Talk:China

Active discussions

Archived discussions

Formatting and language conventions

For articles about China, please use the 24-hour clock to show times, e.g. 09:00-12:00 and 18:00-00:00.

Please show prices in this format: ¥100, and not not RMB 100, 100 yuan or 100元.

Please use American spelling.

General section on retaliatory actions and/or or arbitrrary law enforcement?Edit

The current problems Canadians have are clearly retaliation for the arrest of the Huawei exec, but there are other examples of retaliatory or arbitrary actions:

  • Americans pay more for Chinese visas than other countries & are fingerprinted in at least some cases, because Chinese pay more for a US visa & are fingerprinted
  • After Nigeria extended diplomatic recognition to Taiwan, Chinese visas were no longer issued to Nigerians in Hong Kong or Macau; Nigerians were told to go home to get a visa
  • One reason Hong Kong men swarm to Shenzhen (and I saw some in Zhuhai too) is that whores are much cheaper there. Some anti-Beijing Hong Kong politicians have been arrested for this when almost nobody else ever is.

Is there anything general & useful that we could say about this? I think there is a real difference in the role of law in Chinese vs Western societies, but am not sure what a travel guide might usefully say about it. Pashley (talk) 09:09, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Reciprocal visa fees are common around the world, certainly not just in China. Other kinds of visa restrictions for political reasons are certainly not unheard of internationally either – remember the spat between Turkey and the US a year or two ago? I don't think there's anything China-specific about either of those.
As for arresting anti-Beijing politicians, this type of risk is mentioned implicitly in "Respect" but maybe it would be worth saying something more specific about it. —Granger (talk · contribs) 10:08, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
Maybe I'm missing the forest for the trees. Still, I'm struggling to figure out what the difference you're trying to illustrate is, unless it's just the difference between more democratic and less democratic countries. I'm going to bed soon—maybe after I sleep on it I'll have a better idea what you mean. —Granger (talk · contribs) 14:43, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

China regionalization tweakingEdit

Swept in from the pub

Please look at Talk:China#Southwest China region and express your opinion about some proposed changes to the regional groupings of provinces in the country. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:48, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

The changes were agreed to, but now, we need someone to change the static maps for China, East China, South China (formerly Southeast China), Southwest China and South-central China. The changes needed: (1) Guangxi was moved from Southwest China to South China (formerly Southeast China); (2) Fujian was moved from the former Southeast China (now South China) to East China; (3) Sichuan and Chongqing were moved from South-central China to Southwest China. Anyone who would like to take on this important task would be much appreciated! Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:00, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

Golden AgeEdit

While of course there will be some disagreement on this, from personal experience, I think it is safe to say that most Chinese regard the Han and Tang Dynasties the most highly among all the Chinese imperial dynasties. There is of course some basis to consider these the golden ages, since the Chinese military was strong, the arts and sciences flourished within Chinese society, and there were thriving trade routes between China and other civilisations. Of course, that may well be just my perception, so if anybody disagrees on this, please say so and why you would disagree with calling these the golden ages. The dog2 (talk) 19:29, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

I'd say this is fair and matches what I have been told by Chinese people. Thanks for seeking consensus. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 19:33, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
No disagreement from me, either. In particular, Tang Dynasty art is pretty universally considered the pinnacle of Chinese art. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:33, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

Trimming this article to make it more usableEdit

This article is now about 305,000 bytes, up by 3,000 from the beginning of the year. It is the second-longest country page after Japan. Long articles are more difficult for readers to navigate, and often get that way because information is added that would be more appropriate to a regional or city article, or in a topic article? Is there any interest is working together to give the reader a more concise introduction to China by removing excessive verbosity, and moving details to other destination and topic articles?

Here are some suggestions to illustrate what I am proposing:

  1. China#Vietnam section has specific details on where to get buses and trains from Hanoi and other cities. It should only identify the availability, and the people find the details in the corresponding city articles. Done. ✔
  2. China#By train has a great deal of detail that could be moved into a Rail travel in China article combined with High-speed rail in China. Done. ✔
  3. China#Massage -- move the phrase book for massages to Chinese phrasebook Done. ✔
  4. China#Shopping is very, very long (several times longer than Eat, which is surely a more important travel experience for people going to China -- mon dieu the food is so good!), and could be branched off into its own article linked from this one. Done. ✔

Ground Zero (talk) 21:09, 19 May 2019 (UTC)

@Ground Zero: i agree with you... this certainly doesnt work as an article. In fact this page has a very large scroll, that it would go on about 4 papers. That isn’t easy to take around when travelling.... Arep Ticous 13:17, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

i would say move the by rail section like you mentioned and try and trim the vietnam section or move it into the vietnam article. Definitely move the massage language part into the phrase book and make a section there... id ont think its worth to be in the main article. Arep Ticous 13:20, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

I agree with these four suggestions. For rail information, keep in mind that we have an article on High-speed rail in China—maybe it would be best to combine that with most of the rail information in this article to create one comprehensive article on rail travel in China. —Granger (talk · contribs) 13:41, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
I think we should look at Rail travel in Japan for an example. It is very well-written with comprehensive information on both high-speed and conventional rail lines. The dog2 (talk) 20:13, 28 May 2019 (UTC)

@Mx. Granger: Couldn't agree more... Arep Ticous 15:26, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

5. The lengthy cycling section could be summarized, and the detail transferred to Cycling in China, following the model of Cycling in Switzerland, and other articles. Done. ✔

6. The lengthy "Learn" section could be summarized, and the detail transferred to Studying in China, following the model of Studying in the United States. Done. ✔ Ground Zero (talk) 16:38, 28 May 2019 (UTC)

I'd say we can also delete the "Learning Chinese" subsection under "Talk". To my knowledge, none of our other country articles have that, and such information better belongs in the Chinese phrasebook. We could, however, have short summary in the "Learn" section with basic information for foreigners who want to learn Chinese while living in China.
@Mx. Granger: As a American who has lived in China, perhaps you can help with providing this information if you don't mind. The dog2 (talk) 19:40, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
Moving the learning Chinese stuff to the phrase book with a "for more info" link makes sense to me. Ground Zero (talk) 00:03, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
I am happy to go with that. But I think in the "Learn" section, we could have a short statement giving a broad overview of the options for foreigners who want to learn Chinese in China. Of course, we won't list individual institutions, but we can mention whether these classes are available at universities, private tuition centres or any other places. Unfortunately, I've never lived in China, and such classes are of no use to me since I already know the language, so I am not the best source for such information. The dog2 (talk) 00:53, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
I've added some advice about learning Chinese to the "Learn" section. I know that classes are available at both universities and private tutoring centers. Others may know more. —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:05, 29 May 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for everyone's comments so far, and @The dog2: for assistance in trimming the excess from the article. I am waiting to see if there are any objections to renaming the rail article before I proceed with further changes. Ground Zero (talk) 01:22, 31 May 2019 (UTC)

  • Rail section is done. Ground Zero (talk) 19:01, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Learn is now done, which brings the article from 296,000 bytes to 241,000 bytes, and means that it isn't longer loaded with details that will be of interest primarily to niche groups. The information is still available is dedicated articles. I hope that the article won't return to becoming a repository for everything there is to know about China. Ground Zero (talk) 12:52, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Chinese artEdit

In editing, I am finding that there is some stuff that is interesting, but more appropriate for an encyclopedia, like the different styles of calligraphy, which really isn't relevant to travellers. As this article is very long, I am removing it. People looking for a deeper understanding of Chinese topics should go to Wikipedia, which his linked in the sidebar. Ground Zero (talk) 01:48, 29 May 2019 (UTC)

That kind of information could be useful for an article on Chinese art, if anyone wanted to start one. It's useful background for that topic, but the topic would have to have a primarily travel focus, recommending a bunch of places to see Chinese art, including places in Taiwan and some that everyone would agree are outside of China entirely and giving some basic descriptions of what the average traveler could see there (I write that advisedly, as my father told me that when he lectured in Taipei in 1976, he was shown the greatest collections in the art museum in Taipei that the graduate students in art that he was lecturing to had never been allowed to see and saw during his visit only because he insisted they also be invited; I hope Taiwan is less class-and-title-oriented now). Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:05, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
There are many museums in China you can go to see Chinese art like the Shanghai Museum. And yes, the National Palace Museum in Taipei is a great place for that. Outside China, of the places I've been, I would say the Met in New York City and the British Museum in London have really nice collections. The Chinese government considers all these to be stolen (which is actually true, since these were mostly pillaged from China during wars with the Eight-nation alliance) and wants them returned to China, but in all honesty, the reason why these art pieces survived is probably because they were not in China when they had the Cultural Revolution. The dog2 (talk) 02:11, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
The Musee Guimet in Paris has some good Chinese art, too, although as I remember, they have more spectacular pieces from Cambodia, Java and I think India (the photos at the links give you only a very small taste of their collection; I believe I remember correctly that they had an entire Cambodian temple set up on the ground floor). It's been a while since I was there (I don't know if I went there in 2002, in which case, it would have been in 1992). Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:47, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
There is an w:Asian Art Museum (San Francisco) in San Francisco. Ground Zero (talk) 02:52, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
One more that I just recalled is Tokyo National Museum. Its collection is not as big as the Met or the British Museum, but it's got some really nice pieces. The dog2 (talk) 03:13, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
I remember the Sackler Gallery (now Freer/Sackler) in D.C. also had some nice pieces. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:49, 29 May 2019 (UTC)

archiving the talk page activity so farEdit

the talk page seems to be crowded with posts... why dont we consider archiving it? Arep Ticous 13:23, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

You can definitely go ahead and do that. I created a new archive page to get you started (see the red link at the top of this page). Ground Zero (talk) 13:41, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
Yes, good to ask permission, but not required. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:10, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

A Commons file used on this page has been nominated for deletionEdit

The following Wikimedia Commons file used on this page has been nominated for deletion:

Participate in the deletion discussion at the nomination page. —Community Tech bot (talk) 20:06, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

Upgrade to Usable/GuideEdit

I will say first of all kudos to everyone who contributed to trimming this article to make it more readable. Now that we have a lot of improvement on that front, it appears that this article is no longer and outline and probably has enough information to be promoted to usable or guide status. What does everyone say? The dog2 (talk) 04:13, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

The content in a large country article isn't usually the issue in promoting it to usable or guide. The problem is the quality of articles breadcrumbed under it. To promote this article to usable, we first need to get the listed cities and other destinations up to usable. Leshan, Qomolangma, and Mount Tai are still at outline status. —Granger (talk · contribs) 10:55, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

Swap Kunming for Dali?Edit

Yes, Kunming is the provincial capital, but it's not so much of a tourist destination—certainly not as much as nearby Dali. Kunming is visited less as a destination in itself and more as a transit point to reach other places in Yunnan. In the list of 5–9 cities, I want to suggest swapping Kunming for Dali, which better represents what travelers go to Yunnan for. —Granger (talk · contribs) 11:00, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

Is there a lot of business travel to Kunming? Remember, this isn't a guide only for tourists but a travel guide. Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:42, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Broadly speaking, I think the lists of 5–9 cities should be geared more towards leisure travelers than towards business travelers. Business travelers usually pick their destination based on their company's needs. Travelers browsing a list of cities in a country article are usually trying to figure out what destinations will be most interesting or fun.
But regardless, I don't think Kunming is a particular business hub. I don't know for sure, but I would guess it gets less business travel than various coastal cities that aren't listed. Shenzhen, Dongguan, Xiamen, Shantou, Tianjin, Dalian and Qinghai all come to mind. —Granger (talk · contribs) 14:42, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Maybe one of them should be listed. If geographic balance is at issue, Dongbei has no representative, so it would be kind of a wash if Dalian were put in. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:46, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
I listed those cities to make the point about Kunming, but I'm not trying to argue we should change the list to include more business hubs. For the reasons I stated, I think the list should focus on interesting destinations rather than business opportunities, and in any case it already includes the economic powerhouses of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Suzhou, and Hangzhou. —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:04, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
The thing is, I don't think Dali will be considered a major city, while say, Dalian or Qingdao would be. As far as tourist attractions go, Dalian is known for its Russian buildings, while Qingdao is known for its German buildings and, of course, the Tsingtao beer brewery. If we want to add a city in the northeast, I would suggest Harbin. Like Dalian, it is known for its Russian buildings, and there is the snow and ice festival that is a major tourist draw. It is also a provincial capital, so that makes it a business destination too. The dog2 (talk) 16:24, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Good points. I considered suggesting Harbin too. It would be a shame not to have Yunnan represented in "Cities" or "Other destinations", since the province is an important tourist destination, but of course in such a big country not everything can be represented. Replacing Kunming with Harbin works for me. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:24, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Okay, I've switched Kunming for Harbin. —Granger (talk · contribs) 11:43, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
The current cities are too concentrated at the Shanghai region, with 4 cities clumping at that region. And Chengdu is also a major tourism city but it doesn't get a list. If I'd say, I'll have the 9 cities listings like this:

(Guilin removed because to me it doesn't seem that well known compared to other places, maybe it could go under Other Destinations.)

(Nanjing removed because Suzhou and Hangzhou are both major well-known tourist destinations and Shanghai is the largest city in China, but Nanjing isn't that important to travellers)

  • Shenzhen (To balance out the Shanghai region, I added another city of the Pearl River Delta region and according to Wikipedia, it is the most visited city in China, although I doubt it. But I had just been there and it seems like a pretty nice and famous destination)
  • Shanghai
  • Suzhou
  • Xi'an

The SmileKat40! (*Meow* chat with me! | What did I do?) 15:17, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

My reactions: First of all, Guilin, as a city, cannot be put in "Other destinations". Secondly, Guilin is super-famous from the entire tradition of Chinese landscape painting! It should not be removed, in my opinion. However, if it is, the recourse would be to put not Guilin but something like "Karst limestone cliffs on the Li River between Guilin and Yangshuo" in "Other destinations". On Nanjing, it's of great historic importance as the former Southern Capital, but I haven't been there and don't know if removing it is justifiable or not. Without considering what substitutes for what, Chengdu would certainly be reasonable to list, and Shenzhen, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:48, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Listing Chengdu seems reasonable enough to me. I don't support listing Shenzhen—it's an important business hub but not a major international tourist destination compared to the other cities we're discussing here (see my comments above for why I think the list should focus more on tourism than business travel). And we already list Guangzhou, so Shenzhen would exacerbate the problem of our destinations being concentrated in too few regions. I don't know about Nanjing, though it's a very famous and historically important city, for whatever that's worth. —Granger (talk · contribs) 09:02, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
My views in brief: I support Guilin and Nanjing remaining on the list for the reasons stated above and I agree with Granger that Shenzhen probably shouldn't be on it. I would suggest instead replacing Harbin with Chengdu. STW932 (talk) 13:01, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Although I have never been to Chengdu, but I know it is famous for having a giant panda research centre you can visit. As for Shenzhen, I have been there and it certainly has tourist attractions, such as the two theme parks; Window of the World (世界之窗) with miniatures of the world's most famous landmarks, and Splendid China Folk Village (中国民俗文化村) with miniatures of China's most famous landmarks, as well as spas for many visitors from Hong Kong. That said, I don't think it should be listed because it is so close to Guangzhou, which is already listed, and a much better place if you want to experience Cantonese culture because of its much longer history. As for Nanjing, you can visit the tomb of the first Ming Dynasty emperer, the tomb of Sun Yat-sen and the presidential palace of the Republic of China. It is most certainly a major tourist attraction.
In general I think our city lists should balance showcasing China's regional diversity and being important tourism and/or business hubs. Therefore, I think that having Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Nanjing all listed is overkill, as it doesn't showcase China's regional diversity, even though these four cities are all major tourist destination. I would say, we should have two; Shanghai and one other city. Perhaps we can consider Xiamen, since like Guangzhou, it was a major source of immigration to Southeast Asia, and you could in some way consider it a gateway to Taiwan since they speak the same language and have very similar cultures, and it is really close to the Taiwan-controlled island of Kinmen. I would also suggest perhaps adding a city in western China like Urumqi or Lhasa. The dog2 (talk) 01:37, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't really know how much we should agonize over this. It's super-hard to pick just 9 cities to represent China, and there are a number of ways we could go. That said, if we really want to emphasize regional diversity over everything else, we could keep just one of Hangzhou, Suzhou and Nanjing and plug in Chengdu and Lhasa in place of the ones we remove. Or we could add Chengdu and Xiamen, your other suggestion. I don't think it would make that much sense to put Urumqi in this list. It has no attraction on the level of the Potala, yet it's the capital of a province that is suffering severe repression. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:01, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't think we need to add Lhasa—we already have two Other Destinations in Tibet. —Granger (talk · contribs) 18:15, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Fair enough. I surely don't think it's necessary, either. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:29, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Fair enough, I was just throwing a few cities out there to see what people think. Speaking of which, Chongqing is another major city that is not listed. I'm not sure how big of a tourist attraction it is, but it was the capital of China during World War II after Nanjing was taken by the Japanese. But that said, Chongqing and Chengdu are very close to each other, so listing both might be overkill. Which city would most people consider to be more important? The dog2 (talk) 19:14, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

I would say Chengdu. —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:54, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
So how does swapping Hangzhou and Suzhou for Chengdu and Xiamen sound then? The dog2 (talk) 04:23, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
OK, if you figure that Nanjing is more important to include than Hangzhou or Suzhou. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:44, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Perhaps it might be helpful in this context to take a look at some statistics on tourist numbers. I found the following figures for 2017 on Jiemian.com:

List of cities by tourist numbers (all tourists, foreign and domestic)
  • 1. Chongqing: 542 million
  • 2. Shanghai: 327 million
  • 3. Beijing: 293 million
  • 4. Wuhan: 259 million
  • 5. Chengdu: 213 million
  • 6. Tianjin: 209 million
  • 7. Guangzhou: 200 million
  • 8. Xi'an: 180 million
  • 9. Hangzhou: 162 million
  • 10. Shangrao; 160 million
List of cities by tourist numbers (inbound tourists only)
  • 1. Shenzhen: 12.07 million
  • 2. Guangzhou: 9 million
  • 3. Shanghai: 8.73 million
  • 4. Hangzhou: 4.02 million
  • 5. Beijing: 3.93 million
  • 6. Xiamen: 3.86 million
  • 7. Chongqing: 3.58 million
  • 8. Tianjin: 3.45 million
  • 9. Chengdu: 3.01 million
  • 10. Wuhan: 2.5 million

Note: 'Inbound tourists' includes tourists from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Moreover, a large percentage of inbound tourists come from those areas. In the case of Shenzhen , about 80% of inbound tourists were from Hong Kong or Macau.

STW932 (talk) 06:07, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Thanks a lot. these statistics would argue in favor of Chongqing over Chengdu. Does that site have numbers on business travelers? Also, we don't have an article about Shangrao! A city that has 160 million tourists visiting it every year needs an article! I'm not familiar with the place but would encourage anyone to start the article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:00, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
No, I don't see any numbers on business travellers. Regarding Shangrao, it is true we don't yet have an article on the city's urban area. However, we do have articles on Wuyuan County and Mount Sanqingshan National Park, which are jurisdictionally part of Shangrao. Shangrao is one of those cities where the rural area is much larger than the urban area, and where the top attractions are also mostly situated in the rural area. That being said, urban Shangrao is clearly an important transit point, so it would be useful to have an article about it. Perhaps I'll create that article myself in the not-too-distant future. STW932 (talk) 09:58, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
Great!
On business travelers: I know that a majority of those participating in this thread think business travelers are less important than tourists for the purpose of this guide, but in cases in which different factors are at play, perhaps some figures on business travel might function as some kind of tiebreaker. My feeling is that our criteria are (1) number of visits by foreign tourists; (2) number of visits by domestic tourists; (3) regional balance; (4) number of visits by businesspeople, academics and foreign students (including those spending a year abroad). And the reason I think number of visits by foreign tourists is a more relevant criterion than number of visits by domestic tourists is that, presumably, few Chinese people would rely on English-language Wikivoyage for information on places in China; they'd rely on a domestic travel site or Chinese-language Wikivoyage. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:37, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
@Ikan Kekek: I worry that I've been misunderstood. I haven't said "business travelers are less important than tourists for the purpose of this guide". My point is that for the list of cities specifically we shouldn't worry about business travel, because travelers using this list to choose a destination are almost certainly using it to choose based on tourist interest rather than business opportunities. Business opportunities are so industry-specific (and even organization-specific) that I can't imagine a business traveler coming to us to figure out which cities offer the best business opportunities for their specific situation. I suspect that in most cases, a business traveler's destination has been chosen before they ever look at a travel guide. Once the business traveler has figured out their destination, I do think we can play an important role helping them figure out transport, safety, fun stuff to do in the evening, etc. I've worked on some articles such as Rocha and High Point with business travelers in mind. (In general, though, I do think the majority of our audience is leisure travelers.) I have more thoughts on this but don't want to be too long-winded; I can explain my reasoning more if you want.
I agree with you that foreign tourist numbers are more relevant for this purpose than domestic tourist numbers. —Granger (talk · contribs) 12:41, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
OK, noted. And academics and students? Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:52, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
My impression is that academics and students are a mixed bag. Some are interested in doing Program X or researching Narrow Topic Y, and their destination will be determined by that. Some just want to have a fun time or an adventure abroad and are more focused on tourist interest than academic value. Many are somewhere in between.
To the extent that a traveler is looking to have fun doing tourist-type stuff, they might look at our list of cities for ideas. To the extent that they're focused on academics, I don't see them getting that information from the list of cities. (That said, they might get it from some other part of the travel guide, which is why I just made this edit.) In a way I guess my point isn't so much about the type of traveler using the list of cities, but more about the type of information that the list can feasibly convey. —Granger (talk · contribs) 13:13, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
A 1-liner listing could possibly mention that a place is a center of business or education, but that might not be nearly as striking as other things about it — in which case, your point is made. Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:20, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, in some places (like Dongguan, Chapel Hill, High Point, probably Shenzhen, maybe Guangzhou/Panyu) I'd say the local education or industry is important enough to mention in a one-liner listing. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:33, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────As for Xiamen, it is a major business destination for Taiwanese, as well as many ethnic Chinese from Southeast Asia. As I mentioned, Chengdu is notable for its panda sanctuary, and it is also a major business destination. Chongqing would be a tourist destination if you are interested in World War II history. As a side note, there are nonstop flights to all three cities from Singapore, so they most certainly have some international importance. I'd be open to considering Chaozhou as well, given the large Teochew communities in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore, and how famous Teochew cuisine is in all these areas. And not to mention, you can catch nonstop flights to Shantou (since Chaozhou doesn't have its own airport, and is served by Shantou's airport) from both Bangkok and Singapore. The dog2 (talk) 17:21, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

I don't think we can consider so many coastal cities and have any hope of reasonable regional balance. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:31, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
Chengdu and Chongqing are not coastal cities. And for the record, Xi'an, which is already listed, is not either. The dog2 (talk) 19:17, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I hope you don't think I lack basic geographic knowledge of China! You mentioned Xiamen, Chaozhou and Shantou. Why would we consider any of these but Xiamen? Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:29, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I personally would lean towards including Xiamen since it's more economically important than Chaozhou and Shantou, but I'm just putting several suggestions out there. That said, it is certainly true that Teochew cuisine (from Chaozhou and Shantou) is very highly regarded among Singaporean Chinese, and it is more common for people to want to go to a Teochew restaurant than a Hokkien restaurant (in Singaporean terminology, this refers to people from the area around Xiamen), even though the Hokkiens are more numerous in Singapore.
Speaking of geographic knowledge, this is not targeted at you, and I believe that someone like you with a doctorate are more knowledgeable than that, but you'll be surprised at how ignorant some Americans can be when it comes to foreign geography. I have encountered many Americans who think that Singapore is in China. The dog2 (talk) 19:39, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
My geographic knowledge doesn't have anything to do with my being a Doctor of Musical Arts. I've been a geography buff since I was 6 and used to have a collection of over 20 atlases before I donated most of them to the library to save space. My travels over the years have added to my geographic knowledge, but it's primarily from pure interest. And no, I would decidedly not be surprised how ignorant many if not most American are about geography, but I'm not "most Americans", thank you. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:15, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I think some people here might be forgetting that Chinese cities often have vast areas of rural land under their jurisdiction, so it's not just urban centres we are talking about here. Chongqing is an extreme example, covering an area the size of a small province - more than double the size of Hainan. Indeed, that probably explains why Chongqing gets so many visitors. Of the city's eight 5A-rated tourst attractions, each and every one of them are to be found outside the city's urban core. And no, those are not the World War II sites, they are cultural sites like the Dazu Rock Carvings and scenic areas such as the Three Gorges and the Wulong Karst Landscape. STW932 (talk) 14:15, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
Point very well taken. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:37, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
@Mx. Granger: So what do you think of Chengdu and Xiamen replacing Suzhou and Hangzhou then for regional balance? There hasn't been much objection from what I have seen, so perhaps it's time we move forward with this. The dog2 (talk) 15:17, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

[unindent] The figures for domestic and foreign tourism above would seem to argue against removing Hangzhou. Suzhou and Nanjing aren’t on those lists above, so if we’re going to remove 2 cities from that general area of Central Eastern China, I think those make more sense to remove. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:57, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

Joining the discussion late.
Beijing, Shanghai & Xi'an should obviously stay. I'd say also Harbin & Guangzhou, important cities & they help with regional balance.
That's five.
I'd say keep Kunming; it is the transport hub of the region & almost anyone bound for Dali, and/or Lijiang which is equally important as a tourist town, will pass through it.
To me, Chengdu seems more important for our purposes than Chongqing; it is the cultural capital of the region with great temples, market, ...
That's seven, with a decent regional balance.
Both Suzhou & Hangzhou should stay; they are top destinations for domestic tourism, get lots of international tourists, & have World Heritage sites.
That's nine. I think we are done.
Guilin is not important enough as a city to rate mention here, but the region that includes it & Yangshuo is a top tourist destination; I'm not sure how to handle that.
Shenzhen, and Zhuhai across the river, do get huge numbers of visitors,mainly from Hong Kong & Taiwan.
I would not add Daiian; one city up north seems enough & Harbin is probably more important
To what extent is this whole discussion unimportant, or can it be made less important by adding appropriate links? Region articles like PRD & East China, and itineraries like Yunnan tourist trail cover many of these destinations. Can we just link to those & therefore drop Dali or Shenzhen here? Pashley (talk) 14:58, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
The thing is, having Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Nanjing all on the list is a bit overkill. Sure, those cities are all economic powerhouses and major tourist destinations, but we also need to think about regional balance. I have been to all those four cities (albeit to Nanjing way back in the 1990s as a kid), and they are great places to visit, but when almost half the list is comprised of cities from one single region, that's a problem for regional balance. The dog2 (talk) 18:03, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
A lot has just been said here, so I won't respond to everything, but some key points: I think Chengdu would be nice to include if there's a good way to make room for it. I don't know one way or the other about Xiamen. I agree it feels like we have too many cities in the Shanghai area but I don't know the relative importance of Hangzhou, Nanjing, and Suzhou—I won't object to removing one of those in favor of Chengdu. I continue to oppose including Kunming or Shenzhen, for reasons I've already mentioned. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:13, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
As tourist destinations, I think all 3 are almost equally important from a perspective of historical tourism. Hangzhou is known for West Lake and the surrounding attractions, most notably including the Yue Fei temple and his tomb. Suzhou is know for its traditional Chinese gardens, and the city itself is generally just a pleasant one with streets in traditional Chinese architecture. Nanjing is home to the presidential palace of the Republic of China, as well as the tomb of Sun Yat-sen, and the tomb of the first Ming emperor. I would say Hangzhou and Nanjing are probably a little more important than Suzhou economically. Both Hangzhou and Nanjing have their own airports, while Suzhou does not, and relies on the airport in Wuxi. That said, it is also true that Suzhou is considered to be the main cultural centre of the region. I don't know how relevant this point would be, but Nanjing is a Mandarin-speaking city, albeit with a dialect that is somewhat different from standard Mandarin, while Suzhou and Hangzhou are both Wu-speaking cities like Shanghai, albeit with all 3 cities having dialectal differences from each other. The dog2 (talk) 22:21, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
I was not saying keep Nanjing. Granted it is an important city, but China has dozens of those & we want omly nine here.
My nine cities, as listed above, would be Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Harbin, Guangzhou, Kunming, Chengdu, Suzhou & Hangzhou. Pashley (talk) 00:31, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm good with that list except for Kunming. —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:54, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
That list still has 3 cities in the Shanghai area, but I guess it will have to do. If we are to leave Kunming in, perhaps the description can say that it is the gateway to Dali and Lijiang. In that way, it will keep its travel relevance. The dog2 (talk) 14:45, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
In a country as vast, diverse, and fascinating as China, I think it's weird and misleading for a "Top 5–9" list to include a city that, from the traveler's perspective, is basically just a transportation hub. —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:36, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
I get what you're saying, but Kunming is also famous for a certain type of noodle (called 米线 in Chinese; I don't know what the English name is), and culinary tourism is very much a major part of many East Asian and Southeast Asian cultures. And that is not just for Michelin-starred fine dining. Many people do in fact travel to different cities to sample the regular working-class food as the primary purpose of the trip. So it's not as if there's no value to tourists. And Lijiang and Dali don't have international airports, so if you want to visit those cities from overseas, you'll probably have to fly into Kunming and take one of the high-speed trains over. Personally, I'm ambivalent about whether or not to list it, but I just want to point out the potential value in case the consensus goes in favour of Kunming. The dog2 (talk) 16:33, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
米线 are easy to find in Dali too—if I remember correctly, that was the first meal I ate when I got there. Anyway, I'm not saying Kunming has nothing of tourist value—I'm saying that if we include it in our shortlist of cities in China, that would make it sound like much more of a destination than it really is.
If we want to give more focus to culinary tourism, that would be a good argument for Chengdu (for world-famous Sichuanese numbing-spicy food, and I've also heard it's a good place to try Tibetan cuisine if you don't want to get a permit to go to Tibet) or maybe Xiamen (for seafood and Fujian cuisine). For what it's worth, Dali is a good place to get Bai cuisine. —Granger (talk · contribs) 18:45, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
I haven't been to Sichuan or Fujian province, nor for that matter Guangxi, but I'm not sure I understand why Guilin, with a population of 4,747,963 as of 2010, is definitively too small to be listed, in spite of its role as the anchor of an area that has largely defined Chinese classical landscape composition for hundreds of years. I'm not sure this is an apples-to-apples comparison, but per w:Suzhou, "Suzhou is a prefecture-level city with a population of 4.33 million in its city proper, and a total resident population (as of 2013) of 10.58 million in its administrative area." According to w:Guilin#Demographics, "Population: 4,747,963[1]; Urban population: 975,638[citation needed]", so I don't know where that leaves us. Meanwhile, I think the regional question is relevant. If we can't list Shenzhen or other huge Pearl River Delta cities because they're too close to Guangzhou, we shouldn't be able to list both Hangzhou and Suzhou, and the tourism figures above suggest Suzhou should be the odd city out. I won't argue strongly for listing Guilin, though. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:21, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────If you ask me, I'm fine with just leaving Shanghai, and taking away the other three nearby cities. In that way, we can make way for a listing in western China, and also include Chengdu and perhaps Xiamen. The dog2 (talk) 00:58, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

And as to culinary tourism, I didn't say we should focus on that. I was just saying that it is just as valid a reason to travel as any other type of tourism, so it should definitely be taken into consideration in formulating our city lists. The dog2 (talk) 05:31, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
Hangzhou is #4 in foreign tourism, ahead of Beijing. I doubt we should remove it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:12, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
I do agree with you on culinary tourism, and that argues for the inclusion of a city in (or formerly in) Sichuan province. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:10, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
Agreed on that. I do lean towards Chengdu since it is the heart of Sichuan culture. And besides, it's also famous for the giant panda sanctuaries, which many tourists visiting China will be interested in checking out. How about for now, we just swap out Suzhou for Chengdu, and we can try building consensus for another swap after this to achieve more regional balance? The dog2 (talk) 04:01, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
Pashley doesn't agree, but I think the rest of us do. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:08, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I've implemented the change. I think we should do one more swap to achieve regional balance. The question is what for what? Hangzhou and Nanjing are both major tourist destinations, but I still feel that having 3 cities in the Shanghai area is overkill. The dog2 (talk) 18:00, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

Phone tappingEdit

China Is Forcing Tourists to Install Text-Stealing Malware at its Border Pashley (talk) 01:23, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

This should be mentioned somewhere. Is it a "Get in" issue? Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:11, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
Maybe Canada's Government travel advisories has updated for the reason. ("Entry and exit requirements - Screening of digital devices") Mariogoods (talk) 08:42, 23 August 2019 (UTC)

How to characterize Chinese charactersEdit

The recent edits to this paragraph by me and others have produced something that I think isn't very clear, so I want to suggest a rewrite that we can workshop here on the talk page.

Chinese is written using Chinese characters (汉字, hànzì, lit. "Han characters"). Unlike an alphabet that represents individual sounds, each Chinese character represents a meaningful syllable: a word or part of a word. Although they look impenetrable at first, there is some method to the madness: most characters are composed from base components combined with other characters (often giving clues to both pronunciation and general meaning). The same characters are used in Japan and Korea with usually similar meanings, albeit different pronunciations.

@Bigpeteb: What do you think? Is this a fair characterization? Is there anything you think is misleading or given undue emphasis? —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:26, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

Yeah, that's a pretty good way to rephrase and condense it! I'd amend it slightly to say "Unlike an alphabet that represents individual sounds without any inherent meaning, each Chinese character represents a meaningful syllable: a specific word or part of a word" or something like that.
(Thanks for bringing this to the talk page. I should have done so myself sooner.) --Bigpeteb (talk) 03:36, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Okay, rewritten accordingly. —Granger (talk · contribs) 14:44, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
That looks just about right. Admittedly, as a fluent speaker of the language, I don't think much about this, but we do learn in class that you can group Chinese characters into different categories. Some are pictograms, some are ideograms, some have both phonetic and semantic components and so on. Unfortunately, it will probably get too complicated for us to go into that kind of detail in a travel guide. The dog2 (talk) 14:57, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

Law enforcementEdit

I have commented out this section:

"An alternate interpretation is that China simply takes a different approach to law and freedom. Liberal democratic countries are also known to spy on their own citizens, for example, and the freedoms espoused by other countries demonstrably do not eliminate religious and racial segregation, crime, or political extremism. The Chinese view, which began evolving in the 18th century as new Enlightenment ideas about democracy were compared to traditional Confucian values, is that too much freedom is dangerous. While American culture emphasizes individual freedoms and self-interest, Chinese culture emphasizes the collective good of the society, and hence considers it acceptable for personal freedoms to be curtailed if doing so benefits the society as a whole."

This section, to me, is political discussion, it's background, it's not directly relevant to travel. Since the beginning of July, the article has grown steadily from 242,000 bytes to 257,000 bytes because of the tendancy to add anything and everything that is interesting or may be relevant to China. If we want to keep this a useful guide for travellers, we must be selective about what we include, and choose the most relevant,, not just anything that is relevant. I propose to delete this paragraph. Ground Zero (talk) 17:57, 3 November 2019 (UTC)

I think the second part of the paragraph, from "The Chinese view..." is useful for travelers. The first two sentences are useless to the traveler. I propose a different wording:
"Westerners visiting China should remember that the Chinese view on politics, which began evolving when Enlightenment ideas about democracy were compared to Confucian values, is that too much freedom is dangerous. Chinese culture emphasizes the collective good of the society, and hence considers it acceptable for personal freedoms to be curtailed if doing so benefits the society as a whole."
Is this an improvement?--Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 18:43, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
Are we going to give similar analyses for every country with an authoritarian government? Didn't Italy have similar views under Fascism? The basic principles of Confucianism - and not only those about the relationship between the people and the government - are relevant but seem to me to belong in a "Religion" section, not a section about oppressive actions by the government that sometimes impinge on visitors. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:38, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
We could remove that phrase completely. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:16, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
How does this help travelers "stay safe"? This is an example of how things get dumped into country articles, losing sight of this being a travel guide. Or do we think it's okay for articles to expand indefinitely without regard for usability? Ground Zero (talk) 20:25, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
If we use my wording, we’ll actually be shortening the article, not making it longer. It’s a safety issue because you need to know how not to be arrested by the government, in this case the Chinese government. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 21:52, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't see advice on how to avoid being arrested in what you've written above. This is background or context information, not practical advice. Ground Zero (talk) 22:00, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
”Chinese culture emphasizes the collective good of the society, and hence considers it acceptable for personal freedoms to be curtailed if doing so benefits the society as a whole.” That’s worth noting if you’re a traveler that is considering doing anything with the slightest risk of trouble with the Chinese government. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:59, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
Oh sure, there are lots and lots of things the are "good to know" about China. We could fill a whole wiki about a 5000-year-old country of of 1.3 billion people. But if we put it all into one article, no-one will read it. That's why practical advice is probably best. Ground Zero (talk) 04:33, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
I think it is much more than just a difference in emphasis, collective good vs personal freedom. See above. I think the Party sees law & law enforcement as primarily means of moving toward their goals; some notions that are fairly basic elsewhere — rule of law, no-one being above the law, checks & balances, ... — are pretty much absent. I'm not at all certain what we could usefully say about this, though. Pashley (talk) 03:48, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
Could you try writing a paragraph with this information that we can use? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 12:32, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
That said, I think what we really need to reflect here is that China is generally safe for the average tourist. Sure, you may here horror stories about people getting detained and what not, and while it's true that Chinese punishments are harsh by the standards of the Western world, but if you're just doing the regular touristy things, the police aren't going to target you. The main thing that may catch Western visitors off guard is that while illicit drug use is socially accepted in the West, especially among teenagers and young adults, and most Western countries are moving towards drug legalisation, the really do not tolerate drugs in China. So if you try taking drugs in China, you will get into serious legal trouble.
As for the collective good vs personal freedom thing, there is definitely some truth to it. Even though I wasn't born in China, I grew up in an ethnically Chinese family and the general sentiment among my older relatives is that bread and butter issues, as well as economic well-being are the most important things, and democracy is only a peripheral concern so long as the aforementioned two needs are met. If you ever listen to an election rally in Singapore and compare it to an American election rally, you will notice that difference in emphasis. That said, I'm not sure how travel related it is, so I'm fine leaving that out. The dog2 (talk) 18:39, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
The dog2, don't ignore that Singapore in particular has that attitude. I think that Taiwan is a lot less like that, considering how their politics is (are?). Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:48, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
That's a fair point, but of course, the thing to remember is that Taiwan was under Japanese rule for 50 years, so when the Kuomintang took over in 1945, the Taiwanese people would probably have felt more Japanese than Chinese. But even so, there is still not as strong an emphasis on individual freedoms in Taiwanese culture as there is in American culture; the family is still a lot more important to Taiwanese than to Americans. As for Singapore, things are changing among the younger generation, especially with the rise of social media; it is certainly conceivable that the PAP would lose the election once my parents' and grandparents' generations pass on as the younger generation gets more and more exposed to American ideals of individual freedom. And not to mention, most of the upper class elites in Singapore go to university in the United Kingdom or United States, so they will most certainly have been exposed to Western ideals, and bring some of that back with them. The dog2 (talk) 20:08, 4 November 2019 (UTC)

New coronavirusEdit

I propose we keep the main warning on China page so it can be easily updated, with only xref warnings for Wuhan and other cities, the outbreak is clearly heading to be nationwide. Grahamsands (talk) 17:46, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Excellent idea. Ground Zero (talk) 18:00, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

This story is fast-moving and we'll need to stick to headline stuff, and simply signpost the relevant advice. JRHorse, I restored the mention of Wuhan's transport shutdown as that impacts the whole of China and might be replicated in other cities. Although IHMO the shutdown is a sure way to convert a serious situation into a full-on crisis. Grahamsands (talk) 08:46, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

Thanks. Let's see how this all turns out over there... JRHorse (talk) 13:40, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
A recent edit by User:Grahamsands had the comment "remove ref to face-masks which have only placebo value". Is that correct? User:Doc James? Pashley (talk) 12:42, 27 January 2020 (UTC)
Should you buy a mask? Health experts weigh on coronavirus worries Pashley (talk) 03:31, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
Can an N95 face mask protect you from catching the new coronavirus? Pashley (talk) 03:47, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
I think the mask questions are more general than China or this virus; see Wikivoyage:Travellers'_pub#Face_masks. Pashley (talk) 04:29, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

A US newspaper: Coronavirus: Cancel travel to China, say health officials. A friend with a contract (not her first) to do some teaching in China has been told by the employer not to come. Pashley (talk) 05:30, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

Flight to evacuate Japanese nationals from virus-hit Wuhan set to leave Tokyo on Tuesday and U.S. Working to Evacuate American Citizens From Epidemic-Stricken Chinese City, plus rumours about other countries. Pashley (talk) 07:36, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

This is the Johns Hopkins dashboard with updated cases and deaths around the world. Used by a variety of public health agencies, but is public facing. Thuegh (talk) 07:53, 1 February 2020 (UTC)

The article is growing againEdit

Last August, we cut this article down to 247,000 bytes in order to to make it a more useful introduction for travellers to the world's most populous country. It was cut down largely by moving information to branch articles where readers with a specific interest can find that information more easily.

The article has already grown to over 265,000 bytes. If it grows like this every seven months, it will quickly become the sort of massive article that readers won't want to read.

Can we go back to trying to keep this focused? If you are adding something, ask yourself if it could be instead added to a branch article. If it really is important, look for text that is as long but less important, and move that text. Thank you. Ground Zero (talk) 21:21, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

It's hard to focus on an abstract issue like length. Maybe you could mention what was added that should be shortened or moved somewhere else. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:08, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
It comes in bits and pieces. What triggered me was this addition of information about a not-very-important part of Chinese drinking that was put here instead of in the Chinese cuisine article.
In starting another full, I found that detail listings of boats that go to China were added here in Feb 2020 in addition to or instead of in the port city articles. See [1] and [2].
There is a big section in Stay Safe with photos about the different types of police. I guess this is useful, but it seems disproportionate, but I don't know where to move it. Maybe it can be summarized.
The Arts section has been growing. Maybe it should be split out into a branch article. Ground Zero (talk) 22:25, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
I'm wondering if the best title for such an article would be "Chinese arts" and include a section on ways to see and participate in them outside of China, too? I'll have a look at the other sections you mentioned later. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:07, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
It looks like you already removed or summarized the other specific things you mentioned, other than the various photos of law enforcement, which don't seem to me to be a problem, unless perhaps the badge of the PAP is not necessary. Is it useful? I'm not sure. Let's see what others say and not rush to remove it. I'd give that at least 2 days if not more, as hardly anything about travel is urgent right now. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:11, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
I agree that the article is getting long. The different types of police in China can be confusing for foreigners, but I think it should be possible to condense that information into a concise summary. Other things that can be cut down:
Parts of the "Shopping" section could be summarized or moved to the Shopping in China article.
We currently have a lot of details about banking. A lot of this is not relevant to short-term travellers, and I think some of it could be moved to Working in China.
Some other sections could be condensed, with dated or overly detailed material culled. I'm thinking of "Get around", "Buy", and "Connect". I can try to do something about these sometime soon.
I have not found pedicab taxis to be common in China. Is this a regional thing or have they gone out of fashion? Anyone who's been to China in the past few years, have you encountered them? If not, we can condense or remove the subsection. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:42, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
This sort of problem occurs in many articles; see for example Talk:Philippines#Bloat. Pashley (talk) 00:05, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
With regards to my addition, I want to say that just because China is not famous for wine doesn't mean that tourists cannot visit China to try their local wines. And it just so happens that Yantai is the cradle of China's wine industry, just as Qingdao is known for its beer. But anyway, I have no objection to it being moved to the Chinese cuisine article if people feel that that is the more appropriate place.
And with regards to traditional arts, I just felt that a country article with no mention of that is kind of lacking one of the country's main attraction to foreign tourists. Just as many foreigners will visit the U.S. to watch a musical on Broadway, or visit Italy to catch an opera in La Scala, there is no reason why we can't mention anything about traditional Chinese theatre. The only catch is that because China is such a big country, it is only natural that these will differ by region, and while details can go into the regional articles, the main country article should have an overview that conveys this diversity to our readers. The dog2 (talk) 04:13, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
I hope no-one disagrees that traditional (and, for that matter, modern) Chinese theater should be mentioned. The only question is whether to spin off more detailed information to another article. As for wine-growing regions, well, some good cider is made in the U.S., but the United States article doesn't mention any cider-growing regions. I'm not upset about one wine-growing region being mentioned in this article, but I don't think it's necessary, either. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:06, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
With regard to modern Chinese theatre, Beijing is actually famous among the Chinese for their plays, and I in fact went to watch one the last time I visited Beijing. They're in Mandarin and don't usually have English surtitles, as they're aimed at domestic rather than foreign tourists, so a foreigner who doesn't understand Mandarin is probably not going to be able to follow the plot. The dog2 (talk) 05:55, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
OK, but not all Beijing opera is actually purely classic. Besides, there are a fair number of foreigners who do speak Mandarin, nowadays. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:02, 5 April 2020 (UTC)

The information that is being added is usually useful and interesting, but the question is whether we want this article to cover everything that is useful and interesting about China. If we do that, the article will become a sprawling behemoth that won't be useful or interesting to travellers. What is it most useful to travellers is to provide an introduction to China that can be navigated and read fairly easily on a phone, with links to branch articles that go into more depth on particular subjects. And links to province and city articles that provide details and listings for individual destinations. The article size as measured by bytes is just an indicator of how good a job we are doing of keeping the article as a useful introduction. Ground Zero (talk) 11:22, 5 April 2020 (UTC)

Agreed, although keep in mind that the coronavirus is influencing articles such as this one (and articles about some European countries) in an unusual way. I recommend trying to get this article into a state where it's more permanent than how it is currently, without needing details that cause the article to expand beyond a reasonable length. On the other hand, however, length is not the only issue that must be considered; we shouldn't remove important travel information. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:47, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
The article did most of its growth before Covid. And no one is talking about removing important travel information. It's not helpful to suggest that anyone in this discussion wants to remove important travel information. Ground Zero (talk) 12:22, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
I think the nature of a wiki, not to mention travel, is that nothing is permanent. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:36, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
True. What I mean is an article that doesn't need to be changed particularly often, with the exception of during the virus or other important events. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 15:33, 5 April 2020 (UTC)

@STW932: What do you think about China#By pedicab (rickshaw)? Are pedicabs/rickshaws (三轮车) for passengers still common in some parts of China, or should we remove the section? As far as I can remember, I've seen these used to transport goods but not as taxis. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:13, 5 April 2020 (UTC)

I think the section should remain. Sanlunche are still common in some parts of China, particularly in the smaller towns and cities. For instance, I remember seeing quite a few of them when I was in Mengshan last October, and I personally used one to get from the bus station to my hotel. STW932 (talk) 16:38, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
Couldn't we have a travel topic such as Rickshaws in China, though, and add a link from the China article to that travel topic for more information? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:48, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
I added a small blurb about modern Chinese theatre. If anyone knows how to condense the section while retaining all the important information, please do so. The dog2 (talk) 21:06, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
I think it would be better to preserve and expand the text by moving it to a Chinese arts article as Ikan Kekek suggested above. Trying to keep it as a focused section in the China article would lead to leaving stuff out. I think it's a big enough topic for its own article, and creating the article could result in us providing even more information to readers. Ground Zero (talk) 21:18, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
I agree. There's ample content to focus on in regard to Chinese arts. In such an article, the initial question would be how broad a scope to cover. There's great stuff to see in Chinese museums, Chinese music is very varied and IMO its traditional and modern classical music is superb, there's also Western and hybrid classical music there and various folk traditions, different provinces have their own forms of classic and modern opera, etc., etc. We'd want to give readers a sense of what to experience and look for and where and how to find it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:59, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
I'm no expert in this, but I agree that if someone has the knowledge, a Chinese arts article certainly has the potential to become a good article. And it's not just between provinces. There are differences in traditional arts even within provinces. For instance, in Fujian, Quanzhou alone gave rise two distinct styles of opera, while Putian and Fuzhou each have their own distinct styles that are sung in their local dialects. And perhaps most obviously, both Cantonese and Teochew opera originated in Guangdong, as well as the less well-known Hakka opera. Certainly if someone is knowledgeable, the article can even cover the traditional arts of China's ethnic minorities, though even if we want to restrict it to only ethnic Han arts, there's already an incredible amount of diversity within that. The dog2 (talk) 22:49, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
Can I suggest the the 'By Road' section is shortened and moved to a new article? It is a great way to experience China, but realistically there are 14 countries bordering China and the percentage of travelers using these border crossings is really low. Why not just a sentence describing all the crossings with a link to the new article?
Additionally the 'By Boat' section can be visually shortened. The usage of a sub-header for each country really uses a lot of space. It could be shortened nicely with a sentance per country, with just the country name in bold? Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:46, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
I think a Chinese arts article can also cover non-Han arts. Chinese cuisine covers the cuisines of non-Han minorities to some extent. Anyway, how much to cover Overseas Chinese arts and non-Han Chinese arts are things that could be discussed more in the talk page of the new article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:30, 5 April 2020 (UTC)

@Thedog2: since you've been adding the content on the arts, it seems like you are the active editor who is best suited to starting the Chinese arts article. I encourage you to plunge forward and get the article started. I'm sure that once you do, others will join in and develop it further. Thanks, Ground Zero (talk) 01:51, 6 April 2020 (UTC)

OK, I'll get it started in the next few days. I'm no expert on this, and I'm certainly not familiar with all forms of Chinese theatre, but I'll do my best. The dog2 (talk) 03:47, 6 April 2020 (UTC)
Before I start this, I wonder if we should have two separate articles for performing arts and visual arts. In the case of the latter, you can actually see a lot of them outside mainland China. The British Museum, the Met, the Louvre and Tokyo National Museum are some obvious examples, and so is the National Palace Museum in Taipei. The dog2 (talk) 21:41, 9 April 2020 (UTC)
Sure, go ahead. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:06, 9 April 2020 (UTC)

'Sacred mountains' as a seperate article?Edit

The 'Sacred Mountains' section is very much a list, and lacking much context about why you would want to visit any of them. A traveler wanting to visit China wouldn't get any value from reviewing this section.

Would anyone object to having this moved to a seperate article with more content, context and maps? Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:53, 5 April 2020 (UTC)

These mountains have a very prominent role in traditional Chinese culture. If you're a fan of Chinese martial arts television series, films and novels, you'll find that all these mountains feature very prominently, and each of those mountains is typically associated with a martial arts sect in popular culture. They also have a lot of religious significance to believers of traditional Chinese religion, and there are many historically significant temples on those mountains that you can visit. The dog2 (talk) 23:01, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
I wasn't asking for the justification for this content (I've lived in PRC and am aware of the cultural significance of some of these mountains), just asking if the content as it currently stands is truely adding value at the country level article. Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:27, 6 April 2020 (UTC)
No objection. Summarize here with a link, once the separate article is in halfway decent shape. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:28, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
Thanks Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:27, 6 April 2020 (UTC)
I'd prefer a more general article along the lines of Sacred sites of the Indian sub-continent, covering not just the mountains, but also things like the Dunhuang caves and Quanzhou#Religious_structures Pashley (talk) 09:09, 6 April 2020 (UTC)
That is a good suggestion talk. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:20, 6 April 2020 (UTC)
Agreed. That will also allow us to cover places like Meizhou Island, the birthplace of Mazu, which is very significant for people from coastal Fujian and Guangdong (and of course, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and many Southeast Asian overseas Chinese). The dog2 (talk) 19:03, 7 April 2020 (UTC)
I think Sacred sites of China would be a worthwhile article. Ground Zero (talk) 19:12, 7 April 2020 (UTC)

City list revisitedEdit

Coming to think of it, we don't have a listing for a city in western China, and I still feel like having 3 cities in the same region, namely Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing is overkill. I'm thinking that maybe we should swap Hangzhou or Nanjing for maybe Kashgar or Lhasa. My preference would be for Kashgar to be in the list. It is perhaps China's main centre of Uyghur culture, with a famous Uyghur mosque you can visit (Id Kah Mosque), and with a surviving old town that has traditional Uyghur buildings. And it would certainly be nice to have a city where one of China's ethnic minorities forms a majority. And unlike Lhasa, you don't need any special permits to visit Kashgar, and you can wander around the city freely. What do you say? The dog2 (talk) 18:39, 27 April 2020 (UTC)

We already have two "other destinations" in Tibet (including Tibet itself), so I wouldn't add Lhasa. Xinjiang is also represented in "other destinations" by Turpan. Both Tibet and Xinjiang are off-the-beaten-path parts of China, so I don't think it necessarily makes sense to emphasize them further by adding another one of their cities.
Also, the cities list already includes Chengdu and Xi'an, both of which are considered to be in western China. —Granger (talk · contribs) 19:20, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
I'm open to replacing Turpan with Kashgar or something like that, though—I have no idea which of the two is a more interesting destination. —Granger (talk · contribs) 19:22, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
My main issue is still with regional balance. 3 cities in the Huaiyang region is a little overkill. If we want to limit the list to majority-Han cities, I can suggest maybe replacing one of those cities with Xiamen, which is still a major city, notable for its cultural and linguistic links to Taiwan and many overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. And it's also home to one of China's premier universities, which is historically significant because the university's main benefactor actually made his fortune in Singapore and Malaysia. The only issue is whether or not this is putting too heavy an emphasis on southeastern China, since we already have Guangzhou in the list.
I don't know if Kashgar or Turpan is more important for tourists. Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar is certainly one of China's most famous mosques; the only other one that approaches its fame is the Great Mosque of Xi'an. If you do a Google search for a list of mosques to visit in China, these two mosques are the only ones that appear on every list. The dog2 (talk) 20:07, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
In United States of America#Cities, Boston, New York City, and D.C. are all included. I don’t think it’s an issue. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:12, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
I don't think we need to limit it to majority-Han or minority-Han cities. Xiamen works for me. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:15, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
So what do you say about swapping Hangzhou for Xiamen. Hangzhou is a beautiful city, but Nanjing is probably more important in the context of recent Chinese history. The Republic of China had its capital in Nanjing, and Sun Yat-sen was buried there, so I think that one should stay. The dog2 (talk) 21:37, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
That works for me. Let's see what others think. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:34, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
No opposition. I assume you guys know what you’re doing, as I don’t know much about China’s geography. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 00:36, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Ultimately the city list shouldn't be about evenly spreading the cities across China but rather what are the top cities to visit for China as a destination country. Truth is that most things are on the east coast.
Agree to swap out Hangzhou for another however. It is a great city worthy of visiting, but in the context of all China it can probably be bumped. Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:08, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
I loved my visit to Hangzhou in 1987 but boy oh boy is that a long time ago, I've never been to Xiamen but heard then that it was nice, and like SelfieCity said, you guys, take care of it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:54, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Keep Hangzhou! Over 10 million population, major tourist destination, two sites on World Heritage list (West Lake & Liangzhu Culture), Marco Polo#Hangzhou wrote the city is beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world. If we need to lose a city in East China, then it must be Nanjing, though I'd rather add Suzhou than remove any there. I could make a case for replacing Nanjing with Suzhou, but not a particularly strong case.
If we need to remove a city on the current list to add Kashgar (a fine addition, if there's room), then I'd say the obvious candidate is Guilin. It is a major tourist destination but as a city it is not even close to as important others on the list or to ones that might be added such as Kunming or Xiamen. I'd move Gulin to "other destinations" & add Kashgar to Cities. Pashley (talk) 02:03, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Guilin is a city and can't be an "Other destination", but the karst limestone cliffs on the Li River can be. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:27, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
I've been to both Suzhou and Hangzhou, and I love them both, but I think in an article about a country as big as China, we should at least make some effort to showcase its internal cultural diversity. Although Western media often portrays China as one gigantic culturally homogenous nation, this couldn't be further from the truth, and in fact, many Chinese people make use to social media to showcase the uniqueness of their local cultures to other Chinese. (And to be fair though, it's also true many foreigners also have the misconception that Hollywood is American culture.) Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai are all in the same region and while there are of course some differences, they're culturally quite similar, while when you get down to Fujian, it's quite distinct from Shanghai. Showcasing this cultural diversity is the reason why I initially suggested a majority non-Han city like Kashgar, but I also get the point that it's not a major city. There's Urumqi too but based on my understanding, it's Han majority these days and not really a tourist attraction, and if you really want to experience Uyghur culture, Kashgar is better for that. The dog2 (talk) 05:24, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Re Kashgar and Urumqi: though I've never been to Xinjiang, I agree with your impression that Kashgar is a better destination for experiencing Uyghur culture. Re cultural diversity: I agree we should try to give a sense of this. Re Guilin: though I've never been there either, my impression is that the main attractions are not urban sights but rural landscapes. (Those rural landscapes are administered as part of Guilin, though we have separate articles for some of them, like Longsheng and Yangshuo.) In that sense Guilin makes more sense in "other destinations" than in "cities". If we wanted we could phrase it as "Karst landscape surrounding Guilin" or something like that.
How about this? We remove Turpan from other destinations, move Guilin there in some form (maybe rephrased in some way), and add Kashgar to "Cities"? —Granger (talk · contribs) 14:00, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
I haven't been to the Guilin area, but I do know that the karst cliffs don't surround Guilin but extend for some ways between Guilin and Yanghuo (and then some?). Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:10, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
I've not been to Xinjiang myself, but I do watch Chinese travel vlogs semi regularly, and Kashgar's old town looked beautiful in those vlogs. It's an Uyghur city, so the architecture is very different from that of the Han Chinese heartland; it's a lot closer to Middle Eastern than traditional Chinese architecture. Kashgar actually has an airport, so while a bit of a detour, it's not that hard to reach. You can just catch a flight from Urumqi.
And I just want to say that since we're not commercially motivated, this should give us the freedom to recommend places that are worthy tourist destinations but not very well known. No Western travel agent is going to advertise Kashgar because it doesn't fit people's image of "China", and is thus not conducive to their marketing, but we can since we are only concerned about travel and not profits here.
And finally, I would be happy with Granger's suggestion. The dog2 (talk) 17:05, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Just one more thing for those who might be worried that such a listing will be politically sensitive. You don't have to worry about that. Officially, the Chinese government promotes the concept of a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic Chinese nation. Of course, whether or not it actually does so in practice is a matter of debate that is beyond our scope here on WV. That said, you can see ethnic minority cultural performances on Chinese state media, and there are vloggers from China's ethnic minorities, including some Uyghurs, who make videos about their language and culture and post them on Chinese social media. So merely promoting the appreciation of an ethnic minority culture or language in China is not a problem, and will not get you into any legal trouble. The dog2 (talk) 00:58, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
I also like Granger's suggestion. Do we have enough consensus to implement it? Pashley (talk) 02:33, 29 April 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It looks like nobody is objecting. I'll go ahead and implement it in the next couple of days if nobody voices any objection. The dog2 (talk) 17:37, 1 May 2020 (UTC)

I'm also in favour of the proposed changes. 'Guilin' could be reworded as 'Guilin Karst', the name used by UNESCO (See https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1248). STW932 (talk) 17:16, 2 May 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, that's fine. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:20, 2 May 2020 (UTC)
OK, I've made the change. Please copyedit as you see fit. The dog2 (talk) 18:29, 4 May 2020 (UTC)

Variety of English spelling in ChinaEdit

Swept from User talk:Ground Zero

Hi, and thanks for the follow up edits. I thought we used British spellings for China. When I was there in 2004, I remember seeing words like centre on official buildings consistently. Was there a discussion somewhere stating that this had changed since then? Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:37, 20 May 2020 (UTC)

@Ikan Kekek: In May 2019, I went through a whole bunch of country article talk pages to make sure that there was a formatting box on each of them. On a bunch of them, I posted the boxes as proposals, and then waited as no-one commented. For China, I thought it was obvious because it is neither a Commonwealth nor a EU country, so it would follow the general policy of using American spelling. There has been no comment on this until now. But I also overlooked this discussion (before my time), where British spelling was slightly preferred. I kind of remember seeing more American spelling when I was there, but it was 13 years ago, and I wasn't looking out for it. So on the basis of that discussion, I'll change the formatting box above and restore UK spelling on the article that I changed. I've moved your comment here to create a more recent record. Regards, Ground Zero (talk) 21:43, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
I think I've seen more US spellings than UK spellings in mainland China. To test that impression, I checked three listings in Shenzhen where we use the spelling "centre", and found that in all three the official websites say "center": [3] [4] [5]. (That's despite the fact that Shenzhen is right next to Hong Kong.) —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:01, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
This is the kind of thing that could have changed since 2004, as Hong Kong's economic importance to China has declined somewhat. For what it's worth, some students/schools in China have a preference for American English as opposed to British English (not as many the other way around), which could partly explain a shift in which spellings are used more in the country. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:05, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
@Ikan Kekek: what do you think? Maybe we should post in Request for Comments to get more input. Ground Zero (talk) 15:57, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
Granger has more current experience than I do, and we should go with current observations if they are consistent with one another. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:49, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. I've posted in Request for Comments. Ground Zero (talk) 21:58, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
I haven't gone to China for a while, and for obvious reasons, I've never really spoken English in China, but it does seem that it's mixed, but with a slight preference for American English. Things may have changed now given the current geopolitical situation, but back in the 1990s-early 2010s, the dream of most Chinese was to immigrate to America, and hence, American English had somewhat more prestige than British English. Chinese people back in 1990s told me that they learnt American English in school, but recently, I've also seen conflicting reports regarding this. The dog2 (talk) 23:49, 21 May 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Ikan Kekek: A friend who has worked teaching English as a foreign language in the UK for decades says that her students (half of whom were Japanese in the 1990s) used to tell her that they had chosen the UK for foreign studies to learn the Queen's English, while now her students (95% of whom are Chinese) tell her that they chose the UK because of Harry Potter. (Her university does not look like Hogwarts.) We haven't had any more input in this question. I found this discussion on Quora, and it doesn't really resolve the question. There are varying opinions, but several people suggest that the textbooks use British English, while students tend to use American English. I'm kind of inclined to follow Granger and Thedog 2's advice, which is leans toward American English. Comments or objections? 15:23, 29 May 2020 (UTC)

I'm fine with using American English in this case. The dog2 (talk) 19:44, 30 May 2020 (UTC)

CrimeEdit

I wonder if we should update the section somehow. A lot of that information is from a couple of years ago, and according to my relatives who do business in China, crime rates have declined even further since they installed the CCTV cameras, since the police have been able to track down a lot of the criminals and arrest them.

For the child kidnapping part, does anyone have any information on whether it is still accurate? I originally wrote it in after hearing about it from some YouTubers based in China at the time, and back then, their content was fairly balanced and more slice-of-life. But now that they have moved to America, their content has shifted to exclusively hard-core anti-China propaganda, which is making me suspicious of whether or not that information is accurate. As of now, given the number of CCTV cameras around, I think it's highly unlikely that your kid will be snatched from you in the street when you're in downtown Beijing or Shanghai, because the police will be able to track them down fairly easily using all that CCTV footage. So what do you guys think? The dog2 (talk) 16:21, 27 May 2020 (UTC)

A few thoughts:
I've seen children going about their lives in Shenzhen, Beijing, and other big cities in China without adult supervision, including kids young enough that most American parents wouldn't be comfortable letting them go out on their own in such a big city.
My vague memory is that my students told me child kidnapping is a bigger problem in the countryside than in big cities. That matches the general feeling that the government has less control over what goes on in the countryside than in the cities.
Overall I get the sense that rates of crime and begging have gone down in China compared to a couple of decades ago.
I'm not sure we need to credit CCTV cameras (or anything else) for the reduced crime rate. Crime rates are affected by many factors, including economic well-being, and at least the rates of some crimes have been going down since well before surveillance cameras became ubiquitous in big cities.
Not sure about bike theft, but battery packs and chargers are definitely a target for theft. I haven't heard of bus robberies in recent years (but that's just me, it's possible they still happen). —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:55, 27 May 2020 (UTC)
So instead of saying that child kidnapping is "rampant", how about something along the lines of "known to happen, especially in rural areas"? And speaking of crime in general, maybe I'm being biased here, but I feel safer walking through a Chinese slum than an American slum. The dog2 (talk) 18:33, 27 May 2020 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable. I don't think I've been anywhere in China or the US that I would call a slum, but I agree that I feel safer in a rough neighborhood in China than a rough neighborhood in the US, and I've talked to other travelers who feel the same way. —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:42, 27 May 2020 (UTC)
Students also told me that pickpocketing has gone down since most people don't carry wallets anymore. Not sure if that's worth indicating in some way. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:35, 27 May 2020 (UTC)
Sure, but I'm not sure if that applies to someone who is visibly foreign. The Chinese may use mobile payments extensively, but seasoned thieves will probably know that a foreigner is less likely to have Alipay or WeChat Pay, and will therefore probably be carrying a fair bit of cash. The dog2 (talk) 21:38, 27 May 2020 (UTC)
Yes, but I don't think it will affect average travellers. The dog2 (talk) 00:54, 28 May 2020 (UTC)

I took out the bit about childnapping as it was long and concluded with "foreign children are not targeted". Foreigners are generally not going to have to worry about securities crime either, or paying bribes to get construction contracts, or trains being hijacked. But if we start to list all of the crimes that don't often affect foreigners, this will be a useless mess of an article. Yes, I know I've ranted about this article being loaded up with bunches of non-travel-related stuff before, but every time I come back to this article I have to hack back the jungle again. And I will continue to be ruthless whenever I see stuff going in that should be in an encyclopedia, or really anywhere but a travel guide. Ground Zero (talk) 03:33, 10 June 2020 (UTC)

Chinese translationsEdit

I'm all in favour of providing Chinese character and pinyin translations for things travellers need to know, like city and street names, and train stations, etc. But travellers don't need these to understand history and political concepts. What traveller needs to know the Chinese for Great Leap Forward, Special Administrative Regions, or National People's Congress? Translations for things like these will be of interest to only a few readers who are able to speak Mandarin well enough to discuss politics. But we advise readers against discussing politics. These translations are appropriate for — and can be found in — an encyclopedia article. Wikivoyage is not an encyclopedia. Let's not try to be Wikipedia-without-references. Wikivoyage is better as a travel guide than as an "encyclopedia lite". Ground Zero (talk) 22:01, 10 June 2020 (UTC)

Agreed. It's also harder to patrol edits changing or "updating" words in foreign languages, when for all we non-Chinese speakers know, the changes could be adding curse words in said language. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:04, 10 June 2020 (UTC)
I'm a fluent Mandarin speaker, so I can easily patrol for vulgarities. But I agree that providing the Chinese names for all historical events is unnecessary. Providing the Chinese name for National People's Congress can be useful in the relevant listing in the Beijing article though, as you can go and visit the Great Hall of the People where it meets as a tourist. The dog2 (talk) 02:29, 11 June 2020 (UTC)
Thanks! But I'm also thinking about the possibility that at some point in the future, we might not have enough Chinese-speaking editors for the WV:Recent changes patrol, which though unlikely is possible. Agreed that the Chinese name for the National People's Congress can be stated in both languages. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 12:46, 11 June 2020 (UTC)
I agree that the National People's Congress should be translated when it is a site listed in the See section of the Beijing article, and not here in the Understand discussion about Chinese government. Ground Zero (talk) 13:07, 11 June 2020 (UTC)
@Ground Zero: Just to make sure it's clear, you're only talking about the Chinese names of a few modern terms with fairly well-known English translations that you removed in this edit, and not removing all Chinese from the History section? If so, then I would agree with you. Compare Japan#History and South Korea#History, which also provide the original language for ancient historical names and terms, but drop it when reaching more modern history. --Bigpeteb (talk) 17:12, 11 June 2020 (UTC)
Its "The Republic and World War II" and "Politics" sections where someone has added both hanzi and pinyin translations. They really disrupt the flow of the text, and come across as encyclopedic detail. I would remove them from these sections. In the earlier history, on the hanzi are provided, and they do disrupt the text in the way that providing both do. But again, i don't really think they are needed in a travel article history. Students of Chinese language can and should read an encyclopedia article to get their history. Our travel guide should be written for a more general audience. Ground Zero (talk) 20:17, 11 June 2020 (UTC)
A good point. I think the Chinese translations of terms like "Belt and Road", "National People's Congress", "Tang Dynasty", and probably even "Xi Jinping" are not necessary. A typical non-Chinese-speaking traveler will not need to know how to read or say these in Chinese; a traveler who speaks some Chinese can look the terms up in a dictionary or on Wikipedia. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:09, 11 June 2020 (UTC)

Done. There is a similar issue with the list of holidays. Do we need pinyin there? Do we need hanyu there? Ground Zero (talk) 20:26, 16 June 2020 (UTC)

And are the hanyu versions of airline names worth including, when airlines advertise themselves with their English names? Ground Zero (talk) 20:52, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
I think the Chinese names for the holidays and airlines seem useful. I seem to remember not all signs at airports are bilingual. Others may disagree. —Granger (talk · contribs) 22:43, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
All the airports I have been to in China so far have bilingual signs. To be fair though, I haven't been to any really small regional airports, but I have been to several medium-sized ones like Haikou and Fuzhou. The dog2 (talk) 19:55, 25 June 2020 (UTC)
I would keep names of airports in Chinese, as they're not doing any harm. But if the article gets longer once again, which is quite likely to happen, we could reconsider including this information. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:19, 25 June 2020 (UTC)

"they function like different countries"Edit

The recent history of Hong Kong, and the Communist Party's clear intent to impose its will on HK, makes it clear they are not like "different countries". Also, we advise travellers elsewhere in the article: "Do not suggest that Hong Kong and Taiwan are not part of China", and then we do that very thing. "Separate jurisdictions" is a better, and not self-contradicting, phrase. Ground Zero (talk) 22:18, 10 June 2020 (UTC)

Call a spade a spade. For travel purposes, they are in effect different countries; each has its own currency & visas. The word "like" is unnecessary & at least for Taiwan "separate jurisdictions" strikes me as absurd. Pashley (talk) 23:17, 10 June 2020 (UTC)
Fair point on Taiwan, but Hong Kong doesn't resemble a different country at all. Currency and visas are minor in the grand scheme of things. And China is not the only country that has separate visa regimes within its borders. Ground Zero (talk) 00:03, 11 June 2020 (UTC)
Not only currency and visas, but languages, culture, laws... Politically Hong Kong and Macau are not separate countries, but what the article says is "for practical travel purposes, they function like different countries". That was true enough when I visited Hong Kong and Macau last year and the year before—has it changed from the traveller's perspective since then? —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:20, 11 June 2020 (UTC)
Probably not yet. But we have a pandemic today, anyway, so until there's a clear change, we have no great reason to change anything, except that we could say something like "this may be subject to change, and if it does change, this article will be updated". Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:37, 11 June 2020 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, the internet is still uncensored in Hong Kong and Macau, but heavily censored in the mainland. Until the law is implemented, we don't know what will happen, but as of now, they are still like different countries from a traveller's perspective. They even drive on opposite sides of the road from mainland China, and cultural differences are something you can't just erase overnight by passing a law. And the word "like" makes an important distinction. Taiwan is effectively a different country because Beijing currently has no political control over them (they have their own military and foreign policy, for instance), but Beijing has control over Hong Kong and Macau, so they are effectively not different countries, but as a casual tourist, it feels as if you are going to a different country because of the separate visa requirements, currency, legal system, etc., hence the term "like different countries". And I don't know what it's like anymore because I haven't gone to China in a while, but while I wouldn't trust the public hospitals in mainland China, I have absolutely no problem going to one in Hong Kong, so that's another big difference that makes it like a different country. The dog2 (talk) 01:07, 11 June 2020 (UTC)
Or we could avoid contradicting the advice we provide in the China#Respect section of the article by using "jurisdictions" which is a term that refers to the laws and regulations of a place. That seems simpler to me. We just dont need to make a political statement about this. Ground Zero (talk) 01:23, 11 June 2020 (UTC)
Sure, let's use "jurisdiction." Going against our own advice in the same article requires changing either China#Respect or the controversial wording that caused the discussion. More importantly, however, I might be missing a discussion somewhere, but I don't understand the rationale for deleting content about driving in China. Was that content moved to the Driving in China article? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 01:25, 11 June 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I don't think that it is a political statement. It's simply reflecting what things feel like from the perspective of the average traveller. (I'm assuming most of us here are just casual tourists, and not travelling for the purpose of toppling the Chinese government.) And from my experience having visited Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China, and having crossed both borders, it really does feel like you are going to a different country. I just think that the phrasing I used is clearer because it avoids fancy words, but if the consensus goes against me, I will accept it. The dog2 (talk) 01:37, 11 June 2020 (UTC)

Again, we advise travellers elsewhere in the article: "Do not suggest that Hong Kong and Taiwan are not part of China", and then we do that very thing. I think it looks stupid that we do exactly what we advise travellers not to do. And I don't think "jurisdiction" is a 'fancy word' in a discussion of visas, currencies and laws, which by their nature are technical matters. Ground Zero (talk) 20:33, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
Yes, because that is advice on what you should do while in China in order not to offend people. However, we do not take sides on political disputes and simply reflect what the situation on the ground is for travellers, regardless of what either side of the political dispute says. Sure, Chinese people regard Taiwan as part of China, but in practice it is a different country. Mentioning that does not mean that we are endorsing the Taiwan independence movement; it's simply reflecting what the de facto situation is. Hong Kong is different from Taiwan in that while it is in practice not a different country as China controls certain aspects of its governance (for instance, Taiwan has an independent military and foreign policy while Hong Kong doesn't), but because of its autonomous status, it resembles a different country in some aspects, including those that are most relevant for travellers. Again, mentioning that doesn't mean that we are endorsing the Hong Kong independence movement. And note the difference between "function as different countries", and "function like different countries"; the former case applies to Taiwan, while the latter case applies to Hong Kong and Macau, and that single word difference is important in the meaning it conveys. The dog2 (talk) 20:53, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
The text in question is about Hong Kong and Macau, not about Taiwan. Telling readers that they function as separate jurisdictions is surely clearer than introducing the simile like different countries. Ground Zero (talk) 21:03, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
I still disagree on which phrasing is clearer, but I've said my piece and I will go with whatever the consensus is. The dog2 (talk) 21:42, 16 June 2020 (UTC)

TaiwanEdit

While this is not the place to go into detail, I think the blurb in the disclaimer box about Taiwan is misleading. Sure, the government of Taiwan considers itself to be the legitimate government of China on paper, but you'll be nuts to think the current government is pursuing this claim. Tsai Ing-wen has publicly rejected the 1992 consensus and said that she considers Taiwan to be a separate country from China. She just hasn't officially amended the Taiwanese constitution to reflect that, because it will almost certainly trigger a Chinese invasion, but let's not kid ourselves about the reality on the ground. I think we should at least have a qualifier along the lines of "on paper" to reflect reality. The dog2 (talk) 21:45, 29 July 2020 (UTC)

The text does not claim that Taiwan is pursuing the claim. Let's focus on writing a travel guide instead of endlessly tinkering with politics and history sections. It drains energy away from adding to travel content. Wikivoyage is not Wikipedia. It does not require the same degree of precision, and it absolutely should not have the same degree of detail. If it did, then we would have to require references to reliable sources. The politics section is already very long and detracts from the usefulness of this article as a travel guide. The less we dive deep into these issues, the better. Relentlessy expanding the politics and history sections is not improving Wikivoyage. I think we should be cutting the detail as anyone looking for a more complete discussion would be better off reading the properly sourced Wikipedia article. Ground Zero (talk) 21:58, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Ground Zero. Please, let's try not to introduce politics, and especially a political agenda, into our useful travel information. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:43, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
However, adding the words “in theory” seems accurate given the context and I would not oppose that addition of wording. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 23:53, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
I am not trying to advocate for or against Taiwanese independence, and frankly speaking, I don't care either way. But I think adding the words "in theory" or "on paper" reflects the current situation more accurately. The dog2 (talk) 23:58, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
You know what you're implying by "in theory". Should we explain it to the readers, or just leave it at "both governments claim", which is perfectly accurate. The article does not say that the ROC government is or is not actively pursuing the claim, and nor does it need to get into that. What does "pursuing the claim" even mean? Do we need another paragraph to explain this concept? Or should we focus on travel content? Really, if you want to get deeper into politics and government, w:China would be a better place to do that. Ground Zero (talk) 00:32, 30 July 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I don't think we should dive deeply into the issue, since that is out of scope of a travel guide, but at the same time, what we write needs to be in step with reality. As I mentioned, yes, Taiwanese constitution continues to claim that the Taiwanese government is the legitimate government for all of China. Therefore, "both governments claim" is true on paper. However, the current governing party of Taiwan is the pro-independence DPP, and they most certainly do not believe in the claim; they instead believe that Taiwan is a separate independent country and want nothing to do with China. They haven't amended the Taiwanese constitution, so the claim over "all of China" still stands in theory, but for all intents and purposes, the claim is dead and exists only on paper. If "in theory" is too politically contentious, how about using "on paper" instead? The dog2 (talk) 01:06, 30 July 2020 (UTC)

You keep adding modifiers to imply things that readers can't be expected pick up on. We can agree that the statement that the ROC claims sovereignty over all of China is true. Not "in theory", not "on paper; it is true -- the claim of sovereignty is in the constitution of the country without modification. No one can ever accuse us of being inaccurate in saying this. And no-one ever would, so there is no need for is to write like lawyers trying to sneak in weasel words to cover our backsides. Writing like lawyers is not lively. I worked with lawyers for most of my career, so I get where they are coming from, and why Wikivoyage shouldn't write that way. Less time nit-picking about politics, and more time adding travel content is how to build a travel guide. Ground Zero (talk) 01:42, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
I've rewritten it. Pashley (talk) 02:41, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
Both governments do actually claim sovereignty, but I'm moving on, and ask that The dog2 respect Pashley's work to end this by not making further edits to the politics and history sections of this article. Ground Zero (talk) 02:57, 30 July 2020 (UTC)

Before anyone complains about me trimming this article....Edit

The edits I have made this evening have only cut back the article to the size it was on July 13 of this year. It does not do travellers any favour to insist on adding back encyclopedic details (but this is so important! Everyone should know about this thing that I find to be interesting!) and restoring the extra words that don't add meaning, but just add unnecessary emphasis or repetition. I hope that those who continue adding to thus article will balance their additions by cutting back an equivalent amount of less important detail, or by moving stuff to subsidiary articles. If this article tries to include everything there is to know about China, it will not be of use to anyone. Ground Zero (talk) 03:19, 31 July 2020 (UTC)

The last time I cut this article back was only six weeks ago, and since then it has been expanded and expanded and expanded. That is why I think it is a really bad idea to start adding in regional bits of information like coffee culture in Hainan. It is only 1 of 31 administrative units in the country, and it is not one of the more popular places for foreign visitors. Ground Zero (talk) 03:56, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
I recall our policy is to use a lively writing style, and not to write in a formal, monotonous style like what I would do when writing a research paper. I understand the rationale behind not going into encyclopaedic detail, but surely it doesn't mean that we should adopt a plain writing style just for the sake of keeping the article as short as possible. The dog2 (talk) 04:17, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
Yes, we should have a lively style per wv:tone. Wordiness is not lively. Repetition and redundancy is not lively. Ground Zero (talk) 04:45, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
Hainan does normally get a lot of tourism, though perhaps not now due to COVID. Lots of Russians since back in the Cold War era, when I was there ~2008 a lot of Europeans on package holidays. I do not think that is a reason to mention its coffee culture here though. Pashley (talk) 09:20, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
I recognize that this article is on the long side, but I agree with The dog2 that we should be careful not to copyedit out the liveliness. No opinion on coffee culture. —Granger (talk · contribs) 11:17, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
Before COVID-19 hit, there were nonstop flights from Singapore to Haikou, and in fact, that was how I got to Hainan when I visited. It may not be known to American and Canadian tourists, but an international flight to Singapore can be sustained, there has to be at least a decent amount of international tourism from Southeast Asia. And yes, I understand that this article is longer than most and we don't want it to be unnecessarily long, but keep in mind that China is a huge country, about the same size as the United States. It's no accident that this article and the United States are article are among our longest country; for such huge and diverse countries, there will inevitable be a lot more to cover than for a country of average size, and this will naturally result in longer than normal articles. The dog2 (talk) 15:27, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
I didn't read every word, but I scanned through the changes and didn't see much to complain about. Overall, it looks like only minor details have been removed, and a lot of text has been tightened up so it's not so wordy. I wouldn't say that it's not "lively" anymore. In general, thank you and good job!
The one thing I'd advocate to restore is the paragraph about political parties. This is for two reasons. One is that we have a similar paragraph in other countries like United States, United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, and maybe others. The other is that since we're not an encyclopedia, we don't have to make the reader read between the lines; we can call a spade a spade. There are more than 300 million Google results for "china multi-party" (many of which come from PRC media), but as you know if you've read the paragraph in question (or WP), it's pretty misleading to call it a multi-party system in the same sense as most democratic countries. I think it's important for the same reason we haven't shied away from describing China as "authoritarian", or why we added a summary at the top of "Stay safe" about the status of human rights. Many people have probably heard that China holds elections, but I think it's worth the space in this article to disabuse readers of the idea that those elections are as meaningful as they would be in many other countries. --Bigpeteb (talk) 18:21, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
I'm not sure we should get into detail about China's political system. Everyone knows that it is an authoritarian state, and we already state that in the existing text. As for elections in China, they do have some elections for low-level positions such as village chiefs, for instance. However for all intents and purposes, they aren't free elections like what you get in a democratic country, since all candidates have to be approved by the Communist Party, and they don't really have a say in national policy, so the elections don't really have an effect on governance. The dog2 (talk) 18:58, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
In other countries, political parties are an important part of the governance structure. In China, they are not, so I think if we say anything, it should be a brief explanation that while there are other parties, they are controlled by the CPC, and leave it at that. Ground Zero (talk) 19:03, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict) In the US and UK, it makes sense to go into some level of detail about different parties because they are directly relevant to the governance of the country and sometimes even to locals' identities. In China, the minority parties are so irrelevant that some Chinese people don't even know they exist.
I think it's unlikely readers will assume China is a multiparty democracy, and if they do, the existing sentence "China is an authoritarian state ruled by the Communist Party of China" clarifies the situation. Perhaps it could be made clearer with a phrase like "one-party authoritarian state" (which is what it is in practice). We could even add a sentence mentioning that while minority parties technically exist, they are in practice irrelevant. But I don't think it's worth adding a whole paragraph going into the minutiae of the system. —Granger (talk · contribs) 19:06, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
I think the paragraph is unnecessary and was removed for good reason. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 19:22, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
Fair points, all! I withdraw my request. :-) --Bigpeteb (talk) 21:56, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
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