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Chinese Silk Fan

A Chinese Medicine Pot without lid fitted

Zhaoqing at Night - Seen from 7-Stars Lake and Crags

Making a Silk Fan by Hand In Guilin

Lion Dance

Ancient and Modern Mix in Foshan City

Terracotta Warriors, Xi'an

Local Vendors Stall at a Foshan Wet Market

Fish Likes Tacos - Johns Bar, Foshan

Owner of a Dumpling Shop - ShenZhen

Local Fisherman of the Li River, Guilin. The Cormorant's are trained birds used for fishing! They can count up to 7 fish, after which time they will not dive again unless fed!

Owner of My Local Corner Shop - Foshan

Typical Foshan Backstreet

Security Saluting With a Cup of Tea

Bea Making Chinese Tea - Shunde Long Jiang

Catching the Fish We are About to Eat - Gao Gong

Uncle Tending His Chinese Aga - Toisan

Uncle Preparing Chicken for the Table - Toisan

Restaurants Built on Stilts Out Over The Pearl River - Gao Gong

Ding Hu San, personal picture - This is a very BIG cooking pot! It is Used For Cooking on Special Days and can Feed over 2, 000 People

Farmer Collecting Firewood - Guilin
Chinese History
Independent Kingdoms - Central
Sichuan Province and Central China

We feel visual representation is vital to aid explanation, so have referenced a superb set of maps produced by our friend Thomas Lessman:

The Eastern World 550 BC
Image: China circa 550bc
Courtesy Thomas Lessman - Click to Enlarge:

The map above is excellent in showing China during the decline of the Zhou Dynasty and Warring States period. To the centre of the map you will find the two main protagonists for millennia side by side - The Qin and The Jin. The cradle of modern Chinese (Han) culture lies in the southwest corner of Jin territory next to where number 12 territory (Zhou) points west. This is the verdant valley where the Yellow and Yangtze rivers come very close together. All Chinese history normally begins in this small area.

Circa 220 BC The first Chinese Emperor of the Qin began construction of the Great Wall of China in order to keep the constant threat from the north in check. By this time the Xiongnu had moved west, but many nomadic tribes persisted to view China's vast riches and resources over millennia. The ebb and flow of humanity in this region would demand an entire book to itself, so forgive us for featuring only those of modern importance, and in particular Han Chinese long time adversary the Jin. This name appears many times over the course of several thousand years, and they are also known more recently as 'Jurchen' and 'Manchu'. The Qing Empire, which was to be the last great empire of China, was in fact of direct Jin descent.

Ba Kingdom of ChongQing

Whilst there is little direct evidence from pre-history, the Ba Kingdom is known to have been flourishing before 2000 BC. Recent tomb excavations have provided new evidence and a large amount of relics. The Ba Kingdom was called ‘The Jingzhou’ by the Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties. Their area covered what is nowadays Western Hubei, Chongqing Municipality, and parts of Sichuan Province. The tombs are dated to between 770 – 221 BC, showing a long period of settlement and civilization.

Standard history dictates that they suddenly disappeared, but what really happened was that they were conquered by Qin Shi Huang and then became absorbed into mainstream Han Chinese culture. The nearby Shu and Chu cultures of Eastern Hubei and Hunan Provinces provide archaeologists with insights of trade and cultural exchanges between these Kingdoms. Many of the Ba relics found in tombs are of Chu origin.

When we look closer at the Ba we find a very proud and independent people who were courageous in battle, and who thought in different ways from their peers. It transpires that the Ba were not actually conquered by the Qin, but were appointed as leaders of their own Kingdom, under Qin auspices. The Romans did likewise with unruly states and countries, such as ancient Briton. Therefore under Qin and their successors, the Ba found a late period of dignity and cultural advancement, before eventually being swallowed up into what we now know of as China.

Shu Kingdom of Chengdu

Chengdu in Sichuan Province has a separate culture dating back 5, 000 years which is called The Shu culture. It was based on old Baodun Town and Jinsha. This later became the city of Chengdu in 300 BC, at around which time it could be surmised that their culture was conquered by the Qin. Certainly, by the time of the very first Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang (221 BC), the Shu were are vassal state (Probably autonomous)

Chengdu is geographically close to the Ba Kingdom of Chongqing. By this I mean they are both farming civilizations on the Eastern rim of the Himalayan plateau, and separated by about 200 miles of easy terrain and culture.

Chengdu is very famous in history, being most famous for their Dujiangyan Irrigation System, which was classed as a wonder of the world, and is still in use today (Built pre 300 BC). It also established the first ever government run school in the whole world. All this occurred around or before 221 BC. However, they are also accepted as having very early and advanced printing techniques, and being the first place to use paper currency in the whole world. The Shu were later absorbed into mainstream Han Chinese culture, but during their tenure, they are noted as being always open to trade and cultural exchanges

Chu Kingdom of Hubei

By what is not recorded by modern history, I note the Chu were an independent and advanced culture before The Zhou Dynasty (1070 BC), and possibly routed millennia before records begin. I know this because the last Shang King gave them autonomy before the end of the Shang Dynasty. You may also note that the Chu repeatedly defeated the early Zhou Dynasty Rulers at the beginning of their reign, killing the Zhou King (King Zhou of Zhou) in the process.

After this they were again free and controlled a large tract of land to the South of traditional Chinese history – which spread from Sichuan in the West, to the Pacific Ocean in the East. They were of the same era as the Ba of Chongqing, and the Shu of Chengdu; with whom they had good trading relations. Their sphere of influence extended South as far as impassable mountain ranges, which separated them from Guangdong and Yunnan. To the North lay the powerful Han Dynasties, who they chose not to attack without reason

The were eventually defeated by Qin Shi Huang in 223 BC (Two years before he defeated the Zhou in 221 BC), and subsequently the Chu culture was absorbed into the Han Chinese

Zhang Zhang

This powerful Tibetan Kingdom envied the rich pastures of Sichuan, and took control of large lands to the west of the Ba, and northwards towards Qinghai and the Taklamakan dessert into modern day Xinjiang Province..

In the map above these people are referred to as the Qiang - and it should come as no surprise to you that if I were to pronounce both words in Mandarin, that you would have extreme difficulty hearing any difference between them! The eternal problem is of course 'Anglicisation'.

China Expats dedicated Zhang Zhang page is due for publication late June 2010 - and basically we simply need to make a specific map first.


Meanwhile the Bon continue to develop and co-exist within Tibetan (Generalisation) society, and spread via their religion, and their closeness to: Buddhist, Taoist, and Hindi practices - all of which they predate.

You can find our dedicated Bon page here

A lot more here still to be edited...
This information is as supplied by Wikipedia, as dated March 2009 or later, and/or other reliable sources.

Maps (Unless stated otherwise) are provided in association with Thomas Lessman

Please check this information yourself as it may alter without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only
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