Chapter 13 China China


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Chapter 13

  • China

China

  • Country name: People's Republic of China, China
  • Capital: Beijing
  • Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam (its size is bigger than Europe; 4th largest country in the world coming after Russia, Canada and United States)

Border countries: Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, Hong Kong, India, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macau, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Vietnam

  • Border countries: Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, Hong Kong, India, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macau, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Vietnam
  • Government type: Communist state
  • Population: 1,286,975,468 (July 2003 est.). Most populated country (app. 1/6th of world population) in the world (followed by India and United States)

Languages: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages

  • Languages: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages
  • Administrative divisions: 23 provinces and 4 municipalities
  • Religions: Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Muslim 1%-2%, Christian 3%-4%
  • GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,700 (2002 est.) (127th in the world)

Industries: iron and steel, coal, machine building, armaments, textiles and apparel, petroleum, cement, chemical fertilizers, footwear, toys, food processing, automobiles, consumer electronics, telecommunications

  • Industries: iron and steel, coal, machine building, armaments, textiles and apparel, petroleum, cement, chemical fertilizers, footwear, toys, food processing, automobiles, consumer electronics, telecommunications
  • Currency: yuan (CNY) (CIA, World Fact Book)

Important Facts

  • One of the top 5 destinations in the world (with France, Spain, US, and Italy; as the 5th)
    • 36,8 million international tourist arrivals
    • $ 20,4 billion international tourism receipts (WTO, 2003)
  • Coastline: 14,500 km
  • Terrain: mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east (2/3 of China is covered by mountains)

Climate: extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north (CIA, World Fact Book).

  • Climate: extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north (CIA, World Fact Book).

Selling Points

  • The Greta Wall, the terra-cotta warriors, acrobats, shopping, Hong Kong, Tibet, pandas, ancient instrumental music and Chinese opera, food, the Forbidden City and a diverse landscape (from mountains to desert).

Very Brief History

  • represents one of the earliest civilizations in the world (the oldest continuous major world civilization); has a recorded history of about 3,600 years
  • in its ancient history, several dynasties were present starting from the 21st century BC (Xia Dynasty)to 1911 AD (Qing Dynasty). The last dynasty was having power between 1644 to 1911

13th century, northern part conquered by the Mongols

  • 13th century, northern part conquered by the Mongols
  • between 1386 and 1644, Portuguese are permitted to settle in Macau
  • 1839 – 1842, the First Opium War; after the Chinese defeat, Hong Kong was ceded to Britain in 1842 under the “Treaty of Nanking”
  • 1856 – 1858, the Second Opium War; after another defeat, Britain was granted a perpetual lease on the Kowloon Peninsula under the 1860 Convention of Beijing

in 1898, Britain executed a 99-year lease of the Hong Kong (and adjacent lands)

  • in 1898, Britain executed a 99-year lease of the Hong Kong (and adjacent lands)
  • between 1912 -1949, it was the Republic of China which sank between Nationalists and Communists. Foreign powers, missionaries and adventurers took  advantage of the situation. Japan invaded and occupied much of the country. After the war the Nationalists failed to resume power  and were defeated by the Communists. Many fled to Taiwan

in 1949, the People's Republic of China is founded and so China entred into the socialist stage in its history. After the communist takeover, hundreds of people emigrated from China to Hong Kong

  • in 1949, the People's Republic of China is founded and so China entred into the socialist stage in its history. After the communist takeover, hundreds of people emigrated from China to Hong Kong
  • in 1955, Portugal declares Macau it’s colony
  • in 1978, the Open Door  policy introduced to modernize the economy and welcome visitors from overseas.  Today, China is committed to economic reform and opening to the outside world

in 1987, Portugal and China declare that Macau will go back under Chinese administration on December 20, 1999

  • in 1987, Portugal and China declare that Macau will go back under Chinese administration on December 20, 1999
  • 1 July 1997, Hong Kong became the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China. In the agreement, under its “one country, two systems” formula, China promise that it will not exercise its socialist economic system in Hong Kong

Most Famous Cities

  • Beijing (capital of the country)
  • Hong Kong (special administration region)
  • Shanghai (most populous city)
  • Guangzhou (Canton) (most modern city)
  • Xi’an (starting point of Silk Road, home of Qin Army Vault Museum)
  • Lhasa (capital of Tibet, home of Dalai Lama)
  • Suzhou (Soochow) (famous with 11th century gardens)
  • Chengdu (71 meters tall world’s largest Buddha)

Beijing (Peking)

  • Forbidden City (14th century; Imperial Palace with 6 palaces, 800 smaller buildings, 9000 rooms)
  • Summer Palace (wooded setting on a splendid lake with a marble replica of Mississippi riverboat)
  • Tiannanmen Square - site of:
    • Monument to the People’s Heroes (36-m obelisk)

Mao Zedong’s Mausoleum

    • Mao Zedong’s Mausoleum
    • the Great Hall of People (Congress Building)
    • Museum of Chinese History
    • Museum of Chinese Revolution
    • Temple of Sleeping Buddha
    • Tempe of Azure Clouds (with Diamond Throne Pagoda)
    • Temple of Heaven (a large park with Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests)
    • Grand View Garden (a theme park based on the famous Chinese novel the Dream of the Red Chamber)

Fragrant Hills Park (for a panoramic view)

    • Fragrant Hills Park (for a panoramic view)
    • Friendship Store (government-run store)
    • day trips to the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs

Great Wall of China

  • is 75 km far from Beijing
  • built to defend China from the northern enemies; started on the 3rd century BC; re constructed between 3rd and 5th centuries AD
  • stretches at least 6000 km
  • interesting places to see the wall are;
    • en route to Chengdu (where there are double walls; built in case enemies scaled the first one)
    • near Shanhaiguan (where the wall meets the ocean)

Hong Kong

  • its territory consists of a mainland peninsula and more than 200 islands scattered around the China See
  • became part of China in 1997, China has promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system will not be imposed on Hong Kong and that Hong Kong will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs for the next 50 years.

world financial capital, a city of rocky, mountainous terrain and limited space

  • world financial capital, a city of rocky, mountainous terrain and limited space
  • Places worth seeing include;
    • Victoria Harbor (or “Fragrant Harbor” abuzz with luxury liners, yachts, cargo ships and old-fashioned sampans)
    • Aberdeen (south side of Hong Kong Island, best known with its Harbor, floating city and ship restaurants)
    • Ocean Park (more than 400 fish species with trained dolphins and killer whales)

The Middle Kingdom (a theme park that re-creates the architecture/atmosphere of 13 Chinese dynasties spanning 5000 years)

    • The Middle Kingdom (a theme park that re-creates the architecture/atmosphere of 13 Chinese dynasties spanning 5000 years)
    • Central District in the Northern Hong Kong island (government and financial centers, remnants of old Hong Kong )
    • Western District (interesting old streets)
    • Victoria Peak (a trap goes up this hill, Peak Tower is a place for restaurants and shops)
    • Kowloon (nine dragons) peninsula (most visitors stay here. Nathan Road and Golden Mile has best hotels)

Ladies Market and Temple Street Market (local bazaars)

    • Ladies Market and Temple Street Market (local bazaars)
    • Po Lin Monastery (a Buddhist temple on Lantau Island)
    • New Territories (north of Kowloon with traditional markets)
    • Castle Peak (beaches and good restaurants)
    • Sai Kung Peninsula (best seafood in Hong Kong)

Macau

  • turned to Chinese territory in 1999, like Hong Kong
  • has a Mediterranean and Portugese flavor
  • colonial architecture and temples are the main attractions
  • gambling is also an important attraction, it is the playroom and bedroom of Hong Kong

Xi’an (Sian)

  • pronounced as “SHE-on”
  • starting point of the Silk Road
  • places to see include;
    • Qin Army Vault Museum (located 40 km east of town; contains more than 8000 life-size ceramic soldiers, chariots and horses buried there 2200 years ago to protect the tomb of the first emperor of China)

Banpo Museum (located 10 km away from town; built around the actual site of 6000-yr-old Neolithic village)

    • Banpo Museum (located 10 km away from town; built around the actual site of 6000-yr-old Neolithic village)
    • Great Mosque (used by the city’s surprisingly large Muslim population)
    • Big Wild Goose Pagoda (AD 625; most famous pagoda of China; has great view from the top)

Shanghai

  • country’s most populous city (17 million)
  • once considered the “Paris of the Orient”
  • new buildings, subway and business districts are being constructed
  • things to see include;
    • Shangai Municipal Museum (one of best historical art museum in the country)
    • Huangpu River (for boat trips)
    • Yu Yuan Market (oldest and largest in the city)
    • Shangai Acrobats

Guangzhou (Canton)

  • most modern city of China
  • places to see include;
    • Shamian Island (site of the White Swan Hotel and colonial architecture)
    • Qingping Free Market (20 min walk from Swan Hotel; a market where many Chinese shop for food - snakes, monkeys, cats etc.)
    • Guangzhou Cultural Park (Chinese operas, acrobat and puppet shows, art exhibits, roler-skating)

Guangzhou Zoo (second largest zoo of China, has Pandas)

    • Guangzhou Zoo (second largest zoo of China, has Pandas)
    • Pearl River (to have boat trips)

Chengdu

  • capital of Sichuan region
  • things to see include;
    • City zoo (one of the best places to see pandas, included rare red panda)
    • world’s largest Buddha (71 m tall; carved into the face of a cliff; located south of Chengdu)

Hangzhou

  • West Lake (beautiful view like a painting)
  • Lingyin Temple (Buddhist rock carvings)
  • Silk Factory

Guilin

  • Li River (cruising on the beuatiful river is the most famous attraction)
  • a place flooded with tourists

Suzhou (Soochow)

  • one of cities on the Grand Canal
  • the city has a dozen Chinese gardens (from 11th century; most famous of them is Lion Garden)

Tibet

  • until the early 1950s, Tibet was semi-independent, now fully under Chinese control
  • Places to see include;
    • Lhasa (is the capital; a dirty place; sits at an elevation of 3660 meters)
    • Barkhor Bazaar (hours can be spent by watching people)
    • Jokhang (located in the midst of the bazaar; has the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temples; full of pilgrims)

Potala Palace (winter residence of Dalai Lama (who now is in exile since 1959 in India); an architectural wonder since it has thousands of rooms and built without use of a single nail)

  • Potala Palace (winter residence of Dalai Lama (who now is in exile since 1959 in India); an architectural wonder since it has thousands of rooms and built without use of a single nail)

Things to Remember

  • do learn to use chopsticks before going to China, or take your own fork
  • don’t be surprised if Tibetans stick tongues out at you. It’s a friendly greeting
  • Western hand signals are completely different from Chinese. Do learn to count to ten in Chinese

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