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Reliable and up-to-date academic, governmental, and journalistic internet sites and articles about China and the Chinese culture.

Internet Resources About China

Dear Families,


My name is Anita Andrew. I am a Chinese history specialist at Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL) and also the parent of two daughters adopted from China in 1995 and 2001. I am writing to introduce you to a revised “Internet Sources about China” section I have compiled for you.


Learning about China can be a very intimidating task. China is not an easy country to understand. It has a very long and complex history. Most adoption agencies do not have trained China specialists on staff to advise you, so many parents must educate their families about China largely on their own.


The Internet may seem like the most direct and logical way to learn about China.

There are many sources of information on Chinese history, politics, society, and culture available for students, parents, and children. In fact, there are so many websites that you may feel overwhelmed. Another problem is that many websites about China present inaccurate or biased information. It may be very difficult for anyone unfamiliar with China to tell which websites will give you the sort of information you need.


I’d like to help. This section is designed to provide you with information about China from a variety of up-to-date and reliable academic, government, and journalistic sources. Whenever possible, I will list multiple links under each topic to offer a comparison of information. Feel free to use as many or as few links as needed.


I hope this section will give you confidence that you can teach yourself and your child about China. I have included some topics that will help you prepare for your adoption trip to China and others that will be useful as you begin to teach your child about Chinese history and culture.


This section is a work in progress. If there is a topic you would like to know more about but don’t see listed below, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it."> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it."> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I will also monitor the links and post regular updates.




Anita M. Andrew

Associate Professor of History (China)

Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL)


May 4, 2010






Patricia Ebrey, “A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization”-The Land

University of Washington



The University of Washington website on China offers a useful introduction to Chinese geography through maps and photographs with brief explanations. It is meant for general audiences.



Ronald Knapp, “Chinese Geography: Readings and Maps” from the Columbia University site, “Asia for Educators”:



The Columbia University website offers a detailed treatment of the geography of China meant primarily for teachers. It is part of a larger unit “East Asia in Geographic Perspective,” http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/geography/


List of Chinese leaders:

Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: China



Chinese President Xi Jinping (2013)



Elizabeth Yuan, "From Princeling to President" CNN




China's Leadership Scandal, 2012:

Barbara Demick, "In China, 'red nobility' trumps egalitarian ideals"  Los Angeles Times, March 4, 2013



Michael Wines, "In Rise and Fall of China's Bo Xilai, An Arc of Ruthlessness" New York Times, May 6, 2012



Country Profiles and Statistics about China


Asia Society: China



BBC News, "China Profile"



Central Intelligence Agency

The World Fact Book-China



U.S. Department of State:




Chinese Provinces


Clickable map of Chinese provinces

University of Maine-Farmington



The University of Maine-Farmington site provides the name of the province and its capital city in simplified characters and Romanized Mandarin Chinese with tone markings.



“China’s 22 Provinces”

A Visual Sourcebook for Chinese Civilization

University of Washington



Click on a province to see its location on a large outline map of China.

Each province featured will list the name of the province and its capital.



An Introduction to “Mandarin” Chinese, China’s national language


“Chinese Language-A Brief Introduction”

Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine

Asian Studies: http://www.bowdoin.edu/asian-studies/chinese/introduction-to-chinese/index.shtml


This site offers a useful overview of both written and spoken Mandarin Chinese. It is intended mainly for college students.



“The Chinese Language”

China: A Teaching Workbook

Columbia University

East Asian Curriculum Project


An introduction to Mandarin Chinese pronunciation, Romanization systems (ways of writing Chinese names and terms for non-Chinese speakers), and tones. This site is intended mainly for teachers.


Carsey Yee and John B. Weinstein, "Two Chinese Characters"


This site offers one of the most original, quirky, fun, and informative ways to learn how to pronounce Mandarin Chinese. The Two Chinese Characters are John B, Weinstein (a professor of Chinese and Asian Studies at Bard College at Simon's Rock, MA) and Carsey Yee (Ph.D. candidate in modern Chinese history at Harvard).  The duo first posted videos on YouTube before the Beijing Olympics in 2008.


 Video topics include the following:

"How to Pronounce Beijing"

"How to Cheer in Chinese"

"Olympic Cities"

"Pinyin Pirate"

"Chinese National Anthem"

"Chinese Jewish Christmas Spectacular!"

"How to Pronounce 'Zheng Jie' "

"Taiwan isn't Thailand!"




Regional Chinese Cuisine


*Cooking in China still puts much emphasis on regional tastes. There are no “national dishes.”


The key regional cuisines include the following:

Beijing cuisine, Shanghai cuisine, Cantonese cuisine, and Sichuan-Hunan cuisines


”Jennifer 8. Lee Looks for General Tso”

Reporter for the New York Times and author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles




Economic Issues

Central intelligence Agency: The World Fact Book: China: Economy



The Economist. "How Strong is China's Economy" May 26, 2012:


Frank  Langfitt, "China's Economy Cools, Perhaps More Than Planned" National Public Radio, June 15, 2012



Chinese History

Timelines and dynastic maps of Chinese history:


“Timeline and Maps”

A Visual Sourcebook for Chinese Civilization

University of Washington




“Timeline of Chinese History”

East Asia in World History

Columbia University

East Asian Curriculum Project




“Timeline of Chinese Dynasties”

Minnesota State University-Mankato emuseum





Dynastic overviews of Chinese history:


Richard Hooker

World Cultures: “Ancient China”

Washington State University



“The Chinese Empire: From the Ch’in to the Yuan”



“Ming China”



“Ch’ing China”



“Modern China”



A brief but useful overview of Chinese historical eras by Professor Richard Hooker, Washington State University. Part of the “World Civilizations—An Internet Classroom and Anthology.”



Chinese literature


Tang* Dynasty poetry:

Columbia University site:



**Please note:

The name of this dynasty (ruling house), the Tang Dynasty, is pronounced with the “ah” sound in “father” and not like the name of the orange-flavored drink.**


This site offers a comprehensive treatment of Chinese poetry during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), one of China’s “Golden Ages” of culture.


It features lectures by poetry specialists and selections of poetry by Li Bo (also known as Li Bai, 701-762 A.D), Wang Wei (699-761 A.D), and Du Fu (721-770 A.D.), the three best known poets of this era.



The story of Mulan*

*Hua Mulan (sometimes also listed as Fa Mulan) is the full name of the young woman depicted in the Disney film, “Mulan.” “Mulan” was her personal name (what we would call her “first” name.) In China, the family name or surname is listed first followed by the personal name.


*The story of Hua Mulan is based on the epic poem about this heroic young woman dating from between the 5th and 6th centuries A.D.


The “Ballad of Mulan”

Columbia University site:



*The site uses a translation of the poem by H.Frankel, The Flowering Plum and the Palace Lady: Interpretations of Chinese Poetry (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976).



Sun Wukong/

The Monkey King*


*The Monkey King is a beloved character in Chinese literature.

In China, he is known by his name, Sun Wukong.


*Sun Wukong is featured in a Buddhist allegorical novel known as Journey to the West.


Irene Chen, “Monkey King’s Journey to the West: Transmission of a Chinese Folktale to Anglophone Children”

Bookbird:A Journal of International Children’s Literature

Vol. 47, No. 1, 2009




Chinese Art History


Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: China


China:1-500 A.D.



China: 500-1000 A.D.



China: 1000-1400 A.D.



China: 1400-1600 A.D.



China: 1600-1800 A.D.



China: 1800-1900 A.D.



China: 1900 A.D.-Present


Major online exhibitions of Chinese art:


The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers a brief introduction to each Chinese era listed above and also provides thumbnail photographs of selected art objects and artifacts.



The National Palace Museum

Taipei Taiwan, Republic of China



This is the site of the National Palace Museum of the Republic of China (R.O.C.) on the island nation of Taiwan. The Nationalist government led by Generalissimo Chiang Kaishek brought the collection from China to Taiwan in 1949.


Be sure to click on the “English” icon to read the descriptions of the collection’s paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, bronzes, jades, and other materials.



Traditional Chinese Belief Systems

Confucianism, Daoism/Taoism, and Buddhism


Judith Berling


The Asia Society

August 18, 2008



Judith Berling


The Asia Society

August 18, 2008



Professor Judith Berling is Professor of Chinese and Comparative Religion at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA. These two articles appear online at the Asia Society website. The articles are meant for general audiences.



Patricia Ebrey et al., “A Visual Source Book on Chinese Civilization”-Buddhism

University of Washington



This site offers an overview of Buddhism in China. Featured sections include “Images,” “Temples,” and “Practice.” It is meant for general audiences.



China and Human Rights


Amnesty International: China



Human Rights Watch-Asia



U.S. Department of State report on Human Rights: China

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor :Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011:




Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng and the United States:







International Adoption Issues Concerning China

China's "One Child" Policy: Recent Evaluations of China's Reproductive Policies


China's One Child policy:







These recent articles look at the impact of China's "One Child" policy after 30 years.  China still uses this policy to regulate population growth.



Adoption History Project

University of Oregon

“International Adoptions”


Ellen Herman is Professor of History at the University of Oregon. Her site on adoption history offers a comprehensive treatment of adoption in America.



The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism

Brandeis University

Adoption: China


An important journalistic site for information on the problems and issues associated with international adoption in China and other countries. The Schuster Instute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University is responsible for the content of the site.  They also provide links to relevant articles published by a variety of newspapers, magazines, and journals.



Baby trafficking in China:

Associated Press, "Chinese sentenced to death for infant trafficking"  Posted online in the Kansas City Star, June 16, 2012: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/06/16/3660897/chinese-sentenced-to-death-for.html


BBC News: "Chinese babies confiscated for overseas adoption" May 10, 2011:



Barbara Demick, “A family in China made babies their business,” Los Angeles Times, January 10, 2010:



Ethica, Country Pages: China

Mission Statement: “Ethica, Inc. is a tax-exempt non-profit organization that is an independent voice for ethical adoption. Ethica advocates for national and international improvement of adoption practices, offering support, education and advocacy to all persons affected by adoption. To maintain our independence, Ethica does not accept monetary support from anyone who places children for adoption.” http://www.ethicanet.org/adoption/countries/china

The Ethica website offers news stories related to adoptions from China.


Jezza Neumann, Director, “China’s stolen Children” (2008)

HBO Documentaries site: http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/chinas-stolen-children/index.html




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