Zhengding Zhending and romanized as Chengting, is a county of southwestern Hebei Province, located 260 km south of Beijing. It comes under the administration and is located just to the north of the urban core of Shijiazhuang and has a population of 594,000. Zhengding has been an important religious center for more than 1,000 years, from - at least - the times of the Sui dynasty to the Qing dynasty, it is the founding place of several major schools of Chan Buddhism, many former religious building complexes have been damaged throughout history. A noted temple is the Longxing Monastery, where the historical building ensemble has been preserved intact. Furthermore, four famous pagodas, each with its own architectural style, are still standing. Archeological finds indicate that the area of Zhengding County has been settled since the early Neolithic Period. During the Spring and Autumn period, the capital of the Xianyu Kingdom was located in the area. Under the Han, the county was the site of Dongyuan, where the emperor Liu Bang led a siege during Chen Xi's rebellion in the early 190s BC.
In the year 256, the Changshan Prefecture was established in the county. In 923, during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms, the prefecture was renamed Zhengding Prefecture, rearranged into the Zhengding Prefecture and Zhongshan County. Zhengding County was created during the Qing Dynasty, in 1723. In 1949, the county was subordinated to Shijiazhuang Prefecture and in 1986, it came under the jurisdiction of the City of Shijiazhuang. President and General Secretary Xi Jinping was Secretary of the county Party Committee between 1983 and 1985. A princeling, son of Xi Zhongxun, he was assigned to this rural area on his own request, he is credited with having a Qing dynasty style mansion constructed in the area for the filming of Dream of Red Mansions. Zhengding County ranges from 57.6 to 105.2 metres in elevation. It has a continental monsoon climate with four distinct seasons; the year-round averages are 12.7 °C for the temperature, 62% for the humidity, 570 millimetres for the precipitation, 2,736 hours for the sunshine time.
The frost-free period exceeds 200 days per year. Zhengding County administers 4 towns and 5 townships, which in turn control 174 villages and 186 natural villages. Towns: Zhengding Town, Xin'an, Xinchengpu Townships: Xipingle Township, Nanniu Township, Nanlou Township, Beizaoxian Township, Quyangqiao Township The Chengling Pagoda is built from gray bricks, it is known as the Grey Pagoda, it is located in the Village of Linji to the south of Zhengding and was part of the Linji Temple. The Linji Temple was built during the times of the Eastern Wei dynasty in 540. During the Tang Dynasty, it became the site where the monk Linji Yixuan founded the Linji School, one of the five schools of Chinese Chan Buddhism. Both Linji Yixuan and the Linji School derive their names from the village; the pagoda was first built in 867 to serve as a shrine for the alms bowl of Linji Yixuan. The original pagoda was replaced during 1161 to 1189 by the present-day structure; the present pagoda stands on a substructure known as a Sumeru Pedestal after the mythic Mount Sumeru and has an octagonal cross-section.
It has a total height of 33 meters. Its pedestal is richly decorated; because it is seen as one of the birthplaces of Zen Buddhism, the Chengling Pagoda is favorite site for pilgrims and tourists from Japan. The Lingxiao Pagoda known as the Wooden Pagoda, is a wood-and-brick construction, part of Tianning Monastery, located to the west of Longxing Monastery, it was recorded to have been first built in 860 during the Tang Dynasty, it has undergone many repairs and rebuildings since then. The architectural style of the present-day pagoda was created during the Song Dynasty in 1045 and was left unchanged during repairs; the pagoda has an octagonal floor plan, nine storeys, a total height of 41 meters. The four lowest storeys are made from bricks decorated with wooden eaves. From the fifth storey upwards, the pagoda construction is made of wood, constructed around a central pillar. While storey height continuously decreases from the bottom to the top of the pagoda, this decrease is steep in the five upper wooden storeys.
The pagoda carries a cast iron spire at its top as well. The Xumi Pagoda, named for the mythical Mount Sumeru known as Summer Pagoda is part of Kaiyuan Monastery, located to the west of Zhengding, it is at 48 meters the tallest pagoda in Zhengding. The pagoda has an austere geometric design with a square floor plan set on a stone platform, square-shaped. Stones have been used in the lower part of the first storey; the Xumi Pagoda was built during the Tang Dynasty in 636. Apart from a wooden ceiling over the first storey, the inside of the pagoda is hollow and there is no staircase either. Among the rather plain decorations on the outside are thirteen tiers of eaves as well as stone carvings of the Heavenly Kings at the corners of the stone platform; the pagoda is one of four fiducial buildings on the grounds of the Kaiyuan Monastery: Tianwang Hall in the front and Fachuan Hall in the back, a bell tower in the east and the pagoda in the west. Today, the Monastery is destroyed and the Xumi pagoda stands surrounded by trees.
The Hua Pagoda (Hua Ta, lit.: Flower Pagoda, part of Guanghui Temple (Chi
Hebei is a province of China in the North China region. The modern province was established in 1911 as Chihli Province, its one-character abbreviation is "冀", named after Ji Province, a Han dynasty province that included what is now southern Hebei. The name Hebei means "north of the river", referring to its location to the north of the Yellow River; the modern province "Chili Province" was formed in 1911, when the central government dissolved the central governed area of "Chihli", which means "Directly Ruled" until it was renamed as "Hebei" in 1928. Beijing and Tianjin Municipalities, which border each other, were carved out of Hebei; the province borders Liaoning to the northeast, Inner Mongolia to the north, Shanxi to the west, Henan to the south, Shandong to the southeast. Bohai Bay of the Bohai Sea is to the east. A small part of Hebei, Sanhe Exclave, consisting of Sanhe, Dachang Hui Autonomous County, Xianghe County, an exclave disjointed from the rest of the province, is wedged between the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin.
A common alternate name for Hebei is Yānzhào, after the state of Yan and state of Zhao that existed here during the Warring States period of early Chinese history. Plains in Hebei were the home of Peking man, a group of Homo erectus that lived in the area around 200,000 to 700,000 years ago. Neolithic findings at the prehistoric Beifudi site date back to 7000 and 8000 BC. During the Spring and Autumn period, Hebei was under the rule of the states of Yan in the north and Jin in the south. During this period, a nomadic people known as Dí invaded the plains of northern China and established Zhongshan in central Hebei. During the Warring States period, Jin was partitioned, much of its territory within Hebei went to Zhao; the Qin dynasty unified China in 221 BC. The Han dynasty ruled the area under two provinces, You Prefecture in the north and Ji Province in the south. At the end of the Han dynasty, most of Hebei came under the control of warlords Gongsun Zan in the north and Yuan Shao further south.
Hebei came under the rule of the Kingdom of Wei, established by the descendants of Cao Cao. After the invasions of northern nomadic peoples at the end of the Western Jin dynasty, the chaos of the Sixteen Kingdoms and the Northern and Southern dynasties ensued. Hebei in North China and right at the northern frontier, changed hands many times, being controlled at various points in history by the Later Zhao, Former Yan, Former Qin, Later Yan; the Northern Wei reunified northern China in 440, but split in half in 534, with Hebei coming under the eastern half, which had its capital at Ye, near modern Linzhang, Hebei. The Sui dynasty again unified China in 589. During the Tang dynasty, the area was formally designated "Hebei" for the first time. During the earlier part of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, Hebei was fragmented among several regimes, though it was unified by Li Cunxu, who established the Later Tang; the next dynasty, the Later Jin under Shi Jingtang, posthumously known as Emperor Gaozu of Later Jin, ceded much of modern-day northern Hebei to the Khitan Liao dynasty in the north.
During the Northern Song dynasty, the sixteen ceded prefectures continued to be an area of hot contention between Song China and the Liao dynasty. The Southern Song dynasty that came after abandoned all of North China, including Hebei, to the Jurchen Jin dynasty after the Jingkang Incident in 1127 of the Jin–Song wars; the Mongol Yuan dynasty did not establish Hebei as a province. Rather, the area was directly administrated by the Secretariat at capital Dadu; the Ming dynasty ruled Hebei as "Beizhili", meaning "Northern Directly Ruled", because the area contained and was directly ruled by the imperial capital, Beijing. When the Manchu Qing dynasty came to power in 1644, they abolished the southern counterpart, Hebei became known as "Zhili", or "Directly Ruled". During the Qing dynasty, the northern borders of Zhili extended deep into what is now Inner Mongolia, overlapped in jurisdiction with the leagues of Inner Mongolia; the Qing dynasty was replaced by the Republic of China. Within a few years, China descended with regional warlords vying for power.
Since Zhili was so close to Peking, the capital, it was the site of frequent wars, including the Zhiwan War, the First Zhifeng War and the Second Zhifeng War. With the success of the Northern Expedition, a successful campaign by the Kuomintang to end the rule of the warlords, the capital was moved from Peking to Nanking; as a result, the name of Zhili was changed to Hebei to reflect the fact that it had a standard provincial administration, that the capital had been relocated elsewhere. During the Second World War, Hebei was under the control of the Reorganized National Government of the Republic of Japan, a puppet state of Imperial Japan; the founding of the People's Republic of China saw several changes: the region around Chengde, previo
Towns of China
When referring to political divisions of China, town is the standard English translation of the Chinese 镇. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China classifies towns as third-level administrative units, along with townships and ethnic minority townships. A township is smaller in population and more remote than a town. To a higher-level administrative units, the borders of a town would include an urban core, as well as rural area with some villages. Towns in China are small in size and in population compared to cities, but those with particular characteristics can enjoy great popularity among tourists. For example, the ancient town of Fenghuang attracts young backpackers every year for its minority ethnic culture and architecture. A typical provincial map would show a zhen with a circle centered at its urban area and labeled with its name, while a more detailed one would show the borders dividing the county or county-level city into town and/or township units; the town in which the county government is located is "invisible" on less-detailed maps, because its circle is labeled with the name of the county rather than the name of the actual zhen into which this urban area falls.
For example, the county government of Tongshan County, Hubei is located in Tongyang Town, but the maps would show it with a circle labeled "Tongshan County" or "Tongshan". Road signs would normally show distance to "Tongshan" rather than "Tongyang". On the other hand, more detailed maps - e.g. maps of individual prefecture-level cities in a provincial atlas - would label the county seat location with both the name of the county and, in a smaller font, with the name of the township. Intercity buses, trains, or riverboats destined to, or stopping at a county seat may designate its destination either by the name of the county or the name of the county-seat township. In contrast to the PRC, in the official translation adopted in the ROC, both xiāng and zhèn are translated as "townships", with zhèn being "urban" township,'with xiāng translated as "rural" township
A prefectural-level municipality, prefectural-level city or prefectural city. Prefectural level cities form the second level of the administrative structure. Administrative chiefs of prefectural level cities have the same rank as a division chief of a national ministry. Since the 1980s, most former prefectures have been renamed into prefectural level cities. A prefectural level city is a "city" and "prefecture" that have been merged into one consolidated and unified jurisdiction; as such it is a city, a municipal entry with subordinate districts, a prefecture with subordinate county-level cities and counties, an administrative division of a province. A prefectural level city is not a "city" in the usual sense of the term, but instead an administrative unit comprising a main central urban area, its much larger surrounding rural area containing many smaller cities and villages; the larger prefectural level cities span over 100 kilometres. Prefectural level cities nearly always contain multiple counties, county level cities, other such sub-divisions.
This results from the fact that the predominant prefectures, which prefectural level cities have replaced, were themselves large administrative units containing cities, smaller towns, rural areas. To distinguish a prefectural level city from its actual urban area, the term 市区 shìqū, is used; the first prefectural level cities were created on 5 November 1983. Over the following two decades, prefectural level cities have come to replace the vast majority of Chinese prefectures. Most provinces are composed or nearly of prefectural level cities. Of the 22 provinces and 5 autonomous regions of the PRC, only 9 provinces and 3 autonomous regions have at least one or more second level or prefectural level divisions that are not prefectural level cities. Criteria that a prefecture must meet to become a prefectural level city: An urban centre with a non-rural population over 250,000 gross output of value of industry of 200,000,000 RMB the output of tertiary industry supersedes that of primary industry, contributing over 35% of the GDP15 large prefectural level cities have been granted the status of sub-provincial city, which gives them much greater autonomy.
Shijiazhuang and Zhengzhou are the largest prefectural level cities with populations approaching or exceeding some sub-provincial cities. A sub-prefecture-level city is a county-level city with powers approaching those of prefectural level cities. There are total of three classification of prefecture-level city: Regular prefectural level city which consist of counties, county level cities, districts subdivisions. Consolidated district-governed prefectural level city which only consist of districts as it subdivisions. There are only 12 cities are under this classification: Ezhou, Guangzhou, Karamay, Sanya, Wuhai, Xiamen, Zhuhai Prefectural level city with no county-level divisions are cities that are not governed by any county-level divisions such as counties, county level cities, or legal administrative districts. There are only 5 cities are under this classification: Danzhou, Jiayuguan, Zhongshan In Europe and North America, cities are represented as points, while counties are represented as areas.
Thus, Indiana is indicated on the map by a point, distinct from, enclosed by, the area of Monroe County, Indiana. In China, large cities such as City of Xianning may, in reality, contain both urban and rural elements. Moreover, they may enclose other cities. On a less detailed map, City of Xianning would be indicated by a point, more or less corresponding to the coordinates of its city government. Other populous areas may be exhibited as points, such as County of Tongshan, with no indication that County of Tongshan is, in fact, enclosed by City of Xianning. On a more detailed map, City of Xianning would be drawn as an area, similar to a county of the United States, County of Tongshan would be drawn as a smaller area within City of Xianning; this convention may lead to difficulty in the identification of places mentioned in older sources. For example, Guo Moruo writes that he was born in Town of Shawan, within Prefecture of Leshan, attended primary school in Town of Jiading. A modern map is unlikely to show either town: Shawan, because it is too small, Jiading, because it is the seat of City of Leshan, is therefore indicated on the map by a point labelled "Leshan."
A more detailed map would show Shawan as a district within City of Leshan, but Jiading would still be missing. Statistics of China such as population and industrial activity are reported along prefectural city lines. Thus, the unknown City of Huangshi has 2.5 million residents, more than most European capitals, but upon closer inspection, the city covers an area 100 kilometers across. Furthermore, Huangshi contains several other cities, such as City of Daye. If a person wished to calculate the population of the urban
Shijiazhuang is the capital and largest city of North China's Hebei Province. Administratively a prefecture-level city, it is about 266 kilometres southwest of Beijing, it administers eight districts, two county-level cities, 12 counties; as of 2015 it had a total population of 10,701,600 with 4,303,700 in the central area comprising the seven districts and the county of Zhengding conurbated with the Shijiazhuang metropolitan area as urbanization continues to proliferate. Shijiazhuang's total population ranked twelfth in mainland China. Shijiazhuang experienced dramatic growth after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949; the population of the metropolitan area has more than quadrupled in 30 years as a result of industrialization and infrastructural developments. From 2008 to 2011, Shijiazhuang implemented a three-year plan which concluded with the reorganization of the city resulting in an increase of green areas and new buildings and roads. A train station, airport and a subway system have been opened.
Shijiazhuang is situated east of the Taihang Mountains, a mountain range extending over 400 km from north to south with an average elevation of 1,500 to 2,000 m, making Shijiazhuang a place for hiking, outdoor trips and cycling. The oldest name of the city was Shiyi. In pre-Han times, it was the site of the city of Shiyi in the state of Zhao, from Han to Sui times it was the site of a county town with the same name. With the reorganization of local government in the early period of the Tang dynasty, the county was abolished. Shijiazhuang became little more than a local market town, subordinated to the flourishing city of Zhengding a few miles to the north; the growth of Shijiazhuang into one of China's major cities began in 1905, when the Beijing–Wuhan railway reached the area, stimulating trade and encouraging local farmers to grow cash crops. Two years the town became the junction for the new Shitai line, running from Shijiazhuang to Taiyuan, Shanxi; the connection transformed the town from a local collecting centre and market into a communications centre of national importance on the main route from Beijing and Tianjin to Shanxi, when the railway from Taiyuan was extended to the southwest, to Shaanxi as well.
The city became the centre of an extensive road network. Pre-World War II Shijiazhuang was a large railway town as well as a commercial and collecting centre for Shanxi and regions farther west and for agricultural produce of the North China Plain grain and cotton. By 1935 it had far outstripped Zhengding as an economic centre. At the end of World War II the character of the city changed when it took on an administrative role as the preeminent city in western Hebei, developed into an industrial city; some industries, such as match manufacturing, tobacco processing, glassmaking, had been established before the war. On November 12, 1947, the city was captured by Communist forces. In 1948 the city known as Shímén, was renamed Shijiazhuang. Xibaipo, a village about 90 km from downtown Shijiazhuang, in Pingshan County was the location of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the headquarters of the People's Liberation Army during the decisive stages of the Chinese Civil War between May 26, 1948 and March 23, 1949, at which point they were moved to Beijing.
Today, the area is a memorial site. After 1949 the industrialisation of the city gathered momentum, its population more than tripled in the decade 1948–58. In the 1950s, the city experienced a major expansion in the textile industry, with large-scale cotton spinning, weaving and dyeing works. In addition there are plants processing local farm produce. In the 1960s it was the site of a new chemical industry, with plants producing fertilizer and caustic soda. Shijiazhuang became an engineering base, with a tractor-accessory plant. There are important coal deposits at Jingxing and Huailu, now named Luquan, a few miles to the west in the foothills of the Taihang Mountains, which provide fuel for a thermal-generating plant supplying power to local industries. In 1967, Tianjin was again carved out of Hebei, remaining a separate entity today, thus the provincial capital was moved to Baoding, it was chaotic in the midst of the Cultural Revolution, under the direction of Mao Zedong, in 1968, to "prepare for war and natural disasters", Shijiazhuang became the provincial capital.
Shijiazhuang is located in south-central Hebei, is part of the Bohai Economic Rim. Its administrative area ranges in latitude from 37° 27' to 38° 47' N, the longitude 113° 30' to 115° 20' E; the prefecture-level city reaches a 148 kilometres north-south extent and a 175 kilometres wide from east to west. The prefecture has borders stretching 760 kilometres long and covers an area of 15,722 square kilometres. Bordering prefecture-level cities in Hebei are Hengshui and Baoding. To the west lies the province of Shanxi; the city stands at the edge of the North China Plain, which rises to the Taihang Mountains to the west of the city, lies south of the Hutuo River. From west to east, the topography can be summarised as moderately high mountains low-lying mountains, hills and plains. Out of the eight east–west routes across the Taihang Mountains, the fifth, the Niangzi Pass, connects the city directly with Taiyuan, Shanxi; the mountainous part of the prefecture consists of parts of: Jingxing Mining District Jingxing County Zanhuang County Xingtang County Lingshou County Yuanshi County Luquan DistrictThe Hutuo River
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
Standard Chinese known as Modern Standard Mandarin, Standard Mandarin, Modern Standard Mandarin Chinese, or Mandarin, is a standard variety of Chinese, the sole official language of China, the de facto official language of Taiwan and one of the four official languages of Singapore. Its pronunciation is based on the Beijing dialect, its vocabulary on the Mandarin dialects, its grammar is based on written vernacular Chinese. Like other varieties of Chinese, Standard Chinese is a tonal language with topic-prominent organization and subject–verb–object word order, it has more initial consonants but final consonants and tones than southern varieties. Standard Chinese is an analytic language, though with many compound words. There are two standardised forms of the language, namely Putonghua in Mainland China and Guoyu in Taiwan. Aside from a number of differences in pronunciation and vocabulary, Putonghua is written using simplified Chinese characters, Guoyu is written using traditional Chinese characters.
Many characters are identical between the two systems. In Chinese, the standard variety is known as: 普通话 in the People's Republic of China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Standard Chinese is commonly referred to by generic names for "Chinese", notably 中文. In total, there have been known over 20 various names for the language; the term Guoyu had been used by non-Han rulers of China to refer to their languages, but in 1909 the Qing education ministry applied it to Mandarin, a lingua franca based on northern Chinese varieties, proclaiming it as the new "national language". The name Putonghua has a long, albeit unofficial, history, it was used as early as 1906 in writings by Zhu Wenxiong to differentiate a modern, standard Chinese from classical Chinese and other varieties of Chinese. For some linguists of the early 20th century, the Putonghua, or "common tongue/speech", was conceptually different from the Guoyu, or "national language"; the former was a national prestige variety. Based on common understandings of the time, the two were, in fact, different.
Guoyu was understood as formal vernacular Chinese, close to classical Chinese. By contrast, Putonghua was called "the common speech of the modern man", the spoken language adopted as a national lingua franca by conventional usage; the use of the term Putonghua by left-leaning intellectuals such as Qu Qiubai and Lu Xun influenced the People's Republic of China government to adopt that term to describe Mandarin in 1956. Prior to this, the government used both terms interchangeably. In Taiwan, Guoyu continues to be the official term for Standard Chinese; the term Guoyu however, is less used in the PRC, because declaring a Beijing dialect-based standard to be the national language would be deemed unfair to speakers of other varieties and to the ethnic minorities. The term Putonghua, on the contrary, implies nothing more than the notion of a lingua franca. During the government of a pro-Taiwan independence coalition, Taiwan officials promoted a different reading of Guoyu as all of the "national languages", meaning Hokkien and Formosan as well as Standard Chinese.
Huayu, or "language of the Chinese nation" simply meant "Chinese language", was used in overseas communities to contrast Chinese with foreign languages. Over time, the desire to standardise the variety of Chinese spoken in these communities led to the adoption of the name "Huayu" to refer to Mandarin; this name avoids choosing a side between the alternative names of Putonghua and Guoyu, which came to have political significance after their usages diverged along political lines between the PRC and the ROC. It incorporates the notion that Mandarin is not the national or common language of the areas in which overseas Chinese live. Hanyu, or "language of the Han people", is another umbrella term used for Chinese. However, it has confusingly two different meanings: Standard Chinese; this term, as well as Hànzú, is a modern concept. A related concept is Hànzì; the term "Mandarin" is a translation of Guānhuà, which referred to the lingua franca of the late Chinese empire. The Chinese term is obsolete as a name for the standard language, but is used by linguists to refer to the major group of Mandarin dialects spoken natively across most of northern and southwestern China.
In English, "Mandarin" may refer to the standard language, the dialect group as a whole, or to historic forms such as the late Imperial lingua franca. The name "Modern Standard Mandarin" is sometimes used by linguists who wish to distinguish the current state of the shared language from other northern and historic dialects; the Chinese have different languages in different provinces, to such an extent