map of our trip around China
We went to China with Grand Circle Travel and greatly recommend them and their sister company, Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT). We have now been on 8 trips with one or the other of these sister companies, and they all have been absolutely fabulous. We see and do much much more than we ever could have managed on our own. The groups are small (only 16 for OAT), about 30-60 for Grand Circle, so you don't feel like a huge herd of sheep and you can do many things that larger groups cannot. There is a large education and cultural component to each trip which I especially enjoy, including home hosted meals and visits to primary schools. Check it out!
China - 4000 years at a glance
China is the third largest country in the world with a population of over a billion, It has a longer continuous history than any other country - over 4,000 years, during most of which the settled peoples of the “Middle Kingdom” along the Yellow, Wei, and Yangtze rivers have struggled against frequent invasions by nomadic people from the north.
From the earliest recorded times China was ruled by dynasties, or families of rulers who handed down power from one generation to another over hundreds of years. The earliest recorded dynasty, the Zhou, controlled the Middle Kingdom (Zhong Guo/China) between 1027 and 221 BC.
Power was centralized under the succeeding Qin dynasty, and the national identity began to emerge, The first Qin ruler, Shi Huangdi (“first emperor”) extended the road and canal network and standardized the written language, currency, and measures.
To keep out raiding Mongol and Hun tribes from the north, the Emperor had existing defenses joined up to form the Great Wall. The terrible hardships endured by the thousands of conscripted laborers working on the Wall caused rebellion and civil war.
During the Han dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD) an ideal of a united China was created. The “people of Han” is a name by which the Chinese are commonly known today.
China's Golden Age came with the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Commerce, poetry and painting flourished. A road network radiating from the capital at Xi'an served a state that was the largest in area and population (53 million) in the world at that time.
In the 13th century, merciless Mongol leader Ghengis Khan conquered all of China. Another Mongol, Kublai Khan, founded the Yuan Dynasty. The Venetian merchant, Marco Polo, served as an administrator at the Yuan court, Kublai Khan's court was farther north than previous Chinese capitals, on the site of present-day Beijing.
After years of unrest, Chinese Emperor Hung Wu took power and pushed the Mongols back to the northern plains. The Forbidden City (Imperial Palace) was built during the Ming dynasty he founded. In 1644, Ming rule was ended by yet another invasion from the north by the Manchu tribe, The Manchus lasted until the founding of the Chinese Republic in 1911,
In the 15th century, China had sent expeditions to Africa and Arabia, Contacts with the outside world later eased, but other countries wanted to trade in China. From the 18th century onward, Portugal, Holland, Britain, and later Japan pressured China to allow access to its markets,
In 1911 revolution removed the last emperor, Pu Yi The first president of the new Chinese Republic was Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who was also the founder of the Guomindang (Nationalist) Party. Civil war soon broke out, as generals and warlords fought for power, After Sun Yat-sen's death, Chiang Kai-shek took over the Guomindang and drove out its Communist members.
In the south, the Communist leader, Mao Tse Tung, set up a peasant state in his native province of Hunan. To escape the Nationalist forces, Mao and associates like Zhou Enlai led 80-,000 people on the Long March, a 5,965-mile journey north to Yan'an. Hardship and battles reduced their numbers to 20,000 on arrival.
While civil war kept the rival Chinese armies busy, the Japanese invaded. Chiang Kai-Shek thought it more important to eliminate Communists than to fight the invading Japanese.
As the Japanese advance continued, the Communists organized guerilla resistance. After Japan's defeat in World War II, the Communist People's Liberation Army finally forced Chiang Kai-Shek to flee to Taiwan, where he set up the Republic of China. On the mainland, the People's Republic of China was officially established on October 1, 1949. Chairman Mao set about restructuring Chinese society along Communist lines.
China was poor, war-torn, and hungry. The Great Leap Forward was an attempt to boost food production and speed up industrialization. The USSR sent advisers and aid, but by 1960 relations had deteriorated because of border disputes and ideological differences. In 1966, Mao Tse Tung unleashed the Cultural Revolution, calling on the young to root out the “revisionists” whom he considered were “taking the capitalist road.” The Red Guards, as these young people came to be known, sent many talented people to prison or to work in the fields.
The late 1970s eventually restored stability after the death of Chairman Mao. Relations with the USA and the USSR improved. In recent years, the People's Republic of China has been experimenting with more liberal economic policies to boost production, by permitting greater financial incentives to workers. Modernization of the economy remains the goal of the PRC government, and to that end it has encouraged investment by foreign business. There is still some debate about whether modernization goals can be achieved by socialism or it must be led by capitalist methods.
CHINA - A CHRONOLOGY
The People's Republic of China, with a recorded history of 4,000 years, is the birthplace of four major inventions: the compass, papermaking, moveable type printing, and gunpowder. All are significant contributions to world civilization. Situated in the east part of Asia, on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean, China is the second largest nation in the world in land area, after Canada.
With a population of 1.3 billion, it comprises a quarter of the world's inhabitants. China's land boundaries measure over 12,000 miles in length (east to west and north to south are both about 3,000 miles long). On its border with Nepal lies the world's highest peak of Mt. Everest at 29,198 feet. China is made up of 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions and 3 municipalities.
Waterways and Resources
The teacher, Kong Fu Zi "master Kong" was from Lu, in Shandong Province. He was born Kong Qiu in 551 BC. His teachings have had a major influence on Chinese culture for 2000 years, and determined all areas of social behavior. The 6th century BC was the period of "blossoming of the human spirit" At this same time Buddha was teaching in India and Socrates in Greece. China was not a unified country, and the various states constantly struggled for supremacy. Kong Qiu was a traveling teacher, who tried to influence the fate of the country through his pupils and through his contact, as an advisor to rulers. His ideal was that a virtuous ruler should be an example to his people and lead them to high moral standards. Otherwise he would fall. Natural catastrophes and bad harvests were signs that the ruler was not good "If the ruler is upright, the people will imitate him as grass bends before the wind."
The cornerstone of Confucian thought was the recognition of hierarchy; in family relationships, in loyalty to the ruling house, in relationships between all human beings. This was the focal point of his philosophy, not a god or higher power Man receives his "nature" from Heaven and God, he must act in accordance. Heaven and God to Confucius were synonymous, a Supreme Being or state. The ideals of a true gentleman were loyalty, faithfulness, wisdom, rightness and self-cultivation. The two virtues: "Li," proper conduct and "Ren", benevolent love or consideration of others. A gentleman must strive to be truly good. Nobility would not be determined by birth, but by attitude of mind and resulting actions. Nobility of mind and a hierarchical order of ruler and subject; ancestor and descendant; father and son; man and woman; old and young; teacher and student, was the basis for right action.
Confucius was a traditionalist. He tried to establish the customs and rites of the Zhou Dynasty. But also he was ahead of his times in that he practiced rationalism and enlightenment rather than mysticism. His teachings were not popular during his lifetime, but during the Han Dynasty they became state doctrine because they offered a problem-free system of administration and strengthened the power structure. Confucianism became bound to the imperial system, and formed the ethical base of Chinese society.
In 1687, the teachings of Confucius were published in Latin in Paris. This brought a China craze to the Age of Enlightenment, which lasted about one century.
Communism was a great opponent of Confucius, because his teachings opposed political change. It also degrades women since first she had to obey her father, then her husband, and then her son.
|Click here for our Cast of Characters||
our intrepid leader, Qu Yi
group photo at Tien An Men Square: Duane Purkey, Leonard Glowacki, Ed Jester, Willa Brown, Ann Craig, Sally Dow, Eugene Craig, Annette Friedner, Arthur Luehrmann, Sandy Kozma,
Nancy Ohlinger, Peggy Whigham, Charlie Ohlinger, Martha Luehrmann, Diane Grashoff, Tim Carlenius, Venice Carlenius, and Estelle Scott. Missing are Gene Coupe, Nancy Pollen, and Hazle Jay.
In front is our local Beijing guide, Jeung Feng Li, and our main guide, Qu Yi
|click here for photos from the Science Education Delegation to China, June 23 to July 15, 1979
In 1979 a group of science educators from the USA was invited to visit Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi'an in exchange for a similar group of science educators from China.
Jim Rutherford, the co-leader of the group, is in checked shirt, mustache, towards rear. Just behind him and to the right is Paul Hurd, the other co-leader The chief interpreter (Zhiang?) is the woman on the far right in about the middle row. At her left, in a hat, is Bart Bartholomew. Arthur Luehrmann is the 3rd from the left in the rear row. To his right is the director of the Franklin Institute. The black woman to the left of Arthur (and a bit in front) is Alice _, a teacher at the lab school at the Univ. of Chicago. To the right of Arthur, and in the next row in front, is Mary Budd Rowe, science education researcher at the University of Florida
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