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Overview of China

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Cultural Characteristics

China is one of the four great ancient civilizations. Chinese culture, enjoying an incredibly extensive history, is broad and profound, with the people of different ethnic groups establishing a precious cultural heritage over history's long course.

Chinese is the official language of China and Chinese characters is intricately linked to people's lives.

Chinese is divided into Mandarin and local dialects. Mandarin is the standard form of language in the country. Chinese dialects are also divided into seven branches: The Mandarin dialect, Wu dialect, Xiang dialect, Gan dialect, Hakka dialect, Yue dialect (Cantonese) and the Min dialect. Each different area where these dialects are spoken can also be divided into various sub-dialects and local dialects. Among these, the widely spoken Mandarin dialect can be divided into four main dialects: Northern Mandarin, Northwestern Mandarin, Southwestern Mandarin and Lower Yangtze Mandarin. Each dialect represents a cultural depository of the area they are spoken in.