Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese

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Brill’s Encyclopedia of China Online is based on the originally a thousand-page reference work on China with a clear focus on the modern period from the mid-nineteenth century to the 21st century. Written by the world’s top scholars, Brill’s Encyclopedia of China is the first place to look for reliable information on the history, geography, society, economy, politics, science, and culture of China.

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Eastern Europe

(1,304 words)

Author(s): Friedrich, Stefan
Relations between the PRC and the countries of Eastern Europe in their first four decades were shaped mainly by the Sino-Soviet relationship (Russia). It was only after the collapse of the Soviet Union that this relationship began to develop independently of the shadow of Moscow. However, the loss of their ideological ties and the economic difficulties of the East European countries brought about a new marginalization of the relations. 1. Eastern Europe in China's Global Strategy: 1949-1989 The formation of the socialist camp after the end of World War II brought the PRC…

Economic Crops

(1,272 words)

Author(s): Crook, Frederick
From 1952 to 1992, the Ministry of Agriculture used a "grain," "economic," and "other" crop classification system, but in 1993 the Ministry categorized crops into nine groups. Here economic crops are defined as non-grain crops, namely oilseeds, cotton, hemp, sugar, tobacco, medicinal, vegetable, other crops. Grain crops have occupied a large portion of total sown area for the last 2000 years but economic crops also have been important in providing fiber and a variety of nutritious foods for the …

Economic Integration

(1,932 words)

Author(s): Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten
A region is economically integrated when the "law of one price" applies within it: i.e. only when there is a price correlation between regional commodity markets through trade ("shallow integration"), which can be deepened by the integration of factor markets (migration, direct investment, etc.) ("deep integration"). In the latter case, market transactions are enlarged by an intra-regional organizational intertwining of enterprises. It is particularly political boundaries within a region that ha…

Economic Law

(6,489 words)

Author(s): Heuser, Robert
The law relating to the production and distribution of commodities comprises both private economic law (property law) and public economic law (business administration law), i.e. those norms which constrain, guide, and promote business activities. 1. Economic Aspects of the Constitution The Constitution is the fundamental legal source of economic law because in it the relationship between state and economy is defined in a manner that is definitive for the whole legal system. In its General Principles, the Chinese Constitution of 1982, …

Economic Planning

(1,695 words)

Author(s): Schüller, Margot
(State) economic planning has had a particularly important function in modern China. However, already in traditional China, the completion of extensive water engineering and transport projects required medium- and long-term planning activities of the central government, although those were not comparable to modern state economic planning. First attempts at the latter were made during the 1930s at the local level, namely in the form of the ten-year plan developed by the warlord Yan Xishan for the…

Economic Regions

(2,642 words)

Author(s): Taubmann, Wolfgang
Within the framework of the reforms launched in regard to foreign and domestic business in the PRC, the advantages of a division of labor along regional lines on both the macro- and meso-levels are increasingly being emphasized. This division of labor, as well as the growing regional desire for independent development, is reflected in the establishment of numerous economic zones and regions on differing scales. From the point of view of the central government, the main question in the discussion…


(917 words)

Author(s): Fischer, Doris
The beginnings of the economic sciences in China go back to the late 19th century when foreign lecturers gave the first talks about this topic. The term jingjixue as a translation for the English term "economics" was later taken over from the Japanese. The combination of characters jingji also has roots in the Chinese tradition. Jingji described the ability to govern. In the first half of the 20th century the spread of the economic sciences was facilitated by students returning from abroad (students abroad) and translations from American, German, and Japa…

Economic System

(2,408 words)

Author(s): Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten
1. Guiding Principles of Regulatory Thinking Questions about the political regulation of the economy have played a significant role in the Chinese state administration since its earliest times, as is shown by the example of the Han-era discourse on state monopolies ( Yan tie lun). Since the 19th century the imperative of catching up with industrialization became authoritative for the design of economic systems in the Chinese cultural sphere. Owing to the latter's political division and to colonial rule in Hong Kong, very different economi…


(10 words)

Author(s): Leese, Daniel
See School System and Higher Education Daniel Leese

Educational Administration

(1,197 words)

Author(s): Kai-ming, Cheng
China administers the largest educational system in the world. In 1997, there were 233 million (2006: 238 million) students in around 900,000 (2006: 558,409) schools (not including the 70 million students in the informal educational sector). Until the early 1980s, the educational system was, as is normal in socialist societies, strongly centralized, although this centralization reached down only to the county level. Below the county level, the local administration was responsible for local educa…

Educational Legislation

(2,154 words)

Author(s): Henze, Jürgen
Constitutional development in the PRC, highly important for the fields of education and science, has passed through at least five critical stages since 1949. While the ratification of the Common Program of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference of September 29, 1949, represented the PRC's first legislative document with constitutional character, which in five articles formulated significant rights of citizens in terms of educational and research policy, the first Constitution from September 20, 1954, incorporated th…

Educational Policy

(2,141 words)

Author(s): Henze, Jürgen
Developments in the educational policy of the PRC have been controversially followed by international researchers with periodically shifting intensity and interpretations. The dominant approach that has materialized in this regard is the conflict-theoretical interpretation, which can be smoothly linked with the Chinese perspective of a "two-line struggle". According to this perspective, the developments in educational policy follow, at the macro level, disputes within the political leadership co…

Educational Tradition

(908 words)

Author(s): Thøgersen, Stig
Chinese educational tradition is intimately linked with the teachings of Confucius, who opened his own school in the state of Lu more than 2500 years ago. In the Confucian tradition, the primary task of education is to provide a positive environment for the moral development of the students, and to prevent their minds from being corrupted by the evil influence of their social environment. As all men have the potential for reaching moral perfection and becoming a "nobleman" (junzi), education is ideally for everyone regardless of social class, and it continues as a life-lo…

Education System: Hong Kong

(1,475 words)

Author(s): Kai-ming, Cheng
From July 1, 1997, Hong Kong has been made a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the PRC. Since then, the principle of "one country, two systems" has been applied, which means that Hong Kong has retained its own educational system. The government of the SAR is responsible for all questions pertaining to education in Hong Kong and thus operates independently from the Ministry of Education in Beijing. The current formal educational system still largely conforms to the system which until well into the 1970s was in place in Great Britain. Since 2000, however, pr…

Education System: Taiwan

(1,186 words)

Author(s): Yi-rong, Young
From 1949 onwards, Taiwan's educational system was strongly influenced by martial law. After the suspension of martial law in 1987 and in the course of progressive democratization, an era of reform began. Milestones were the establishment of a Commission for Educational Reform in 1994 and the passage of an Education Bill in 1999, which introduced a new phase of development. 1. The Educational System under Martial Law The goals of educational policy after 1949 were to eradicate the Japanese legacies of the colonial era and to strengthen Chinese national pride wi…