Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

Get access Subject: Asian Studies
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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(2,320 words)

Author(s): Linck, Gudula
1. Family Structure In Eastern as well as Western literature, for a long time the three-to-four generation family living together "under one roof" was considered the typical Chinese family. This misunderstanding is based on the fact that Confucian and Neo-Confucian ideals were equated with actual realities. By now it has been established that during the last two-thousand years, the majority of the Chinese population grew up within the patrilineal core family, i.e. together with father, mother, and …

Family Enterprises

(1,771 words)

Author(s): Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten
Owing to the economic rise of the Chinese cultural sphere, Chinese entrepreneurship is also increasingly receiving attention. Considering the high insecurities and rapid changes in certain branches and markets as well as the lacking stability of the political framework, Chinese family enterprises and the networks between them are being viewed today as efficient organizations. This re-evaluation of "traditional" family enterprises is taking place against the backdrop of widespread critique concer…

Fauna and Flora

(1,694 words)

Author(s): Thomas, Axel
China's vegetation and fauna are particularly diverse. With the exception of the tundra, its vegetation includes practically all forms of earth's vegetation, from tropical rainforests to the coniferous forests of the boreal latitudes. With approximately 2700 families and over 30,000 species, representatives of almost the entire natural vegetation of the northern hemisphere can be found in China. Numerous ornamental plants, such as the hibiscus, originate from China's flora. The wildlife has deve…


(1,919 words)

Author(s): Yeh, Catherine V.
From a modern point of view, Chinese festivals may be grouped into two large categories: festivals based on the traditional lunar calendar (calendar and chronology) with religious elements woven into them; and festivals set up by the state, based on political considerations. The first category reflects the richness of traditional Chinese culture which highlights local custom, fantasy, and religious beliefs; it demonstrates how fundamental these festivals are in structuring the life of the people…