rest of China fell to them.
The Manchu dynasty, styled "Later Jin", established its capital in 1616–1621 in Xingjing, located outside of the Liaodong Wall in the eastern part of the modern Liaoning Province. It was moved to Dongjing, in 1625 to Shengjing. Although the main Qing capital was moved from Shengjing to Beijing after it fell to the Qing in 1644, Shengjing retained its importance as a regional capital throughout most of the Qing era; the Qing conquest of Liaoning resulted in a significant population loss in the area, as many local Chinese residents were either killed during fighting, or fled south of the Great Wall, many cities being destroyed by the retreating Ming forces themselves. As late as 1661, the Civil Governor of Fengtian Province, Zhang Shangxian reported that, outside of Fengtian City and Haicheng, all other cities east of the Liaohe were either abandoned, or hardly had a few hundred residents left. In the Governor's words, "Tieling and Fushun only have a few vagrants". West of the Liaohe, only Ningyuan and Guangning had any significant populations remaining.
In the latter half of the seventeenth century, the imperial Qing government recruited migrants from south of the Great Wall to settle the sparsely populated area of Fengtian Province. Many of the current residents of Liaoning trace their ancestry to these seventeenth century settlers; the rest of China's Northeast, remained off-limits to Han Chinese for most of the Manchu era. To prevent the migration of Chinese to those regions, the so-called Willow Palisade was constructed; the Palisade encircled the agricultural heartlands of Fengtian, running in most areas either somewhat outside the old Ming Liaodong Wall, or reusing it, separating it from the Manchu forests to the northeast and the Mongol grazing lands to the northwest. On, the Qing government tried to stop the migrants flow to Fengtian or to make some settlers return to their original places of residence – or, failing that, to legalize them. For example, an edict issued in 1704 commented on the recent Han Chinese settlers in Fengtian having failed to comply with earlier orders requiring them to leave, asked them either to properly register and join a local defense group, or to leave the province for their original places within the next ten years.
Ten years naturally, another edict appeared, reminding of the necessity to do something with illegal migrants... In any event, the restrictive policy was not as effective as desired by the officials in Beijing, Fengtian's population doubled between 1683 and 1734. During the Qing Dynasty, Manchuria was ruled by three generals, one of whom, the General of Shengjing ruled much of modern Liaoning. In 1860, the Manchu government began to reopen the region to migration, which resulted in Han Chinese becoming the dominant ethnic group in the region. In the 20th century, the province of Fengtian was set up in; when Japan and Russia fought the Russo-Japanese War in 1904–1905, many key battles took place in Liaoning, including the Battle of Port Arthur and the Battle of Mukden, which was, to that point, t
Mandarin is a group of related varieties of Chinese spoken across most of northern and southwestern China. The group includes the basis of Standard Mandarin or Standard Chinese; because Mandarin originated in North China and most Mandarin dialects are found in the north, the group is sometimes referred to as the Northern dialects. Many local Mandarin varieties are not mutually intelligible. Mandarin is placed first in lists of languages by number of native speakers. Mandarin is by far the largest of the seven or ten Chinese dialect groups, spoken by 70 percent of all Chinese speakers over a large geographical area, stretching from Yunnan in the southwest to Xinjiang in the northwest and Heilongjiang in the northeast; this is attributed to the greater ease of travel and communication in the North China Plain compared to the more mountainous south, combined with the recent spread of Mandarin to frontier areas. Most Mandarin varieties have four tones; the final stops of Middle Chinese have disappeared in most of these varieties, but some have merged them as a final glottal stop.
Many Mandarin varieties, including the Beijing dialect, retain retroflex initial consonants, which have been lost in southern dialect groups. The capital has been within the Mandarin area for most of the last millennium, making these dialects influential; some form of Mandarin has served as a national lingua franca since the 14th century. In the early 20th century, a standard form based on the Beijing dialect, with elements from other Mandarin dialects, was adopted as the national language. Standard Chinese is the official language of the People's Republic of China and Taiwan and one of the four official languages of Singapore, it is used as one of the working languages of the United Nations. It is one of the most used varieties of Chinese among Chinese diaspora communities internationally; the English word "mandarin" meant an official of the Ming and Qing empires. Since their native varieties were mutually unintelligible, these officials communicated using a Koiné language based on various northern varieties.
When Jesuit missionaries learned this standard language in the 16th century, they called it "Mandarin", from its Chinese name Guānhuà, or "language of the officials". In everyday English, "Mandarin" refers to Standard Chinese, called "Chinese". Standard Chinese is based on the particular Mandarin dialect spoken in Beijing, with some lexical and syntactic influence from other Mandarin dialects, it is the official spoken language of the People's Republic of China, the de facto official language of the Republic of China, one of the four official languages of the Republic of Singapore. It functions as the language of instruction in Mainland China and in Taiwan, it is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, under the name "Chinese". Chinese speakers refer to the modern standard language as Pǔtōnghuà in Mainland China, Guóyǔ in Taiwan, or Huáyǔ in Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines,but not as Guānhuà. Linguists use the term "Mandarin" to refer to the diverse group of dialects spoken in northern and southwestern China, which Chinese linguists call Guānhuà.
The alternative term Běifānghuà, or "Northern dialects", is used less and less among Chinese linguists. By extension, the term "Old Mandarin" or "Early Mandarin" is used by linguists to refer to the northern dialects recorded in materials from the Yuan dynasty. Native speakers who are not academic linguists may not recognize that the variants they speak are classified in linguistics as members of "Mandarin" in a broader sense. Within Chinese social or cultural discourse, there is not a common "Mandarin" identity based on language. Speakers of forms of Mandarin other than the standard refer to the variety they speak by a geographic name—for example Sichuan dialect, Hebei dialect or Northeastern dialect, all being regarded as distinct from the standard language; the hundreds of modern local varieties of Chinese developed from regional variants of Old Chinese and Middle Chinese. Traditionally, seven major groups of dialects have been recognized. Aside from Mandarin, the other six are Wu, Xiang in central China, Min and Yue on the southeast coast.
The Language Atlas of China distinguishes three further groups: Jin, Huizhou in the Huizhou region of Anhui and Zhejiang, Pinghua in Guangxi and Yunnan. After the fall of the Northern Song and during the reign of the Jin and Yuan dynasties in northern China, a common speech developed based on the dialects of the North China Plain around the capital, a language referred to as Old Mandarin. New genres of vernacular literature were based on this language, including verse and story forms, such as the qu and sanqu poetry; the rhyming conventions of the new verse were codified in a rime dictionary called the Zhongyuan Yinyun. A radical departure from the rime table tradition that had evolved over the previous centuries, this dictionary contains a wealth of information on the phonology of Old Mandarin. Further sources are the'Phags-pa script based on the Ti