China

One of the oldest civilizations in the world, responsible for many major inventions such as paper, the compass, the banknote or gunpowder.

La vidéo de notre passage en Chine

Une expérience déroutante, et très forte.

Where is China?

Its flag:

drapeau-chine

General data

Area: 9 596 961 km² (17.5 times the size of the France).
Population : 1.37 billion people (20 times the population of the France).
Capital: Beijing (Peking).
Head of State: XI Jinping (since March, 2013).
Language: Mandarin, but also eight major dialects with their variants.
Ethnic groups: 56, with each tongue. Han (92%), Zhuang, Hui, Uygur, Miao, Yi, Tibetan, Uigur...
Currency: the yuan. 100 yuan = €15.22
Average life expectancy: 72 years for men, 75 years for women.
Illiteracy: 3 (c).
Lag: 6 h in the summer, 7 h in winter.

A few of the Unesco World Heritage sites: The great wall of China; the imperial palace in Beijing; the imperial tombs of the Ming and Qing to Beijing dynasties; the Yungang Grottoes; the Sichuan giant panda sanctuaries; Shilin Stone Forest; and many others...

Economy

In the 20 years from 1985 to 2005, the socialist economy switches in capitalism. GDP per capita is multiplied by 5.

China continues to beat its own records, so it is now the second world economy. It is the world's leading producer of swine, sheep, goats, wheat, rice, tea, cereals, fruit and vegetables and cotton, the second largest producer of corn, rubber, wool...

The country consumes 20 per cent of world food production but has only 9% of farmland. Hence the need for China to invest abroad by renting agricultural land in Argentina or Ukraine.

Since the end of the 1970s. foreign companies are encouraged to invest on the Chinese soil, with the opening of "special economic zones".

-China is now the leading investor in Africa through industrial projects, the building of schools, hospitals, roads and ports.

On the other hand, economic development is also synonymous with increase in inequalities between the poor regions of the Interior and the rich regions of the coast. China therefore remains one very poor country.

Human rights

Abolition of re-education through labour - laogai-, relaxation of the one-child law, camps or even reform of the status of rural workers: the measures announced by the new president Xi Jinping could even suggest an improvement.
But the NGOs are formal, the regime remains always also repressive. Dissidents are always placed under close surveillance when they are not imprisoned.

Internet is also very controlled and access to sites like Google, Facebook or Twitter is prohibited.

Finally, the death penalty remains massively applied, even if there still, leaders announced a reduction 'staged' in the number of crimes punishable by the death penalty.

Kitchen

A wide culinary variety

The dishes are very varied in China!

Given the size of the country, there is always large differences also according to regions.

Refers to four great culinary traditions (Beijing - Guangzhou - Shanghai - Sichuan), and you can see the kitchen from the North, wheat-based, from the South, where rice predominates. Traditionally, told that the North is dirty, southern sweet, Eastern rather sour and spicy West.

Gastronomic walking tour

Some examples by region

  • In Beijing and in the entire region of the Yellow Riverthe dominant presence of wheat can be found in the form of slabs, stuffed pancakes, Donuts, ravioli, noodles and pasta.
  • In Shanghai and the lower Yangtze region, the proximity to the sea makes beautiful fruit sea: crabs, shellfish, carps, eels... The premises also appreciate vegetables, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, sliced lotus roots...
  • In Yunnan Finally, do not hesitate to taste "noodles over the bridge")guoqiao mixian), chicken soup boiling which cooked yourself raw meat, vegetables and rice noodles.

Drinks

Tea: The Chinese drink by excellence. The Chinese drink primarily of Green tea (lucha).

Beer: Beer, pijiu (pronounced 'pitio-or') is also a drink especially cause by the Chinese.

Culture

Martial arts

China is the richest home of martial arts of the world. Charged for the health, for self-defense, for the development spiritual or all three at the same time, Chinese martial arts are considered as an integral part of Chinese culture. Kung Fu should lead to the improvement of the body and the spirit.

Calligraphy

Calligraphy)Shufa) is regarded as one of the four major artistic disciplines, with painting, poetry and music.

The learning of reading and writing

To write Chinese, we use ideograms: these are kinds of "drawings", and each means a word or phrase.

How many ideographs officially? Nearly 60,000 for some letters... In fact 3 000 to 4 000 ideographs common use. Very early on, children learn to remember them, to impose them and to understand their meaning. What are thousands of lines of writing by hand, to learn the order of the strokes (from 1 to 30 strokes) for each character and its structure.

Geography

China is big: by the number of inhabitants, the vastness of the territory, the variety of climates and the ethnic groups, the differences of the reliefs... It is the third largest country in the world area - after the Russia and the Canada. It represents a quarter of the area of Asia.
So inevitably, this great country has common borders with many other countries: Mongolia, Russia, India, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Kazakhstan, North Korea, Viet NamNepal, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Bhutan, LaosTajikistan, Afghanistan.

It is a country Mountain : five-sixths of the land are more than 500 m above sea level. And the area of Tibet dominates at 5000 m altitude!
There are also a few very great rivers : for example the river Yangtze, 'Blue River' is the largest Chinese River. It has a total length of 6 300 km, this is the third in the world after the Amazon and the Nile.

Games

The taste and the practice of games are widespread in China: chess, dice, cards, dominoes, billiards, loto, mah-jong, racing, fighting crickets... The games are very diverse!

Religions and beliefs

Difficult to speak of religions in the Chinese world. It is rather of philosophies, ways of living and superstitions. China has developed its own religious movements from the three doctrines (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism) associated with popular beliefs and local superstitions.

The principle of Yin and yang is very important in China. This is how they see things...

Since antiquity, two principles govern the functioning of the universe: a principle Yin (shadow, cold, humidity, woman, moon, dark, etc.), a principle Yang (heat, man, Sun, etc.). They complement each other and work for the smooth running of the universe.

Thanks to the Routard for all the Info!