China Midterm 1 - 1 Definitions of China China is defined...

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1. Definitions of China China is defined as "ZhongGuo" or the world in the middle. Historical China to the Chinese people is referred to as "China Proper." This section of China is populated by 90.5% with people of the Han descent and covers 36% of the land population. Present Day China is known as the People’s Republic of China, it has 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, and 4 municipalities. Greater China includes China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, and the Chinese diaspora. China is a sinic civilization that is full of Confucian values, Mahayana Buddhism, Chinese characters, and rice agriculture. China includes huge and cutting edge cities such as Shanghai as well as vast barren lands such as the Loess Plateau. 2. Dynastic cycle : The 4-stage cycle that characterizes the rise and fall of Chinese dynasties. In the first stage, land is reclaimed, seeds/farming tools are provided, and a small, efficient government with light taxation made people very happy for about 50-60 years because the founding rulers were familiar with what caused the previous dynasty to fail. Stage two is population growth, expansion of cities and urbanization which caused the size of the government to begin to grow in order to deal with the population. Stage three is characterized by the expansion of the government to control the people and people becoming wealthier. When this happens, land becomes more concentrated and peasant farmers become dissatisfied. As a result, they are inclined to become bandits and attempt to bring down the government with its heavy tax burdens. Stage four involves government corruption and inefficiency, dislocation of the landless, social instability, rebellions and foreign invaders, devastation of the economy, and the population being wiped out. As a result of this cyclical changing of dynasties, the Chinese people take it for granted that when taxes are too high and the government is inefficient, they have the right to rebel. The ruler is not of sacred origin. His power comes from his ability to serve the public and if he failed to do this, he lost the Mandate of Heaven. This notion was deeply rooted in the minds of both the commoners and the elite; people knew that bad government led to rebellions. The Chinese word for revolution is Ge Ming, which means the use of violence to change a dynasty and is considered a basic right of the Chinese people. Because of this, Chinese society has always been prone to revolution and reform. (Lecture notes, Jan 21 st ) 3. Sinocentrism: Sinocentrism refers to the Chinese people’s view of their culture as the first and only legitimate civilization. Viewing China in this way can partially be attributed to the fact that in the 1600’s, European missionaries in China produced maps for the emperor that placed China in the center of the earth in order to persuade the emperor. As a result of these maps, the Chinese developed the concept of China as the “middle kingdom.” Sinocentrism has played an important role in Chinese political history because this view
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2010 for the course ANS 302C taught by Professor Boretz during the Spring '07 term at University of Texas.

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China Midterm 1 - 1 Definitions of China China is defined...

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