Tour to China
China, a communist nation in East Asia, is the world’s most populous country.
Its vast landscape encompasses grassland, desert, mountain ranges, lakes, rivers
and 14,500km of coastline. Beijing, the capital, mixes modern architecture with
historic sites including sprawling Tiananmen Square. Its largest city, Shanghai,
is a skyscraper-studded global financial center. The iconic Great Wall
of China fortification runs east-west across the country's north.
According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around
2100 BCE. The dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific
excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear
whether these sites are the remains of the Xia Dynasty or of another culture from
the same period. The succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed
by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River
in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE. Their oracle bone script
(from c. 1500 BCE) represents the oldest form of Chinese writing yet found, and
is a direct ancestor of modern Chinese. characters