Hanyu Pinyin abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, written using Chinese characters; the system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters; the pinyin system was developed in the 1950s by many linguists, including Zhou Youguang, based on earlier forms of romanizations of Chinese. It was published by revised several times; the International Organization for Standardization adopted pinyin as an international standard in 1982, was followed by the United Nations in 1986. The system was adopted as the official standard in Taiwan in 2009, where it is used for international events rather than for educational or computer-input purposes, but "some cities and organizations, notably in the south of Taiwan, did not accept this", so it remains one of several rival romanization systems in use.
The word Hànyǔ means'the spoken language of the Han people', while Pīnyīn means'spelled sounds'. In 1605, the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci published Xizi Qiji in Beijing; this was the first book to use the Roman alphabet to write the Chinese language. Twenty years another Jesuit in China, Nicolas Trigault, issued his Xi Ru Ermu Zi at Hangzhou. Neither book had much immediate impact on the way in which Chinese thought about their writing system, the romanizations they described were intended more for Westerners than for the Chinese. One of the earliest Chinese thinkers to relate Western alphabets to Chinese was late Ming to early Qing dynasty scholar-official, Fang Yizhi; the first late Qing reformer to propose that China adopt a system of spelling was Song Shu. A student of the great scholars Yu Yue and Zhang Taiyan, Song had been to Japan and observed the stunning effect of the kana syllabaries and Western learning there; this galvanized him into activity on a number of fronts, one of the most important being reform of the script.
While Song did not himself create a system for spelling Sinitic languages, his discussion proved fertile and led to a proliferation of schemes for phonetic scripts. The Wade–Giles system was produced by Thomas Wade in 1859, further improved by Herbert Giles in the Chinese–English Dictionary of 1892, it was popular and used in English-language publications outside China until 1979. In the early 1930s, Communist Party of China leaders trained in Moscow introduced a phonetic alphabet using Roman letters, developed in the Soviet Oriental Institute of Leningrad and was intended to improve literacy in the Russian Far East; this Sin Wenz or "New Writing" was much more linguistically sophisticated than earlier alphabets, but with the major exception that it did not indicate tones of Chinese. In 1940, several thousand members attended a Border Region Sin Wenz Society convention. Mao Zedong and Zhu De, head of the army, both contributed their calligraphy for the masthead of the Sin Wenz Society's new journal.
Outside the CCP, other prominent supporters included Sun Fo. Over thirty journals soon appeared written in Sin Wenz, plus large numbers of translations, some contemporary Chinese literature, a spectrum of textbooks. In 1940, the movement reached an apex when Mao's Border Region Government declared that the Sin Wenz had the same legal status as traditional characters in government and public documents. Many educators and political leaders looked forward to the day when they would be universally accepted and replace Chinese characters. Opposition arose, because the system was less well adapted to writing regional languages, therefore would require learning Mandarin. Sin Wenz fell into relative disuse during the following years. In 1943, the U. S. military engaged Yale University to develop a romanization of Mandarin Chinese for its pilots flying over China. The resulting system is close to pinyin, but does not use English letters in unfamiliar ways. Medial semivowels are written with y and w, apical vowels with r or z.
Accent marks are used to indicate tone. Pinyin was created by Chinese linguists, including Zhou Youguang, as part of a Chinese government project in the 1950s. Zhou is called "the father of pinyin," Zhou worked as a banker in New York when he decided to return to China to help rebuild the country after the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, he became an economics professor in Shanghai, in 1955, when China's Ministry of Education created a Committee for the Reform of the Chinese Written Language, Premier Zhou Enlai assigned Zhou Youguang the task of developing a new romanization system, despite the fact that he was not a professional linguist. Hanyu Pinyin was based on several existing systems: Gwoyeu Romatzyh of 1928, Latinxua Sin Wenz of 1931, the diacritic markings from zhuyin. "I'm not the father of pinyin," Zhou said years later. It's a lo
Subscript and superscript
A subscript or superscript is a character, set below or above the normal line of type. It is smaller than the rest of the text. Subscripts appear below the baseline, while superscripts are above. Subscripts and superscripts are most used in formulas, mathematical expressions, specifications of chemical compounds and isotopes, but have many other uses as well. In professional typography and superscript characters are not ordinary characters reduced in size; the vertical distance that sub- or superscripted text is moved from the original baseline varies by typeface and by use. In typesetting, such types are traditionally called "superior" and "inferior" letters, etc. or just "superiors" and "inferiors". In English, most nontechnical use of superiors is archaic. Superior and inferior figures on the baseline are used for fractions and most other purposes, while lowered inferior figures are needed for chemical and mathematical subscripts. A single typeface may contain sub- and superscript glyphs at different positions for different uses.
The four most common positions are listed here. Because each position is used in different contexts, not all alphanumerics may be available in all positions. For example, subscript letters on the baseline are quite rare, many typefaces provide only a limited number of superscripted letters. Despite these differences, all reduced-size glyphs go by the same generic terms subscript and superscript, which are synonymous with the terms inferior letter and superior letter, respectively. Most fonts that contain superscript/subscript will have predetermined size and orientation, dependent on the design of the font; the most familiar example of subscripts is in chemical formulas. For example, the molecular formula for glucose is C6H12O6. A subscript is used to distinguish between different versions of a subatomic particle, thus electron and tau neutrinos are denoted νe νμ and ντ. A particle may be distinguished by multiple subscripts, such as Ω−bbb for the triple bottom omega particle. Subscripts are used in mathematics to define different versions of the same variable: for example, in an equation x0 and xf might indicate the initial and final value of x, while vrocket and vobserver would stand for the velocities of a rocket and an observer.
Variables with a zero in the subscript are referred to as the variable name followed by “naught”. Subscripts are used to refer to members of a mathematical sequence or set or elements of a vector. For example, in the sequence O =, O3 refers to the third member of sequence O, 800. In mathematics and computing, a subscript can be used to represent the radix, or base, of a written number where multiple bases are used alongside each other. For example, comparing values in hexadecimal and octal one might write Chex = 12dec = 14oct. Subscripted numbers dropped below the baseline are used for the denominators of stacked fractions, like this: 67 68; the only common use of these subscripts is for the denominators of diagonal fractions, like ½ or the signs for percent %, permille ‰, basis point ‱. Certain standard abbreviations are composed as diagonal fractions, such as ℅, ℀, ℁, or in Spanish ℆; these superscripts share a baseline with numerator digits, the top of which are aligned with the top of the full-height numerals of the base font.
Ordinal indicators are sometimes written as superscripts, although many English-language style guides recommend against this use. Other languages use a similar convention, such as 1er or 2e in French, or 4ª and 4º in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. In medieval manuscripts, many superscript as well as subscript signs were used to abbreviate text. From these developed modern diacritical marks. In early Middle High German and other modifications to pronunciation would be indicated by superscript letters placed directly above the letter they modified, thus the modern umlaut ü was written as uͤ. Both vowels and consonants were used in this way, as in boͮsen. In modern typefaces, these letters are smaller than other superscripts, their baseline is above the base font's midline, making them extend no higher than a typical ordinal indicator. Superscripts are used for the standard abbreviations for service mark ℠ and trademark ™; the signs for copyright © and registered trademark ® are sometimes superscripted, depending on the use or the typeface.
On handwritten documents and signs, a monetary amount may be written with the cents value superscripted, as in $8⁰⁰ or 8€⁵⁰. The superscripted numbers are underlined: $8⁰⁰, 8€⁵⁰; the currency symbol itself may be superscripted, as in $80 or 6¢. Superscripted numerals are used for the numerators of diagonal fractions, like ¾ or the signs for percent %, permille ‰, basis point ‱. Certain standard abbreviations are composed as diagonal fractions, such as ℅, ℀, ℁, or in Spanish ℆. Both low and high superscripts can be used to indicate the presenc
Emperor Yūryaku was the 21st Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. He is remembered as a patron of sericulture. No firm dates can be assigned to this Emperor's life or reign, but he is conventionally considered to have reigned from 456 to 479. Yūryaku was a 5th-century monarch; the reign of Emperor Kinmei, the 29th Emperor, is the first for which contemporary historiography is able to assign verifiable dates. According to the Kojiki, this Emperor is said to have ruled from the Thirteenth Day of the Eleventh Month of 456 until his death on the Seventh Day of the Eight Month of 479. According to Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, Yūryaku was named Prince Ōhatsuse Wakatake at birth. Yūryaku is a name posthumously assigned to him by a much era, he was the fifth and youngest son of Emperor Ingyō. After his elder brother Emperor Ankō was murdered, he won the struggle against his other brothers and became the new Emperor. Yūryaku's contemporary title would not have been tennō, as most historians believe this title was not introduced until the reigns of Emperor Tenmu and Empress Jitō.
Rather, it was Sumeramikoto or Amenoshita Shiroshimesu Ōkimi, meaning "the great king who rules all under heaven". Alternatively, Hanzei might have been referred to as ヤマト大王/大君 or the "Great King of Yamato", he had three wives. His successor, Prince Shiraka, was his son by his wife Kazuraki no Karahime. In 463, Yūryaku Tennō invited the thunder god of the Mimuro hill to come to the Imperial Palace, ordered Chiisakobe no muraji Sugaru to fetch the deity, he obliged, thinking the supernatural being would have no reason to refuse the invitation, rode carrying a halberd with a red banner, symbolising his office of royal messenger. Soon enough, the thunder stroke, Sugaru enlisted the help of priests to enshrine the kami into a portable carriage, to be brought in the Emperor's presence, as a great serpent. But, said Emperor neglected to practice proper ritual purification and religious abstinence; the thunder kami showed his displeasure through thundering and threatening fiery eyeballs, Emperor Yūryaku fled into the interior of the Palace while covering his eyes.
The great serpent was returned to Mimuro, the Emperor made many offerings to appease the angry deity. This story is recorded in Nihongi and mentioned by William George Aston, in "Shinto, the Ancient Religion of Japan" as well as several other books. According to the Nihongi, Yūryaku was of ungovernable and suspicious temperament, committed many acts of arbitrary cruelty; the actual site of Yūryaku's grave is not known. The Emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine in Habikino, designated by the Imperial Household Agency as Yūryaku's mausoleum, it is formally named Tajihi no Takawashi-no-hara no misasagi. Empress: Princess Kusaka-no-hatabihime, Emperor Nintoku's daughter Consort: Katsuragi no Karahime, Katsuragi no Tsubura no Ōomi's daughter Third Son: Prince Shiraka Emperor Seinei Princess Takuhatahime, SaiōConsort: Kibi no Wakahime, Kibi no Kamitsumichi no omi's daughter Prince Iwaki Prince Hoshikawa no Wakamiya Consort: Wani no ominagimi, Kasuga no Wani no omi Fukame's daughter Princess Kasuga no Ōiratsume, married to Emperor Ninken According to the Book of Song, a King Bu from Japan dispatched envoys to the Emperor of Liu Song, a minor Chinese dynasty, in both 477 and 478.
Communications included a notice that the previous ruler, an older brother, had died, that Bu had ascended to the throne. The King'Bu' in this document is believed to refer to Emperor Yūryaku, due to the fact that the character used to write the name is found in the name by which Emperor Yūryaku was called during his lifetime: Ōhatsuse Wakatakeru no Mikoto; the inscriptions on the Inariyama and Eta Funayama Sword supports the idea that Bu is an equivalent of Emperor Yūryaku. The Chinese historical records state that Bu began his rule before 477, was recognized as the ruler of Japan by the Liu Song, Southern Qi, Liang dynasties, continued his rule through to 502; the Emperor's interest in poetry is amongst the more well-documented aspects of his character and reign. Poems attributed to him are included in the Man'yōshū, a number of his verses are preserved in the Kojiki and the Nihonshoki. Emperor of Japan List of Emperors of Japan Eta Funayama Sword Five kings of Wa Imperial cult Inariyama Sword Aston, William George..
Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A. D. 697. London: Kegan Paul, Trubner. OCLC 448337491 Batten, Bruce Loyd.. Gateway to Japan: Hakata in war and peace, 500–1300. Honolulu:University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-2971-1. Gukanshō: The Future and the Past. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-03460-0; the Manyōshū: The Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkokai Translation of One Thousand Poems. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-08620-2 Ponsonby-Fane, Richard Arthur Brabazon.. The Imperial House of Japan. Kyoto: Ponsonby Memorial Society. OCLC 194887 Titsingh, Isaac.. Nihon Ōdai Ichiran. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691 Varley, H. Paul.. Jinnō Shōtōki: A Chronicle of Gods an
Book of the Later Han
The Book of the Later Han known as the History of the Later Han and by its Chinese name Hou Hanshu, is one of the Twenty-Four Histories and covers the history of the Han dynasty from 6 to 189 CE, a period known as the Later or Eastern Han. The book was compiled by Fan Ye and others in the 5th century during the Liu Song dynasty, using a number of earlier histories and documents as sources. In 23 CE, Han dynasty official Wang Mang was overthrown by a peasants revolt known as the Red Eyebrows, his fall separates the Early Han Dynasty from the Later Han Dynasty. As an orthodox history the book is unusual in being completed over two hundred years after the fall of the dynasty. Fan Ye's primary source was the Dongguan Han Ji 東觀漢記, written during the Han dynasty itself; the book is part of four early historiographies of the Twenty-Four Histories canon, together with the Records of the Grand Historian, Book of Han and Records of the Three Kingdoms. Fan Ye used earlier histories, including accounts by Sima Qian and Ban Gu, along with many others, most of which did not survive intact.
The section on the Treatise on the Western Regions was based on a report composed by Ban Yong and presented to Emperor An of Han in around 125. It includes notes from his father Ban Chao, it forms the 88th chapter of the Book of the Later Han, is a key source for the cultural and socio-economic data on the Western Regions, including the earliest accounts of Daqin, some of the most detailed early reports on India and Central Asia. It contains a few references to events occurring after the death of Emperor An, including a brief account of the arrival of the first official envoys from Rome in 166. Fan Ye, himself says that the new information contained in this section on the Western Regions, is based on information from the report of Ban Yong: "Ban Gu has recorded in detail the local conditions and customs of each kingdom in the former book. Now, the reports of the Jianwu period onwards recorded in this'Chapter on the Western Regions' differ from the earlier. General Silk Road Seattle - University of Washington Hou Han Shu Book of Later Han 《後漢書》 Chinese text with matching English vocabulary
The Asuka period was a period in the history of Japan lasting from 538 to 710, although its beginning could be said to overlap with the preceding Kofun period. The Yamato polity evolved during the Asuka period, named after the Asuka region, about 25 km south of the modern city of Nara; the Asuka period is characterized by its significant artistic and political transformations, having their origins in the late Kofun period but affected by the arrival of Buddhism from China. The introduction of Buddhism marked a change in Japanese society; the Asuka period is distinguished by the change in the name of the country from Wa to Nihon. The term "Asuka period" was first used to describe a period in the history of Japanese fine-arts and architecture, it was proposed by fine-arts scholars Sekino Tadasu and Okakura Kakuzō around 1900. Sekino dated the Asuka period as ending with the Taika Reform of 646. Okakura, saw it as ending with the transfer of the capital to the Heijō Palace of Nara. Although historians use Okakura's dating, many historians of art and architecture prefer Sekino's dating and use the term "Hakuhō period" to refer to the successive period.
The Yamato polity was distinguished by powerful great clans or extended families, including their dependents. Each clan was headed by a patriarch who performed sacred rites for the clan's kami to ensure the long-term welfare of the clan. Clan members were the High Nobility, the Imperial line that controlled the Yamato polity was at its pinnacle; the Asuka period, as a sub-division of the Yamato period, is the first time in Japanese history when the Emperor of Japan ruled uncontested from modern-day Nara Prefecture known as Yamato Province. The Yamato polity was concentrated in the Asuka region and exercised power over clans in Kyūshū and Honshū, bestowing titles, some hereditary, on clan chieftains; the Yamato name became synonymous with all of Japan as the Yamato rulers suppressed other clans and acquired agricultural lands. Based on Chinese models, they developed a central administration and an imperial court attended by subordinate clan chieftains but with no permanent capital. By the mid-seventh century, the agricultural lands had grown to a substantial public domain, subject to central policy.
The basic administrative unit of the Gokishichidō system was the county, society was organized into occupation groups. Most people were farmers; the Soga clan intermarried with the imperial family, by 587 Soga no Umako, the Soga chieftain, was powerful enough to install his nephew as emperor and to assassinate him and replace him with the Empress Suiko. Suiko, the first of eight sovereign empresses, is sometimes considered a mere figurehead for Umako and Prince Regent Shōtoku Taishi; however she wielded power in her own right, the role of Shōtoku Taishi is exaggerated to the point of legend. Shōtoku, recognized as a great intellectual of this period of reform, was a devout Buddhist and was well-read in Chinese literature, he was influenced by Confucian principles, including the Mandate of Heaven, which suggested that the sovereign ruled at the will of a supreme force. Under Shōtoku's direction, Confucian models of rank and etiquette were adopted, his Seventeen-article constitution prescribed ways to bring harmony to a chaotic society in Confucian terms.
In addition, Shōtoku adopted the Chinese calendar, developed a system of trade roads, built numerous Buddhist temples, had court chronicles compiled, sent students to China to study Buddhism and Confucianism, sent Ono no Imoko to China as an emissary. Six official missions of envoys and students were sent to China in the seventh century; some remained twenty years or more. The sending of such scholars to learn Chinese political systems showed significant change from envoys in the Kofun period, in which the five kings of Wa sent envoys for the approval of their domains. In a move resented by the Chinese, Shōtoku sought equality with the Chinese emperor by sending official correspondence, addressed, "From the Son of Heaven in the Land of the Rising Sun to the Son of Heaven of the Land of the Setting Sun." Some would argue that Shōtoku's bold step set a precedent: Japan never again accepted a "subordinate" status in its relations with China, except for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, who accepted such a relationship with China in the 15th century.
As a result, Japan in this period received no title from Chinese dynasties, while they did send tribute. From the Chinese point of view, the class or position of Japan was demoted from previous centuries in which the kings received titles. On the other hand, Japan loosened its political relationships with China and established extraordinary cultural and intellectual relationships. About twenty years after the deaths of Shōtoku Taishi, Soga no Umako, Empress Suiko, court intrigues over succession led to a palace coup in 645 against the Soga clan's monopolized control of the government; the revolt was led by Prince Naka no Ōe and Nakatomi no Kamatari, who seized control of the court from the Soga family and introduced the Taika Reform. The Japanese era corresponding to the years 645–649 was thus named Taika, referring to the Reform, meaning "great change"; the revolt leading to the Taika Reform is called the Isshi Incident, referring to the Chinese zodiac year in which the coup took place
Wa is the oldest recorded name of Japan. The Chinese as well as Korean and Japanese scribes wrote it in reference to Yamato with the Chinese character 倭 "Dwarf", until the 8th century, when the Japanese replaced it with 和 "harmony, balance." The earliest textual references to Japan are in Chinese classic texts. Within the official Chinese dynastic Twenty-Four Histories, Japan is mentioned among the so-called Dongyi 東夷 "Eastern Barbarians"; the historian Wang Zhenping summarizes Wo contacts with the Han State. When chieftains of various Wo tribes contacted authorities at Lelang, a Chinese commandery established in northern Korea in 108 B. C. by the Western Han court, they sought to benefit themselves by initiating contact. In A. D. 57, the first Wo ambassador arrived at the capital of the Eastern Han court. Wo diplomats, never called on China on a regular basis. A chronology of Japan-China relations from the first to the ninth centuries reveals this irregularity in the visits of Japanese ambassadors to China.
There were periods of frequent contacts as well as of lengthy intervals between contacts. This irregularity indicated that, in its diplomacy with China, Japan set its own agenda and acted on self-interest to satisfy its own needs. No Wo ambassador, for example, came to China during the second century; this interval continued well past the third century. Within nine years, the female Wo ruler Himiko sent four ambassadors to the Wei court in 238, 243, 245, 247 respectively. After the death of Himiko, diplomatic contacts with China slowed. Iyo, the female successor to Himiko, contacted the Wei court only once; the fourth century was another quiet period in China-Wo relations except for the Wo delegation dispatched to the Western Jin court in 306. With the arrival of a Wo ambassador at the Eastern Jin court in 413, a new age of frequent diplomatic contacts with China began. Over the next sixty years, ten Wo ambassadors called on the Southern Song court, a Wo delegation visited the Southern Qi court in 479.
The sixth century, saw only one Wo ambassador pay respect to the Southern Liang court in 502. When these ambassadors arrived in China, they acquired official titles, bronze mirrors, military banners, which their masters could use to bolster their claims to political supremacy, to build a military system, to exert influence on southern Korea; the earliest record of Wō 倭 "Japan" occurs in the Shan Hai Jing 山海經 "Classic of Mountains and Seas". The textual dating of this collection of geographic and mythological legends is uncertain, but estimates range from 300 BCE to 250 CE; the Haineibei jing 海內北經 "Classic of Regions within the North Seas" chapter includes Wō 倭 "Japan" among foreign places both real, such as Korea, legendary. Kai Land is south of Chü Yen and north of Wo. Wo belongs to Yen. Ch’ao-hsien is east of Lieh Yang, south of Hai Pei Mountain. Lieh Yang belongs to Yen. Nakagawa notes that Zhuyan 鉅燕 refers to the kingdom of Yan, that Wo maintained a "possible tributary relationship" with Yan.
Wang Chong's ca. 70-80 CE Lunheng 論衡 "Discourses weighed in the balance" is a compendium of essays on subjects including philosophy and natural sciences. The Rŭzēng 儒増 "Exaggerations of the Literati" chapter mentions"Wōrén 倭人 "Japanese people" and Yuèshāng 越裳 "an old name for Champa" presenting tributes during the Zhou Dynasty. In disputing legends that ancient Zhou bronze ding tripods had magic powers to ward off evil spirits, Wang says. During the Chou time there was universal peace; the Yuèshāng offered white pheasants to the court, the Japanese odoriferous plants. Since by eating these white pheasants or odoriferous plants one cannot keep free from evil influences, why should vessels like bronze tripods have such a power? Another Lunheng chapter Huiguo 恢國 "Restoring the nation" records that Emperor Cheng of Han was presented tributes of Vietnamese pheasants and Japanese herbs; the ca. 82 CE Han Shu 漢書 "Book of Han"' covers the Former Han Dynasty period. Near the conclusion of the Yan entry in the Dilizhi 地理志 "Treatise on geography" section, it records that Wo encompassed over 100 guó 國 "communities, countries".
Beyond Lo-lang in the sea, there are the people of Wo. They comprise more than one hundred communities, it is reported that they have maintained intercourse with China through tributaries and envoys. Emperor Wu of Han established this Korean Lelang Commandery in 108 BCE. Historian Endymion Wilkinson says Wo 倭 "dwarf" was used in the Hanshu, "probably to refer to the inhabitants of Kyushu and the Korean peninsula. Thereafter to the inhabitants of the Japanese archipelago." The ca. 297 CE Wei Zhi 魏志 "Records of Wei", comprising the first of the San Guo Zhi 三國志 "Records of the Three Kingdoms", covers history of the Cao Wei kingdom. The 東夷伝 "Encounters with Eastern Barbarians" section describes the Wōrén 倭人 "Japanese" based upon detailed reports from Chinese envoys to Japan, it contains the first records of Yamatai-koku, shamaness Queen Himiko, other Japanese historical topics. The people of Wa dwell in the middle of the ocean on the mountainous islands southeast of of Tai-fang, they comprised more than one hundred communities.
During the Han dynasty, appeared at the Court.
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