Intercontinental ballistic missile
An intercontinental ballistic missile is a guided ballistic missile with a minimum range of 5,500 kilometres designed for nuclear weapons delivery. Conventional and biological weapons can be delivered with varying effectiveness, but have never been deployed on ICBMs. Most modern designs support multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, allowing a single missile to carry several warheads, each of which can strike a different target. Early ICBMs had limited precision, which made them suitable for use only against the largest targets, such as cities, they were seen as a "safe" basing option, one that would keep the deterrent force close to home where it would be difficult to attack. Attacks against military targets still demanded the use of a more precise, manned bomber. Second- and third-generation designs improved accuracy to the point where the smallest point targets can be attacked. ICBMs are differentiated by having greater range and speed than other ballistic missiles: intermediate-range ballistic missiles, medium-range ballistic missiles, short-range ballistic missiles and tactical ballistic missiles.
Short and medium-range ballistic missiles are known collectively as theatre ballistic missiles. The development of the world's first practical design for an ICBM, A9/10, intended for use in bombing New York and other American cities, was undertaken in Nazi Germany by the team of Wernher von Braun under Projekt Amerika; the ICBM A9/A10 rocket was intended to be guided by radio, but was changed to be a piloted craft after the failure of Operation Elster. The second stage of the A9/A10 rocket was tested a few times in January and February 1945; the progenitor of the A9/A10 was the German V-2 rocket designed by von Braun and used at the end of World War II to bomb British and Belgian cities. All of these rockets used liquid propellants. Following the war, von Braun and other leading German scientists were relocated to the United States to work directly for the US Army through Operation Paperclip, developing the IRBMs, ICBMs, launchers; this technology was predicted by US Army General Hap Arnold, who wrote in 1943: Someday, not too distant, there can come streaking out of somewhere – we won't be able to hear it, it will come so fast – some kind of gadget with an explosive so powerful that one projectile will be able to wipe out this city of Washington.
In the immediate post-war era, the US and USSR both started rocket research programs based on the German wartime designs the V-2. In the US, each branch of the military started its own programs, leading to considerable duplication of effort. In the USSR, rocket research was centrally organized, although several teams worked on different designs. Early designs from both countries were short-range missiles, like the V-2, but improvements followed. In the USSR, early development was focused on missiles able to attack European targets; this changed in 1953 when Sergei Korolyov was directed to start development of a true ICBM able to deliver newly developed hydrogen bombs. Given steady funding throughout, the R-7 developed with some speed; the first launch led to an unintended crash 400 km from the site. The first successful test followed on 21 August 1957; the first strategic-missile unit became operational on 9 February 1959 at Plesetsk in north-west Russia. It was the same R-7 launch vehicle that placed the first artificial satellite in space, Sputnik, on 4 October 1957.
The first human spaceflight in history was accomplished on a derivative of R-7, Vostok, on 12 April 1961, by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. A modernized version of the R-7 is still used as the launch vehicle for the Soviet/Russian Soyuz spacecraft, marking more than 60 years of operational history of Sergei Korolyov's original rocket design; the U. S. initiated ICBM research in 1946 with the RTV-A-2 Hiroc project. This was a three-stage effort with the ICBM development not starting until the third stage. However, funding was cut after only three successful launches in 1948 of the second stage design, used to test variations on the V-2 design. With overwhelming air superiority and intercontinental bombers, the newly forming US Air Force did not take the problem of ICBM development seriously. Things changed in 1953 with the Soviet testing of their first thermonuclear weapon, but it was not until 1954 that the Atlas missile program was given the highest national priority; the Atlas A first flew on 11 June 1957.
The first successful flight of an Atlas missile to full range occurred 28 November 1958. The first armed version of the Atlas, the Atlas D, was declared operational in January 1959 at Vandenberg, although it had not yet flown; the first test flight was carried out on 9 July 1959, the missile was accepted for service on 1 September. The R-7 and Atlas each required a large launch facility, making them vulnerable to attack, could not be kept in a ready state. Failure rates were high throughout the early years of ICBM technology. Human spaceflight programs served as a visible means of demonstrating confidence in reliability, with successes translating directly to national defense implications; the US was well behind the Soviet Union in the Space Race, so U. S. President John F. Kennedy increased the stakes with the Apollo program, which used Saturn rocket technology, funded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower
USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg (T-AGM-10)
USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg was a General G. O. Squier-class transport ship in the United States Navy in World War II named in honor of U. S. Army Chief of Engineers Harry Taylor, she served for a time as army transport USAT General Harry Taylor, was reacquired by the navy in 1950 as USNS General Harry Taylor. Placed in reserve in 1958, she was transferred to the U. S. Air Force in 1961 and renamed USAFS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg in 1963 in honor of the former Air Force Chief of Staff, she was reacquired by the U. S. Navy in 1964 as USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg. Retired in 1983, struck from the Naval Vessel Register in 1993, she was to be sunk as an artificial reef intended for the spring of 2008, but instead was placed under Federal Lien to be auctioned off for payment recovery in December 2008 at Norfolk Federal Court. A group of banks and financiers from Key West bought the vessel off the auction block and it was docked at the East Quay Pier of Key West Harbor; the ship was sunk 27 May 2009 and is the second-largest artificial reef in the world, after the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany.
The unnamed C4-S-A1-design transport was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract on 22 February 1943 at Richmond, California, by Kaiser Co. Inc. Yard 3. Vancouver, Washington. Following shakedown off San Diego, General Harry Taylor sailed from San Francisco on 23 June 1944 with troop reinforcements for Milne Bay, New Guinea. After returning to San Francisco on 3 August with veterans of the Guadalcanal campaign embarked, she continued transport voyages between San Francisco and island bases in the western Pacific. During the next 10 months, she steamed to New Guinea, the Solomons, New Caledonia, the Marianas, the New Hebrides, the Palaus, the Philippines, carrying troops and supplies, until 29 June 1945 when she departed San Francisco for duty in the Atlantic. With the European war over, General Harry Taylor made two "Magic Carpet" voyages to Marseilles and back, carrying returning veterans of the fighting in that theater. Next she sailed twice to Karachi, via the Suez Canal. Returning to New York on 3 January 1946, the transport began the first of four voyages to Bremerhaven, Le Havre, France.
She decommissioned on 13 June at Baltimore. She was stricken from the Navy Register on 3 July 1946. General Harry Taylor served for a time with the U. S. Army Transport Service, but was reacquired by the Navy on 1 March 1950 for use by the Military Sea Transportation Service, she was reinstated on the Navy List on 28 April 1950. Her early duties consisted of carrying troops and large numbers of European refugees. USNS General Harry Taylor operated in a typical year to the Caribbean, in northern European waters. In 1957, she took part in the Hungarian Relief program, transporting several thousand refugees of the short-lived Hungarian Revolution to Australia, she was placed in ready reserve on 19 September 1957. She was placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Texas. General Harry Taylor was transferred to the U. S. Air Force on 15 July 1961 and was renamed USAFS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg on 11 June 1963. On 1 July 1964, General Hoyt S. Vandenberg was acquired by the Navy and designated T-AGM-10, as a missile range instrumentation ship, one of ten such ships transferred from the Commander, Air Force Eastern Test Range, to MSTS. in 1974 the ship commanded by Captain Anderson deployed to Dakar, Senegal, to participate in the Global Atmospheric Research Experiment.
"Equipped with accurate and discriminating radar and telemetry equipment," she tracked and analyzed "re-entry bodies in the terminal phase of ballistic missile test flights," carrying out those missile and spacecraft tracking duties in both Atlantic and Pacific waters until her retirement in 1983. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 29 April 1993. In 1998, some scenes of the horror/sci-fi film Virus were filmed aboard the ex-General Hoyt S. Vandenberg; the ship substituted for a fictional Russian vessel called the Akademik Vladislav Volkov, some of the Cyrillic lettering applied for the film is still visible on the hull today. The ship was transferred to the Maritime Administration on 1 May 1999, her projected transfer to the state of Florida, for use as an artificial reef, received approval on 13 February 2007. The ship was sunk 6 miles off the Florida Keys in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary; the sinking was set to take place on 15 May 2008 but was postponed because the ship was placed under "Federal Arrest" by a US Federal Court for failure to pay shipyard fees related to the clean-up and preparation for the sinking.
She was ordered to be sold at auction to pay the shipyard fees. A group of banks and financiers from Key West was able to arrange to pay the fees and title of the ship was transferred to the city of Key West. On 12 April 2009, the Vandenberg began the long tow to Key West. On 22 April 2009 she arrived in the Key West Harbor; the sinking took place on Wednesday, 27 May 2009. The Vandenberg was deployed by Key West-based eco
Long March 5
Long March 5 is a Chinese heavy lift launch system developed by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology. CZ-5 is the first Chinese vehicle with a new design focusing on liquid rocket propellants from the ground up. Two CZ-5 vehicle configurations are planned for different missions, with a maximum payload capacity of ~25,000 kilograms to LEO and ~14,000 kilograms to GTO; the Long March 5 matches the capabilities of American EELV heavy-class vehicles such as the Delta IV Heavy. The CZ-5's maiden launch occurred on 3 November 2016, from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Center on Hainan island, its second launch on 2 July 2017 failed due to an engine problem in the first stage. Since 2010, Long March launches have made up 15–25% of all space launches globally. Growing domestic demand has maintained a healthy manifest. International deals have been secured through a package deal that bundles the launch with a Chinese satellite, circumventing the U. S. embargo. The Chinese government approved the development of the Long March 5 rocket in 2007 following two decades of feasibility studies.
It was to be manufactured at a facility in a coastal city near Beijing. In 2008 the first launch of the Long March 5 was predicted to occur in Wenchang of the southernmost island province of Hainan, where a new satellite launch center was being constructed; the first CZ-5 rocket to be launched completed production and testing in Tianjin manufacturing facility around 16 August 2016 and shipped to the launch centre on Hainan island shortly after. The Chief Designer for the CZ-5 rocket was Long Lehao; the main objective for the CZ-5 rocket was to fulfill China's requirement for large payload to LEO and GTO missions for the next 20–30 years. The CZ-5 project was announced in February 2001, with initial development slated to begin in 2002 and the first versions of the vehicle to go into service by 2008. However, funding was only granted in 2007 as revealed by the developers during the Northeast China exhibition. On 30 October 2007, construction for the CZ-5 production plant began in the TEDA West area near the Binhai New Area in Tianjin city.
Building a new production facility, close to the harbor will solve logistical problems associated with over-land transport of the large-sized rocket to launching centers. Instead, the rockets will be transported by sea from Tianjin to a new launch facility at Wenchang on Hainan Island; the new production facility would have an area totaling more than half a million square meters at the cost of RMB 4500 million, with the first stage of the construction scheduled to be completed by 2009. When the production facility is completed in 2012, it would be capable of a maximum output of thirty CZ-5s annually; as of July 2012, development of the 1,200 kN thrust. New photos of CZ-5 and of its tests were released in March 2015. CZ-5 carrier rocket was shipped from North China's Tianjin port at 20 September 2015 for a rehearsal of a scheduled Chang'e-5 lunar mission planned around 2017; the first test flight was scheduled for 2014, but this subsequently slipped to 2016. The launch was planned to take place at around 10:00 UTC, however several issues involving an oxygen vent and chilling of the engines were detected during the preparation which caused a delay of nearly 3 hours.
The final countdown was interrupted three times due to problems with the flight control computer and the tracking software. The rocket launched at 12:43 UTC. According to an internet blogger on the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, a minor problem occurred during flight and the rocket put the YZ-2 upper stage and satellite into an orbit, less accurate than expected. However, the trajectory was corrected with the YZ-2 upper stage and the payload was inserted into the desired orbit, its second launch on 2 July 2017 experienced an anomaly shortly after launch and was switched to an alternate, gentler trajectory. However it was declared a failure 45 minutes into the flight; the cause of the failure was confirmed by CASC and related to an anomaly which happened on one of the YF-77 engines in the first stage. YF-77 was put into test-fire in 2018. Long March 5 was estimated to return to flight in January 2019, but the launch date has subsequently been pushed back to July 2019; the chief designer of CZ-5 is Mr. Li Dong of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology.
The CZ-5 family will include three primary modular core stages of 5.2-m diameter. The total length is 60.5 metres and the weight at launch is 643 tons, with a thrust of 833.8 tons. Boosters of various capabilities with diameters ranging from 2.25 metres and 3.35 metres would be assembled from three modular core stages and strap-on stages. There would be a choice of engines with different liquid rocket propellants: 1,200 kN thrust LOX/kerosene engines or 500 kN thrust LOX/LH2 engines on first stage and boosters; the upper stage would use improved version of YF-75 engines. Engine development began in 2000–2001, with testing directed by the China National Space Administration commencing in 2005. Versions of both new engines: YF-100 and YF-77 had been tested by mid-2007; the CZ-5 series will deliver ~23 tonnes payload to LEO, or ~13 tonnes payload to GTO. This would replace the CZ-2, CZ-3, CZ-4 series in service, as well as providing new capabilities not possessed by current Long March rocket family.
CZ-5 launch vehicle would consist of a 5.0-m diameter core stage and four 3.35-m diameter strap-on boosters, which
Namibia the Republic of Namibia, is a country in southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean. Although it does not border Zimbabwe, less than 200 metres of the Zambezi River separates the two countries. Namibia gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence, its capital and largest city is Windhoek, it is a member state of the United Nations, the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, the Commonwealth of Nations. Namibia, the driest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, was inhabited since early times by the San and Nama peoples. Around the 14th century, immigrating Bantu peoples arrived as part of the Bantu expansion. Since the Bantu groups, the largest being the Ovambo, have dominated the population of the country. In 1878, the Cape of Good Hope a British colony, had annexed the port of Walvis Bay and the offshore Penguin Islands. In 1884 the German Empire established rule over most of the territory as a protectorate.
It began to develop infrastructure and farming and maintained this German colony until 1915, when South African forces defeated its military. In 1920, after the end of World War I, the League of Nations mandated the country to the United Kingdom, under administration by South Africa, it imposed its laws, including racial rules. From 1948, with the National Party elected to power, South Africa applied apartheid to what was known as South West Africa. In the 20th century and demands for political representation by native African political activists seeking independence resulted in the UN assuming direct responsibility over the territory in 1966, but South Africa maintained de facto rule. In 1973 the UN recognised the South West Africa People's Organisation as the official representative of the Namibian people. Following continued guerrilla warfare, South Africa installed an interim administration in Namibia in 1985. Namibia obtained full independence from South Africa in 1990. However, Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands remained under South African control until 1994.
Namibia has a population of a stable multi-party parliamentary democracy. Agriculture, herding and the mining industry – including mining for gem diamonds, gold and base metals – form the basis of its economy; the large, arid Namib Desert has resulted in Namibia being overall one of the least densely populated countries in the world. The name of the country is derived from the Namib Desert, considered to be the oldest desert in the world; the name Namib itself is of Nama origin and means "vast place". Before its independence in 1990, the area was known first as German South-West Africa as South-West Africa, reflecting the colonial occupation by the Germans and the South Africans; the dry lands of Namibia have been inhabited since early times by San and Nama. Around the 14th century, immigrating Bantu people began to arrive during the Bantu expansion from central Africa. From the late 18th century onward, Oorlam people from Cape Colony crossed the Orange River and moved into the area that today is southern Namibia.
Their encounters with the nomadic Nama tribes were peaceful. They received the missionaries accompanying the Oorlam well, granting them the right to use waterholes and grazing against an annual payment. On their way further north, the Oorlam encountered clans of the Herero at Windhoek and Okahandja, who resisted their encroachment; the Nama-Herero War broke out in 1880, with hostilities ebbing only after the German Empire deployed troops to the contested places and cemented the status quo among the Nama and Herero. The first Europeans to disembark and explore the region were the Portuguese navigators Diogo Cão in 1485 and Bartolomeu Dias in 1486, but the Portuguese did not try to claim the area. Like most of interior Sub-Saharan Africa, Namibia was not extensively explored by Europeans until the 19th century. At that time traders and settlers came principally from Sweden. In the late 19th century, Dorsland Trekkers crossed the area on their way from the Transvaal to Angola; some of them settled in Namibia instead of continuing their journey.
Namibia became a German colony in 1884 under Otto von Bismarck to forestall perceived British encroachment and was known as German South West Africa. The Palgrave Commission by the British governor in Cape Town determined that only the natural deep-water harbor of Walvis Bay was worth occupying and thus annexed it to the Cape province of British South Africa. From 1904 to 1907, the Herero and the Namaqua took up arms against brutal German colonialism. In calculated punitive action by the German occupiers, government officials ordered extinction of the natives in the Herero and Namaqua genocide. In what has been called the "first genocide of the 20th century", the Germans systematically killed 10,000 Nama and 65,000 Herero; the survivors, when released from detention, were subjected to a policy of dispossession, forced labor, racial segregation, and
Simplified Chinese characters
Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language; the government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Hong Kong and the Republic of China. While traditional characters can still be read and understood by many mainland Chinese and the Chinese community in Malaysia and Singapore, these groups retain their use of simplified characters. Overseas Chinese communities tend to use traditional characters. Simplified Chinese characters may be referred to by their official name colloquially; the latter refers to simplifications of character "structure" or "body", character forms that have existed for thousands of years alongside regular, more complicated forms.
On the other hand, the official name refers to the modern systematically simplified character set, which includes not only structural simplification but substantial reduction in the total number of standardized Chinese characters. Simplified character forms were created by reducing the number of strokes and simplifying the forms of a sizable proportion of Chinese characters; some simplifications were based on popular cursive forms embodying graphic or phonetic simplifications of the traditional forms. Some characters were simplified by applying regular rules, for example, by replacing all occurrences of a certain component with a simplified version of the component. Variant characters with the same pronunciation and identical meaning were reduced to a single standardized character the simplest amongst all variants in form. Many characters were left untouched by simplification, are thus identical between the traditional and simplified Chinese orthographies; some simplified characters are dissimilar to and unpredictably different from traditional characters in those where a component is replaced by a simple symbol.
This has led some opponents of simplification to complain that the'overall process' of character simplification is arbitrary. Proponents counter that the system of simplification is internally consistent. Proponents have emphasized a some particular simplified characters as innovative and useful improvements, although many of these have existed for centuries as longstanding and widespread variants. A second round of simplifications was promulgated in 1977, but was retracted in 1986 for a variety of reasons due to the confusion caused and the unpopularity of the second round simplifications. However, the Chinese government never dropped its goal of further simplification in the future. In August 2009, the PRC began collecting public comments for a modified list of simplified characters; the new Table of General Standard Chinese Characters consisting of 8,105 characters was implemented for use by the State Council of the People's Republic of China on June 5, 2013. Although most of the simplified Chinese characters in use today are the result of the works moderated by the government of the People's Republic of China in the 1950s and 60s, character simplification predates the PRC's formation in 1949.
Cursive written text always includes character simplification. Simplified forms used in print are attested as early as the Qin dynasty. One of the earliest proponents of character simplification was Lufei Kui, who proposed in 1909 that simplified characters should be used in education. In the years following the May Fourth Movement in 1919, many anti-imperialist Chinese intellectuals sought ways to modernise China. Traditional culture and values such as Confucianism were challenged. Soon, people in the Movement started to cite the traditional Chinese writing system as an obstacle in modernising China and therefore proposed that a reform be initiated, it was suggested that the Chinese writing system should be either simplified or abolished. Lu Xun, a renowned Chinese author in the 20th century, stated that, "If Chinese characters are not destroyed China will die". Recent commentators have claimed that Chinese characters were blamed for the economic problems in China during that time. In the 1930s and 1940s, discussions on character simplification took place within the Kuomintang government, a large number of Chinese intellectuals and writers maintained that character simplification would help boost literacy in China.
In 1935, 324 simplified characters collected by Qian Xuantong were introduced as the table of first batch of simplified characters, but they were suspended in 1936. The PRC issued its first round of official character simplifications in two documents, the first in 1956 and the second in 1964. Within the PRC, further character simplification became associated with the leftists of the Cultural Revolution, culminating with the second-round simplified characters, which were promulgated in 1977. In part due to the shock and unease felt in the wake of the Cultural Revolution and Mao's death, the second-round of simplifications was poorly received. In 1986 the authorities retracted the second round completely. In the same year, the authorities promulgated a final list of simplifications, identical to the 1964 list except for six changes (including the restoration of three characters, simplified in the First Round: 叠, 覆, 像.
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
Zhou Enlai was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China. Zhou was China's head of government, serving from October 1949 until his death in January 1976. Zhou served under Chairman Mao Zedong and was instrumental in the Communist Party's rise to power, in consolidating its control, forming foreign policy, developing the Chinese economy. A skilled and able diplomat, Zhou served as the Chinese foreign minister from 1949 to 1958. Advocating peaceful coexistence with the West after the stalemated Korean War, he participated in the 1954 Geneva Conference and the 1955 Bandung Conference, helped orchestrate Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to China, he helped devise policies regarding the bitter disputes with the United States, the Soviet Union and Vietnam. Zhou survived the purges of other top officials during the Cultural Revolution. While Mao dedicated most of his years to political struggle and ideological work, Zhou was the main driving force behind the affairs of state during much of the Cultural Revolution.
His attempts at mitigating the Red Guards' damage and his efforts to protect others from their wrath made him immensely popular in the Cultural Revolution's stages. As Mao's health began to decline in 1971 and 1972 and following the death of disgraced Lin Biao, Zhou was elected First Vice Chairman of the Communist Party by the 10th Central Committee in 1973 and thereby designated as Mao's successor, but still struggled against the Gang of Four internally over leadership of China, his last major public appearance was at the first meeting of the 4th National People's Congress on 13 January 1975, where he presented the government work report. He fell out of the public eye for medical treatment and died one year later; the massive public outpouring of grief in Beijing turned to anger at the Gang of Four, leading to the Tiananmen Incident. Although Zhou was succeeded by Hua Guofeng, Zhou's ally Deng Xiaoping was able to outmaneuver the Gang of Four politically and took Hua's place as paramount leader by 1978.
Zhou Enlai was born in Huai'an, Jiangsu province on 5 March 1898, the first son of his branch of the Zhou family. The Zhou family was from Shaoxing in Zhejiang province. During the late Qing dynasty, Shaoxing was famous as the home of families such as Zhou's, whose members worked as government "clerks" generation after generation. To move up the ladder in civil service, the men in these families had to be transferred, in the late years of the Qing dynasty, Zhou Enlai's branch of the family moved to Huai'an. After the move, the family continued to view Shaoxing as its ancestral home. Zhou's grandfather, Zhou Panlong, his granduncle, Zhou Jun'ang, were the first members of the family to move to Huai'an. Panlong passed the provincial examinations, Zhou Enlai claimed that Panlong served as magistrate governing Huai'an county. Zhou's father, Zhou Yineng, was the second of Zhou Panlong's four sons. Zhou's birth mother, surnamed Wan, was the daughter of a prominent Jiangsu official. Like many others, the economic fortunes of Zhou's large family of scholar-officials were decimated by a great economic recession that China suffered in the late 19th century.
Zhou Yineng had a reputation for honesty, gentleness and concern for others, but was considered "weak" and "lacking in discipline and determination". He was unsuccessful in his personal life, drifted across China doing various occupations, working in Beijing, Anhui, Inner Mongolia and Sichuan. Zhou Enlai remembered his father as being always away from home and unable to support his family. Soon after birth, Zhou Enlai was adopted by his father's youngest brother, Zhou Yigan, ill with tuberculosis; the adoption was arranged because the family feared Yigan would die without an heir. Zhou Yigan died soon after the adoption, Zhou Enlai was raised by Yigan's widow, whose surname was Chen. Madame Chen was from a scholarly family and received a traditional literary education. According to Zhou's own account, he was close to his adoptive mother and acquired his lasting interest in Chinese literature and opera from her. Madame Chen taught Zhou to read and write at an early age, Zhou claimed to have read the famous vernacular novel Journey to the West at the age of six.
By the age of eight, he was reading other traditional Chinese novels, including the Water Margin, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Dream of the Red Chamber. Zhou's birth mother Wan died in 1907 when Zhou was 9, his adoptive mother Chen in 1908 when Zhou was 10. Zhou's father was working in Hubei, far from Jiangsu, so Zhou and his two younger brothers returned to Huai'an and lived with his father's remaining younger brother Yikui for the next two years. In 1910, Zhou's uncle Yigeng, his father's older brother, offered to care for Zhou; the family in Huai'an agreed, Zhou was sent to stay with his uncle in Manchuria at Shenyang, where Zhou Yigeng worked in a government office. In Shenyang, Zhou attended a modern-style school, his previous education consisted of homeschooling. In addition to new subjects such as English and science, Zhou was exposed to the writings of reformers and radicals such as Liang Qichao, Kang Youwei, Chen Tianhua, Zou Rong and Zhang Binglin. At the age of fourteen, Zhou declared that his motivation for pursuing education was to "become a great man who will take up the heavy responsibilities of the country in the future."
In 1913, Zhou's uncle was transferred to Tianjin, where Zhou entered the famous Nankai Middle School. Nankai Middle School was founded by Yan Xiu, a prominent scholar and philanthropist, and