The People's Republic of China

People's Republic of China Tour 1:
Beijing (Peking)


The Chinese National Anthem

Latin Transliteration

Qilai! Buyuan zuo nuli de renmen,
Ba women de xuerou zhucheng women xin de changcheng.
Zhonghua Minzu dao liao zui weixian de shihou,
Meigeren beipo zhe fachu zuihou de housheng.
Qilai! Qilai! Qilai!
Women wanzhong yixin,
Mao zhe diren de paohuo, Mao zhe diren de paohuo,
Qianjin! Qianjin! Qianjin! Jin!

English:

Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves!
With our flesh and blood,
let us build our new Great Wall!
The Chinese nation faces its greatest danger.
From each one the urgent call for action comes forth.

Arise! Arise! Arise!
Millions with but one heart,
Braving the enemy's fire.
March on!
Braving the enemy's fire.
March on! March on! March on!


Beijing




China


area map


Closer


Beijing's subways


historical maps (some distortion)



Expect Expectoration


While foreigners tend to associate China with Beijing which, is, along with Nanjiang, one of China's "two big cities of cultural importance," (they love these kind of lists), the fact is that for much of its history, Beijing, usually called "Beiping," was only a regional capital. Sure, it served as dynastic capitals for some of the northern dynasties, but there were always southern dynasties. The region for this should be pretty obvious. Beijing is not centrally located, particularly after the Chinese, during the Sung dynasty expanded physically and numerically towards the south.

Beijing's stature changed, of course, when the Mongol Yuan dynasty (1279-1368) made it the capital of China. Like a lot of things the Mongols did, it makes sense under the cocept of having a large northern empire that would include territory into Manchuria and today's Siberia. When the Ming defeated the incompetent nephews and sucessors of Kublai Khan, Beijing again reverted to a regional center. The Yuan (Mongols) built the city around the concept of three cities: the palace, the Mongol City; and the largest Chinese city.

Inexliably, the Ming themselves returned the capital to the border, creating their own forbidden city. Grandeur they had. The Palace was conceived on the concept of making every palace larger and more impressive than the lat one, resulted in the final capital being titled, "the Suprme Palace of Funkiness Beyong Human Comprehension." Just kidding. You'll see that their capital is the last one. The last Ming (well, maybe) hung himself on the hill when the Manchus captured the cit which is (as I'm suggesting) located too far to the north. The Ming (and Koumingtang) claim that the last sucessor did not die in Beijing. Hence, the Ming in their version of history did not "hang around."

For the Manchus, and with a new China including Manchuria, Beijing makes more sense as a capital. I'm particularly struck, as with the Ming, with the quality of some of the early Machu rulers. One emperor lived in the garden (see below) rather than the place and in ten years worked himself to his death to try to make China as glorious as possible.

The Republic of China moved the capital back south again. Mao Tse Dung (whom you'll see below in cartoonish glory) returned the capital to Beijing and delcared "the East is Red."

When I visited Beijing, summer of 2011, the East most more like Green. the cuntry was just endjing a long period of explosive growth, so explosive I could not even find a $30 hotel. I did get lots of chances to spit on the sidewalk.

This is me on the Great Wall. This is what the first emperor built to keep ou the northerners.

See how it rides the back of the mountains

This is a view down from the fort.

Every time I went up one fort I spotted another one higher up.

Another view.

Itís a very long way down

See the road from a fort.

This has to be read to be believed. If you had brian disease, could read this?

This is one of the few remaining Yuan temples in Beijing. The Mongols tried
unit all of their subjects in a common worship using Tibetan Llamaism.

This is the Ming tombs.

This is another view of the same. 12/16 Ming are here

This is the imperial capital, the forbidden city originally built by the Mongols.

This is me at the great temple.

Hereís a view from the central courtyard.

Bad kitty. Bad kitty.

The idea is that each temple should be grander than the previous.

This is one of the nine dragon tapestries, very rare.

This is the second, I believe, of the three halls.

This is the Forbidden Cityís own private theater. The Dowager empress Cixi particularly used this.

This is where the dowager empress stuffed the palace
concubine who tried to get her son to defy his mom.
When her astonished son heard, he muttered "Oh well."

This is part of the garden a pavillion on artificial rocks..

Another view.

Still more of the imperial garden.

Even more strange rocks. Some of these are artificial.

This is the temple where the emperors performed annual sacrifices to try
to get the godís favor. This is the Temple of Heaven (Tiantin)

This is another view of the same.

A view from the other side.

This is the other part of the same complex. Here the emperors prepared their sacrifices. This is the Palace of Abstinence

This is Zhinghai Park.

This is the view of the imperial palace from Zhinghai park

This is Belhai park. This is a Buddhist White Stupa.

This is the entrance to the summer palace, the Dongmen, the main gate.

Another view.

This is kind of a Qin Greenfield Village.

This is a temple in the summer palace. This was built afte
r the Western powers burned the old summer palace.

This is a view from the temple.

This is the Buddhist temple inside, the Pagodo of the Incense of Buddha.

This is part of the so-called ďlong walk,Ē Changlang.

You noticed how this resembles the other view.

Another view of the temple.

Here is where the empress installed the first telephone exchange
in Beijing, so she could call the palce in case of a revolution.

This is me at the summer palace.

This is one of the guard tower in the palace.

This island was artificially created on the lake.

This bridge is considered one of the masterpieces of Qin art.

Another view

This is part of the old Imperial university.

This is part of the temple that honors ALL of the emperors. Itís very rare in that way.

This is part of the massive Lamaist complex

This is another view of the same.

This is part of the large, nearby Confucian Temple.

Part of the same?

These are the bell and drum towers south of the Imperial City.

This is the Bell Tower.

This is a view from the Tower.

This is the Drum Tower.

A view from the Drum Tower.

Yet another temple.

Another view.

This is the remains of the Old Summer Palace, destroyed
by the French and English in their war with China.

You can see some of the grandeur here.

And perhaps here.

Here the Qin emperor, upon hearing of Versailles, insisted
on making a European garden LARGER than Versailles.

This is one of the few temples dedicated to ALL emperors.

Another view.

Suprise: Another 9 dragon tapestry.

This is Tieneman Square. Prior to the 19th century, houses lined this area, so it was not this enormous open area.

It looks a lot bigger in this view. Note the crowd

This is another view.

Here is the central square with the Communist monuments nearby.

This is the Mao Moratorium.

This is the line inside. Itís a 4 hour wait.

This is inside the National Museum. These are terra cotta soldiers, but not THE terracota soldiers.

Here is Han Horse. I'm horsing around. It's a Han camel..

This is the Communist view of the Civil War

.Here is Communist Art

Note how Mao looks about like Jesus parting the Red Sea (not pun intended).

Another picture. Poor art.

.This is the final exhibit. Chinaís first Man in Space.

This is the famous pandas as the Beijing Zoo.

Hereís another view. They like to sleep.

The Chinese continue to confuse lions and cats.

This is a large business center in downtown. The same scene looks better in the Korean snow.

This is the National Hall.

This is part of the giant dining hall where the bigwigs dine. Itís big as a football field.

More Communist art, so gouche itís almost funny.

One of those heroic war monuments.

Modern China: the business district.

Another view.

This is the site of the Beijing Olympics.

. Here I am at the Olympics.

Say goodbye to Beijing!

I'm still trying to figure out the brain disease quote.

I guess this is all just a little "Off the Wall."


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On to Tour 2: Nanjing

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