Well, here we go. Again with some help from M3 and our buddies at the CIA, we have Part 2 of my efforts to learn about China. This one focuses on the technical details, so I don't embarrass myself and P3 by saying things in public like " Singapore is in China, right?" ;) But I figure I can't be the only person who doesn't know this stuff, so here goes.
Location, Location, Location: China is located on the opposite side of the World from the United States. (Thus 'Digging to China' -- get it?) It's 6978.1726824310535 miles from Dallas, TX to Beijing according to this web site. For my father in law (Hi Norm!) China is located at 35 00 N, 105 00 E. For the rest of us, it is located in Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam. Looking at a map and seeing exactly where it is and what it butts up against really puts those ole world history lessons from Jr. High ( shut up ) into a whole new perspective.
What Is Or Isn't Part of China: Hong Kong is part of China, and so are Tibet and Inner Mongolia. (Wow! A referral from Inner Mongolia?! It happens...) Mongolia, however, is not. Singapore is not part of China, and neither is Taiwan, although that one's controversial (more below).
What's the Deal with Hong Kong? In 1982 Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of Britain, met with Deng Xiaopeng, leader of China. They signed an agreement to hand Hong Kong from the UK over to China. The people of Hong Kong were never consulted about their future. Isn't that special.
Bonus Trivia Question #1: China is bordered by 14 countries. How many can you name without reading any else's guess?
A Sore Spot: PRC vs. ROC: Basically, China claims Taiwan as one of its provinces while Taiwan regards itself as an independent country. This debate has gone on since about 1949 when the People's Republic of China (PRC) was established to govern Mainland China and the original governing body, the Republic of China (ROC), had to retreat to Taiwan. As mentioned in Part 1, PRC and ROC are NOT interchangeable.
Bonus Trivia Question #2: What fun treat was invented in China around 2000 BC? (Remember, don't peek at anyone else's guess until you've entered yours.)
Capital: Ok, you might think it's Shanghai or Hong Kong, but no, it's Beijing.
Bonus Trivia Question #3: Do you know what any of these popular Chinese proverbs mean? 1. No wind, no waves. 2. A tiger's head and a snake's tail. 3. An inch of time is an inch of gold but you can't buy that inch of time with an inch of gold. 4. Aged ginger is more pungent.
They're Not Just Called Cities: My friends who have travelled already keep talking about this stuff like it is old hat so I had better get this down. Administratively, China is divided into the following: 22 or 23 Provinces: Administrative divisions of China.* Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunan, Zhejiang, and, depending on who you talk to, Taiwan 5 Autonomous Regions: Province-level divisions with a designated ethnic minority and more rights than provinces.* Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Tibet (Xizang), Xinjiang 4 Municipalities: The highest-ranked cities in China.* Beijing (Peking), Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin 2 Special Administrative Regions (SARs): Based on the concept of "one country, two systems," completely different social systems (socialist and capitalist) and ideologies can coexist.* Hong Kong, Macao
Bonus Trivia Question #4: China is the world's number 1 producer and consumer of what suprising edible item?
Presidential Info: You knew they had a president in China, right? (Of course, um, me too.) In China, the president is appointed for a 5-year term by the Parliament. The govt is formed by the Zhongguo Gongchandang (The Chinese Communist Party). On 15 March, 2003 Hu Jintao became the new president of China, relieving Jiang Zemin.
Flag Description: Red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner.
Well that's all for now. There will be a quiz later. ;-)
To see the Bonus Trivia Question answers, highlight the following blank lines with your mouse. Make sure you don't peek at these answers until you've made at least one guess in the comments section. You won't be able to live with yourself if you don't. *grin*
Highlight from here: #1: China is bordered by Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Vietnam. #2: It's believed that a kind of ice-cream was invented in China very early on when a milk and rice mixture was frozen by packing it into snow. #3: "No wind, no waves" means if there's no smoke there's no fire. "A tiger's head and a snake's tail" means a good beginning but a bad ending. "An inch of time is an inch of gold but you can't buy that inch of time with an inch of gold" means that time is more valuable than money. "Aged ginger is more pungent" means that older items and people are more valuable. #4: China is the world's number 1 producer and consumer of pork to the US. Go figure.
And the answers to the Trivia questions on Let's Learn About: China, part 1 1) Time Zones? One. All of China is on one big time zone. 2) Naming: China was named by Europeans for the ancient Ch'in Dynasty.