21D – Middle Kingdom

Beijing, Xi’an, Urumqi, Turpan, Chengdu, Lhasa, Kunming, Guilin/Yangshuo, and Shanghai

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Tour Program Summary

Discover the wonderful variety of landscape, people and culture in the center and four corners of China.

Middle Kingdom is a literary translation of “Zhong Guo”, the Chinese name for their modern country (e.i. Chinese name for “China”). It dates from c.1000 B.C., when it designated the capital of Zhou Dynasty and the area under direct rule of the King situated on the North China Plain.

The land area and political entity referred to as “Zhong Guo” changed many times in history, and “Zhong Guo” did not become the formal name for the country until 1911 when Republic of China was founded. However, the sentiment that China was in the center of the world politically, culturally as well as physically was profoundly rooted in the Chinese psyche through the millennia due to the dominance of Chinese civilization in East Asia and to the lack of knowledge of the civilizations in the West.

Even today, that sentiment is still very strong among most Chinese citizens. “Yet the sentiment that allows Chinese to believe they are the center of the world runs far deeper than what is customarily associated with the term ‘complex’ and certainly involves more than what is usually thought of as pride,” observed the late  Prof. Lucian Pye of MIT.

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