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Ong Siew Chey

China Condensed. 5,000 Years of History & Culture

About five thousand years ago, the fertile flatlands of the middle Yellow River slowly emerged and grew to what we know today as China. Throughout the millennia, this civilisation has slowly evolved to be one of the world’s biggest economy to reckon with today. This book is a quick introduction to China, with the major part being devoted to its long history. The reader is taken on an insightful journey through the dynasties and learns first hand the major evolutionary changes in almost every aspect of China’s development, particularly in arts and culture.This compact and accessible book successfully condenses five millennia of Chinese history and civilisation. More than a dry recitation of dates, names and events, the book coves a wide range of interesting topics such as the mythical beginnings of China, Chinese stories and legends, traditional Chinese medicine and more current facts and observations
191 printed pages
Have you already read it? How did you like it?


  • al mshared an impression3 years ago
    👍Worth reading
    💡Learnt A Lot

    Quite good as an introduction, however the chapter about the present state of ethnic minorities is factually wrong. The author sais that all minority groups have autonomy and the Chinese government protects their cultures and ensures their development. In reality, minorities such as Tibetans and Uighurs are kept in reservations, are not allowed to leave them, do not have all civil rights granted to the Chinese, and a lot of them are sent to correction camps.


  • al mhas quoted3 years ago
    It seems that the author, Wang Fengzhou, had been wronged by an official and wanted to have his revenge. The official was known for his addiction to pornographic literature and, taking advantage of this, Wang Fengzhou wrote the book, coated the pages with arsenic, and had it presented to the official. At the time, it was usual for one reading a book to wet the fingertip with saliva to turn over the thin rice pages. The official was so enthralled by the book that he could not stop reading it. He died after reading the last page
  • al mhas quoted3 years ago
    The original, unabridged version is pornographic in nature, but the “cleansed” version is a literary masterpiece
  • al mhas quoted3 years ago
    Li Bai, dubbed “The God of Poetry”, was what we would call a Bohemian today. He was often drunk but produced the best works with flair in the intoxicated state. He drowned while trying to catch the moon in a lake

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