Celestial Empire

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The Celestial Empire was a name used to refer to China. It was a translation of Chinese: 天朝; pinyin: Tiāncháo, a name for China.[1] Accordingly, the name "Celestial" was used to refer to Chinese emigrants to the United States, Canada, and Australia during the 19th century.[2] Both terms were widely used in the English-language popular mass media of the day,[3][4] but have fallen into disuse later on. Its usage has become popular again in the present day particularly among Chinese Internet users, referring to the current regime and implying either the disapproval of its suppression and arrogance or the national pride as the country emerging into a superpower, depending on the context.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Chances in China; Standard Oil Man Says Celestial Kingdom Needs Much American Funds". The New York Times. February 15, 1914. 
  2. ^ "Celestial" capitalized (Celestial Empire, old name for China): of or relating to China or the Chinese Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
  3. ^ "The Wyoming Massacre," New York Times (1857-Current file); 6 September 1885; pg. 7, ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2003). Retrieved 12 March 2007.
  4. ^ "The Chinese Massacre," The National Police Gazette, September 19, 1885, no. 418, pg 2.
  5. ^ "Decoding the Chinese Internet: A Glossary of Political Slang" (PDF).