Focus on China

by Odd de Presno

Sample text from the Online World Monitor newsletter ISSN: 0805-6315. February 1995. (C) by Odd de Presno, Norway. (Note: Links are not maintained!)
The CIA World Factbook says that The People's Republic of China had an estimated population of 1.178 billion persons in July 1993 on a land area slightly larger than the United States. It is the world's third-largest country after Russia and Canada. China is rich of natural resources: coal, iron ore, petroleum, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, world's largest hydropower potential. No wonder foreign businesses are interested. Total population literacy is 73 percent. Languages are Standard Chinese (Putonghua) or Mandarin (based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, and various minority languages. Search the Factbook for more information about China on this Web address: The Online World resources handbook contains many pointers to information about the country, including: * Xinhua English Language News Service. PeaceNet's World News Service coverage of China. The China News Digest mailing list. * Sources for businesses like MARKET: Asia Pacific, China Import/Export News, CHINA-LINK, Daily China Headline News, China Intelligence Report, Kompass Online's database of companies in China, The Asian Information Service's large database on China, * Usenet newsgroups like, talk.politics.china, soc.culture.china, * Pointers to information and research sources in/about China.

The China World Wide Web Home page

There are several competing China Home pages. One of them is at

Communications with China is still slowed down by narrow bandwidth. 
Therefore, the Institute of High Energy Physics (Beijing)'s China Home page 
is mirrored to a host in the US to better serve foreigners: (Defunct. Try this instead:

This page contains public scientific, technical, and business information 
about China. It has links to Chinese Research Institutes, Chinese 
Universities, and Commercial Organizations. The original URL is

Mind you, this is China's first direct Internet link. It has been 
operational since May 1994. 

CERNET (China Education and Research Network) is at Tsinghua University, 
Beijing. Their China Home Page is at

This server has information on Education and Research, History and Culture, 
Economy and Politics, Nature and Mankind, Tour and Entertainment, etc.

Outside China, there is a China/Chinese related Home Page at

with links to the Chinese Christian Resource Center, and other resources 
(including a picture of the Chinese actress Gong, Li).

Another option is a gopher site in Thailand. It has choices like Internet 
connection in China, China Business Practices, China Economic Policy and 
Trade Practices, China Study Forum, China in Time and Space (CITAS) 
Database, China-Chinese related Gophers and WAIS, China-Chinese related 
USENET News Groups, Chinese Computing Network FAQ, Chinese Studies 
Discussion Group, Travel Info for China, and more. Point your Web browser 

Networking in Chinese

Anyone interested in Chinese Mosaic, Chinese Big5 code, and implementing 
Chinese on WWW, can subscribe to the "tanet-www" list. To subscribe, send a 
mail to LISTSERV@PEACOCK.TNJC.EDU.TW. Put the following command in the body 
of your mail: SUBSCRIBE TANET-WWW 

Note that "Chinese" in Taiwan is not the same thing as in China. While 
Taiwan uses the Big5 coding scheme, GuoBiao (or simply GB) is the standard 
in mainland China. 

For information about the pinyin and Wade-Giles systems of romanization of 
the Chinese language, check out the explanations and pointers in The China 
Army Area Handbook (see below). 

The Chinese-Language-Related Information Page is at

It points to Chinese-language-related resources, has links to viewing and 
listening to Chinese on the WWW, language study courses, educational 
software, FTP sites, and more. 

ChinaNet is a nation-wide Internet in China, based on the World Bank 
supported project NCFC (The National Computing and Networking Facility of 
China). Their Network Information Center (NIC) is at:

ChinaNet claims to be the China portion of The Global Internet.


The China Home page has links to 

     * Foreign Companies in China, with address and phone number in Beijing 
       or other cities for some foreign companies
     * The Connections Consulting Company of China, which provides
       marketing services to businesses interested in the Chinese markets
     * CBIC--China Book Import Centre. Monthly catalogue of import book 
       into China 

AsiaInfo Services, Inc., produces a Free Daily Headline News Service. To 
subscribe, send mail to with the following line in
the mail body:  SUB HEADLINE Firstname Lastname

Their February 22, 1995 report brought sample full-text stories on Tax 
Rates, Stock listing (Shenzhen, Shanghai), Lake Holiday Zone Using Foreign 
Capital, and a list of headlines of stories available to paying 

Sample headlines found in this issue: 

REF. NO.                          HEADLINE
--------  -------------------------------------------------------------------
95022201  Robot Helps Packing and Piling
95022202  National Standard Data Base Established
95022203  Shanghai Qinlong Computer Plaza Under Construction
95022204  Taiwan Develops CD Along Euro-Standard
95022205  Multimedia Database System Developed
95022206  China's Posts & Telecommunications to Develop Quickly
95022207  Technical Reform Project Finished
95022208  Computer Producers to Gather in Shanghai
95022209  Telecommunication Olympics To Be Held
95022210  Recovery of ROK's Computer Market: Steady Increases
For information about how to become a registered user of the full AsiaInfo 
Daily News Service (ADN), write A one year subscription 
costs US$ 264. 

The ADN new wires usually consist of 30 to 40 articles compiled in Beijing, 
Monday through Friday every week. Coverage includes China markets, price 
information, joint ventures, import & export needs, major conferences, 
trade shows, etc. The news is available in Chinese upon request. 

The China Business Journal (CBJ) is an online daily news published 7 days a 
week. You can get it by email over the Internet. It brings updated economic 
news to those into doing business with China. Subscription form, etc. at (link was dead in Nov 97).

At, There is information 
on World Bank Projects in China, as well as a China Country Economic 
Memorandum and GNP per capita. There are reports on Industrial crop 
marketing, Highway development, Power sector, Urban environment services, 
Disease prevention, Financial sector development, Railway development, 
Education, Gas development, Forest resource development, 
Telecommunications, and more. 


If planning a trip to China, start by retrieving the map at

Then, check out the Regional Information menu at

Menu choices include Anhui, Beijing, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, 
Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Hubei, Henan, Hunan, Inner Mongolia 
(Nei Monggu), Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Ningxia, Qinghai, 
Shandong, Shanghai, Shan1xi1, Shan3xi1, Sichuan, Tianjin, Tibet (Xizang), 
Xinjiang, Yunnan, and Zhejiang. 

The CND InfoBase ( offers many high-resolution scenery 
pictures of China.

Having fun

If you're into Chinese music, check out the Web address:

Choose between Model Beijing Opera, Ceremonial songs and music, Songs 
during the "Cultural Revolution" (mostly for Mao), Dream Of Red Mansion, 
Folk songs and local opera, Historical Voices, Pop songs after the down-
fall of "Gang Of Four," Post Liberation, Pre Liberation, Current Hits, 
Chinese traditional music (various instrumental). Also included are some 
music from Taiwan and the Hong Kong area. 

The Chinese Internet Mall (in California, U.S.A.) sells Chinese classical 
music and children music for collectors. Send an empty message to

for information, or point your Web browser at

If you like reading Chinese Classics, go no further than the Web address

This collection includes works (including some English translations) like 
Lao Zi (Lao Tsu), Zhuang Zi (Chuang Tsu), Kong Zi (Confucius), Meng Zi 
(Mencius), Sun Zi Bing Fa (Art of War), Guigu Zi, San Guo Yan Yi, Shui Hu 
Zhuan, Xi You Ji, Hong Lou Meng. 

For more on traditional Chinese philosophy, check

Have you heard about the Internet Go Server? This is where you can play Wei 
Qi online, an Ancient Chinese game. Point your Web browser at 


Play Chinese Chess on


or use the ancient Chinese I-Ching to tell your fortune. Explore the power 
of prophecy and how it can affect you. Concentrate on a problem or question 
facing you now. When you have it well visualized, select 

to get your reading. 

CND's Chinese Calendar Home Page contains postscript files for the current
year calendar (


The online mainland-China publication chisa-cm (CHINA'S SCHOLAR ABROAD 
Chinese Magazine, or Shen Zhou Xue Ren) can be obtained at

Back issues are also available.

Foreign resources

The CINET-L non-public mailing list hosts China's InterNET Tech Forum (on 
LISTSERV@CND.ORG). The discussion topic is networking in China. 

CND is a voluntary non-profit organization aiming at providing news and 
other information services about China-related affairs. All CND services 
are free of charge. 

Back Issues of the China News Digest are on the Web address:

CND's English language publications include CND-Global (three issues per 
week), CND-US (one issue per week), CND-Canada (one issue per week), CND-
Europe/Pacific (one issue per week), CND-China (two issues per month). 

The CND Chinese magazine may be a starting point for beginners to explore 
various ways of reading Chinese on WWW. 

You may find related discussions on the CHINANET mailing list (on 

CND's China Home Page has links to

     * Overseas Chinese Physics Association (OCPA)
     * China Academic Link (CAL) 
     * Internet Hangzhou Folks Club (IHFC)
     * The Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information
     * Association of Chinese Students and Scholars at Stanford

and China-related newsgroups that are accessible if your local news server 
carries them: 

      + alt.chinese.text
      + soc.culture.china
      + talk.politics.china
      + alt.chinese.text.big5
      + soc.culture.taiwan
      + soc.culture.hongkong
      + talk.politics.tibet
The Australian National University (Coombs Computing Unit) offers Asian 
social sciences information at .

Search using the term 'china' at 


for references to texts about contemporary China, cartography, buddhism, 
history, international relations, demography, economics, and more. 

The China Army Area Handbook ("China: A Country Study") is at

The handbook was last revised in 1994, and has information about topics 
ranging from Chinese dynasties, to economic indicators, and an extensive 
country profile. Filled with interesting information, and with a rich 
bibliography appended. Here are some random file titles (out of 119): 

The Ancient Dynasties, The Social System, Ethnic Boundaries, Urban Society,
Education and Culture, Economic Policies, Agriculture, Energy, Party and 
Government, Manufacturing, Trade and Transportation, Telecommunications,
Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought Re-thought, The Legal System.

For more on China's history, try Galaxy:

                        --- end ---
Interesting source discovered after writing this article: The Chinese Community Information Center. Claims the world largest collection of Chinese software and Chinese community magazines and newsletters in computer file form, as well as Chinese texts, ranging from Confucius classics to Wang Shuo's fictions. At:, and

The Online World Monitor newsletter

is a bi-monthly online product. Initially meant as a free, optional offering for supporters of The Online World resources handbook, it is also open for subscription by others.

The newsletter and the book are companions. While the book describes the online world as it is, the newsletter tracks changes. It can more freely focus on selected offerings or phenomena than can be done within the strict framework of the book.

Bulletin 1/1995 has the following contents:

   1. Focus on China
   2. Tests, practical hints
      Web and Internet browsers. The end of anonymous FTP and Archie? 
      Efficient Netnews. Easier email program than Eudora. 
   3. Spotlight on important developments:
   4. Pointers
   5. Interesting conferences, newsgroups, discoveries.
   6. Important changes
For more about the newsletter, try the following URL:
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Odd de Presno


Web page:
KIDLINK (Global Dialog for Kids 10 - 15) on URL:

Feel free to redistribute as long as the text remains intact as it appears here (including this paragraph). Permission to quote/excerpt/reference in other media is hereby granted, so long as cited material is identified as coming from The Online World Monitor newsletter. For any other use, contact the author for permission.
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