China Overview



A profile of China


   Since China’s opening-up the outside world in 1979, particularly with China’s accession to the World Trade Organization, more and more visitors have been increasingly interested in China’s ancient culture, beautiful scenery, people’s lifestyle and various aspects of the society. Before visiting China-the most populous country with vast territory and abundant resources-some of them have already read some books on China. but to really know China, she or he has to travel in China in person to acquire knowledge firsthand, as a Chinese saying goes: a picture is worth a thousand words, but being there is worth a thousand pictures. An old Chinese maxim goes: traveling the thousand miles equals to reading the thousand volumes. Travel is one of great sources of knowledge. Only by travelling in a country can people can an overall knowledge of its past, present, and future, and of its folk customs as well.

    Among the world’s four most famous ancient civilizations (the other three ancient civilizations being ancient Egypt, Babylon,. And India), Chinese civilization is the only one in the world that has been developing for more than 5000 years without interruption. The origin, development process, context and mechanism of this ancient Chinese civilization are the most important subjects for archaeologists, historians, visitors, and tourists to explore.

    For thousands of years, China’s architecture, art, religions, human studies social sciences and people’s lifestyles have undergone tremendous changes. China has more than thousands of historical sites, of which UNESCO had inscribed 30 of them on the World Heritage sites on the World Heritage List by July 2, 2004, all of these sites reflecting Chinese National architectural styles.

    Various kinds of arts and crafts show the artistic talents of people form all 56 ethnic groups of the great Chinese nation.

    China is situated in the eastern part of Asia, on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean. Its land territory of 9.8 million square kilometers begins from the confluence of the Heiliongjiang and Wusuli River, its mainland coastline stretches for some 1.8000 kilometres, and its neighbours more than 20 countries, China boasts a land boundary exceeding 20,000 kilometres in length and is bordered by Korea in the northeast, Russia and Mongolia in the north, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan in the northwest, India, Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan in the southwest, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam in the south. Across the sea to the east and southeast China faces Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia.

History

  China, one of the four oldest civilizations in the world has a written history of over five thousand years and boasts rich cultural relics and historical sites. China is the inventor of compass, papermaking, gunpowder and printing. The Great Wall, Dujiangyan Irrigation System , Grand Canal and Karez irrigation system are the four great ancient symbols of rich culture of Middle Kingdom.

Language

  The Han nationality, which makes up the overwhelming majority of the population, uses the Han (Chinese) Language, which is spoken in all parts of the country. Of the 55 ethnic groups, the Hui and Manchu use the same Han language while the other 53 ethnic groups use their own spoken languages. Of the minority languages, han-Tibetan languages are used by 29 ethnic groups. Altaic languages, by 17 ethnic groups, South Asian languages by three ethnic groups, Indo-European languages by 2 ethnic groups, and a South-Island language by the Gaoshan people. It is not common for several ethnic groups to share a common language.

Religion

    China is a multi-religious state. Various religions exert different influence on different ethnic groups. The Hui, Yugur, Kazak, Ozbek, Tajik, Kirgiz, Tatar, Dongxiang, Salar, and Bonan nationalities follow Islam. The Titetan, Mongolian, Dai and Yugur follow Buddhism and Lamaism, Christianity is followed by the Miao, Yao and Yi people, Shamanism is followed by Oregen, Ewenki and Daur, while majority Han believe in Buddhism, Christianity and Daoism.

Topography & Climate

    China’s terrain descends from west to east. The topography is varied and complicated, with mountains, plateaus and hills making up 67%. Because of the diverse terrain, China’s climate is highly variable. The northern part of Heilongjiang in Northeast China has no summer, Hainan irland has a long summer but no winter, the huaihe River valley features four distinct seasons while the Qinghai-Tibet is covered by snow all the year round and north-western inland region witnesses a great drop of temperature in the day.

Money

    The official currency in China is the renminbi (RMB) or ‘people’s money’. The basic unit is the Yuan (also known as ‘Kuai’), which equals 10 Jiao (or ‘Mao’), which is the divided into 10 fen. Paper currency comes in 1,2,5,10,20, 50, and 100 yuan notes. Paper jiao comes in denominations of 1,2, and 5. There are also 1 and 2 fen notes. As for coins, there are 1 yuan, and 5 jiao, and 1, 2, and 5 fens.

Electricity

    Most luxury hotels in China have built-in converters in bathrooms for shavers, hair dryers, etc. Otherwise, come equipped, because an amazing variety of pulg types is in use. The voltage is 220 volts.

History of Chinese Vegetarianism

  Vegetarianism in China Can be traced back to Western Han Dynasty over 2000 years ago. The King of Huainan of the Western Han Dynasty invented Tofu, invention of Tofu enriched the ingredients of Vegetarianism. According to the record, the earliest vegetarian recipes ever introduced the 11 kinds of vegetarian dishes in the Northern Wei dynasty. Emperor Liangwudi of Southern-Northern dynasy advocated the Buddhism and Vegetarianism for his all life long, the Tang dynasty physician Sun Simao extolled the virtues of vegetarianism in his 60-volume classic-Prescriptions Worth More Than Gold. Legend has it that Sun Lived to the ripe age of 101. Vegetarianism was greatly enhanced China's cultural development in the Northern Song Dynasty and Southern Song dynasties, there were great numbers of vegetarian restaurants in the capital city. Vegetarianism had become a fashion trend in ancient China already at that time.

     There are three major schools in Chinese vegetarianism. and two major directions of its development. Three schools are: the court vegetarianism, folk vegetarianism and Buddhist vegetarianism. The direction of the two means: the "complete vegetarianism " and " vegetarianism set off by meat ingredients of broth ,animal fat, sea food.

   Buddhist Vegetarianism Vegetarian refers to the vegetarian dishes of Taoist and Buddhist temples.Court vegetarian dishes initially get developed in the royal palace, the main access for the emperor. Characterized by the extremely fine production and great variety of ingredients used in its recipe. Royal vegetarian dishes came from the folk, get its development in the imperial court, finally also spread out in the folk. Because the royal chefs were selected among the folk, they went back into the folks. after retirement, these former royal chefs run a vegetarian restaurant by their own. Or they recruited apprentices to instruct the young generations their special vegetarian cooking skills. in these ways. The royal vegetarian dishes were Circulating in the civil folks.
        
      Folk vegetarianism refers to the folk vegetarian restaurants and home made vegetarian dishes. it also has its own styles and Schools such as Sichuan vegetarian dishes and so on.

     major vegetarian ingredients General including cereals grains, beans, vegetables, fungi, algae, fruits, dried fruits, nuts, etc. the commonly used ingredients including Tofu and other soybean productions, wheat flour and it side products such as wheat gum, wheat gluten and so on. The varieties of soybean and bean production including Soya milk, frozen tofu, impressed tofu, tofu chip, tofu skin, foamed tofu, smoked tofu, dried tofu, bean sprouts, fermented bean curd, soy sauce, fermented soybean milk , such as soy protein and so on.
       
    Fungi and algae species include: mushrooms, fungus, white fungus, mushrooms, mushroom, straw mushroom, kelp, seaweed and suchlike.

     Vegetarian culinary is very much the same way to cooking meat dishes, it also emphasizes the art of sculpture, combination and decoration Imitating meat dishes is one of the major characteristic of its cooking skills. To make a Chicken or Duck With gluten, Tofu skin , Chinese medicine, either the shape or texture of Chicken or Duck look like exactly as the real chicken and duck with real flesh and bone!