Chinasage : All about China

About Chinasage

We're building an exciting new information source all about China. We found other sites were poorly structured, too detailed (such as Wikipedia) or just too old-fashioned. What we thought was needed was a carefully constructed set of pages with strict editorial control so that links and pages are consistent, up-to-date and easy to navigate without clutter.

The name “Chinasage” came about because this can be read as either “china sage” ( zhōng guó yīng míng) or “china's age” ( zhōng guó shí dài) , which promotes our new knowledge resource at a time when China has come of age in the World.

China Sage News

We keep track of news reports from China but steer clear of the headlines that are well reported elsewhere. Here are the latest couple of reports. For more stories visit news section.

Wed 4th Dec

Shanghai Daily reports on the buzzwords that you were likely to hear in China during 2019.

Many reflect the full-on work culture. The number 996 reflects the need to work 9am to 9pm 6 days a week. From this relentless workload comes ‘’ with ‘icu’ standing for Intensive Care Unit. Alibaba founder Jack Ma is quoted as saying such a long working week was a ‘blessing’ for people. It is not surprising that another 2019 common phrase is wǒ tài nán le ‘I am stressed’. The phrase yìng hé ‘hard-core’ is now applied to people who are highly driven to succeed. The endless toil is making some people embittered and envious so the term 柠檬 níng méng jīng ‘sour lemon spirit’ is applied to those experiencing ‘sour grapes’ at other people’s good fortune.

Catch-phrases from films such as the epic, sci-fi success The Wandering Earth have also made it to the list. A robotic voice says “Beijing No. 3 District’s transport commission reminds you that roads are countless but safety is foremost. Unregulated driving will cause your loved ones to end up in tears”. This has been re-purposed to refer to any official warning such as “Industries are countless but observance of the law is paramount. Cheating and trickery will cause one to end up in tears behind bars”.

Shanghai, people
Nanjing Road, Shanghai Copyright © Dreamstime see image license

Read more…
Wed 13th Nov

With everyone turning away from plastic as much as possible the use of wood must be due for a comeback. 62 year old Wang Dewen from Shandong has become an unlikely Internet sensation with his carpentry skills. Only using hand tools he demonstrates the satisfaction of making complex objects such as toys for his grandson from a single block of wood. Watching him work wood with handsaws, chisels and mallets is very satisfying. He does not use nails or glue only good old-fashioned jointing techniques.

This YouTube video shows him making a traditional, sturdy Luban stool. In China his video channel 'Gong Shi Dao' is followed by over 2 million people.

Wang Dewen,carpenter
Read more…
Wed 30th Oct

During the past two thousand years the passport to a steady income and job security was a job in the Imperial civil service. Somethings never change, it is still the case in the Peoples' Republic. There used to be prized jobs (the iron rice bowl) that offered cradle to grave medical care, free education for the children and a pension. These have all but disappeared except in the government civil service. Figures just released show that 1,400,000 people applied for just 24,000 jobs in the civil service. That is one job per 60 applicants. To narrow down the field a grueling examination will need to be passed with flying colors. The traditional Chinese view of the importance of study and examination success continues unabated.

university, library, people
Students in university library Copyright © Dreamstime see image license

Read more…

China Sage Site updates

Here are the last few news updates about our web site. For older entries please visit our site news section.

Wed 4th Dec
How to make paper-cuts

In addition to a guide to the history and gneral form of paper-cuts we have now added step-by-step guides to how to make five paper-cuts. This includes a simple one based on the character for Double Happiness.

double happiness, paper-cut
Read more…
Tue 26th Nov

With the invention of paper about 2,000 years ago, China had a head start in making paper-cuts. There is a huge range of intricate, artistic designs that can take a minute, ... or months to make. Many make use of symbolism to conceal a hidden message while modern forms have taken the basic idea into new, exciting areas. For a quick guide please see our new web page all about this neglected art-form.

Read more…
Xinjiang, Urumqi, muslim, mosque
Mosque in Xinjiang


We use a consistent style for links within Chinasage. An internal link taking you to another page within our site is shown like this while a link to a page on any other web site is shown like this .

We use Chinese characters wherever appropriate. Most browsers should display both the characters and the pinyin correctly. We highlight any use of the older Wade Giles system. Except where stated all characters are the modern simplified form used in the People's Republic rather than the traditional ones (pre-1970s). To help you learn Chinese characters many of the very common characters are highlighted thus: hovering the mouse over the character pops up a box showing further information about the character.

Dates are given using the BCE/CE (Before Common Era and in Common Era) year convention rather than BC/AD. If a date is not followed by BCE or CE it should be taken as CE.


All the text on the Chinasage web site is our own, we do not copy and paste from other web sites. We research each topic from a number of separate sources. The only exception to this are quotations and image credits. All text is our copyright and can not be used/copied without our permission. We are independent of any other company or government, the opinions expressed are our own. We do not receive funding from any external agency or organization.

Teacup Media (China History Podcast)

We are delighted to be able to promote links to Laszlo Montgomery's excellent Teacup Media series created over the last six years. Lazlo Montgomery has in depth knowledge of building commercial contacts with China over 25 years. This set of 200 podcasts totals 100 hours of audio commentary which covers every conceivable topic in Chinese history. Highly recommended.


We are extremely grateful to the many people who have put their photographs online for anyone to adapt and use. Without them our site would be very drab. If we are not using the image license correctly please let us know. Some pages use Javascript to create special effects such as our airport table and calendar. We are grateful to the original authors for providing their code to be used and adapted by anyone else. The online Chinese dictionary uses the definition from the CC-CEDICT project for which we are grateful for a generous free license.

Feel free to contact Chinasage to point out any errors, omissions or suggestions on how to improve this web site.

Copyright © Chinasage 2012 to 2019