Han Chinese

The Han Chinese,[32][33][34] Hanzu,[35][36][37] Han people[38][39][40][41] (UK: /hæn/;[42] US: /hɑːn/;[43] Chinese: 漢人; pinyin: Hànrén; literally: 'Han people'[44] or 漢族, pinyin: Hànzú, literally "Han ethnicity"[45] or "Han ethnic group"),[46] are an East Asian ethnic group and nation native to China.[47][48][49][50] They constitute the world's largest ethnic group, making up about 18% of the global population.[51][52] The estimated 1.3 billion Han Chinese people are mostly concentrated in mainland China (about 92% of the total population)[2] and in Taiwan (about 95% of the population).[53][54] Han Chinese people also make up three quarters of the total population of Singapore.[55]

The Han Chinese people trace a common ancestry to the Huaxia, a name for the initial confederation of agricultural tribes living along the Yellow River.[56][57] The term Huaxia represents the collective neolithic confederation of agricultural tribes Hua and Xia who settled along the Central Plains around the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River in northern China.[58][59][60][57] The two tribes were the ancestors of the modern Han Chinese people that gave birth to Chinese civilization. In addition, the Huaxia (literally "the civilized Xia people") was distinctively used to represent the Huaxia as a civilized ethnic group in contrast to what was perceived of different ethnic groups as barbaric peoples around them.[61][59][62] In many overseas Chinese communities, the term Hua Ren (华人; 華人; Huárén) may be used for people of Chinese ethnicity as distinct from Zhongguo Ren (中国人) which refers to citizens of China.[63][64][65] The term Zhongguo Ren also includes people of non-Han ethnicity. Han people (汉人; 漢人; Hànrén) may also be used for people of ethnic Chinese descent around the world.[66]

The Han Chinese people are bound together with a common genetic stock and a shared history inhabiting an ancient ancestral territory spanning more than four thousand years, deeply rooted with many different cultural traditions and customs.[67] The Huaxia tribes in northern China experienced a continuous expansion into southern China over the past two millennia.[68][69] Huaxia culture spread from its heartland from the Yellow River Basin southward, absorbing various non-Chinese ethnic groups that became sinicised over the centuries at various points in China's history.[70][69][59] The Han dynasty is considered to be the one of the first great eras in Chinese history as it made China the major regional power in East Asia and projected much of its influence on its neighbours while rivalling the Roman Empire in population size and geographical reach.[71][72][73] The Han dynasty's prestige and prominence influenced many of the ancient Huaxia to begin identifying themselves as "The People of Han".[61][74][75][76][77] To this day, Han Chinese people have since taken their ethnic name from this dynasty, and the Chinese script is referred to as "Han characters".[71][78][76]

Han Chinese people
/
漢人/汉人
Total population
Circa 1.3 billion[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Mainland China (PRC) 1,260,000,000[2]
Taiwan Taiwan (ROC) 23,575,365
Hong Kong Hong Kong SAR (PRC) 6,723,786[3]
Macau Macau SAR (PRC) 663,400[4]
Overseas Chinese (by descent)
 Thailand9,392,000[5]
 Malaysia6,650,000[6]
 United States3,795,000[7]
 Indonesia2,833,000[8]
 Singapore2,547,000[9]
 Myanmar1,638,000[10]
 Canada1,469,000[11]
 Philippines1,350,000[12]
 Peru1,300,000[13]
 Australia1,214,000[14]
 Russia998,000[13]
 Vietnam823,000[15]
 Japan731,000[16]
 France700,000[13]
 Venezuela450,000[17]
 United Kingdom433,000[18]
 South Africa350,000[19]
 Italy334,000[20]
 Germany212,000[21]
 South Korea210,000[note 1][22]
 Cambodia210,000[23]
 India189,000[13]
 Laos186,000[13]
 Spain172,000[24]
 New Zealand171,000[25]
 Brazil152,000[13]
 Netherlands145,000[13]
 Panama135,000[26][27]
 Mexico70,000[28]
 Finland24,000
 Costa Rica19,000[29]
 Ireland11,000[30]
Languages
Chinese
Religion
Non-religious, Chinese folk religion (including Taoism, ancestral worship, Confucianism, and others), Mahayana Buddhism, Christianity, and other faiths.[31]
Related ethnic groups
Sino-Tibetan peoples

Some sources refer to Han Chinese directly as "Chinese" or group them with other Sino-Tibetan peoples.
Han Chinese
Simplified Chinese汉族
Traditional Chinese漢族
Hanfu yueyao
Han Chinese men partake in traditional ceremony.
Ethnolinguistic map of China 1983
1983 map of ethnolinguistic groups in China (Han is in olive green)[note 2]

Names

The name Han was derived from the name of the eponymous dynasty,[79] which succeeded the short-lived Qin dynasty, and is historically considered to be the first golden age of China's Imperial era due to the power and influence it projected over much of East Asia. As a result of the dynasty's prominence in inter-ethnic and pre-modern international influence, Chinese people began identifying themselves as the "people of Han" (Chinese: 漢人; pinyin: Hànrén),[74][75][80] a name that has been carried down to this day. Similarly, the Chinese language also came to be named the "Han language" (traditional Chinese: 漢語; simplified Chinese: 汉语; pinyin: Hànyǔ) ever since. In the Oxford Dictionary, the Han are defined as "The dominant ethnic group in China".[81] In the Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania, the Han are called the dominant population in "China, as well as in Taiwan and Singapore."[82] According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the Han are "the Chinese peoples especially as distinguished from non-Chinese (such as Mongolian) elements in the population."[83]

The Han dynasty's founding emperor, Liu Bang, was made king of the Hanzhong region after the fall of the Qin dynasty, a title that was later shortened to "the King of Han" (漢王) during the Chu-Han contention. The name "Hanzhong", in turn, was derived from the Han River,[84] which flows through the region's plains. The river, in turn, derives its name from expressions such as Tianhan (Chinese: 天漢, "the heavenly river"), Yinhan (Chinese: 銀漢, "the silver river"), Xinghan (Chinese: 星漢, "the star river") or Yunhan (Chinese: 雲漢, "the cloud river"), all ancient Chinese poetic nicknames for the Milky Way and first mentioned in the Classic of Poetry.

Prior to the Han dynasty, ancient Chinese scholars used the term Huaxia (simplified Chinese: 华夏; traditional Chinese: 華夏; pinyin: Huá Xià, "the magnificent Xia") in texts to describe China proper as an area of illustrious prosperity and culture, while the Chinese populus were referred to as either the "various Hua" (諸華) or the "various Xia" (諸夏). This gave rise to a term commonly used nowadays by overseas Chinese as an ethnic identity for the Chinese diaspora – Huaren (simplified Chinese: 华人; traditional Chinese: 華人; pinyin: Huá Rén, "the Hua people"), Huaqiao (simplified Chinese: 华侨; traditional Chinese: 華僑; pinyin: Huáqiáo, "the Hua immigrant" meaning overseas Chinese)[65] as well as a literary name for ChinaZhonghua (simplified Chinese: 中华; traditional Chinese: 中華; pinyin: zhōnghuá, "the central Hua").[84] Zhonghua refers more to the culture of Chinese people, although it may also be seen as equivalent to Zhonghua minzu.[63] The overseas Chinese use Huaren or Huaqiao instead of Zhongguoren (中国人), which refers to citizens of China.[64]

Among some southern Han Chinese varieties such as Cantonese, Hakka, and Minnan, a different term exists – Tang Chinese (Chinese: 唐人; pinyin: Táng Rén, literally "the people of Tang"), derived from the later Tang dynasty, regarded as another zenith of Chinese civilization. The term is used in everyday conversation and is also an element in the Cantonese word for Chinatown: "street of the Tang people" (Chinese: 唐人街; pinyin: Táng Rén Jiē; Jyutping: tong4 jan4 gaai1. The phrase Huá Bù 華埠 is also used to describe the same area).

Distribution

Mainland China

The vast majority of Han Chinese – over 1.2 billion– live in areas under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China (PRC), where they constitute about 92% of its population. Han Chinese in China have been a politically, culturally, and economically dominant majority vis-à-vis the non-Han minorities throughout most of China's recorded history.[85][86] Han Chinese are the majority in every Chinese province, municipality, and autonomous region except for the autonomous regions of Xinjiang (45% in 2010) and Tibet (8% in 2014), where Uighurs and Tibetans are the majority, respectively.

Hong Kong and Macau

Ethnic Chinese also constitute the majority in both of the special administrative regions of the PRC – about 95% and 96% of the population of Hong Kong and Macau, respectively,[87][88] but there is no statistics on the proportion of Han people.

Republic of China (Taiwan)

There are over 22 million Han Chinese in Taiwan;[89] They began migrating from the southeastern coastal provinces of mainland China (especially from Fujian province) to Taiwan during the 13th to 17th century. At first, these migrants chose to settle in locations that bore a resemblance to the areas they had left behind in mainland China, regardless of whether they arrived in the north or south of Taiwan. Hoklo immigrants from Quanzhou settled in coastal regions, and those from Zhangzhou tended to gather on inland plains, while the Hakka inhabited hilly areas. Clashes between these groups over land, water, and cultural differences led to the relocation of some communities, and, as time passed, varying degrees of intermarriage and assimilation took place. In Taiwan, Han Chinese (including both the earlier Han Taiwanese settlers and the recent Mainland Chinese that arrived in Taiwan with Chiang Kai-shek in 1949) constitute over 95 percent of the population. They have also been a politically, culturally, and economically dominant majority vis-à-vis the non-Han aborigines.[90]

Southeast Asia

Of about 40 million "overseas Chinese"[note 3] worldwide, nearly 30 million live in Southeast Asia. They are collectively called Nanyang Chinese. According to a population genetic study, Singapore is "the country with the biggest proportion of Hans" in Southeast Asia.[91] Up until the past few decades, overseas Han communities originated predominantly from areas in southern China (especially the Guangdong, Fujian, and Zhejiang areas).[91] Christmas Island has 21.2% Chinese population and 12% Malay; large Chinese populations also live in Malaysia (25%) and Thailand (14%). Prior to the 1965 split, Malaysia and Singapore used to have the largest overseas Chinese population in the world, in terms of absolute numbers. This position has since been taken by Thailand.

Others

Elsewhere in the world, 3 million people of Chinese descent live in the United States (about 1% of the population), over 1 million in Canada (3.7%), over 1.3 million in Peru (4.3%), over 600,000 in Australia (3.5%), nearly 150,000 in New Zealand (3.7%), and as many as 750,000 in Africa.[92]

History

Because of the overwhelming numerical and cultural dominance of Han culture in China, most of the written history of China can be read as "a history of the Han Chinese", with only passing references to the ethnic minorities in China.[93][56]

Prehistory

The prehistory of the Han Chinese is closely intertwined with both archaeology, biology, historical textual records and mythology. The ethnic stock to which the Han Chinese originally trace their ancestry from were confederations of late neolithic and early bronze-age agricultural tribes known as the Huaxia that lived along the Guanzhong and Yellow River basins in Northern China.[94][95][96][97][68][98][99][100] In addition, numerous ethnic groups were assimilated and absorbed by the Han Chinese at various points in China's history.[98][101][94] Like many modern ethnic groups, the ethnogenesis of Han Chinese was a long and lengthy process that involved the expansion of the Chinese dynasties and their assimilation of various non-Chinese ethnic groups that became sinicised over the centuries.[102][103][104][105] Writers during the Western Zhou and Han dynasties derived ancestral lineages based on Shang dynasty-era legendary materials,[106][107] while the Han dynasty historian Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian places the reign of the Yellow Emperor (Chinese: 黃帝; pinyin: Huáng Dì), the legendary leader of Youxiong tribes (有熊氏), at the beginning of Chinese history. The Yellow Emperor is traditionally credited to have united with the neighbouring Shennong tribes (神農氏) after defeating their leader, Flame Emperor, (Chinese: 炎帝; pinyin: Yán Dì) at the Battle of Banquan. The newly merged Yanhuang (Chinese: 炎黃) tribes then combined forces to defeat their common enemy from the east, Chiyou (Chinese: 蚩尤; pinyin: Chì Yóu) of the Jiuli (九黎) tribes, at the Battle of Zhuolu, and established their cultural dominance in the Central Plain region. To this day, modern Han Chinese refer themselves as "Descendants of Yan and Huang" (simplified Chinese: 炎黄子孙; traditional Chinese: 炎黃子孫; pinyin: Yánhuáng Zǐsūn).

Although study of this period of history is complicated by the absence of contemporary records, the discovery of archaeological sites has enabled a succession of neolithic cultures to be identified along the Yellow River. Along the central reaches of the Yellow River were the Jiahu culture (c. 7000 to 6600 BCE), the Yangshao culture (c. 5000 to 3000 BCE) and the Longshan culture (c. 3000 to 2000 BCE). Along the lower reaches of the river were the Qingliangang culture (c. 5400 to 4000 BCE), the Dawenkou culture (c. 4300 to 2500 BCE), and the Yueshi culture (c. 1900 to 1500 BCE).

Early history

Early ancient Chinese history is largely legendary, consisting of mythical tales intertwined with sporadic annals written centuries to millennia later. Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian recorded a period following the Battle of Zhuolu, during the reign of successive generations of confederate overlords (Chinese: 共主) known as the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors (c. 2852–2070 BCE), who, allegedly, were elected to power among the tribes. This is a period for which scant reliable archaeological evidence exists – these sovereigns are largely regarded as cultural heroes.

The first dynasty to be described in Chinese historical records is the Xia dynasty (c. 2070–1600 BCE), established by Yu the Great after Emperor Shun abdicated leadership to reward Yu's work in taming the Great Flood. Yu's son, Qi, managed to not only install himself as the next ruler, but also dictated his sons as heirs by default, making the Xia dynasty the first in recorded history where genealogical succession was the norm. The civilizational prosperity of the Xia dynasty at this time is thought to have given rise to the name "Huaxia" (simplified Chinese: 华夏; traditional Chinese: 華夏; pinyin: Huá Xià, "the magnificent Xia"), a term that was used ubiquitously throughout history to define the Chinese nation.[108]

Conclusive archaeological evidence predating the 16th century BCE is, however, rarely available. Recent efforts of the Xia–Shang–Zhou Chronology Project drew the connection between the Erlitou culture and the Xia dynasty, but scholars could not reach a consensus regarding the reliability of such history.

The Xia dynasty was overthrown after the Battle of Mingtiao, around 1600 BCE, by Cheng Tang, who established the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BCE). The earliest archaeological examples of Chinese writing date back to this period – from characters inscribed on oracle bones used for divination – but the well-developed characters hint at a much earlier origin of writing in China.

During the Shang dynasty, people of the Wu area in the Yangtze River Delta, were considered a different tribe, and described as being scantily dressed, tattooed and speaking a distinct language.[109][110] Later, Taibo, elder uncle of Ji Chang – on realising that his younger brother, Jili, was wiser and deserved to inherit the throne – fled to Wu[111] and settled there. Three generations later, King Wu of the Zhou dynasty defeated King Zhou (the last Shang king), and enfeoffed the descendants of Taibo in Wu[111] – mirroring the later history of Nanyue, where a Chinese king and his soldiers ruled a non-Han population and mixed with locals, who were sinicized over time. By the Tang dynasty, however, this area had become part of the Han Chinese heartland.

After the Battle of Muye, the Shang dynasty was overthrown by Zhou (led by Ji Fa), which had emerged as a western state along the Wei River in the 2nd millennium BCE.[110] The Zhou dynasty shared the language and culture of the Shang people, and extended their reach to encompass much of the area north of the Yangtze River.[112][113] Through conquest and colonization, much of this area came under the influence of sinicization, and this culture extended south.[110][113] However, the power of the Zhou kings fragmented not long afterwards, and many autonomous vassal states emerged. This dynasty is traditionally divided into two eras – the Western Zhou (1046–771 BCE) and the Eastern Zhou (770–256 BCE) – with the latter further divided into the Spring and Autumn (770–476 BCE) and the Warring States (476–221 BCE) periods. It was a period of significant cultural and philosophical diversification (known as the Hundred Schools of Thought) and Confucianism, Taoism and Legalism are among the most important surviving philosophies from this era.

Imperial history

The chaotic Warring States period of the Eastern Zhou dynasty came to an end with the unification of China by the western state of Qin after its conquest of all other rival states under King Ying Zheng. King Zheng then gave himself a new title "First Emperor of Qin" (Chinese: 秦始皇帝; pinyin: Qín Shǐ Huángdì), setting the precedent for the next two millennia. To consolidate administrative control over the newly conquered parts of the country, the First Emperor decreed a nationwide standardization of currency, writing scripts, and measurement units, to unify the country economically and culturally. He also ordered large-scale infrastructure projects such as the Great Wall, the Lingqu Canal and the Qin road system to militarily fortify the frontiers. In effect, he established a centralized bureaucratic state to replace the old feudal confederation system of preceding dynasties, making Qin the first imperial dynasty in Chinese history.

This dynasty, sometimes phonetically spelt as the "Ch'in dynasty", has been proposed in the 17th century by Martin Martini and supported by later scholars such as Paul Pelliot and Berthold Laufer to be the etymological origin of the modern English word "China".

China.Terracotta statues007
A female servant and male advisor dressed in silk robes, ceramic figurines from the Western Han era

The reign of the first imperial dynasty was to be short-lived. Due to the First Emperor's autocratic rule and his massive labor projects, which fomented rebellion among the populace, the Qin dynasty fell into chaos soon after his death. Under the corrupt rule of his son and successor Huhai, the Qin dynasty collapsed a mere three years later. The Han dynasty (206 BC–220 CE) then emerged from the ensuing civil wars and succeeded in establishing a much longer-lasting dynasty. It continued many of the institutions created by the Qin dynasty, but adopted a more moderate rule. Under the Han dynasty, arts and culture flourished, while the Han Empire expanded militarily in all directions. Many Chinese scholars such as Ho Ping-ti believe that the concept (ethnogenesis) of Han ethnicity, though an ancient one, was formally entrenched in the Han dynasty.[114] The Han dynasty is considered one of the golden ages of Chinese history, and to this day, the modern Han Chinese people have since taken their ethnic name from this dynasty and the Chinese script is referred to as "Han characters".[78]

The fall of the Han dynasty was followed by an age of fragmentation and several centuries of disunity amid warfare among rival kingdoms. During this time, areas of northern China were overrun by various non-Han nomadic peoples, which came to establish kingdoms of their own, the most successful of which was Northern Wei (established by the Xianbei). Starting from this period, the native population of China proper began to be referred to as Hanren, or the "People of Han", to distinguish them from the nomads from the steppe. Warfare and invasion led to one of the first great migrations of Han populations in history, as they fled south to the Yangtze and beyond, shifting the Chinese demographic center and speeding up sinicization of the far south. At the same time most of the nomads in northern China came to be sinicized as they ruled over large Chinese populations and adopted elements of their culture and administration. Of note, the Xianbei rulers of Northern Wei ordered a policy of systematic sinicization, adopting Han surnames, institutions, and culture.

The Sui (581–618) and Tang (618–907) dynasties saw the continuation of the complete sinicization of the south coast of what is now China proper, including what are now the provinces of Fujian and Guangdong. The later part of the Tang era, as well as the Five Dynasties period that followed, saw continual warfare in north and central China; the relative stability of the south coast made it an attractive destination for refugees.

Boxer queue
Han Chinese man wears a queue in compliance with Manchu custom during the Qing dynasty

The next few centuries saw successive invasions of Han and non-Han peoples from the north. In 1279, the Mongols conquered all of China, becoming the first non-Han ethnic group to do so, and established the Yuan dynasty. The Mongols divided society into four classes, with themselves occupying the top class and Han Chinese into the bottom two classes. Emigration, seen as disloyal to ancestors and ancestral land, was banned by the Song and Yuan dynasties.[115]

In 1368, Han Chinese rebels drove out the Mongols and, after some infighting, established the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). Settlement of Han Chinese into peripheral regions continued during this period, with Yunnan in the southwest receiving a large number of migrants.

In 1644, the Ming capital, Beijing, was captured by Li Zicheng's peasant rebels and the Chongzhen Emperor committed suicide. The Manchus of the Qing dynasty then allied with former Ming general Wu Sangui and seized control of Beijing. Remnant Ming forces led by Koxinga fled to Taiwan and established the Kingdom of Tungning, which eventually capitulated to Qing forces in 1683. Taiwan, previously inhabited mostly by non-Han aborigines, was sinicized during this period via large-scale migration accompanied by assimilation, despite efforts by the Manchus to prevent this, as they found it difficult to maintain control over the island. In 1681, the Kangxi Emperor ordered construction of the Willow Palisade to prevent Han Chinese migration to the three northeastern provinces, which nevertheless had harbored a significant Chinese population for centuries, especially in the southern Liaodong area. The Manchus designated Jilin and Heilongjiang as the Manchu homeland, to which the Manchus could hypothetically escape and regroup if the Qing dynasty fell.[116] Because of increasing Russian territorial encroachment and annexation of neighboring territory, the Qing later reversed its policy and allowed the consolidation of a demographic Han majority in northeast China.

In the 19th century, Chinese migrants went in large numbers to other parts of the world, including South Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, and North America.

Culture

China is one of the world's oldest and most complex civilizations, whose culture dates back thousands of years. Overseas Han Chinese maintain cultural affinities to Chinese territories outside of their host locale through ancestor worship and clan associations, which often identify famous figures from Chinese history or myth as ancestors of current members.[117] Such patriarchs include the Yellow Emperor and the Yan Emperor, who according to legend lived thousands of years ago and gave Han people the sobriquet "Descendants of Yan and Huang Emperor" (炎黃子孫; 炎黄子孙), a phrase which has reverberative connotations in a divisive political climate, as in that of between Mainland China and Taiwan.

Along the River During the Qingming Festival (detail of original)
Zhang Zeduan's painting Along the River During the Qingming Festival captures the daily life of people from the Song dynasty at the capital, Bianjing, today's Kaifeng.

Throughout the history of China, Chinese culture has been heavily influenced by Confucianism. Credited with shaping much of Chinese thought, Confucianism was the official philosophy throughout most of Imperial China's history, institutionalizing values like filial piety, which implied the performance of certain shared rituals. Thus, villagers lavished on funeral and wedding ceremonies that imitated the Confucian standards of the Emperors.[117] Mastery of Confucian texts provided the primary criterion for entry into the imperial bureaucracy, but even those degree-holders who did not enter the bureaucracy or who left it held increased social influence in their home areas, contributing to the homogenizing of Han Chinese culture. Other factors contributing to the development of a shared Han culture included urbanization and geographically vast but integrated commodity markets.[117]

Language

Han Chinese speak various forms of the Chinese language that are descended from a common early language;[117] one of the names of the language groups is Hanyu (simplified Chinese: 汉语; traditional Chinese: 漢語), literally the "Han language". Similarly, Chinese characters, used to write the language, are called Hanzi (simplified Chinese: 汉字; traditional Chinese: 漢字), or "Han characters".

In the late imperial period, more than two-thirds of the Han Chinese population used a variant of Mandarin Chinese as their native tongue.[117] However, there was a larger variety of languages in certain areas of southeast China, like Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Guangxi.[117] Since the Qin dynasty, which standardized the various forms of writing that existed in China, a standard literary Chinese had emerged with vocabulary and grammar that was significantly different from the various forms of spoken Chinese. A simplified and elaborated version of this written standard was used in business contracts, notes for Chinese opera, ritual texts for Chinese folk religion, and other daily documents for educated people.[117]

During the early 20th century, written vernacular Chinese based on Mandarin dialects, which had been developing for several centuries, was standardized and adopted to replace literary Chinese. While written vernacular forms of other varieties of Chinese exist, such as written Cantonese, written Chinese based on Mandarin is widely understood by speakers of all varieties and has taken up the dominant position among written forms, formerly occupied by literary Chinese. Thus, although residents of different regions would not necessarily understand each other's speech, they generally share a common written language.

From the 1950s, Simplified Chinese characters were adopted in mainland China and later in Singapore and Malaysia, while Chinese communities in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and overseas countries continue to use Traditional Chinese characters. Although significant differences exist between the two character sets, they are largely mutually intelligible.

Names

Chinese names are typically two or three syllables in length, with the surname preceding the given name. Surnames are typically one syllable in length, though a few uncommon surnames are two or more syllables long, while given names are one or two syllables long. There are 4,000 to 6,000 surnames in China, of which about 1,000 surnames are most common.

In China, the notion of hundred surnames (百家姓) is crucial identity point of Han people.[118]

Dress

Gu Hongzhong's Night Revels, Detail 1
A Song dynasty Chinese painting Night Revels of Han Xizai showing scholars in scholar's robes and musicians dressed in a Hanfu variant, 12th-century remake of a 10th-century original by Gu Hongzhong.

Han Chinese clothing has been shaped through its dynastic traditions as well as foreign influences.[119] Han Chinese clothing showcases the traditional fashion sensibilities of Chinese clothing traditions and forms one of the major cultural facets of Chinese civilization.[120] Hanfu (漢服) or traditional Han clothing comprises all traditional clothing classifications of the Han Chinese with a recorded history of more than three millennia until the end of the Ming Dynasty. During the Qing dynasty, Hanfu clothing was mostly replaced by the Manchu style until the dynasty's fall in 1911, yet Han women continued to wear clothing from Ming dynasty. Manchu and Han fashions of women's clothing coexisted during the Qing dynasty.[121][122] Moreover, neither Taoist priests nor Buddhist monks were required to wear the queue by the Qing; they continued to wear their traditional hairstyles, completely shaved heads for Buddhist monks, and long hair in the traditional Chinese topknot for Taoist priests.[123][124] During the Republic of China period, fashion styles and forms of traditional Qing costumes gradually changed, influenced by fashion sensibilities from the Western World resulting modern Han Chinese wearing Western style clothing as a part of everyday dress.[125][120]

Han Chinese clothing is influential to traditional East Asian fashion as both the Japanese Kimono and the Korean Hanbok were influenced by Han Chinese clothing designs.[126][127][128][129][130][131][132][133]

Family

Han Chinese families throughout China have had certain traditionally prescribed roles, such as the family head (家長, jiāzhǎng), who represents the family to the outside world, and the family manager (當家, dāngjiā), who is in charge of the revenues. Because farmland was commonly bought, sold, or mortgaged, families were run like enterprises, with set rules for the allocation (分家, fēnjiā) of pooled earnings and assets.[117]

Han Chinese houses differ from place to place. In Beijing, the whole family traditionally lived together in a large rectangle-shaped house called a siheyuan. Such houses had four rooms at the front – guest room, kitchen, lavatory, and servants' quarters. Across large double doors was a wing for the elderly in the family. This wing consisted of three rooms: a central room where the four tablets – heaven, earth, ancestor, and teacher – were worshipped, and two rooms attached to the left and right, which were bedrooms for the grandparents. The east wing of the house was inhabited by the eldest son and his family, while the west wing sheltered the second son and his family. Each wing had a veranda; some had a "sunroom" made with surrounding fabric and supported by a wooden or bamboo frame. Every wing was also built around a central courtyard that was used for study, exercise, or nature viewing.[134]

Food

There is no specific one uniform cuisine of the Han people since the food eaten varies from Sichuan's famously spicy food to Guangdong's Dim Sum and fresh seafood. Analyses have revealed their main staple to be rice. During China's neolithic period, southwestern rice growers transitioned to millet from the northwest, when they could not find a suitable northwestern ecology – which was typically dry and cold – to sustain the generous yields of their staple as well as it did in other areas, such as along the eastern Chinese coast.[135]

Literature

Han Chinese have a rich history of classical literature dating back to three thousand years. Important early works include classic texts such as Classic of Poetry, Analects of Confucius, I Ching, Tao Te Ching, and the Art of War. Some of the most important Han Chinese poets in the pre-modern era include Li Bai, Du Fu, and Su Dongpo. The most important novels in Chinese literature, otherwise known as the Four Great Classical Novels, are: Dream of the Red Chamber, Water Margin, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and Journey to the West. Chinese literature continues to have an international reputation with Liu Cixin's San Ti series receiving international acclaim.[136]

Contributions to humanity

Han Chinese have influenced and contributed to the development of human progress throughout history in many domains including the arts, culture, science and technology, business, social sciences and humanities, and sports, both historically and in the modern era.

The invention of paper, printing, the compass, and gunpowder are celebrated in Chinese culture as the Four Great Inventions.[137] Ancient Han Chinese astronomers were also among the first peoples to record observations of a cosmic supernova.[138] The work of Chinese polymath Shen Kuo (1031–1095) of the Song dynasty theorized that the sun and moon were spherical and wrote of planetary motions such as retro gradation as well postulating theories for the processes of geological land formation.[138]

Chinese art, Chinese architecture, Chinese cuisine, Chinese literature, and Chinese philosophy all have undergone thousands of years of development, while numerous Chinese sites, such as the Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Army, are World Heritage Sites. Since the start of the program in 2001, aspects of Chinese culture have been listed by UNESCO as Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Throughout much of history, successive Chinese dynasties have exerted influence on their East Asian neighbors in the areas of religion, philosophy, education, language, politics, science and technology, business, and culture. In modern times, Han Chinese form the largest ethnic group in China, while an overseas Chinese diaspora numbering in the tens of millions has settled in and contributed to their host countries throughout the world.

In modern times, Han Chinese continue to contribute to the progress of science and technology. Among them are Nobel Prize recipients Steven Chu, Samuel C.C. Ting, Chen Ning Yang, Tsung-Dao Lee, Yuan T. Lee, Daniel C. Tsui, Roger Y. Tsien, and Charles K. Kao (known as the "Godfather of Broadband" and "Father of Fiber Optics");[139] Fields Medal recipients Terence Tao and Shing-Tung Yau, and Turing Award recipient Andrew Yao. Tsien Hsue-shen was a prominent rocket scientist who helped to found NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.[140] Chien-Shiung Wu, nicknamed the "First Lady of Physics" contributed to the Manhattan Project and radically altered modern physical theory and changed the accepted view of the structure of the universe.[141] Ching W. Tang was the inventor of the organic light-emitting diode (OLED) and hetero-junction organic photovoltaic cell (OPV) and is widely considered the "Father of Organic Electronics".[142] Others include David Ho, one of the first scientists to propose that AIDS was caused by a virus, thus subsequently developing combination antiretroviral therapy to combat it. Dr. Ho was named Time Magazine Person of the Year in 1996.[143] Min Chueh Chang was the co-inventor of the combined oral contraceptive pill and is known for his pioneering work and significant contributions to the development of in vitro fertilization at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology.[144][145] Tu Youyou is a prominent medical scientist and chemist who became the first native Chinese in history to receive the Nobel Prize in natural sciences when she received the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering artemisinin (also known as qinghaosu) and dihydroartemisinin, used to treat malaria, which has saved millions of lives across the world.[146] Choh Hao Li discovered human growth hormone (and subsequently used it to treat a form of dwarfism caused by growth hormone deficiency), beta-endorphin (the most powerful of the body's natural painkillers), follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone (the key hormone used in fertility testing, an example is the ovulation home test).[147][148][149] Joe Hin Tjio was a cytogeneticist renowned as the first person to recognize the normal number of human chromosomes, a breakthrough in karyotype genetics.[150][151] Yuan-Cheng Fung, is regarded as the "Father of modern biomechanics" for pioneering the application of quantitative and analytical engineering principles to the study of the human body and disease.[152][153] The geometer Shiing-Shen Chern was one of the leaders in differential geometry of the 20th century and was awarded the 1984 Wolf Prize in mathematics. China's system of "barefoot doctors" was among the most important inspirations for the World Health Organization conference in Alma Ata, Kazakhstan in 1978, and was hailed as a revolutionary breakthrough in international health ideology emphasizing primary health care and preventive medicine.[154][155]

Throughout ancient and medieval Chinese history, the scientific and technological accomplishments of China include:

[156][138][157][158][137]

Religion

Vinegar tasters
A traditional representation of The Vinegar Tasters, an allegorical image representing Buddhists, Confucianists, and Taoists

Chinese culture has been long characterized by religious pluralism and Chinese folk religion has always maintained a profound influence. Indigenous Confucianism and Taoism share aspects of being a philosophy or a religion, and neither demand exclusive adherence, resulting in a culture of tolerance and syncretism, where multiple religions or belief systems are often practiced in concert with local customs and traditions. Han Chinese culture has for long been influenced by Mahayana Buddhism, while in recent centuries Christianity has also gained a foothold among the population.

Chinese folk religion is a set of worship traditions of the ethnic deities of the Han people. It involves the worship of various figures in Chinese mythology, folk heroes such as Guan Yu and Qu Yuan, mythological creatures such as the Chinese dragon, or family, clan and national ancestors. These practices vary from region to region, and do not characterize an organized religion, though many traditional Chinese holidays such as the Duanwu (or Dragon Boat) Festival, Qingming, and the Mid-Autumn Festival come from the most popular of these traditions.

Taoism, another indigenous religion, is also widely practiced in both its folk forms and as an organized religion, and has influenced Chinese art, poetry, philosophy, medicine, astronomy, alchemy and chemistry, cuisine, martial arts, and architecture. Taoism was the state religion of the early Han Dynasty, and also often enjoyed state patronage under subsequent emperors and dynasties.

Confucianism, although sometimes described as a religion, is a governing philosophy and moral code with some religious elements like ancestor worship. It is deeply ingrained in Chinese culture and was the official state philosophy in China during the Han Dynasty and unto the fall of imperial China in the 20th century.

In the Han Dynasty, Confucian ideals were the dominant ideology. Near the end of the dynasty, Buddhism entered China, later gaining popularity. Historically, Buddhism alternated between periods of state tolerance (and even patronage) and persecution. In its original form, Buddhism was at odds with the native Chinese religions, especially with the elite, as certain Buddhist values often conflicted with Chinese sensibilities. However, through centuries of assimilation, adaptation, and syncretism, Chinese Buddhism gained an accepted place in the culture. Mahayana would come to be influenced by Confucianism and Taoism, and exerted influence in turn – such as in the form of Neo-Confucianism.

Though Christian influence in China existed as early as the 7th century, Christianity did not begin to gain a significant foothold in China until the establishment of contact with Europeans during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Chinese practices at odds with Christian beliefs resulted in the Chinese Rites controversy, and a subsequent reduction in Christian influence. Christianity grew considerably following the First Opium War, after which foreign missionaries in China enjoyed the protection of the Western powers and engaged in widespread proselytising.

Historical southward migration of the Han people

Han Expansion
Map showing the expansion of Han dynasty in 2nd century BC.

The term "Huaxia" was used by Confucius's contemporaries, during the Warring States era, to describe the shared ethnicity of all Chinese;[159] Chinese people called themselves Hua Ren.[160] Southern Han people – such as the Hoklo, Cantonese and Hakka – all claim northern Chinese origins from ancestors who migrated from Northern China's Yellow River Valley during the 4th to 12th centuries. Hoklo clans living in southeastern coastal China, such as in Chaozhou and Quanzhou–Zhangzhou, originated from northern China's Henan province during the Tang dynasty.[161]

There were several periods of mass migration of Han people to southeastern and southern China throughout history.[162] The ancestors of the Cantonese are said to be northern Chinese who moved to Guangdong, while the Yue (Baiyue) descendants were indigenous minorities who practised tattooing, as described in "The Real Yue People" (真越人; zhēn yuèrén) essay by Qu Dajun (屈大均), a Cantonese scholar who extolled his people's Chineseness.[163]

Vietnam, Guangdong, and Yunnan all experienced a major surge in Han Chinese migrants during Wang Mang's reign.[162]:126 Hangzhou's coastal regions and the Yangtze valley were settled in the 4th century by Northern Chinese families from the nobility.[162]:181 Special "commanderies of immigrants" and "white registers" were created for the massive number of Han Chinese of northern origin who moved south during the Eastern Jin dynasty.[162]:182 The southern Chinese aristocracy was formed from the offspring of these migrants;[164] Celestial Masters and the nobility of northern China subdued the aristocracy of southern China during the Eastern Jin and Western Jin, particularly in Jiangnan.[165] With the depopulation of the north, due to this migration of northern Chinese, the south became the most populous region of China.[166][167]

Different waves of migration of aristocratic Chinese from northern China to the south at different times – with some arriving in the 300s–400s and others in the 800s–900s – resulted in the formation of distinct lineages.[168] During the 700s (Tang dynasty), Han migrants from northern China flooded into the south.[169] Hong Kong history books record migrations of the Song and Tang dynasties to the south, which resulted in Hong Kongers that are descended from ethnic Han settlers that originated from northern China.[170] Since it was during the Tang dynasty that Guangdong was subjected to settlement by Han people, many Cantonese, Hokkien and Teochew call themselves Tang.[171]

DNA and genetics analysis

Y-chromosome haplogroup O2-M122 is a common DNA marker in Han Chinese, as it appeared in China in prehistoric times. It is found in more than 50% of Chinese males, and ranging up to over 80% in certain regional subgroups of the Han ethnicity.[172] Other Y-DNA haplogroups that have been found with notable frequency in samples of Han Chinese include O-P203 (15/165 = 9.1%, 47/361 = 13.0%), C-M217 (10/168 = 6.0%, 27/361 = 7.5%, 187/1730 = 10.8%, 20/166 = 12.0%), N-M231 (6/166 = 3.6%, 18/361 = 5.0%, 117/1729 = 6.8%, 17/165 = 10.3%), O-M268(xM95, M176) (54/1147 = 4.7%,[173] 8/168 = 4.8%, 23/361 = 6.4%, 12/166 = 7.2%), and Q-M242 (2/168 = 1.2%, 49/1729 = 2.8%, 12/361 = 3.3%, 48/1147 = 4.2%[173]). However, the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of Han Chinese increases in diversity as one looks from northern to southern China, which suggests that male migrants from northern China married with women from local peoples after arriving in modern-day Guangdong, Fujian, and other regions of southern China.[174][175] Despite this, tests comparing the genetic profiles of northern Han, southern Han and southern natives determined that haplogroups O1b-M110, O2a1-M88 and O3d-M7, which are prevalent in southern natives, were only observed in some southern Han (4% on average), but not in northern Han. Therefore, this proves that the male contribution of southern natives in southern Han is limited, assuming that the frequency distribution of Y lineages in southern natives represents that before the expansion of Han culture that started two-thousand years ago.[174][176] In contrast, there are consistent strong genetic similarities in the Y chromosome haplogroup distribution between the southern and northern Chinese population, and the result of principal component analysis indicates almost all Han populations form a tight cluster in their Y chromosome. However, other research has also shown that the paternal lineages Y-DNA O-M119,[177] O-P201,[178] O-P203[178] and O-M95[179] are found in both southern Han Chinese and South Chinese minorities, but more commonly in the latter. In fact, these paternal markers are in turn less frequent in northern Han Chinese.[180][181] Another study puts Han Chinese into two groups: northern and southern Han Chinese, and it finds that the genetic characteristics of present-day northern Han Chinese was already formed as early as three-thousand years ago in the Central Plain area.[182]

The estimated contribution of northern Han to southern Han is substantial in both paternal and maternal lineages and a geographic cline exists for mtDNA. As a result, the northern Han are the primary contributors to the gene pool of the southern Han. However, it is noteworthy that the expansion process was dominated by males, as is shown by a greater contribution to the Y-chromosome than the mtDNA from northern Han to southern Han. These genetic observations are in line with historical records of continuous and large migratory waves of northern China inhabitants escaping warfare and famine, to southern China. Aside from these large migratory waves, other smaller southward migrations occurred during almost all periods in the past two millennia.[174] A study by the Chinese Academy of Sciences into the gene frequency data of Han subpopulations and ethnic minorities in China, showed that Han subpopulations in different regions are also genetically quite close to the local ethnic minorities, meaning that in many cases, blood of ethnic minorities had mixed into Han, while at the same time, the blood of Han had also mixed into the local ethnic minorities.[183] A study on Armenian admixture in varied populations found 3.9% Armenian-like DNA in some northern Chinese Han.[184]

A recent, and to date the most extensive, genome-wide association study of the Han population, shows that geographic-genetic stratification from north to south has occurred and centrally placed populations act as the conduit for outlying ones.[185] Ultimately, with the exception in some ethnolinguistic branches of the Han Chinese, such as Pinghua, there is "coherent genetic structure" in all Han Chinese populace.[186]

The typicall y-DNA Haplogroups of Han Chinese are the Haplogroup O-M175 and Haplogroup Q-M242.[187]

Notes

  1. ^ Of the 710,000 Chinese nationals living in Korea in 2016, 500,000 are ethnic Koreans.
  2. ^ Source: United States Central Intelligence Agency, 1983. The map shows the distribution of ethnolinguistic groups according to the historical majority ethnic groups by region. Note this does not represent the current distribution due to age-long internal migration and assimilation.
  3. ^ Overseas Chinese include both Han and non-Han people (see overseas Chinese for related references).

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Further reading

  • Yuan, Haiwang (2006). The Magic Lotus Lantern and Other Tales from the Han Chinese. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited. ISBN 978-1-59158-294-6. OCLC 65820295.

External links

China proper

China proper, Inner China or the Eighteen Provinces was a term used by Western writers on the Manchu Qing dynasty to express a distinction between the core and frontier regions of China. There is no fixed extent for China proper, as many administrative, cultural, and linguistic shifts have occurred in Chinese history. One definition refers to the original area of Chinese civilization, the Central Plain (in the North China Plain); another to the "Eighteen Provinces" system of the Qing dynasty. There is no direct translation for "China proper" in the Chinese language due to differences in terminology used by the Qing to refer to the regions and the expression is controversial among scholars, particularly in China, due to national territorial claims.

Chinese

Chinese can refer to:

Something of, from, or related to China

Chinese people, people of Chinese nationality, or one of several Chinese ethnicities

Zhonghua minzu, the supra-ethnic Chinese nationality

Han Chinese, the dominant ethnic group in China, Singapore, and Taiwan

Ethnic minorities in China, non-Han Chinese people in China

Overseas Chinese, people of Chinese ancestry outside China Mainland, such as Taiwan

Chinese language, a language spoken predominantly in China in different mutually intelligible and unintelligible varieties and forms, sharing the same written standard but with disparate regional written vernaculars

Standard Chinese, the standard form of Chinese in China, Taiwan and Singapore

Varieties of Chinese, the topolects grouped under Chinese

Written Chinese, the writing system used for Chinese

Chinese cuisine, styles of food originating from China

American Chinese cuisine

Chinese Americans

Chinese Americans, which includes American-born Chinese, are Americans who have full or partial Chinese ancestry. Chinese Americans constitute one group of overseas Chinese and also a subgroup of East Asian Americans, which is a further subgroup of Asian Americans. Many Chinese Americans are immigrants along with their descendants from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, as well as from other regions that include large populations of the Chinese diaspora, especially Southeast Asia and some Western countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and France.

The Chinese American community is the largest overseas Chinese community outside Asia. It is also the third largest community in the Chinese diaspora, behind the Chinese communities in Thailand and Malaysia. The 2016 Community Survey of the US Census estimates a population of Chinese Americans of one or more races to be 5,081,682. The Chinese American community comprises the largest ethnic group of Asian Americans, comprising 25.9% of the Asian American population as of 2010. Americans of Chinese descent, including those with partial Chinese ancestry constitute 1.5% of the total U.S. population as of 2017. According to the 2010 census, the Chinese American population numbered approximately 3.8 million. In 2010, half of Chinese-born people living in the United States resided in the states of California and New York.

Chinese people

Chinese people are the various individuals or ethnic groups associated with China, usually through ancestry, ethnicity, nationality, citizenship or other affiliation. Han Chinese, the largest ethnic group in China, at about 92% of the population, are often referred to as "Chinese" or "ethnic Chinese" in English, however there are dozens of other related and unrelated ethnic groups in China.

Chuang Guandong

Chuang Guandong (simplified Chinese: 闯关东; traditional Chinese: 闖關東; pinyin: Chuǎng Guāndōng; IPA: [ʈʂʰwàŋ kwán.tʊ́ŋ]; literally "Crashing into Guandong" with Guandong being an older name for Manchuria) is descriptive of the rush of Han Chinese into Manchuria, mainly from the Shandong Peninsula and Zhili, during the hundred-year period beginning in the last half of the 19th century. Previously, this region was outside China proper, but was sometimes under direct control and/or indirect influence, of the ruling Chinese dynasty. During the first two centuries of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, this part of China, the traditional homeland of the ruling Manchus, was, with few exceptions, closed to settlement by Han Chinese civilians, with only certain Manchu Bannermen, Mongol Bannermen, and Chinese Bannermen allowed in. The region, now known as Northeast China, now has an overwhelmingly Han population.

Dynasty

A dynasty (UK: , US: ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family, usually in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes also appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "house", "family" and "clan", among others. The longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC.

The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", which may be styled as "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital" etc., depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members.

Historians periodize the histories of numerous nations and civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt (3100–30 BC) and Imperial China (221 BC–AD 1912), using a framework of successive dynasties. As such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, and also to describe events, trends and artifacts of that period (for example, "a Ming-dynasty vase"). The word "dynasty" itself is often dropped from such adjectival references (id est, "a Ming vase").

Until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members.Prior to the 20th century, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. In nations where it was permitted, succession through a daughter usually established a new dynasty in her husband's ruling house. This has changed in some places in Europe, where succession law and convention have maintained dynasties de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor will be maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant. The earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance. Less frequently, a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic (or polydynastic) system – that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession.

Not all feudal states or monarchies were/are ruled by dynasties; modern examples are the Vatican City State, the Principality of Andorra, and the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta. Throughout history, there were monarchs that did not belong to any dynasty; non-dynastic rulers include King Arioald of the Lombards and Emperor Phocas of the Byzantine Empire. Dynasties ruling subnational monarchies do not possess sovereign rights; two modern examples are the monarchies of Malaysia and the royal families of the United Arab Emirates.

The word "dynasty" is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is also extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team.

Eastern Han Chinese

Eastern Han Chinese or Later Han Chinese is the stage of the Chinese language revealed by poetry and glosses from the Eastern Han period (first two centuries AD).

It is considered an intermediate stage between Old Chinese and the Middle Chinese of the 7th-century Qieyun dictionary.

Eight Banners

The Eight Banners (in Manchu: ᠵᠠᡴᡡᠨᡤᡡᠰᠠ jakūn gūsa, Chinese: 八旗; pinyin: bāqí) were administrative/military divisions under the Qing dynasty into which all Manchu households were placed. In war, the Eight Banners functioned as armies, but the banner system was also the basic organizational framework of all of Manchu society. Created in the early 17th century by Nurhaci, the banner armies played an instrumental role in his unification of the fragmented Jurchen people (who would later be renamed the Manchus under Nurhaci's son Hong Taiji) and in the Qing dynasty's conquest of the Ming dynasty.

As Mongol and Han forces were incorporated into the growing Qing military establishment, the Mongol Eight Banners and Han Eight Banners were created alongside the original Manchu banners. The banner armies were considered the elite forces of the Qing military, while the remainder of imperial troops were incorporated into the vast Green Standard Army. Membership in the banners became hereditary, and bannermen were granted land and income. After the defeat of the Ming dynasty, Qing emperors continued to rely on the Eight Banners in their subsequent military campaigns. After the Ten Great Campaigns of the Qianlong Emperor, the quality of banner troops gradually decreased, and by the 19th century the task of defending the empire had largely fallen upon regional armies such as the Xiang Army. Over time, the Eight Banners became synonymous with Manchu identity even as their military strength vanished.

Hainan people

The Hainan people (Chinese: 海南人), also known as Hainanese or Hainam nang (in Hainanese dialect, are the native people (including Han Chinese) who originate from Hainan, the southernmost and smallest Chinese province. The term "Hainanese" was frequently used by Hainanese-speaking Han Chinese (Chinese: 海南漢人), who are the majority in the island, to identify themselves overseas. Nevertheless, other natives of the island such as Hlai (Chinese: 黎族), Yao (Chinese: 苗族 "Miao people") and Utsuls also use the term.

Hakka people

The Hakka (Chinese: 客家), sometimes Hakka Han, are Han Chinese people whose ancestral homes are chiefly in the Hakka-speaking provincial areas of Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan, Zhejiang, Hainan and Guizhou. The Chinese characters for Hakka (客家) literally mean "guest families". Unlike other Han Chinese groups, the Hakkas are not named after a geographical region, e.g. a province, county or city, in China. Modern day Hakka are generally identified by different degrees of Hakka ancestry and usually speak the Hakka language.

The Hakkas are thought to have originated from the lands bordering the Yellow River (the modern northern Chinese provinces of Shanxi, Henan, and Hubei). In a series of migrations, the Hakkas moved and settled in their present areas in Southern China, and from there, substantial numbers migrated overseas to various countries throughout the world. As the most diasporic among the Chinese community groups, the worldwide population of Hakkas is about 75 million. The Hakkas moved from northern China into southern China at a time when the Han Chinese people who already lived there had developed distinctive cultural identities and languages from their northern Han Chinese counterparts. The Tunbao and Chuanqing people are other Han Chinese subgroups that migrated from north China to south China while maintaining their northern Han Chinese traditions which differentiated them from their southern Han neighbours.

The Hakka people have had significant influence on the course of modern Chinese and overseas Chinese history; in particular, they have been a source of many revolutionary, government and military leaders.The Hakka language was the national language of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, which had, at one stage, occupied one-third of China in the 19th century. Today, it is one of the official languages of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Hanfu

Hanfu (Chinese: 漢服; pinyin: Hànfú; literally: 'Han clothing') is a term associated with the Hanfu movement used to refer to the historical traditional dress sensibilities of the Han Chinese. Although the Book of Han contains reference to '漢衣服' (read Han Yifu in modern Standard Mandarin), the word 'Hanfu' (漢服) does not appear in A Dictionary of Current Chinese, Cihai or other important dictionaries of Standard Mandarin Chinese.Ancient Chinese clothing was influential to other traditional clothing such as the Japanese kimono, yukata and the Vietnamese Áo giao lĩnh.

Hong Kong people

Hongkongers (Chinese: 香港人), also known as Hong Kongese, are people who originate from Hong Kong. These terms are a special identity for those who hold the legal residency in Hong Kong. Most of the Hongkongers were born and bred, or at least bred in Hong Kong sharing the same set of core values of Hong Kong. The terms itself have no legal definition by the Hong Kong Government; more precise terms such as Hong Kong Permanent Resident (Chinese: 香港永久性居民; Cantonese Yale: Hèunggóng Wínggáusing Gēuimàhn) and Hong Kong Resident (香港居民; Hèunggóng Gēuimàhn) are used in legal contexts. However, the word "Hongkonger" was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary in March 2014.Hong Kong people do not comprise one particular ethnicity, and people that live in Hong Kong are independent of Chinese citizenship and residency status. The majority of Hong Kongers are of Chinese descent and are ethnic Chinese (with most having ancestral roots in the province of Guangdong); however there are also Hongkongers of, for example, Indian, Filipino, Nepalese, Indonesian, Pakistani, Vietnamese and British descent. Expatriates from many other countries live and work in the city.

During the years leading up to the 1997 handover of sovereignty from Britain to China, many residents left Hong Kong and settled in other parts of the world. As a result, there are groups of Hong Kongers that hold immigrant status in other countries. Some who emigrated during that period have since returned to Hong Kong. Due to China's "one country, two systems" policy, Hong Kong is a highly autonomous region and operates largely independently of China, having its own passport, currency, flag, and official languages (Cantonese and English instead of Mandarin). Furthermore, due to increasing social and political tensions between Hong Kong and Mainland China and desinicisation in the territory, a recent poll found that most Hong Kong people identify themselves as Hongkongers, with an estimated figure of over 40 percent, while less than 27 percent identify themselves as Hongkongers in China and less than 18 percent as solely Chinese.

List of Chinese Nobel laureates

Since 1957, there have been eight Chinese (including Chinese-born) winners of the Nobel Prize. The Nobel Prize is a Sweden-based international monetary prize. The award was established by the 1895 will and estate of Swedish chemist and inventor Alfred Nobel. It was first awarded in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace in 1901. An associated prize, The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, was instituted by Sweden's central bank in 1968 and first awarded in 1969.

Following is a list of Nobel laureates who have been citizens of the Republic of China or the People's Republic of China and of overseas birth.

Manchuria under Qing rule

Manchuria under Qing rule was the rule of the Qing dynasty over Manchuria, including today's Northeast China and Outer Manchuria. The Qing dynasty itself was established by the Manchus, a Tungusic people coming from Manchuria, who later conquered the Ming dynasty and became the ruler of China. Thus, Manchuria enjoyed a somewhat special status during the Qing and was not governed as regular provinces until the late Qing dynasty.

National Key Buddhist Temples in Han Chinese Area

National Key Buddhist Temples in Han Chinese Area are national key ("important") Buddhist temples in areas traditionally associated with the Han Chinese in the People's Republic of China (excluding Inner Mongolia, Tibet, and Xinjiang). The list was originally released on 9 April 1983 by the State Council, and included 142 Buddhist temples.

Qing dynasty

The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912. It was preceded by the Ming dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China. The Qing multi-cultural empire lasted for almost three centuries and formed the territorial base for modern China. It was the fifth largest empire in world history. The dynasty was founded by the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan in Manchuria. In the late sixteenth century, Nurhaci, originally a Ming Jianzhou Guard vassal, began organizing "Banners", military-social units that included Manchu, Han, and Mongol elements. Nurhaci formed the Manchu clans into a unified entity. By 1636, his son Hong Taiji began driving Ming forces out of the Liaodong Peninsula and declared a new dynasty, the Qing.

In an unrelated development, peasant rebels led by Li Zicheng conquered the Ming capital, Beijing, in 1644. Rather than serve them, Ming general Wu Sangui made an alliance with the Manchus and opened the Shanhai Pass to the Banner Armies led by the regent Prince Dorgon. He defeated the rebels and seized the capital. Resistance from the Southern Ming and the Revolt of the Three Feudatories led by Wu Sangui delayed the Qing conquest of China proper by nearly four decades. The conquest was only completed in 1683 under the Kangxi Emperor reign (1661–1722). The Ten Great Campaigns of the Qianlong Emperor from the 1750s to the 1790s extended Qing control into Inner Asia. The early Qing rulers maintained their Manchu customs, and while their title was Emperor, they used "Bogd khaan" when dealing with the Mongols and they were patrons of Tibetan Buddhism. They governed using Confucian styles and institutions of bureaucratic government and retained the imperial examinations to recruit Han Chinese to work under or in parallel with Manchus. They also adapted the ideals of the tributary system in dealing with neighboring territories.

During the Qianlong Emperor reign (1735–1796) the dynasty reached its apogee, but then began its initial decline in prosperity and imperial control. The population rose to some 400 millions, but taxes and government revenues were fixed at a low rate, virtually guaranteeing eventual fiscal crisis. Corruption set in, rebels tested government legitimacy, and ruling elites failed to change their mindsets in the face of changes in the world system. Following the Opium Wars, European powers imposed "unequal treaties", free trade, extraterritoriality and treaty ports under foreign control. The Taiping Rebellion (1850–1864) and the Dungan Revolt (1862–1877) in Central Asia led to the deaths of some 20 million people, most of them due to famines caused by war. In spite of these disasters, in the Tongzhi Restoration of the 1860s, Han Chinese elites rallied to the defense of the Confucian order and the Qing rulers. The initial gains in the Self-Strengthening Movement were destroyed in the First Sino-Japanese War of 1895, in which the Qing lost its influence over Korea and the possession of Taiwan. New Armies were organized, but the ambitious Hundred Days' Reform of 1898 was turned back in a coup by the conservative Empress Dowager Cixi. When the Scramble for Concessions by foreign powers triggered the violently anti-foreign "Boxers", the foreign powers invaded China, Cixi declared war on them, leading to defeat and the flight of the Imperial Court to Xi'an.

After agreeing to sign the Boxer Protocol, the government initiated unprecedented fiscal and administrative reforms, including elections, a new legal code, and abolition of the examination system. Sun Yat-sen and other revolutionaries competed with constitutional monarchists such as Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao to transform the Qing Empire into a modern nation. After the deaths of Cixi and the Guangxu Emperor in 1908, the hardline Manchu court alienated reformers and local elites alike by obstructing social reform. The Wuchang Uprising on 11 October 1911, led to the Xinhai Revolution. General Yuan Shikai negotiated the abdication of Puyi, the last emperor, on 12 February 1912.

Qing dynasty in Inner Asia

The Qing dynasty in Inner Asia was the expansion of the Qing dynasty's realm in Inner Asia in the 17th and the 18th century AD, including both Inner and Outer Mongolia, Manchuria, Tibet, Qinghai and Xinjiang. Wars were fought primarily against the Northern Yuan dynasty (before 1636) and the Dzungar Khanate (1687–1758). Even before the conquest of China proper (see Qing conquest of the Ming), the Manchus had controlled Manchuria (modern Northeast China as well as Outer Manchuria) and Inner Mongolia, with the latter being previously controlled by the Mongols under Ligdan Khan. After suppressing the Revolt of the Three Feudatories and the conquest of Taiwan as well as ending the Sino-Russian border conflicts in the 1680s, the Dzungar–Qing War broken out. This eventually led to Qing conquests of Outer Mongolia, Tibet, Qinghai and Xinjiang. All of them became part of the Qing Empire and were garrisoned by Qing forces, but they were governed through several different types of administrative structure and also retained many of their existing institutions. Furthermore, they were not governed as regular provinces (until Xinjiang and Manchuria were turned into provinces in late Qing), but instead were supervised by the Lifan Yuan, a Qing government agency that oversaw the empire's frontier regions.

Queue (hairstyle)

The queue or cue is a hairstyle worn by the Jurchen and Manchu people of Manchuria, and later required to be worn by male subjects of Qing dynasty China. Hair on top of the scalp is grown long and is often braided, while the front portion of the head is shaved. Some early modern military organizations have also used similar styles.

The requirement that Han Chinese and others under Manchu rule give up their traditional hairstyles and wear the queue was met with resistance, although opinions about the queue did change over time.

Zhongyuan

Zhongyuan (Chinese: 中原; pinyin: Zhōngyuán), Chungyuan, or the Central Plain, also known as Zhongtu (Chinese: 中土; pinyin: Zhōngtǔ), Chungtu or Zhongzhou (Chinese: 中州; pinyin: Zhōngzhōu), Chungchou, is the area on the lower reaches of the Yellow River which formed the cradle of Chinese civilization. It forms part of the North China Plain.

In its narrowest sense, the Central Plain covers modern-day Henan, the southern part of Hebei, the southern part of Shanxi, and the western part of Shandong province. A broader interpretation of the Central Plain's extent would add the Guanzhong plain of Shaanxi, the northwestern part of Jiangsu, and parts of Anhui and northern Hubei.

Since the beginning of recorded history, the Central Plain has been an important site for Chinese civilization.

In the pre-Qin era, present-day Luoyang and its nearby areas were considered the “Center of the World”, as the political seat of the Xia dynasty was located around Songshan and the Yi-Luo river basin.

Inscriptions on some bronze objects from this era contain references to the 'Central States' (Zhongguo), 'Eastern States', or 'Southern States'. This indicates that the Central Plain, which was referred to as the 'Central States' in these inscriptions, was considered to occupy the center of the world.

In a broader context, the term Zhongyuan refers to Chinese civilization and China proper, regions directly governed by centralized Chinese governments and dynasties. However, when used to describe the Chinese civilization, Zhongyuan often connotes Huaxia and Han Chinese cultural dominance.

The Dungans, a Chinese-affiliated ethnic group, are referred to using terms linked to Zhongyuan.

Transcriptions
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinHànzú
Bopomofoㄏㄢˋ ㄗㄨˊ
Wade–GilesHan-tzu
Yale RomanizationHàndzú
IPA[xântsǔ]
Wu
RomanizationHoe zoh
Hakka
RomanizationHòn-tshu̍k
Yue: Cantonese
Yale RomanizationHon juhk
IPACantonese pronunciation: [hɔ̄ːn tsʊ̀k]
JyutpingHon3 zuk6
Southern Min
Hokkien POJHàn-cho̍k
Teochew Peng'imHàng-tsôk
Eastern Min
Fuzhou BUCHáng-cŭk
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Others
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