The People's Republic of
has attempted to limit population growth by implementing the one child policy, which allows only one child per urban family. In rural areas it is permitted to have two children if the first child is a girl. This policy has since led to a ratio of 115 males to 100 females. China
In the Daoist book Lie Zi 列 子 , titled after its writer, the famous philosopher from the 4th century BCE (whose existence, however, is doubted by some), there is a description of a state surrounded by four seas.
The first settlements in
appeared more than 5,000 years ago on the plateau between the cities of China 洛阳 and Jinling 金陵, and expanded to the southwest, toward the Yang Zi River. Various ethnic groups were assimilated into these settlements, while others moved toward the western regions. The Chinese astronomers considered the city of Luoyang , which served as the emperor's residence, as the center of the world. Luoyang
As time passed, during periods of famine caused by drought or wars,
's borders extended southwards and the population grew, particularly between the years 200 – 400 BCE. Despite the expansion to another climate zone, the basic elements of the Chinese culture did not change. To the north and west of the empire dwelled nomadic tribes, considered by the Chinese as barbarians. These included the Tibetans, whose economy was based on sheep farming; the Mongolians, whose economy was based on breeding cattle; and the Huns, a continuous threat from the north, whose economy was based on horses. China
The geographic isolation of
had a strong influence on its development. To the west and south, the mountains of China isolated Tibet from the rest of China Asia, and to the east, the ocean separated from the rest of the world. Most of the Chinese population live on the eastern plateaus, while in the west the population is less dense. The mountain ridges divide China from north to south, and separate the western plains from those on the east coast. China
The particular type of surroundings significantly influenced the ancient Chinese culture. People were completely dependent on the powers of nature – the seasons, rain and rivers, which dominated their way of life, beliefs, work and leisure. The natural environment not only defined the Chinese culture, but also assured its preservation by the natural dividers that separated it from the other great cultures in ancient times.
If you have not been to
苏州and Suzhou 杭州, your life is not worthwhile Hangzhou
Another idiom praising these cities for their beauty:
Literally: Above there is Heaven [and] below there is
and Suzhou . Hangzhou
In Heaven there is
Paradise and on Earth there is and Suzhou . Hangzhou
All roads lead to Chang'an 长安
This parallels the idiom:
All roads lead to
The three great inventions
This is said of the three great inventions of the Chinese: gunpowder, printing and the compass.
Sometimes four inventions are referred to, with the addition of paper:
The four great inventions
Said of the invention of gunpowder, printing, the compass and paper.
The seven necessities
Said of firewood 柴, rice 米, oil 油, salt 盐, jam 酱，vinegar 醋 and tea 茶, which were considered the basic necessities in ancient China.
This idiom first appeared in a play from the Yuan 元 dynasty (1280-1368 CE) in which one of the characters says: "Get up in the morning, first open the door [and think of] the seven necessities". Hence the full version of this idiom:
Literally: Open the door [and think of] the seven necessities.
The three life forces
This refers to heaven, earth and man.
广东 [and] dress yourself in Guangdong 上海 Shanghai
A saying that was popular in
during the 1920s, when China province was considered the best place to eat, and the city of Guangdong the best place to buy quality clothes. Shanghai
 Chang'an was the capital city of
during the Western Han 西汉(206 BCE – 8CE) , Sui 隋 (581-618 CE) and Tang 唐dynasties. China