Subscribe to free Email Newsletter

  Library>China ABC>History>Introduction
Alternative Names of China


1.Chixian Shenzhou (the Sacred Earth and Divine Land)

In the Chinese historical book Shiji-Biographies of Mencius and Xunqing, there was a man named Yanyan in the Qi State in the Warring States Period (475-221BC) who said that China was Chixian Shenzhou (the sacred earth and divine land). From then on, people sometimes called China Chixian Shenzhou. But people usually used this name separately to call China Chixian or Shenzhou.


In ancient times Hua meant flowers and denotes something beautiful and glorious. There are three interpretations of Hua:

Firstly, ancient people in the Central Plains regarded themselves as civilized people who dressed neatly and elegantly, so they named themselves asHua.

Secondly, Hua denotes the red color. People in the Zhou Dynasty (11thcentury - 256BC) liked the red color so much that they took it as the symbol of blissfulness and so called themselves Hua.

Thirdly,Huais of a long history as the shortened form of the ancient nameHuaxiaof China.


Before the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the Huaxia nationality named their motherland Zhongguo, and after that, it developed into a nation of various nationalities, and was then called Zhonghua Nation (known as Chinese Nation).ZhongdenotesChina and Hua is the Huaxia nationality for short. Zhonghua Nationis the collective name for all the nationalities in China.


In ancient times Xia meaned big and huge. The first slavery country in Chinese history was the Xia Dynasty established by Dayu (the Great Yu). After that China was frequently referred to as Xia.


In ancient China, the Huaxia nationality living in the Central Plains and other nationalities in the north and south all gave in to the Shang Dynasty (17thcentury - 11 century BC). And later on China was referred to as Huaxia since it was largest nationality at that time.

6.Yucheng,Yunji andYudian

A historical legend has that once China was besieged by flood and a man called Dayu came out boldly and organized people to fight against the disaster. After that Dayu divided China into nine administrative divisions according to the skeleton map of China. As time passed, China is called Yucheng (the city of Yu), Yuji (Yu's footmark) and Yudian (Yu's administration).

7.Jiuzhou (known as the nine administrative divisions)

After Dayu's fighting against the flood in the Xia Dynasty (the 21stcentury - 17thcentury BC), China was divided into nine administrative divisions: Ji, Yan, Qing, Jing, Yang, Liang, Yong, Xun and Yu. According to the ancient bookHuainanzi-The Landform, China was divided into nine administrative divisions: Shenzhou, Cizhou, Rongzhou, Zizhou, Jizhou, Taizhou, Jizhou, Bozhou and Yangzhou. Hence Jiuzhou was used to stand for China and many other names derived from it: Jiuyu, Jiuyou, Jiutu and Jiuqu.

8.Hainei (within the seas)

The ancient people thought that China was surrounded by seas, so they named China Hainei(within the seas) and foreign countries Haiwai (overseas).

Email to Friends