Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Subject: Asian Studies

Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese

Brill’s Encyclopedia of China Online is based on the originally a thousand-page reference work on China with a clear focus on the modern period from the mid-nineteenth century to the 21st century. Written by the world’s top scholars, Brill’s Encyclopedia of China is the first place to look for reliable information on the history, geography, society, economy, politics, science, and culture of China.

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Local Gazetteers

(1,596 words)

Author(s): Moll-Murata, Christine
Chinese local gazetteers ( fangzhi or difangzhi) are handbooks about Chinese administrative regions, structured according to subject matter. The genre emerged during the Northern Song era in the 11th century and continues to exist to this day. The number of volumes from the beginnings until 1949 is more than 8300. Since 1949 about 2000 new works have been composed. 1. Origination and Historical Development The origins of the genre are traditionally traced back to different texts from the Zhou era, probably primarily for the purpose of anchoring them in the c…

Local Government

(1,992 words)

Author(s): von Mende, Erling | Holbig, Heike
1. Late-Traditional China During the Yuan dynasty, China had fifteen provinces . In 1664 the provinces of Hubei and Hunan , Jiangsu and Anhui , Shaanxi and Gansu were created from larger units, Xinjiang became a province in 1882, and Taiwan was separated from Fujian in 1885. In 1907 Manchuria was transformed into the three northeastern provinces. Beijing and the secondary capital of Shengjing (Shenyang ), as well as Manchuria until 1907, were special administrative regions. Mongolia, Qinghai , Ti…


(1,077 words)

Author(s): Kurtz, Joachim
Logic in the general meaning of a theory of formally valid inference was an unknown concept in pre-modern China. Nevertheless, there is early evidence of a noted interest in logical questions in the broadest sense. As had been the case in ancient Greece and India, in the China of the Warring States period this interest also evolved from reflection about the methodology of discussion. It was noticeable first in the Dialecticians or Disputants ( bianzhe), who have been regarded as part of the separate School of Names ( mingjia) since the Han era. The most important representatives of…

Long March

(1,006 words)

Author(s): Kampen, Thomas
Superior in numbers and weaponry, the Guomindang (GMD) troops and their warlord allies managed to conquer the Communist bases in central and southern China (CCP-controlled areas) during 1934/35. The retreat of the Red Army developed into "long marches" ( changzheng), which had originally neither been planned nor called as such. All in all, there were mainly four armies involved which successively set out from their respective base areas: First Army (October 1934, Central Soviet area Jiangxi); 25th Army (November 1934, southern Henan)…

Love and Friendship

(1,292 words)

Author(s): Santangelo, Paolo
Love in China features a number of characteristics which are connected with Chinese history and the cultural heritage: (1) Love, as any other passion, was generally viewed with suspicion by orthodox ideologies, regardless of whether they were Confucianism, Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism, or Communism. Excessive love, which was equated with sensual desire, was seen as a threat to the institutions. (2) Neo-Confucianism was not in principle opposed to feelings, as long as they conformed to the institutions; often it defined itself as different from Buddhist a…