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Unlike United States or Russia, China hasalready been united since 221 B.

C. Though it has a population of 1.2 billion,800 million Chinese speaks Mandarin and the other 300 million speaks similarlanguages. However, like any other nation, China also had its own obstacles. It may not be well-known but there is adistinction between North Chinese and South Chinese. The northerners possessmore pointed nose and smaller eyes. They are heavier, taller and paler. Theyalso resemble the people of Nepal and Tibet.

The southerners, meanwhile, look morelike the Filipinos and Vietnamese. The north and the south also differ in climateand environment. North China is colder and drier while South China is hotterand wetter. Nevertheless, China has an East-West axis which made agricultureflourish.

Early evidences of food production were found all over the country.Millet species which are drought-resistant grew in North China and rice flourishedin South China. Archaeologists also found bones of domesticated animals likechicken, dogs and pig. Silkworms, ducks, geese and water buffalo were alsoimportant. Ancient Chinese farmers also planted pears, peaches, citrus,apricots, tea and soybeans. As a result of stable food production, otherdevelopments followed. Xia, the first dynasty was already founded around 2000B.

C. At the time when Southeast Asians are only hunter-gatherers, Chinese havealready started processing bronze and iron. They have already inventedgunpowder, wheel barrow, compass and paper. It is even likely that influenza originated in China because of thewidespread cultivation of pigs. The rulers commanded the commoners to build bigpalaces, defensive walls and the Grand Canal linking the north and south. By 400 B.C.

, societies within the countrybegan to interact with each other, gradually forming the Chinese culture. Alsofundamental to China’s unification, aside from agriculture, are the two greatrivers. Both the Yellow River and the Yangtze River provided coast to innerland transportation of goods and technology. They were witnesses to theexchange between the North and South China.

China began to influence Korea and Japan from 200 B.C.when the two countries adopted rice. The next centuries they also began withbronze metallurgy and writing. Until now, the alphabets of Korea and Japanstill contain a few Chinese characters. However, because of geography, bothcountries were not absorbed by China. Each developed its own strong society withunique culture and form of government.


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