• International Insurance Blog

  • Sunday, March 18, 2018

  • Cin, Sina, Zhōngguó, Republic of China, People’s Republic of China

    Filed Under: Blogging
    Author: Blog Contributor

The first recorded use of the word “China” is dated 1555. It is derived from Cin, a Persian name for China popularized in Europe by Marco Polo. In early usage, “china” as a term for porcelain was spelled differently than the name of the country, the two words being derived from separate Persian words. Both these words are derived from the Sanskrit word for China, Cīnā. China was historically referred to as Sina, Sinae. The official name of China changed with each dynasty. The common name is Zhōngguó.

Zhōngguó came to official use as an abbreviation for the Republic of China (Zhonghua Minguo) after the government’s establishment in 1912. Since the People’s Republic of China, established in 1949, now controls the great majority of the area encompassed within the traditional concept of “China”, the People’s Republic is the political unit most commonly identified with the abbreviated name Zhōngguó.

After its victory in the Chinese Civil War, the Communist Party of China (CCP) led by Mao Zedong gained control of most of Mainland China. On 1 October 1949, they established the People’s Republic of China as a Socialist State headed by a “Democratic Dictatorship” with the CCP as the only legal political party, thus, laying claim as the successor state of the ROC. The central government of the Chinese Nationalist Party led by Chiang Kai-shek was forced to retreat to the island of Taiwan that it had occupied at the end of World War II and moved the ROC government there. Major armed hostilities ceased in 1950 but no peace treaty has been signed.

After the Chinese Civil War, mainland China underwent a series of disruptive socioeconomic movements starting in the late 1950s with the Great Leap Forward and continuing in the 1960s with the Cultural Revolution that left much of its education system and economy in shambles. With the death of its first generation Communist Party leaders such as Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, the PRC began implementing a series of political and economic reforms advocated by Deng Xiaoping that eventually formed the foundation for mainland China’s rapid economic development starting in the 1990s.

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