Talk:Names of China

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2003 - 2006 (Plus matters that concern archiving of that period's discussion)[edit]

Discussion about Talk:Names of China anomaly[edit]

About old talk contribs that concerned the article "Names of China"[edit]

   For many articles, content of the corresponding article-talk pages (possibly most of them, and probably nearly all busy ones) is routinely retired and preserved, from sections whose discussion has subsided for some period of time, and generally, such sections from a given article's talk go into a common special-purpose "archive" page, until it is deemed appropriate (due to time span covered, or size of the talk-archive page) to start a new archive page for subsequent talk re that article.
   The archive pages likewise lie within the talk namespace, A.K.A. (more formally) the article-discussion namespace.
   I have undertaken this meta-discussion because there is at least one contrib that either has been misfiled or is inaccurately dated, and first among several plausible causes would be that discussion content subsequently described with "ConvertIPA: Since done." was removed without keeping even a more detailed summary (let alone the whole discussion, as is our normal practice). (I quote the phrase "ConvertIPA: Since done." since it is the current title of the existing section, within which i am about to edit bcz of the notice of such an unarchived section.) I expect to learn (from the edit history) that a discussion, begun in 2003 (and conceivably lasting into subsequent years), was resolved and (improperly, but presumably innocently) thrown away, in line with someone's opinion that no one should bother worrying about what went before.
   It would be silly to imagine that similar irregularities at WP are frequently harmful in themselves, but the unresolved existence of innocent anomalies of similar appearance substantially increases the likelihood that one or a few wolves (concealed falsifications) could hide among however many undocumented sheep-ly situations, along the lines of the probably otherwise harmless replacement, with 11 words and a sig, of whatever was the prior content, with the Talk:Names of China#ConvertIPA: Since done. section. (Said sig is probably authentic, but possibly forged.)
--Jerzyt 10:26, 11 November 2016 (UTC)


ConvertIPA: Since done.[edit]

[Update (2007): There are now many IPA transcriptions in the article.] — ¾-10 16:04, 10 October 2007 (UTC)


Isn't this rather something for Wiktionary? D.D. 08:22 Feb 11, 2003 (UTC)

Maybe yes. But currently this contains some historical terms. It was interesting to me that words for China have several different etymologies. And their distribution. Nanshu 13:26 Feb 11, 2003 (UTC)

Sina or Shina in Japanese?[edit]

Isn't there Sina or Shina in Japanese as well?
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:24, 5 March 2003

Vandalism reverted[edit]

I removed the following two (invalid) entries:

  • Democratic movements: Da Hanzu Sitan (大汉族斯坦)
I have never heard of this term... No results from google too. (I believe the contributor of this term is the same as a vandal at earlier.)
  • Urgoy(Uighur): Anangga ski Hanzular (操他娘的汉族)
This simply means F***ing Han.

--Lorenzarius 06:54 Mar 18, 2003 (UTC)

Wiktionary redux[edit]

Isn't this wiktionary topic? I don't see the reason why we need to cover how to call China in all languages. Then why don't we have the United States in world languages as well. US is called Amerika gashukoku in Japanese language, but so what? -- Taku 02:32 29 May 2003 (UTC)

It's not a simple definition/translation type list. It details the history of the different variations. This makes it a legitimate encyclopedia article. --Jiang 22:59, 2 Oct 2003 (UTC)

From VfD[edit]

  • China in world languages - See the talk page:Talk:China in world languages -- Taku
    • Keep. It has as much to do with Chinese history as the word "China." If Germany in world languages does not yet exist, perhaps it should be next. --Smerdis of Tlön 13:48, 28 Sep 2003 (UTC)
    • Content is interesting but the point is that that kind of discussion doesn't belong to wikipedia but wiktionary. -- Taku 17:01, 28 Sep 2003 (UTC)
      • This isn't dictionary material, either. What the article is about, ultimately, is reconstructing the times and circumstances when various people made contact with China. It's as if the title of the article being about the name of China in different languages is what gives offence. If the article must go, it should be moved to History of China rather than banished to the wiktionary. -- Smerdis of Tlön 03:12, 30 Sep 2003 (UTC)
    • You have good point. I never doubt the article has interesting points. What I am opposing is that we should not go on this way. The United States is called Amelika gashu koku in Japanese, so what. That is nothing but simple linguistic information, which we do not want. We just need history not languages. -- Taku
    • Keep. Also, this is most certainly not Wiktionary content. -- Jake 23:44, 1 Oct 2003 (UTC)
    • Keep; it's useful information. --Jiang 22:57, 2 Oct 2003 (UTC)
    • There is nothing about this article that is either (a) false, (b) of interest only to one person and his immedaite group of friends and contacts, (c) merely a definition that cannot expand beyond a simple dictionary definition, (d) pure POV, (e) too broad too ever plausibly cover adequately in an encyclopedia article, or (f) containing no information of substance. This is no easy deletion. Nor would you ever find anything like this in a dictionary. This is NOT dictionary material -- all you'd find in a dictionary is "China. Noun. 1. A country that takes up much of the central southern part of Asia, south of Mongolia, that has the highest population in the world. 2. Porcelain." In a foreign language dictionary you might find "China, n. Chine", or "China, n. Chuugoku", but that'd be it. Wiwaxia 00:26, 3 Oct 2003 (UTC)

This page was unlisted from VfD on October 3rd because there was no consensus to delete it.


Tiongkok, from Southern Min in Bahasa
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:39, 12 March 2004‎2 edits differing only as to formatting, in the same minute.



Wareware, how can people apply derogatory nuance to "China"? The term "Shina" was used as commonly in Japanese as "China" in English. Maybe rapid increase of Chinese crimes in Japan will turn "Chugoku" into a derogatory term.

"Chugoku" cannot be used for topics unrelated to the country because the suffix "goku" means country, and if the suffix is removed, it makes no sense. So "Shina" is still used as a neutral term. For example, the East China Sea is 東シナ海 in Japanese. --Nanshu 23:53, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

Hello, I added the reason that why most Chinese find the term derogatory. They would not refer themselves as "shina" because it implies imperialist times. For example, some extreme Japanese still refer the Sino-Japanese War as "Shina Incident" should illustrate this point. Wareware 07:12, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

You completely missed my point. Check pre-WWII newspapers, books and other Japanese documents, and you will find the word "Shina" used as commonly as English "China." If was difficult to make it a derogatory term just as it is almost impossible to make "China" a derogatory term.

And your claim is based on the assumption that the same term should be used in Chinese and Japanese, but it is, of course, wrong.

Then why did they mistakenly assume that "Shina" was a derogatory term?

You can find Sun Yat-sen using 支那. It sounded "modern" at that time. But chauvinistic Chinese nationalism in 1920s and 30s wasn't satisfied unless they forced Japanese to call China other than "central nation," but it didn't succeeded.

Once China demand the name change, the users of "Shina" are limited to those who ignore the Chinese demand. It isn't surprising that the Chinese don't like them. It falls into a spiral. But don't label them "right-wing", "imperialist" or other silly terms. I've already shown a non-political usage of "Shina." In addition, there are user of "Shina" who are naver called "right-wing", "imperialist" or so. For example, Tanaka Katsuhiko is a linguist and communist. He claims that there cannot be "Chugokugo" as there is no "Soviet language." --Nanshu 23:20, 13 May 2004 (UTC)

Hmm... maybe that's true in Japanese language, but i advice u not to use this term to a Chinese people, because we (at least I) hate to be called Shina, very offensive to me, just like Chinese may say '馬鹿' innocently, because that term doesn't make much sense to the Chinese people, but it does to the Japanese people. P.S. communist doesn't mean left exclusively, there is right-wing inside communist... anyway, i am not implying anything. --θαλαμηγός (talk) 02:35, May 25, 2004 (UTC)

I think people should start calling japanese 倭奴 (slaves of wa)? It has absolutely no derogatory meaning because it was used historically. Idiot. Wareware 03:50, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

dont be so harsh, Wareware... ;p --θαλαμηγός (talk) 17:34, May 27, 2004 (UTC)

Saying that one group of people are "mistaken" is definately not NPOV. The word "regard" is more neutral because it doesn't add the judgement of whether they are right or wrong. If a group of people think a certain way, there may be reasons for or against - present those reasons and don't endorse one and attack the other. Even if there may be an illusion, the Chinese regard that the term is derogatory is unchanged. Please leave the political rants for online forums elsewhere. Try the NPOV tutorial if you don't get it.

Common terms can be derogatory if the groups described was prejudiced against. In the US, "Chinaman", "Negro", "Jap" and others were also common usage terms, even used in academia and political discourse. Now they are all derogatory.

That said, I'm not sure why Warware deleted Nanshu's additions to the Tabgach and Mangi sections. Add them back? --Jiang 00:10, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

One believes something. This belief isn't necessarily true. So I deal with its validity. But he only repeats the belief and provides no objection to my argument about the validity itself although I don't deny the existence of the belief. After all, there is an opinion but there is no opinion againt it. Wareware is talking about the Chinese recognition. But I also treat the actual pre-WWII Japanese usage. I wonder if you have ever read pre-WWII literature. Maybe he doesn't aware that we are not talking about the same thing. --Nanshu 02:42, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

hey , I wrote that the term had no derogatory meaning originally until the war of 1895 and it became derogatory ever since. You'd know this had you stopped sniffing schoolgirl underwear and actually read it. Wareware 00:34, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)
No. You are still talking about the Chinese belief. You actually mean:
the Chinese didn't think that the term had no derogatory meaning until the war of 1895 and they came to think it was derogatory.
Again, the belief isn't necessary true. To say so, you have to examine its actual Japanese usage by analyzing pre-WWII Japanese literature. But you didn't. --Nanshu 02:28, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)
You can provide counter claims, but your claims that they are "mistaken" or "do not know" is your POV. --Jiang
Can you provide real counter claims? Otherwise we can hardly say it's my POV. --Nanshu 02:28, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Common usage terms can become derogatory over time. It's already explained above. I don't see why you cannot grasp the logic of this. --Jiang 05:02, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Again, your claim isn't backed up. Common usage terms can become derogatory. So what? --Nanshu 02:07, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Calling the ROC 支那共和国 was reasonable since it approved Western use of "China." As you know, Japan struggled to gain equal footing with world powers. And it's not a matter of interchangeability of Chinese characters. In fact the Chinese forced the Mongols in Southern Mongolia to call the ROC "dumdadu irgen ulus" or shortly "dumdadu ulus". (dumdadu=middle, irgen=people, ulus=country) --Nanshu 02:28, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Talk pages are not for advocating particular political views but to discuss how to best represent those conflicting political views. Please do not justify your political opinion here and learn about NPOV.
The western powers, unlike the Japanese, did not use Chinese characters. "China" just happened to be an established translation so it made sense to keep this translation. "China" is not Mongolian. What else could the Mongolians have used. --Jiang 05:02, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Do you have more knowledge of this issue than information provided by that PD article? Your judgement of my edit as "your political opinion" seems to have come from your ignorance.

First of all, the term 中國 wasn't popular at all in the 19th century. You can occasionally find it but its usage was similar to 天朝. 天朝 refers to China but it's not the name of China, of course. Some Chinese nationalist including 梁啟超 said, "中國 has no country name." Today this sounds pretty odd to us, but this was their perception. It was as late as in the 20th century that 中國 came into common use. An anti-American movement concerning immigration promoted it. For more information, see 愛国主義の創成―ナショナリズムから近代中国を見る by 吉澤誠一郎.

In Japan, no one except some sinophilic confucians had used 中國. At the time 中華民國 was founded, 中國 wasn't popular at all in Japan as well as western nations. Similarly, the Mongols, who don't use Chinese characters, were forced to use "dumdadu ulus" although Mongolian "kitad" refers to China. See "A Protest Against the Concept of the 'Middle Kingdom': The Mongols and the 1911 Revolution." by Nakami Tatsuo (The 1911 Revolution in China: interpretive essays). In short, the situation was same in western nations, Japan, and the Mongols. The only thing that was inconsistent was ROC's policy. It was closely linked to the problem: what did China/支那/Kitad refer to?

On the official usage of Shina, 「支那」「支那国」「支那共和国」――日本外務省の対中呼称政策 by 川島真 (中国研究月報 571号) made interesting research. It explains the negotiations between Japan and the ROC in 1913. Chinese articles including PD's one mention to ROC's request but don't tell us what happened after that, but it does. Using 支那共和国 in the Japanese language and 中華民國 in the Chinese language was the final decision. It is obvious that the ROC didn't think it should be changed because the naming issue wasn't listed as pending problems between the ROC and Japan in diplomatic records.

1930's change of the policy was part of Shidehara's conciliatory policy toward China (it ended in complete failure and a tougher policy gained power). Kawashima introduces an interesting archive of the ROC in 1930. One proposed to ask Japan to replace 支那 because it lacked "相互尊敬之意". But another rebuts: Japan's use of 支那 isn't different from Western China and we also use the expression "X of China" in western languages. He recognized the contradiction. As a result ROC's demand remained unofficial. The ROC recognized that Japan's change was its own decision, not approval of ROC's unofficial request.

If we grade these terms by the three ranks "admiring", "neutral" and "derogatory", 中国 is "admiring", and 支那 is "neutral", not "derogatory". Unlike 中国, China/支那 express neither special respect nor contempt. The Chinese demanded special treatment from Japan that wasn't requested to western nations. --Nanshu 02:07, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC)

If there is information to add, then add it on the article, not the talk page. Please be aware that your views are Japanese views - attribute them to the Japanese. Please understand the subtleties of the English language - "believe" and "regard" have separate meanings. One is not NPOV. "Did not know" is derogatory by implying lack of knowledge instead of a lack of convention. The sentence "It is not surprising that the Chinese do not like them" also has a condescending tone. If you can't use NPOV language, then your chances of getting reverted have increased greatly. --Jiang 22:01, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I added information to this page because it was too detailed for the article. You need 10 times as much knowledge as things to be explained (probably it's not the same to you.), and, unfortunately, we don't share common sense on this field. --Nanshu 03:13, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Watch your edits in the same standard you demand for others.

"because it was used extensively during Japanese imperialism in China." is misleading. That extra verbal phrase implys that it didn't used extensively "during Japanese imperialism in China". --Nanshu 03:13, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

"Japan then forced other countries to adopt the term to refer to China, causing great protest from overseas Chinese. ..." Again. This doesn't make sense. Can you give details? --Nanshu 03:13, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The combination of "many Chinese regard the term ..." and "The Japanese denied any negative connotations, ..." suggests that it was a derogatory term. But you don't prove it. --Nanshu 03:13, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

"Today Shina is used primarily by right-wing nationalists and radical Taiwanese independence supporters": Shina has no direct relation with Taiwanese independence supporters. --Nanshu 03:13, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

"Sun never used the term anymore from 1905 because he believed that Shina meant an obsolete, imperial China." Sources please. --Nanshu 03:13, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

For example, in 1908, Chinese nationals in Indonesia protested against the Dutch's adoption of the term, and more protests followed during the signing of Treaty of Versailles and the subsequent May Fourth Movement.

This doesn't make sense to me. Dutch's adoption? Did the Dutch government use Japanese? --Nanshu 02:28, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Can't you answer my question? --Nanshu 02:07, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC)

This page says that Marco Polo called it Mangi but later syas that Polo called it Chin. Which is correct? Rmhermen 15:14, Aug 13, 2004 (UTC)

He called north China Cathay and south China Manji. I haven't seen him use Chin yet but at this point I'm only halfway through the book! So I'm no expert. Fishal 06:30, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The term Indochina (peninsula) is still translated into Chinese as 印度支那 containing Zhina. I don't know why haven't they change that. Although, I think the peninsula is more commonly referred to as 中南半岛 (South China Peninsula?). --Voidvector 07:24, Nov 1, 2004 (UTC)

The Chinese Wikipedia article is located at 印度支那, but then it states that 中南半岛 is preferred because 支那 is offensive. Also, I think a better translation would be the "Central-Southern Peninsula" or "that peninsula south of China"... -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 07:30, Nov 1, 2004 (UTC)

Other names of China in Chinese[edit]

I remember words for China exist in Chinese, so I googled and found the following article. The 4 missing from this article are listed. I am not sure if they deserve to be added. Reference

  • 华夏
  • 神州
  • 九州
  • 四海

Voidvector 07:05, Nov 1, 2004 (UTC)

Yeah, they definitely deserve to be added, though I can't really say that I've ever heard of the last one before. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 07:14, Nov 1, 2004 (UTC)



Is there any good reason why the full (accented) pinyin names aren't used throughout rather than sticking them in brackets all over the place?  — Moilleadóir 03:11, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Because this is the English Wikipedia and pinyin is not English. The accents are not standard English. — J3ff 08:40, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

That's a pretty dubious argument. The whole point of the article is to show names for China in many languages and surely the best policy is to give people all the available information about these names precisely because they aren't in English. No, pinyin tone marks aren't a required part of English spelling, but they aren't outlawed either.  — Moilleadóir 08:12, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Maybe the term "Tianxia" should be mentioned as well?


I recently read Noord en Oost Tartaryen by Nicolaes Witsen (1705), in which he describes the origin of the term 'Nikan' thusly:

De volken van Niuche, Boghdaiskaia, of Bogdoitsen en Bogdatsen worden by de Sinezen ook Ooster Tartars en Mugali Nuki geheten, zy daer en tegen noemen schers gewijs de Sinezen Nicon: 't geen zoo veel als ondeugend, gek, plomp of bot gezegt is.

Which in translation is:

The peoples of Niuche, Boghdaiskaia (1), or Bogdoitsen and Bogdatsen (2), are also called "East tartars" and "Mugali Nuki" by the Chinese, they on the other hand call the Chinese jokingly "Nicon", which means something like (3) "naughty", "strange", "rude" or "blunt".
  1. "Niuche" is Witsen's name for Manchuria, Boghdaiskaia another name for the same region
  2. The -en is probably a Dutch plural form
  3. literally: as much as

Witsen also translates Ciumquo (=Zhonguo) as 'central country', but Ciumhoa (=Zhonghua) as 'central garden'. I would like to add these pieces of information, but feel too little knowledgeable about the subject to actually do so without adding inaccuracies. - Andre Engels 21:40, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)


What about 江山 Jiangshan? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:12, 9 January 2006

Criticism from WikiWatch[edit]


[Below is 2006-present][edit]

POV insertion[edit]

User:RevolverOcelotX is attempting to place POV qualifications on the terms "Communist China" and "Red China", which were used to distinguish the part of China governed by the communists, who often used the self-description of "reds", from the Republic of China, recognized by many at the time as the legitimate government of China. In the process he is also reverting grammatical corrections to the article. 14:59, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

User: and his sockpuppet User:, clearly deleting valid information from the article. The terms are used disparingly in China. is using his sockpuppet to evade the 3RR which should be considered vandalism. RevolverOcelotX
This user has once again provided no argument for content changes but simply relies on invalid accusations of policy violation. 15:09, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
User:, the words "disparagingly" have been in the article a long time and is clearly accurate to describe it as such. State your reasons for deleting it now, sockpuppet? RevolverOcelotX
I stated my reasons. "Communist China" and "Red China" were meant to distinguish communist-controlled parts of China from the then-recognized Republic of China. This is not disparaging, it was simply the term in use by many western countries which did not recognize the PRC. 15:18, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
The terms "communist" and "red" China are outdated and no longer used terms. It is considered disparaging in the present-day China. In fact, those words are only used in the West. Deleting those descriptions just because you don't believe they exist is considered vandalism. RevolverOcelotX
First of all, it is inaccurate to say that the term "communist" is no longer used in China. The ruling party is named the Communist Party of China. Second, this is in reference to a period of the Cold War where this term was widely used in Western countries such as the United States, where it was a title meant to differentiate the PRC from the ROC; that is not disparaging. Lastly, labeling content disputes as vandalism will get you nowhere and reflects poorly on your ability to achieve consensus. Please refrain from doing so. Thanks. 15:28, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
No, it is accurate to say the term is disparaging because its an outdated term. The party is not the country. And the Cold War is over, so the term is now considered outdated and disparaging. Lastly, using sockpuppetry to evade 3RR will get you nowhere and reflects poorly on your abilities. RevolverOcelotX
Please try to form a cogent argument on this matter so as to not confuse readers. The term is "outdated" because its widespread use has been discontinued ever since the recognition by most western governments of the PRC, culminating in the United States's decision to do the same. Since the term was meant to distinguish what government was recognized as legitimate, the term was not disparaging but merely distinguished between the two.
Also, I am not evading 3RR anywhere and you failed to point to any instance of my doing so. This also has nothing to do with this article; please leave personal matters, particularly false accusations of wrong-doing, out of this and stay on topic. 15:45, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
The PRC never actually used those terms to describe itself. It was only used in the West. The term is considered "somewhat disparagingly" today and should be labeled as such. The term is simply outdated and inaccurate. Even western governments only used that term during the cold war, and it was used disparagingly. The ROC was never called "China" after recognition shifted to the PRC, in fact, most countries during and after the cold war considered the ROC (Taiwan) as a part of China, so there is nothing really to "distinguish". They operated on the One China policy. But I will wait to see what other editors have to say about this first.
And if User: is not your sockpuppet as you claimed, how do you explain this revert and you suddenly started reverting right after he reverted? How do you explain both of you reverting the same articles? User: reverted to the exact same version you did and used the same "npov, grammar" excuse delete legitimate content from the article. RevolverOcelotX

I have to question whether your competence at the English language is at a low enough level that perhaps you should not even be editing articles on this edition of Wikipedia. I have attempted to explain several times now that the use of the phrase "Communist/Red China" was used in order to differentiate between governments that western countries (esp. the US) did not recognize, yet you insist on talking about what is "outdated" when everyone can readily see how the period in question of the Cold War (1950s-1970s) is decades ago! What an argument! Similarly, I have also explained several times that I am using a dynamic IP, meaning I don't have the slightest say in what my address is, and so your repeated references to "sockpuppets" look rather imbecilic. 18:14, 11 June 2006 (UTC) Furthermore, the "One China policy" was not relevant in its current meaning to the US until 1972, with the joint communique and the subsequent warming of US-PRC relations. This proves my point, not yours. 18:16, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Your deletion of the words "disparagingly" from the article is clearly inappropriate. The terms "communist/red" are clearly used disparagingly to describe China. The "One China policy" was used by other countries, not just the US before 1972. And if you're using a dynamic IP, why don't you sign in under a fixed user name to avoid being dismissed? RevolverOcelotX
Revolver, don't keep playing that ridiculous game. You accuse everyone of being a sockpuppet if they disagree with you on issues you feel strongly about, such as when you kept making allegations on my user page without any evidence. If you continue to do this to other people, I will have to seek official comment on your activities. You really need to grow up and accept that people have a right to disagree with you. If you don't like that, please go and post on some PRC forums where views that disagree with yours are automatically deleted by the censors. John Smith's 14:43, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't think "Communist China" or "Red China" were used in a neutral way to distinguish the PRC from Taiwan, the neutral terms would have been eg "People's Republic of China", "P.R. China" or "China (PRC)". LDHan 19:35, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. The terms "communist" and "red" were not neutral terms. They were used disparagingly to reflect the anti-communism from the cold war. RevolverOcelotX
That was not the western vernacular in e.g. the period immediately after the end of the Chinese Civil War through the late 60s to early 70s. Recall that at an early stage there were still even hopes that the Nationalists could retake the mainland, though these were clearly dashed before long. 00:01, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Here's an example from, roughly, the mid-point of this period.
MR. KENNEDY: Well I think we should st- strengthen our conventional forces, and we should attempt in January, February, and March of next year to increase the airlift capacity of our conventional forces. Then I believe that we should move full time on our missile production, particularly on Minuteman and on Polaris. It may be a long period, but we must - we must get started immediately. Now on the question of disarmament, particularly nuclear disarmament, I must say that I feel that another effort should be made by a new Administration in January of 1961, to renew negotiations with the Soviet Union and see whether it's possible to come to some conclusion which will lessen the chances of contamination of the atmosphere, and also lessen the chances that other powers will begin to possess a nuclear capacity. There are indications, because of new inventions, that ten, fifteen, or twenty nations will have a nuclear capacity - including Red China - by the end of the presidential office in 1964. [2]
This is an un-self-conscious description of the PRC as "Red China" during a serious debate which concerned foreign policy in the Cold War for a presidential election. 00:04, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, that use of "Red China" in that quote could hardly be called neutral, it might be "un-self-conscious" but that's only because of the assumption in the US that nearly all Americans were inherently anti-communist. I would also suggest that the use of "Communist China" or "Red China" was mainly a US usage, more neutral names would have been used in other western countries, eg the PRC was recognised by the UK as early as 1950. LDHan 01:59, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
The question was not whether the description is made by a neutral power, which is self-evident in dealing with the US's position towards any country in the context of the Cold War, but rather whether that description is "derogatory". It is in this instance assigned a value-neutral sense in discriminatory reference to bodies over which the legitimate administration remained (to them) a matter of dispute. In any case, it is incredible that the self-description of "Communist" and "Red" is said to be insulting, retroactively, when it was appended or appropriated by other parties to reference them in kind. 02:17, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Middle Kingdom vs Cental Kingdom[edit]

Why do we use words "Middle Kingdom" for "中国"? It seems to me that "Cenral Kingdom" reflects the Chinese meaniang more precisely. China was considered by its inhabitants to be the "center" of the human civilization. Thus logically it would be beter to use the term "Cenral Kingdom". Objections welcomed. -- 11:07, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

No, it does not. The original meaning of the Chinese term is "middle area of the country." --Naus 23:20, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

'Middle Kingdom' was obviously a simplistic but wrong translation of Zhong Guo; it was however aesthetically pleasing, but not a correct technical translation. 'Guo' does not necessarily mean Kingdom; indeed in this context, it meant 'States', in the plural (as the S in the USA). 'Zhong' in this context is the adjective meaning 'central' and not 'middle'. The correct translation of 'Zhong Guo' is therefore 'The Central States' and these states were the polities described in English as Principalities (Guo's) that had simultaneously existed in the inland areas of a now unified polity called China. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:30, 12 May 2007 (UTC).

Zhongguo also means The Neutral States. (talk) 02:35, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Here's why we don't use "Central Kingdom" on Wikipedia:

From Google,
537,000 pages for query: "Middle Kingdom" + China
11,100 pages for query: "Central Kingdom" + China

19,200 pages for query: "Middle Kingdom" + Zhongguo
485 pages for query: "Central Kingdom" + Zhongguo

14,000 pages for query: "Middle Kingdom" + 中国
1,130 pages for query: "Central Kingdom" + 中国

Middle Kingdom dominates Central Kingdom by a margin of 100:2 for the English searches. Reputable sources such as CNN, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, WaPo, Forbes, The Economist, Time, Newsweek, Businessweek have all used the term "Middle Kingdom" and not "Central Kingdom."

BTW, the Chinese character for zhong (中) has a very strong linear concept; for example in politics, zhong ("moderate") is considered neither zuo ("left") nor you ("right"). This is the Confucian notion of zhong, implying neutrality and moderation. Zhongguo has very strong Confucian connotations: the middle way, enlightened governance, pure mediation, etc. Thus "Middle" is a better and purposely more ambiguous translation than "Central" (too crude). --Naus 22:58, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Why does it have to be one thing at the exclusion of another? Why not list both renderings?--Niohe 16:12, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Stop the original research[edit]

Through the article,all the claims seem too subjective and no one support verifiable resources.--Ksyrie 10:12, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Article with information that needs to be incorporated[edit]

Reinventing China: Imperial Qing Ideology and the Rise of Modern Chinese National Identity in the Early Twentieth Century Modern China 2006 32: 3-30.

Literal meaning of Zhōngguó[edit]

I've changed the text a little bit, how do you think? here are the sources:

(1) Regarding the accuracy of the translation, Professor Chen Jian writes: "I believe that 'Central Kingdom' is a more accurate translation for 'Zhong Guo' (China) than 'Middle Kingdom'. The term 'Middle Kingdom' does not imply that China is superior to other peoples and nations around it — China just happens to be located in the middle geographically; the term 'Central Kingom', however, implies that China is superior to any other people and nation 'under the heaven' and that it thus occupies a 'central' position in the known universe." (Mao's China and the Cold War. UNC Press. ISBN 0-8078-4932-4)
(2) "A more accurate translation of Zhong Guo is "Middle Country," and to be still more precise, "Central Country," with "central" being the key word." The Chinese Have a Word for It." McGraw-Hill Professional ISBN 0658010786 / 9780658010781

Maeblie 20:00, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Yet aother quote from renowed sinologist Boyé Lafayeete De Mente:

(3) "Whoever it was that first began calling the country Zhong Guo was using the word "central" in the sense of "heart," "main," or the place where everything starts, and from where everything is controlled." - Boyé Lafayeete De Mente

Maeblie 14:38, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Your changes have been reverted per consensus established through a (very) lengthy discussion previously.
See here [3] --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 06:49, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Actually I had given the translation of "The Central State" for Zhong Guo in the now defunct "Far East Economic Review" way back in about 1993. (talk) 02:43, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

The treatment of the English translation of Zhongguo was settled after lengthy discussion as archived at Talk:China/Archive 11. Please do not unilaterally change it to "central kingdom" without at least justifying your edit, addressing the arguments by which the current version was adopted. To summarise, they are the common names policy (and policy against neologisms); undue weight; verifiability and NPOV.

This message is cross-posted too Talk:China --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 22:25, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Another literal meaning of Zhongguo is The Neutral State. (talk) 02:39, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

French parallel[edit]

There seems to be a strong parallel between the history of terms "Zhongguo" and "Pays de France". Do you think this comparable example is worth noting?--Pharos 05:37, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Personally no. But a link to Etymology of country names, would work. And this article is one of the most interesting in all wikipedia in my opinion.--Dwarf Kirlston 20:44, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I think it could be relevant as a "see also" at the bottom. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 23:20, 4 December 2007 (UTC)


I just did some major rewriting for both the China and Names of China parts on the etymologies, using the Chinese Wikipedia and citing ancient texts. I see no disputable change in my edits - however, given the conservative nature of all editors and the fact that there were several lengthy discussions over the topic, I would be glad to give an explanation of all of my changes if any user feels necessary. Thanks. Aran|heru|nar 12:26, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, please cite your sources because I have always been taught that Zhongguo in ancient usage refers to the Central States, not a single political entity. The text you deleted was mine and I have to disagree with what you added. There may be pro-nationalist bias in the Chinese Wikipedia.--Jiang (talk) 13:14, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
I reviewed the changes I made and I do not appear to have deleted any texts regarding the ancient usage of Zhongguo, only adding to (and restructuring) it. Anyway, I believe what you have been taught, that Zhongguo refers to the Central States, is only one of the usages of Zhongguo, as I have stated in the article. A simple example of another usage, and actually the first usage, is in the Classic of History. In《尚書•梓材》, it says "皇天既付中國民越厥疆土于先王...", or with punctuation added, "皇天既付中國民,越厥疆土于先王..." It roughly translates as "Since the Huangtian (Heavens) gave the Zhongguo people and lands to our earlier emperors...". "Zhongguo" here surely does not refer to the "Central States".
As for "pro-nationalist bias", I personally can't see how this is relevant to how "zhongguo" is used. Anyway, I'm not pro-nationalist, and I'm using the Chinese Wikipedia only for some direct references, so I don't think there'd be pro-nationalist biases in my changes. Aran|heru|nar 14:01, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Editing disabled[edit]


Why is editing disabled?

1) I'd like to request to remove protection (temporarily)to add the Russian official name.

Китайская Народная Республика (КНР) - Kitayskaya Narodnaya Respublika (KNR)

2) I'd like to add the simplified versions of the characters used. It makes sense if we talk about PRC!

3) Arabic:

جمهورية الصين الشعبية I can add the IPA later, there are sounds, not existing in other languages in Arabic.

I am happy if someone adds for me. Just wanted to contribute. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Atitarev (talkcontribs) 05:29, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Chin v. China v. Kina[edit]

Why are these three separated? They're manifestly the same thing Orcoteuthis (talk) 12:20, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

request edit[edit]


Please remove this article from Category:China. --Catch you (talk) 08:49, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Not done Don't be ridiculous. Happymelon 10:08, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps you could examine category:china and see what articles are there. This article specifically belongs in category:History of China, which it already is in, which is a subcategory of China. --Catch you (talk) 12:34, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Ah <penny drop/>. Please forgive my abrupt response; I see now where you are coming from (although you could have explained the rationale better to preclude such misinterpretation). The article does indeed belong in some sub-category of Category:China rather than in the master category itself. I will remove it from the master category. Happymelon 13:12, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, I was in a hurry, as I'm sure were you. Thanks. --Catch you (talk) 21:55, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Hong Kong and Macau are not under direct PRC control?[edit]

Dalu Dalu (大陸 pinyin: dàlù), literally "great land", means "continent". It is often used to refer to Mainland China in a political context; Dalu encompasses the area currently under direct control of the People's Republic of China. The areas of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan are excluded from this term. Special regions and islands also use the term "mainland China."

Hong Kong and Macau are the SARs of the RPC under the "Basic Law" for the respective regions. The 2 Basic Laws are RPC legislations and therefore Hong Kong ad Macau are under the direct control of the RPC.

Also "under the control of the People's Republic of China" already excludes Taiwan and therefore Taiwan shouldn't be mentioned at all.

I suggest the paragraph should be changed to:-

Dalu encompasses the area under the control of the People's Republic of China (RPC), including off-shore islands. However, the 2 RPC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau are excluded. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pyl (talkcontribs) 12:28, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Redirect not working - perhaps because of semi-protection?[edit]

The page for Sinae redirected to the China page, but I believe it's better redirected to the corresponding section on this page, because (a) I think it's more logical, and (b) given that the China page has no mention of Sinae, it follows the principle of least confusion to redirect here instead. But even after editing the Sinae page to redirect here, it still goes to the China page. I'm wondering if this is because of the semi-protection of this page.... Help?

gorbyc (talk) 19:22, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

The redirect seems to be working now, though I couldn't say what has changed... perhaps I just needed to give it time... oh, and I meant "principle of least astonishment" before....

gorbyc (talk) 04:32, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

56 ethnic groups[edit]

There are 56 ethnic groups in China,including Han Chinese,so the WIKI has some wrong with this question.55 minor ethnic gruops and one main ethnic group——Han. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wcab 12 (talkcontribs) 17:28, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Chinese citations[edit]

It is normal convention to provide translations for citations not given in English. Could someone please do so? Cripipper (talk) 21:16, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

What about Celestial Empire?[edit]

[4] The term was once used a lot.

Acrossadesert (talk) 12:53, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

In a mocking way by Europeans, and the Chinese were called the celestials. Hong Xiuquan did set up the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom in the Taiping Rebellion. The Japanese title their emperor as the Celestial Emperor, so presumably their empire is also the celestial empire. (talk) 00:47, 27 April 2013 (UTC)


Regardless of offensiveness, in the names under Chin

支那 Zhīnà is stated to be a loanword from Japanese- it is not. It is a Chinese invention, said to be first found in the translations of Buddhist scripts from the Indian subcontinent. The article on 'Shina', the Japanese pronunciation of this word, has a more in depth explanation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:24, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

The name "China" comes from "Qing" or "Ching" name[edit]

This entire article is incorrect, the actual name of "China" comes from Qing, not Han or Tang, Song, Ming etc.. (talk) 16:21, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm fairly sure the name "China" had been in use since well before the Qing Dynasty began in the 1600s. Do you perhaps mean the Qin Dynasty, which started in the 200s BC? Heimstern Läufer (talk) 11:15, 9 June 2009 (UTC)



re. the image of the Inner Mongolian name for China:

The image reads (ignoring umlauts) Bugude nayiramdakhu dumdadu arad, but it should read Bugude nayiramdakhu dumdadu arad ulus. In this case, the ulus is important for two reasons:

  • "bugude nayiramdakhu ulus" means "republic", but "bugude nayiramdakhu" alone only means something like "mutual friendship"
  • "dumdadu ulus" means "country in the middle", i.e. the translation of the Chinese name of China into Mongolian, "dumdadu" alone only means "in the middle"

In short, the image is incorrect and needs to be replaced. Yaan (talk) 09:19, 18 August 2009 (UTC)


Tianchao is by far the most common sobriquet for China in contemporary text on the Mainland in my experience. Does the claim that Shenzhou is the most common have any support at all? Is it a Taiwanese and expat preference? — LlywelynII 13:53, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Semiprotection review[edit]

  • 10:07, 27 April 2008 Happy-melon changed protection level for "Names of China" ‎ (ridiculous. China, hit with the same style of protection, was unprotected long ago [edit=autoconfirmed:move=autoconfirmed])

This was nearly 18 months ago, and the change to semiprotected in this case seems to have been a compromise with another admin who had imposed full protection. I'd like to review this to see if semiprotection is still necessary. As well as welcoming opinions from regular editors, I have contacted the protecting admin, Happy-melon. --TS 12:42, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

IIRC, I was downgrading the protection from indef-full, which had been applied for four months previously. I am more than happy to see the article unprotected as long as it is monitored by a number of active editors to guard against vandalism and other unsavoury activities. Who has this page on their watchlist and intends to look after it? Happymelon 12:49, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
I regularly trawl my watchlist for unreverted vandalism. This article is already on it. --TS 13:31, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Kazakh inconsistency[edit]

The Kazakh official name in Arabic script and Latin script uses a Chin-type name, but the Cyrillic and its transcription uses Qitai. Any clue as to which is official? Steewi (talk) 03:50, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

The Arabic script (official in the PRC) uses the Chin type name, and the latin ver. is the romanisation of the arabic - this one is official within the PRC. The Cyrillic name is official in Kazakhstan. Perhaps the Cyrillic should be changed to Chin, to reflect official naming within the PRC only? -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 06:53, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I'd think that it would make more sense to indicate the existence of both terms in Kazakh (if they indeed do exist, even if in different jurisdictions). I don't speak that language myself, so won't change anything, though. Vmenkov (talk) 11:39, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I have made the necessary modification - now both terms are shown in all three scripts. Selerian (talk) 19:37, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Map of Manzi(Machin)[edit] Böri (talk) 15:14, 24 November 2009 (UTC)


Just to clarify, since I've had to revert many IP edits over the past year for the same reason, The word "中国" is Sintic in origin, the word "支那" is Sanskrit in origin. Do not list "中国" as a variant of Chin, as that would be incorrect. This has nothing to do with political insensitivities, it is merely what is true (*sniggle*). Do not be inclined to remove "支那" from the list simply because of it's political connotations. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 02:08, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Zhong guo[edit]

I think the original meaning of guo in zhong guo is capital city. Hence zhongguo means capital in the center not the whole kingdom in the center. --刻意(Kèyì) 11:52, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Can someone put a sound file to pronounce 中国? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:54, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

See About this sound 中国  (File:Zh-zhongguo.ogg). -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 09:51, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

I think the following phrase is not correct: "The People's Republic of China and Republic of China are official names given for the two sovereign states currently claiming sovereignty over the traditional area of China." "Traditional area of China" is 'China proper' but not other parts of the P.R. China: Inner Mongolia, Tibet and Xinjiang. More correct will be: "The People's Republic of China and Republic of China are official names given for the two sovereign states currently claiming sovereignty over the area formerly ruled by the Manchu Qing dynasty". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:51, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Lets talk about your country first before posting POV laden rants on talk pages. the "Russia" article should include a massive notice in bold, that Russia is currently occupying the sovereign nation of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, and laying irridentist claims to the Crimea which is the homeland of the Tatars and not Russians. Its best that if you came to wikipedia to rant your political agenda, you'd do it on your own country's articles, before you get a notice on your talk page that wikipedia is NOT a SOAPBOX.ΔΥΝΓΑΝΕ (talk) 19:26, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

So, Mr. IP, you're saying that Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia aren't "traditional" areas of China (whatever that may mean)? Well, I guess Russian/Inuit Alaska and Polynesian Hawaii aren't "traditionally" United States soil either. Face it, prior to the mid-20th Century, military conquest was a legitimate reason to take control over land. Hawaii was American centuries after Tibet was Chinese, and don't get me started on the Ryukyu Islands, Russian Far East, or the Falkland Islands. You're talking as if China was the only country to engage in imperialism and colonialism in its past. Regardless of where you are from, I'm sure I can always come up with ways to show that you are merely pot calling the kettle black, unless you come from a powerless country like, say, Cuba or something. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 23:43, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
This ip address traces to Russia, he should start trolling on his native country's articles before going into WP:China articles, like the Russian Czar who pushed his agenda in the Caucasus during the Russian–Circassian War, killing over a million native circassians and commiting ethnic cleansing. And his comment also constitutes WP:SOAP or WP:BAIT which may make it eligible for removal.ΔΥΝΓΑΝΕ (talk) 20:50, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

What about 震旦(zhèndàn)?[edit]

I came upon this name in Ryuunosuke Akutagawa's story "The Nose", and it was used in reference to China. I looked it up on this online Chinese dictionary and it is listed as "noun - A name for China used by ancient Indians".

The link is here: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:47, 8 April 2011 (UTC)


After reading the discussions in the archive, it seemed that the material I added did not touch on those questions. In any case, I supplied substantial documentation, which I would be glad to discuss and offer more examples. ch (talk) 05:35, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Layout-breaking native script[edit]

I've moved this from the section on official names for the Republic of China, as it renders vertically and breaks the page layout in both IE8 and Chrome, seen on systems without the font pack for this language installed:

ᠪᠦᠭᠦᠳᠡ ᠨᠠᠶᠢᠷᠠᠮᠳᠠᠬᠤ ᠳᠤᠮᠳᠠᠳᠤ ᠤᠯᠤᠰ (Official in Inner Mongolia)

If anyone has a solution for this problem, please fix and re-add it to the article. NULL talk
06:16, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Click to see full size comparison screenshot.
Mongol script is written and read vertically, and that's exactly what the {{MongolUnicode}} template is for. At the moment, vertical text is supported by IE8 and Chrome, and not by Firefox and Opera, which displays the text horizontally. Mongol script fonts are included by default in all installations of Windows 7, which has a market share varying from 33%-40% according to Usage share of operating systems. Just because some people cannot view the text properly doesn't mean that it's the same case for everyone, and that it should be removed. Should we remove all Chinese text from Wikipedia as well? There are plenty of grandpas out there running Windows 98 on Pentium III machines - there's one that lives right on my street. Windows 98 does not natively support CJK characters (without Microsoft language packages or third-party additions), so isn't Chinese text an WP:ACCESSIBILITY issue for these old grandpas? Same dilemma applies here. Why should those running more modern computers have to shoulder the burden and curse of those that do not? -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 09:59, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Hello World 你好,世界 Template test above. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 10:01, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

425px vertical render without font pack.
Since you reinserted it without presenting a solution, I've set this to render horizontally for now. 37% of visitors to Wikimedia projects are using Windows 7, which means 63% are not. Nearly two-thirds of visitors will not be able to read this script and will see a result as in the screenshot to the right. That's completely unacceptable from both usability and accessibility standards. Compatibility is a major factor in article presentation, it always has been. I'm well aware that the native rendering of many Asian scripts is vertical, however I don't recall reading any articles that actually feature this, and certainly not in the layout-breaking way that this particular line was included in the page. I don't know how it renders with the font pack installed but without it, it takes up about 425px of height and completely throws out the layouting.
Compatibility is a major factor in article presentation, it always has been. I'm well aware that the native rendering of many Asian scripts is vertical, however I don't recall reading any articles that actually feature this, and certainly not in the layout-breaking way that this particular line was included in the page. I don't know how it renders with the font pack installed but without it, it takes up about 425px of height and completely throws out the layouting.
On Chinese text, I don't recall reading any articles where this presented a problem. I don't have Chinese font packs installed on my work system here either but every page I've seen has always rendered it horizontally. There must surely be a solution to this problem that renders in an acceptable way for people with and without the pack installed? NULL talk
23:31, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
As an addendum, even when cases where vertical rendering is desirable, it should be common sense that you never mix vertically- and horizontally-rendered text inline. This is not done anywhere. In common vertically-rendered scripts like Chinese and Japanese, English text is always also rendered vertically. The same common sense applies when English is the primary language, the accompanying foreign script is rendered with the same orientation. See this example of Mongolian and English mixed text doing the same thing.NULL talk
00:00, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm fine with having horizontal render as a compromise. I understand where you are getting at. The {{MongolUnicode}} template must be used, however, to ensure the proper fonts are used. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 02:07, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Sure. I just added the 'h' parameter to the MongolUnicode templates in the article - I didn't notice that it had one when I originally removed it. Apologies if I came across a bit strongly, I got the impression this was going to be one of those odd sticking points over minutiae that seemed to plague the Taiwan moves. NULL talk
03:34, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Origin of "Middle Kingdom"?[edit]

[ user:Rajmaan begins here by quoting:]Jerzyt 13:47, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

The subjects of the Flowery Kingdom do not call their country "China," but Chung Kwoh, or "Middle Kingdom." It is incorrect to say that this is because the people believe that China lies in the middle of the earth. Chang Chih-tung rightly says that the name is derived from "The Doctrine of the Middle," which is an important section of their canonical "Four Books." The principles of the Chinese do not go beyond, and do not fall short of, what is just and right. The " Middle Kingdom " is therefore so called because its organization was supposed to be perfect and complete. We Americans proudly imagine that our country is £ pluribus UNUM.—Translator.

China's only hope By Zhidong Zhang, Samuel Isett Woodbridge

The source is primary, I'm wondering if anyone can find a secondary source to back up this conclusion?
Rajmaan (talk) 02:14, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Interesting question, Rajmaan -- as you can see, your question spurred me into looking into more research, but I didn't come across anything that would put "Middle Kingdom" very far back (at least in Chinese terms!). The Etienne Fourmont book that Savillidade put in a reference to says on it title page "Medii Regni communis Loquela," that is, "The 'Middle Kingdom' in common speech," but I have no idea whether this was the first usage. [[5]] ch (talk) 05:58, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Zhongguo/. Zhonghua[edit]


I've amended the lede for this section for these reasons:

  • TEXT: “China is called Zhongguo in Mandarin Chinese.” COMMENT: But the characters can be pronounced in any of the regional languages, so “China is called Zhongguo in modern Chinese” is more accurate.
  • “... it became the official name only after 1911.” COMMENT: Zhongguo was never the “official name” in Chinese. Wilkinson says "it was adopted as the abbreviation of Zhonghua minguo in the early twentieth century.” If there’s a better source, please advise.
  • “Although it was a common name often used in both Chinese and Western literature and references.” COMMENT: I thank Sevilladade for introducing Étienne Fourmont's Lingua Sinarum, which is a 1742 grammar and listing of books from the imperial library, written in Latin. The book is fascinating – on page 109, for instance, we learn that the pluperfect of the verb amare (“to love”) in Chinese is Aile or that the four tones are represented by “ut, re, mi, fa, sol,” presumably on the same principle as the notes of the musical scale.
But there are problems.
First, this is Original Research. We should use this as a wonderful illustration but it should not be preferred over appropriate Secondary Sources.
Second, the note refers to an auction catalog, not the book itself, and does not give a page reference. The book is available for download: [6] and there is a jpg of the title page:
The only reference to the name of the country I can find is on p. 430. Fourmont's catalogue includes the 大清律 Da Qing Lű, (Qing Law) which he annotates:
Da Qing Lű id est Lex magna puritas. Magna puritas, seu tá çím nomine, intelligunt eam, quae nunc apud Sinas regnat, Familium Tartarum: quo modo enim, qui præcessere Sinæ vocati sunt tá nîm, magna claritas, ita qui nunc Imperium habent Tartari, dicuntur tá çím, magna puritas."
My rusty Latin translates this as:
Da Qing Lű, that is, Law of the Great Qing. "Great Purity," or the Da Qing by name, as they understand it, which now rules in China. The Manchu Family: those who came before "Sina" were called Da Ming, Great Brightness; now that the Tartars [Manchus] control the Empire, they call it Da Qing, Great Purity."
That is, the reference says that the country is called "Da Qing," with no mention of Zhongguo. This illustrates the point that Zhongguo was indeed used but not that it was common as a name for the country.
  • Footnote citations on "Middle Kingdom" etc. COMMENT: No need for Original Research when Esherick, a Reliable Source says as much. So the simplest and most accurate thing is to give Wilkinson and Esherick as the scholarly references, with further discussion in the paragraphs to follow.

Please let me know if I went wrong. ch (talk) 05:50, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Further edits to Zhongguo Section[edit]

Here are comments on edits to make the section more compact and coherent:

  • The caption to the map of the Qin dynasty claims that "Zhongguo" was used to describe the Qin territory. There is no source for this claim, which does not fit in with sourced information.
  • notes 9,10 are dead links, which Wayback Machine does not have archived. Maybe someone could track them down, but in the meantime, I suggest that we leave the material, which is indeed relevant and interesting.
  • note 6: Internet archive
  • note 11, the quote from the Zuo Zhuan, should be referenced to an English translation for the benefit of most readers (Chinese readers using the English Wikipedia obviously can read English!). In any case, the quote is off the point of this section, which is not “guo” but “Zhongguo.” But it is interesting!
  • note 12. Quote from the Mao Heng, Zuozhuan. Again, this is good stuff, though not strictly on topic, but needs an English source or reference.
  • Much in the following paragraphs is unsourced and questionable, or at least not representative of scholarly consensus. I made a few nips and tucks.
  • “Zhongguo quickly came to include areas farther south...” Amend to be shorter and fit in with Bol source.
  • The paragraph on the nineteenth century: I am, again, and as is so often the case, grateful to Sevillidade for his keen eye and meticulous approach. But in this case, the process by which Zhongguo became the common name (though not the official one) for the nation needs some detail in order to show readers that it was not predetermined but a choice which prominent figures debated. Besides, the passage now still refers to Liang both as himself and as “another reformer.” So I have taken Sevillidade's comment to heart but will restore the specific arguments, with more references.

ch (talk) 05:21, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Aksai Chin[edit]

Aksai Chin (a Hindi name) is a region that India claims over China as a part of India. Given that the Hindi name for China is Chin, doesn't the name Aksai Chin actually give the game away because even in Hindi the region is named as a part of China? (talk) 00:40, 27 April 2013 (UTC)


Unlike "Zhongguo," the literal and figurative meanings of "Zhonghua" are never discussed in the article, despite the fact that the article uses the term multiple times. Seems like a major oversight. (talk) 04:51, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Still more on Zhongguo/ Zhonghua[edit]

On 9 April 2013 Sevillade cleaned up the section Zhongguo and Zhonghua with accustomed aplomb, but I have taken the liberty of restoring some of the material.

The important point behind the following minor ones is that "Zhonguo" as a modern term for a modern nation evolved only slowly. This section needs detail to establish this point.

  • Cutting the phrases
" 'Zhong guo' (here best translated as 'the central country') as both an historical place or territory and as a culture, a different sense from the modern use of Zhongguo as 'China.'"
Edit Summary : "And this statement was not in the reference at all."
My goodness! Please look at the reference once again. The very title of the article is "Geography and Culture: Middle-Period Discourse on the Zhong Guo: The Central Country," and on p. 2 Prof. Bol says "I translate Zhong guo as “the Central Country.” He then specifies, "Before proceeding we need to make a distinction. A reader of middle-period texts who encounters the two characters zhong guo is likely to translate the term as “China” because today the internal name of the country that is known in English as China is Zhongguo." [3] The second page referred to in the note contains Bol's statement that "The modern use of Zhongguo/China is different from the middle period use of the Zhong guo/the Central Country." [26]
  • Edit summary: "There is a lot of inconsistency here. Obviously the term Zhongguo was commonly used before...." Yes, but the sources say that it was not used in the modern sense "China."
  • Edit summary: "The term 'common' is subjective and some of the phrasings here are speculative as well." Esherick's language: "A common (and influential) early nineteenth century conception of Zhongguo is ... the seventeen provinces [of China proper] and the three eastern provinces..." Please tell me whether the use of this reliable source is "subjective" or whether other interpretations of the term Zhongguo in Fourmont or the stele (below) are WP:Original research.
  • Edit Summary : "The Nestorian stele of 781 uses the term 'Zhongguo'..." OK, but the translation "China" is not reliably sourced. It is from Frits Holm's My Nestorian Adventure in China published in 1924 and rightly described as a "popular account." Holm, according to the "Biographical Notes" (p. 324-325) does not claim to know Chinese! [7]

All the best in any case and many thanks for your thoughtful attention. ch (talk) 06:56, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Reducing clutter in the lede and sourcing "SIno"[edit]

I appreciate Sevillade's concern and his removal of "(PRC)" and "(Taiwan)" from the lede. If someone thinks we need this parenthetical information, it can go elsewhere.

I also wonder about the second paragraph, which makes the otherwise unreferenced and vague statement that:

In other parts of the world, many names of China exist, mainly transliterations of the dynasties "Qin" or "Jin" (e.g. China, Sino), and Han or Tang. There are also names for China based on a certain ethnic group other than Han, much like the Western rendering of all Arabs as "Saracens". Examples include "Cathay" based on the Khitan and "Tabgach" based on the Tuoba.

Does anyone have a source or just a suggestion for a sharper characterization of these non-English and non--Chinese names? The sections in the article on "Sin/ Sino" have yet to be (talk) 22:29, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Ignore this - it is indeed "How the Qing Became China" — Preceding unsigned comment added by Herbgold (talkcontribs) 15:07, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

First footnoted citation[edit]

I'm not able to look this reference up so won't tamper with the text, but surely the title "Joseph Esherick, "How the Qing Became China," in Empire to Nation: Historical Perspectives on the Making of the Modern World (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), p. 232-233" should be "How the Qin Became China..." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Herbgold (talkcontribs) 10:03, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

The title appears to be correct as-is (Google Books link). Difference engine (talk) 22:28, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

"In earlier times, however, Zhongguo was not used in this sense..."[edit]

Suggest changing "earlier" to "more recent" or some such as Ming and Qing are later than "ancient" (if you see what I mean). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Herbgold (talkcontribs) 10:14, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Done. Difference engine (talk) 22:24, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Ming era views of Zhongguo[edit]
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Rajmaan (talk) 14:04, 26 July 2014


Nguyen Emperor Minh Mang claimed that the Vietnamese had the right to call themselves Han people 漢人

Minh Mang called Vietnam "Zhongguo" 中國


Rajmaan (talk) 04:14, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Qing ideology regarding "China"[edit]

The Qing identified their state as "China" (Zhongguo), and referred to it as "Dulimbai Gurun" in Manchu. The Qing equated the lands of the Qing state (including present day Manchuria, Dzungaria in Xinjiang, Mongolia, and other areas as "China" in both the Chinese and Manchu languages, defining China as a multi ethnic state.

When the Qing conquered Dzungaria in the Ten_Great_Campaigns#The_Zunghars_and_pacification_of_Xinjiang_.281755.E2.80.931759.29, they proclaimed that their land was absorbed into "China".

In many other Manchu records they refer to their state as China and as Manchus as inhabitants of China, and when they refer to the Qing in conparison with other lands, they use "China"

Other Manchu works which mention Dulimbai Gurun

Rajmaan (talk) 20:03, 1 February 2014 (UTC)


It says that the French and German terms 'literally' mean "Middle KingdomEmpire", but I can attest that they actually mean "KingdomEmpire of the Middle". I'm sure the page is incorrect about the 'literal' translation of many of the other languages too. 2A02:1810:4D34:DC00:C421:D27F:537:E61E (talk) 22:24 &:33, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

   No doubt our colleague saw no harm in the detail of presenting a two-edit contribution as a single-edit one (which i have marked-up to accurately reflect the sequence). And many will have discounted it (and in some cases done their own research). For those who found the attestation of literality convincing, this should IMO serve as an object lesson from the colleague who has at least become sensitive to at least the possibility of, for many, the English words "empire" and "kingdom" not being interchangeable.
   I can tell you, about German, that König and Kaiser are usually translated as "king" and "emperor". Additionally: reich is "rich" or "wealthy", but Reich (which IMO is evocative of "commonwealth" describing several forms of polity in English) is "empire". And KuK was a ubiquitous concept of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its ruler, who was described as both königlich und kaiserlich (imperial) bcz he was, over some of his subjects and lands, only royal, yet imperial over all the rest. You could probably look up the details (like my delusional recalling a wrought-iron monograms with the first K of KuK backwards). You can cap that off with (see wikt:Königreich) de:Langobardisches Königreich (... Royal Empire, Royal Realm?), whose interlanguage link is to our Kingdom of the Lombards article.
   Anyway, Mittel is a noun meaning both "middle" and "means" (as in "ways and means" and "means [of doing something]"), while mittel is an adjective meaning "middle" or "center".
   Finally (and in an excess of caution, i would hope in light of items that i've not confirmed to be in the article) i'll mention to a few colleagues that "Middle" in the native name for China doesn't mean sandwiched between the countries to its left and right, but standing between the heavens and the non-Chinese riff-raff.
--Jerzyt 13:30, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

桃花石 and 尼堪[edit]

The word "桃花石" is Chinese transliteration of "Tabgach",and "尼堪" is Chinese transliteration of "Nikan". Should these words be included here? Clayblockmc (talk) 15:46, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

Old vandalism missed[edit]

A year ago edits by an IP editor removed some things (another editor tried to revert/fix the edits but goofed). This was the result, where information was removed. I've not got the time right now to review and/or restore this. Could someone look at this? Shenme (talk) 23:49, 22 October 2017 (UTC)