Top 10 Things China is Famous for

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China or People’s republic of China is one of the few countries which everyone around the globe knows or has read something about. It was the home to one of the first river valley civilization of the globe and since then has remained home to various dynasties and kinds of people. China’s explorations with religions and cultures have been many and diverse. There have been rise and fall of various dynasties but what has survived is a legacy of cultures rich with history and knowledge. Millions of people travel every year to China to be a part of this land which is a mixture of modern and antiquity. It’s one of the fastest growing economies of the world and maintains a permanent seat in the UN Security Council which has been a key factor in the western nations Look East Policies. However the public image of China abroad is not free from stereotypes and generalizations. People often suppose the entire country to be one monolith but instead are shocked to find how diverse it really is even after the Cultural Revolution under the communist party in the 1950s. So here are Top 10 things which China is famous for.

10. Pandas

Giant Panda is special to China and parts of Myanmar and Vietnam. It’s one of the endangered species of the world. It’s natural habitat is continuously decreasing due to urbanization and deforestation in the central ridge territories of China. A lot of people associate Pandas with China due to the role they play in ancient Chinese mythology. Also, the foreigners were particularly fond of Panda fur during the Sino-Japanese wars. There was a huge menace of Panda poaching in the area for their fur during this time. Although a carnivore mostly pandas eat bamboo. They have very low birthrate in captivity and thus are one of the most endangered species of the world.

9. Confucius

Confucius has been one of the major influences on the contemporary thought and throughout history in the orient. He gave birth to a socio-political system called Confucianism which became the state ideology for a while under the rule of the Han dynasty. Confucius’s teaching focus on the humanist aspects rather than divine. He says that men are improvable and their lives can be made profitable if they are directed into the worldly matters instead of believing in fatalism of the divinity. In modern times there are many in China who are influenced by his thought. The national movement of the 20th century was also heavily inspired by him.

8. The Terracotta Army

Discovered in the mound of Mount Li in 1974, the army was supposed to protect the emperor Qin Shi Huang in his afterlife. The entire region consists of various corridors and war chariots all filled with Terracotta men. These men differ in height depending upon their ranks in the army. There are various descriptions of the tomb and the burial pits in accounts of different travelers and chroniclers. There’s another tomb beneath the excavation area which is said to have more artifacts etc but hasn’t been excavated due to fear of loss of artifacts since the paint on these soldiers flakes very fast as soon as it is brought in contact with the dry air. Some of the weapons and other things which came up in excavations of a small area are displayed in museums across the world. Only few eminent personalities, however, have been able to observe the army up close.

7. Chinese Tea

Chinese tea is one of the many things which funded the expenses of the bureaucratic structure established by the British in South East Asia or any colonial power for that matter. The demand for tea went up in England so much so that wars were fought with the natives to acquire trade concessions and better prices. Chinese Tea is famous all over the world for its various properties and fragrance. It continues to be the highest producer of Green Tea in the world even today.

6. Gunpowder

Gunpowder was one of the gifts of medieval China which was to change the world for centuries to come. With the new found powers of Gunpowder various other technologies developed and warfare and military stances and strategies completely changed. Gunpowder is basically a mixture of various chemicals along with Sulfur. The first mix comes from the accounts as far back as the 9th century AD. Arabs and Turks learnt about the Gunpowder and introduced it to the western world.

5. One child policy

China is both famous and infamous for its One Child Policy. Contrary to popular view of the policy it has many sub clauses and clauses which people don’t really know about. These vary from area to area as well take into consideration special cases. For example if one’s parents don’t have siblings the child is allowed to have two children so as to be able to support the pressures of the entire family. The effects of this policy have been heavily criticized for fertility rates have dropped and female infanticide has risen up.

4. The Tibet Issue and His Holiness Dalai Lama

The issue of Tibet is one of the grave concerns of contemporary world. During the cultural revolution of the 1950s when People’s Republic of China had just risen up as a communist state. The monasteries of Tibet were rolled down and people were asked to forsake allegiances with Dalai Lama. Since then a large chunk of the Tibetan population has moved as refugee to other neighboring countries. Dalai Lama has been awarded a Nobel peace prize for his commendable nonviolent movement against the government as he pushes for independence of Tibet at international platforms. The issue however remains unresolved.

3. Tao

The philosophy of Tao had its origin in China. Under Laozi it developed into a very concrete philosophy which dictated that one should harmonize ones will with the nature and nature’s principle should be applied to all forms of human action. Much of the Chinese philosophy talks about adhering to these principles of Tao and duality of nature. It’s considered to have “ineffable” elements and qualities that are it can’t be explained in words but has to be experienced using body as a channel. It’s also entwined with concepts of Ying and Yang.

2. Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China is a collective term used for walls and fortifications which were built starting from 3rd century BCE by various dynasties. These were all joined at a point in time. The purpose behind building the wall on the North Border of China in east to west direction was protection against the warlike nomads. The wall was rebuilt and maintained under the Ming dynasty. Its collective length including all the offshoots is 21,000 km according to one of the recent archeological surveys.

1. Mao Zedong

China is the largest communist state in the world and owes its inception and ideological foundation to Mao Zedong. He was the founding father of the national communist movement and was the president of People’s Republic of China. His policies and political ideologies derived from Marxism-Leninism are collectively called Maoism and in the cold war era affected the south Asian states, some of which like Vietnam and North Korea developed their own communist parties and propaganda.

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