China has a vast territory, with abundant natural resources and diverse types of land resources. Its waterpower resources rank first worldwide. It is one of the countries in the world having the most species of wild animals, and has almost all kinds of vegetation found in the Northern Hemisphere. It has abundant mineral resources, with a great variety of minerals.
A Courtyard of Wang’s Compound, Pingyao
Wang’s Compound PicturesTraditional Chinese residences reflect the national culture, the sub-culture of a specific region and that of the ethnic group within it. The traditional domestic architecture of China has five major styles.
Courtyards in Beijing (Siheyuan) or compounds with courtyards in northern China
Farmers’ Caves (Yaodong) in Northern Shaanxi Province
Earthen Buildings of Hakkas (Tulou) in southeast China’s Fujian Province
Seal-like Compound (Yikeyin) in Yunnan province
Stilt Houses (Diaojiaolou) on steep inclines or projecting over water in southern China
As well as their respective features, traditional residences tend to conform to their environment and to become integrated with it. They are expected to blend with the surrounding rivers and mountains, thus complimenting but never spoiling the natural beauty. Our ancestors made use of local materials and took the natural factors into consideration whenever they built a house.
The Si he yuan in northern China features a thick roof and walls and a wide courtyard to draw in maximum sunlight while ventilation is a prime feature of the diao jiao lou in the much warmer tropical climate of southern China.
The Si he yuan in Beijing reflects the formal royal ambiance with its symmetrical style while garden-residences such as the famous Garden of the Master of the Nets in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, gives priority to a harmonious blend with nature. Prince Gong’s Mansion in Beijing is the world’s largest Si he yuan. Si He Yuan vary substantially in different locations. For details, please refer to: Beijing’s Hutong and Courtyard , Qiao’s Compound and Wang’s Compound in Pingyao, and Dang Village in Hancheng around Xian of Shaanxi Province.
In calligraphy, the Chinese characters with a roof-like component relate to various houses. For example, with a pig, it is a home; with a cow, it is a prison; with a combination of two mouths it means ‘many houses’ – it is palace. Such characters combined with that for ‘ woman’ imply peace and safety. The logic behind this is based on two layers of meaning. Firstly, when a woman sits peacefully at home, it means there is no war. Secondly, when they lived in simple caves in open air, our ancestors faced the hazards of bad weather, wild animals and hostile tribes. By building houses, they were better protected, thus there was safety.
Chinese folk residence appears in different forms. Around Suzhou in Jiangsu Province, there are many well preserved old towns such as Luzhi Town, Tongli Town and Zhouzhuang. The peaceful atmosphere in these towns attracts numerous visitors to come for relaxation and refreshment. The unique ethnic residences are really eye openers. In Guizhou Province, Langde Miao Ethnic Minority Village is a fascinating place to discover the unique Miao’s builing – “Diaojiaolou” (stilt-houses). Visit these beautiful places, you will know more about the colorful Chinese architecture.
China, one of the countries that can boast of an ancient civilization, has a long and mysterious history – almost 5,000 years of it! Like most other great civilizations of the world, China can trace her culture back to a blend of small original tribes which have expanded till they became the great country we have today.
It is recorded that Yuanmou man is the oldest hominoid in China and the oldest dynasty is Xia Dynasty. From the long history of China, there emerge many eminent people that have contributed a lot to the development of the whole country and to the enrichment of her history. Among them, there are emperors like Li Shimin (emperor Taizong of the Tang), philosophers like Confucius, great patriotic poets like Qu Yuan and so on.
Chinese society has progressed through five major stages – Primitive Society, Slave Society, Feudal Society, Semi-feudal and Semi-colonial Society, and Socialist Society. The rise and fall of the great dynasties forms a thread that runs through Chinese history, almost from the beginning. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1st, 1949, China has become a socialist society and become stronger and stronger.
China is an amazing cultural treasure of the world situated in eastern Asia. Its natural wealth, five millennia of history, and an old continuous civilization, place China as a great travel destination.
Numerous historical monuments scattered across the vast territory are vestiges of the ancient Chinese culture. These include: the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, X’ian’s Terracotta Army and Tiananmen Square. The vast land of this country also hosts various natural landscapes, such as the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River, the Silk Road, the Tibet or Hainan Island.
Distinct cities feature distinct panorama and cultural background in China. Beijing is the capital city and a beautiful cultural center. It is host of the Olympics this year.
Shanghai is largest city and the major business center with many commercial opportunities. Nanjing and Suzhou are historical places. Guangzhou is a modern prosperous city and Guilin is a paradise location. There are more than nine cities in China that should be visited.
In the world, China is the most populous country, over 1.3 billion population. China is also the third largest country in terms of area, it has an area of 9.6 million square kilometres. Economists think that China will be the most world economy powerful within 20 years. Because of its large population, rapidly growing economy, extensive research and development investments, China is often considered as an emerging superpower. Finally, China has more than 5,000 years of alive history. For these reasons, traveling to China is like traveling to another world.
The rapid Chinese’s growth has improved the tourist infrastructure. China has become one of the most visited countries in the World. Nearly 50 million tourists travel to China every year.
If you’re visiting Asia, don’t miss out of the wealth and traditions of China. The countries fascinating history jostles with the urban cities of Shanghai and Beijing to create the perfect culture clash to explore on a visit to China with plenty of cheap flights to choose from.
Los Angeles, CA (July 29, 2009) – The Chinese government often has the clout and muscle to prevent Hollywood films from being released in Asia, and can even discourage films from having an extended release in the West if they are perceived to threaten Chinese policy.
Films starring such big name stars as Richard Gere and Sharon Stone were boycotted by China after the actors expressed support for the Tibet Independence Movement. After Disney released Kundun, Martin Scorsese’s 1997 feature film about the Dalai Lama, the studio incurred the wrath of the Chinese government, and Disney films were banned for an indefinite period of time.
Recently, after a theatrical documentary film about the Dalai Lama and narrated by Harrison Ford entitled Dalai Lama Renaissance (www.DalaiLamaFilm.com) was released in theaters in Taiwan this summer and received front page positive press in the Chinese language Taiwanese newspapers, the Chinese government took keen notice.
The People’s Daily, a daily newspaper and media arm of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, quickly and sharply criticized Dalai Lama Renaissance in an article in its online edition.
The article, posted July 14th in the People’s Daily Online entitled “Western Movies Build Grand and Perfect Image of Dalai Lama,” argues that “in recent years, a wave of ‘Dalai Lama fever’ has appeared in the Western movie industry… describing the Chinese government’s peaceful liberation of Tibet as ‘cruel oppression,’ and depicting the Dalai Lama’s life in India as difficult… Some movies even advocate the Dalai Lama’s concept of [Tibetan] ‘independence.’”
Although the title of the article refers to “Movies,” the article exclusively focuses on Dalai Lama Renaissance. Referring to the film, which has been distributed in cinemas around the world, the article criticizes that “the part of the movie related to the peaceful liberation of Tibet was filled with political bias, reflecting the director’s ignorance and misunderstanding of Tibet’s history… The movie transforms the Dalai Lama into an omniscient sage, reflecting a ‘misunderstanding’ of the Dalai Lama’s image in the West… In fact, what these movies depict is just the ‘anesthesia’ given by the Dalai Lama to the West.”
The fact that the Chinese Communist Party’s main media organization has chosen to criticize the film may be a defensive reaction to the very positive press that Dalai Lama Renaissance received in the Chinese language media in Taiwan, where it premiered in front of sold-out audiences on June 1. And it may be an attempt to counteract any effect on readers in mainland China, who often have access to Chinese language news from Taiwan.
Taiwan’s best-selling weekly newspaper, E Weekly, gave the film a rating of 82, which is one of the highest ratings that a film has received in the past year in Taiwan. According to its Taiwanese theatrical distributor, Blockbuster of Taiwan (no relation to Blockbuster video in the United States), E Weekly regularly gives films far lower ratings. FTV, a television station in Taiwan, also reported that that the premiere of the film in Taiwan was very successful, with not an empty seat in the cinema, and that “many people were touched after watching the film.” The Taipei Times wrote that “the film rapidly grabs hold of you… an insightful documentary.”
Ironically, the Chinese Communist Party may feel most threatened by the idea brought up in the film regarding economic sanctions against China from the West. But despite this being a near unanimous suggestion by the Westerners in a scene in Dalai Lama Renaissance, the Dalai Lama discouraged the proposal.
The Taiwanese newspaper The Liberty Times points out that, in the film, “the Dalai Lama thinks that humanity is the most important thing in the world and economic sanctions might affect many Chinese citizens, thus he is hesitant whether such an approach is right.”
The People’s Daily also tries to discredit the producer-director of the film, Khashyar Darvich. In its article, the newspaper claims that the director is a “follower” of the Dalai Lama, and supports this assertion by referring to an interview where Darvich mentioned that he produced the film party for the opportunity to spend time with the exiled Tibetan leader.
“It’s interesting that the Chinese Communist Party refers to me as a follower of the Dalai Lama,” Darvich responded. “Although I respect the Dalai Lama as a man of peace, just as the Nobel Peace Prize Committee did by awarding him the Nobel Peace prize, and as do most governments around the world, I am not a Dalai Lama groupie. When I began the film, I was not very familiar with the Dalai Lama’s ideas. I think that his actions, and the respect that he garners around the world, speaks for itself.”
Despite the Chinese Communist Party’s attempt to discredit the film, Producer-Director Khashyar Darvich states that his production company, Wakan Films, has just signed an agreement to release Dalai Lama Renaissance unofficially into China itself, under the radar of the Chinese Government.
“My hope,” says Darvich, “is that the film will open a dialog between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama, and that the average Chinese citizen will be able to see that the Dalai Lama is not such a bad guy and is interested in a solution to the Tibet issue that serves the highest good and benefits both the Chinese and Tibetans. I would be happy to attend a screening of the film in China and conduct a Q&A with Chinese audiences as a way to contribute to positive dialog.”
For more information on Dalai Lama Renaissance, go to www.DalaiLamaFilm.com.
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