Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

Get access Subject: Asian Studies
Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese

Help us improve our service

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.

Subscriptions: see


(2,976 words)

Author(s): Eberstein, Bernd
1. Early Forms of Theater Chinese theater first developed from the dancing and chanting of shamans, in the Shang and Zhou periods. Its origins can also be traced back to the court jesters of the Zhou and Han periods, who not only acted as entertainers, but also as narrators of stories and jokes. Famous "ancestors" of the acting profession were the comedian Meng (jester and musician in the state of Chu during the Spring and Autumn period) and the dwarf Tan (who served as a jester for Qin Shihuang). Ac…

Three Principles of the People

(1,421 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Axel
The Three Principles of the People ( Sanminzhuyi) are the teachings of Sun Yatsen (Sun Yixian), which he developed in cooperation with close confidants. Their written version was finalized in a series of lectures Sun gave in 1924, following the reorganization of the Guomindang (GMD). Sun first laid out his ideas systematically as early as 1905, after the founding of the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance ( Zhongguo geming tongmenghui), formulating in general terms his Three Principles of the People. These consist of the doctrine of nationhood ( minzuzhuyi), the doctrine of people's w…


(1,420 words)

Author(s): Hendrischke, Hans
Jin 18 counties 10.75 million inhabitants 11,300 km² 951 inhabitants/km² The coastal city of Tianjin (Tientsin) is situated at the Bohai Bay, along the outskirts of the North China Plain, surrounded by the province of Hebei. Over centuries, Tianjin was north China's economic center and a harbor for Beijing, which lies 100 km land inwards and is connected to Tianjin via railways and motorways (road traffic). Tianjin is the smallest of the four municipalities directly-controlled by the central government. S…


(4,239 words)

Author(s): Hoppe, Thomas | Ramble, Charles
Zang Lhasa 73 counties, 2 cities 2.81 million inhabitants 1,228,400 km² 2 inhabitants/km2 The foreign name "Tibet", which is internationally customary, is often used to include in addition to what is today the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) the eastward regions inhabited by Tibetans in the provinces of Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu, and Yunnan. The Tibetans themselves, when referring to the totality of the areas in which Tibetans have settled, call their country Böyül (i.e. the political unit of Bö) or Cholka Sum (i.e. the three regions/provinces). This refers to the three Tibetan…