China, Chinese, Blog

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

The following are some blog compilation commentaries related to China.

Qixi Festival (七夕)

It's quite amazing how wikipedia has lots of info about Chinese, and in English! In the past year, i have read a lot chinese related articles. I'm Chinese and was born and grew up in Taiwan till 14. However, when i read a Wikipedia article related to chinese, even esoteric ones such as cultural details and origin, i learn quite a lot info. For example, this article Qi Xi, in Taiwan it is known as 牛郎织 女 (the cowherd and the weave girl). Just about every chinese, knew about this story, however, not as much detailed as in Wikipedia. Also, i learned the actual constellations about them, namely, Altair and Vega. Also, the name 七夕 (The Night of Sevens) i never heard of, nor the alternative names and the tradition. (e.g. 乞巧節 (The Festival to Plead for Skills)). So, in general, i'd say that English Wikipedia articles on Chinese matters, may it be history, culture, chinese cuisine, chinese art etc is at a info level beyond average native chinese college graduate.

This is amazing. I've wondered, who wrote these chinese articles? Mostly likely not people from China. Am guessing it's mostly by Chinese living overseas, and perhaps a large portion by non-chinese students who are studying chinese.

Amazing wikipedia. Look:

金庸 Jin Yong (born 1924).

笑傲江湖 (The Smiling, Proud Wanderer) (1967) is one of his novel. .

古龍 (Gu Long) (1937 to 1985).

On Chinese Sites, Click Always Open a New Window

Why is that, of websites in china, every link opens a new window? this seems be the norm in every major sites. e.g. .

2 years ago i thought it might be that China's internet browsing populace isn't “mature” enough about webtech… but now they are still like that.

Note that according to global web traffic ranking, several pure Chinese language sites are ranked at the top, before ebay or amazon. It wouldn't be surprising if in a couple years most of the top ten sites are Chinese.

I haven't tested all, but seems most of these chinese sites all practice popping up a new window.

Chinese History for Beginners

(Chinese History for Beginners At Great, informal summary. The author seems anonymous.

Read it in conjunction with wikipedia's summary: History of China

Manchu, Cheongsam, Qipao

Wikipedia readings:

Realized today that 滿族 (Manchu) is basicaly people from the North East regions of China. Their original language, Manchu language, is more or less abandoned and today practically extinct. You can still see their language as a gate name in the forbidden city.

Manchu Chinese languages gate plate
Chinese and Manchu language on gate plate. image source

The princess Kawashima Yoshiko (川島芳子, 1907 to 1948), is a beautiful princess of Qin near its ending, during the Chinese-Japanese war era, and in the end, got executed as a traitor.

Han Chinese clothing (漢服); and Han Chinese.

The clothing Cheongsam 长衫 and Qipao 旗袍, today often recognized as traditional Chinese wear, are actually 滿族 (Manchu) clothings that are forced on Han Chinese as law. Including the typical hair cut of men depicted in movies of long braid and shaved above forehead.

Asides from history, if we compare Manchu's clothing and Han clothing, then Manchu is much more practical.

Manchukuo, the Japanese created puppet state.

Confucianism, Taoism, Legalism, Mohism (儒家 道家 法家 墨家)

As one who grew up in Taiwan, and educated roughly to middle school, i've heard of 儒家 (Confucianism), 道家 (Taoism), 法家 (Legalism), 墨家 (Mohism). I know more or less what Confucianism is about, and vaguely have some idea about Taoism, but what the heck is 法家 (Legalism) and 墨家 (Mohism)?

While reading wikipedia on Chinese history, i run into: Legalism (philosophy), and Mohism (墨家). 法家 (Legalism) is shit, basically about how to control other people (similar to the philosophy of Machiavelli's The Prince), while Mohism is a great philosophy! It is somewhat a pacifism. (and in my opinion, Confucianism is science-preventing shit and Taoism is New-Age-like garbage.)

Also realized, that the History of formal logic can actually be traced to ancient China!! See Gongsun Longzi (320 BC to 250 BC)

See also: Hundred Schools of Thought (諸子百家). The article gives a very brief summary of the thoughts.

Aquaited myself who really is Lu3 Xun4 魯迅. (1881 to 1936) He wrote A Madman's Diary (狂人日記) and The True Story of Ah Q (阿Q正傳)

Taiwan Under Dutch Rule

Taiwan under Dutch rule. Excerpt:

Dutch traders, in search of an Asian base first claimed Formosa (Taiwan) in 1624 as a base for Dutch commerce with Japan and the coast of China.

The Dutch built a second administrative castle on the main island of Taiwan in 1633 and set out to earnestly turn Taiwan into a Dutch colony. The first order of business was to punish villages that had violently opposed the Dutch and unite the aborigines in allegiance with the VOC.

The 1636 punitive attack on Lamay Island in response to the killing of the shipwrecked crew of the Beverwijck and the Golden Lion (Xiao Liu Qiu) ended ten years later with the entire aboriginal population of 1100 removed from the island, including 327 Lamayans killed in a cave, having been trapped there by the Dutch and suffocated by the fumes and smoke pumped into the cave by the Dutch in cooperation with aborigines from Saccam, Soulang and Pangsoya. The men were forced into slavery in Batavia (Java) and the women and children became servants and wives for the Dutch officers.

In 1661, a naval fleet of 1000 warships, led by the Ming loyalist and pirate Koxinga (國姓爺, aka 鄭成功), arrived in Taiwan to destroy and oust the Dutch from Zeelandia.

I lived in Taiwan for 14 years since i was born there (1968 to 1982). Though, i haven't seen any residue of the Dutch. Not in culture, not in landmark, not a iota of a inkling of Hollanders, except that i recall 'was mentioned in school books.

If the Hollander didn't got kicked out, i might have blue eyes today.

US and Taiwan

Taiwan presidential election protest news photo
From Associate Press, captioned thus: «Supporters of opposition presidential candidate Lien Chan wave Taiwanese flags in front a replica of the statue of liberty during a rally in front of the Presidential Building, Saturday, March 27, 2004, in Taipei, Taiwan. Protesters converged on Taiwan's capital on Saturday for a massive rally that raised worries of new violence as tempers ran high over last weekend's disputed presidential vote. China hinted that the turmoil might provide a reason for it to take control of the island. The Chinese words on statue reads “Save Taiwan.” (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)»

Notice the American Statue of Liberty effigy, where it has become a symbol of freedom or justice in quite a lot places around the world. The words written on it are: 要真相 (want the truth), 拚公道 ((fight for) justice), 搶救台灣 ((urgently) save Taiwan).

Also note how the Associated Press puts a spin in the way the caption is written. It took the opportunity to latch on a statement hinting on a threat from China, immediately followed by a partial translation of the messages on the statue. Readers are lead to think that “save Taiwan” means “save Taiwan from China”, whereas it actually means “save Taiwan from unfair election.” (of a pro-Independence, anti-union, anti-peace Taiwanese demagogue).

We have to think about how did Chinese become “People's Republic of China” vs “Republic of China”. It is because the opportunistic USA of Americans, meddling with other's affairs, took part in splitting other countries in their interest of anti-communism. Wouldn't it be great if the Russians took part and helped the south in American Civil War so that today we have a United States of America and a People's United States of America?

For complete detail about this 3-19 shooting incident, see: ROC presidential election 2004

A Breast Exposure in China

chinese breast feeding
chinese breast feeding

«Hani woman nursing her baby, Yuanyang (Yunnan), 1992. This woman nursing her baby wears the traditional Hani costume and headdress. As this photograph was taken, the husband of this young woman appeared, displaying a rage bordering on madness. He finally locked up his wife. This attitude is very rare in China.» -- Photo and text by Yann Layma, from his book China Buy at amazon , 2003 Nov. (used with permission)

She is such a beautiful girl. I love her benign and beautiful face, her breast feeding naturalness, and the way she contrasted Westerner's technological materialistic gluttony.

Photographer Yann Layma also has a website, featuring hundreds of beautiful, quality photos on China At Source