Symbols of China

What are the Symbols of China? They can be animals, even the mythology ones, buildings, images or graphic character, a certain kind of ideological and other things that can symbolize a certain character or role that China played to the world. Come with TopChinaTravel, let's find out the mysterious Chinese symbols.

Chinese Martical Arts

Symbols of China - Kung Fu

Chinese Martial Arts,, 武术 Chinese pinyin: wǔ shù,  popularly known as Kung Fu, are a number of fighting styles that have developed over the centuries in China. Focusing on fighting methods, formed and played in set pattens and competitions. Those fighting styles are usually classified in different "sects" or "families" according to common traits.

According to the trainning methods and conception, Kung Fu can be divided into Internal, which focuses on "Qi", and External that concentrates on improving muscle and cardiovascular fitness. According to geographical condition, there are Northern and Southern sects.

Shaolin Kungfu is the best-known Chinese Martial Art that represents the External. While Taichi of Taoism is another outstanding martial art in China that stands for Internal.

Perhaps more than any other practitioner, Bruce Lee opened the eyes of the Western world to the fascinating practices of Chinese martial arts.

Symbols of China - The Great Wall

The Great Wall

The Great Wall , 长城 Chinese pinyin: cháng chéng.The star attraction of China is the Great Wall, which is considered the symbol of China and the wisdom of Chinese people. The construction of the Great Wall began in the 5th century BC. It is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials. As a spectacular defensive structure, it was built to keep intruders from entering the mainland, which stretches from Jiayuguan Pass in the west, to Shanhaiguan Pass in the east, with a total length of 8851.8 km that traverses Liaoning, Hebei, Tianjin, Beijing, Inner Mongolia and Shanxi, Shaanxi, Ningxia, Gansu, etc. 9 provinces and municipalities.

The steady stone fortification was inscribed into the list of the World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. Badaling, Mutianyu and Simatai sections within Beijing area are the most famous ones.

Symbols of China - Giant Panda

Giant Panda

Giant Panda ,熊猫 Chinese pinyin: Xióng māo. Not like Loong with incredible power, Giant Panda of China more like a adorable creature, a kind of animal represents of friendly and peace indiplomacy affairs. Panda is considered the conservation reliant endangered specie that can only be found in China region, especially in western China like Sichuang and Shannxi, etc.

Literally known as a "black and white cat-foot" creature, giant panda is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. Owning to its special living position and adorable appearance, it becomes one of the China's national emblems and the symbol of World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF).

Chinese Cuisine
Chinese Cuisine - Pecking Roast Duck

中国菜. Chinese Cuisine enjoys a worldwide fame for its bright color, tender and mixture taste and strong aroma. With the fast development, Chinese cuisines have become increasingly popular among more and more overseas gourmets. Commonly, there are 8 major cuisines in China, which are Anhui, Canton, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan, and Zhejiang cuisines.

Each of the 8 cuisine has their own characteristic and taste, among which, Sichuan, Canton, Shandong and Jiangsu cuisines maybe the most influential ones.

Generally speaking, Sweet and Sour Pork, Gong Bao Chicken, Ma Po Tofu, Fried Rice with Egg and Pecking Duck are top ranked dishes in the menu of western people.

Symbols of China - Chinese Loong

Loong (Dragon)

Chinese Loong, 龙 pinyin: lòng, in western cultures it is often regarded as a super power with unstoppable strength sometimes even represented evil and called out by sorcerers, yet differ from Dragon in western countries, though Loong in China is still a symbol of great power and strength, it is mainly meaning good luck ,positive energy and a symbols of authorities and royal power. As a mythical creature that only appears in legends and mythologies, it is the totem of Chinese nation, and even the symbol of ancient throne. Moreover, Loong is one of the Four Sacred Animals in Taoism, the god of east together with White Tiger, Rosefinch and Tortoise.

Dragons in the western are also pictured as a somewhat dinosaur similar appearing with a pair of huge wing and two claws like the awesome dragon of the storm born Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones. Whereas in China, Loong is typically portrayed as a long, scaled, serpentine creature with four legs. They don’t have wings but they fly with clouds. It said to be the guardian of water, rainfall, hurricane, and floods. With auspicious powers, Loong was therefore considered the symbol of the Emperor of China in ancient times. Officially, a 5-clawed dragon symbolized the Son of Heaven (the Emperor himself), while 4-clawed dragon (flood dragon) indicated the nobles. 

Sometimes Chinese people would identify themselves as "Descendants of the Dragon".



Silk, 丝绸 Chinese pinyin: sī chóu, is certainly another typical symbols of China. Silk was first developed in ancient Chin and the earliest silk was found in tombs at the neolithic site in Henan which is dating back 8,500 years. Silks were originally reserved for the Emperors of China for their own use and gifts to others, but later spread through Chinese culture and trade to many regions of Asia then even to ancient Egypt and European through the famous ancient Silk Road started from Xi’an city in China.

Today, silk still remains as a lovely gift to purchase for your friends and families when you travel in China. Though the ancient Kingdom of Khotan and the ancient India had later obtained the skills of making silk which had kept as a secret by ancient China, the best texture, luster and luxury silks are still claimed made in China.


chinese porcelain

Porcelain,瓷器 Chinese pinyin: cí qì, together with silk, was two main items that have been trading through the ancient silk road from China to the west for a long time in the history. Porcelain originated in China but it took a long time to reach the delicacy out appearing they are now enjoying. The proto-porcelain wares exist can be dated back to the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC), and after that the skill and materials to make porcelains kept improving over the centuries. During tang and song dynasty, porcelain had reached its hey days, the quality of porcelain was highly appreciated in Islamic world after it was exported and the scale of its produce had also reached its peak.

In Ming and Qing dynasty, porcelain was highly valued by the imperial. Jingdezhen porcelain was the best valued porcelain since then for its highly polished skills involved in its making procedures and association with the court. Today, porcelain is one of the typical symbols of “made in China” with its ever improving delicacy appearing and making skills.



Confucianism is a kind of philosophical system in China that developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. The history of Confucianism can be dated back to the Spring and Autumn Period (771 - 476 BC). During the thousand of years, it has moulded and shaped the civilization of China and exerted a profound influenced upon almost one fourth of the human race.

Confucianism has left us a rich literary heritage knows as the Four Books and Five Classics, namely The Great Learning, The Mean, Analects, and Mencius; Book of Change, Book of History, Book of Odes, Book of Rites and Spring and Autumn Annals. For six centuries these four texts became the elementary requirements of Chinese education in the feudal society and served as the basis of the civil service examination by which scholars were selected for official posts at various levels of the government.

Confucius' central doctrine is that of the virtue of Ren. Ren is translated variously as goodness, benevolence, humanity, and human-heartedness. In short, Ren means affection and love. The conception of this ideology has made great effect on China's culture. Countries like Korea, Japan and Vietnam, as well as various territories settled predominantly by Chinese people, such as Singapore, were also influenced by Confucianism.

Chinese Characters

Chinese characters  , 汉字 Chinese pinyin: hàn zì,can be considered one of the most recognizable characters in the world. It is a kind of "Square-Block Characters" that constitutes the oldest continuously used system of writing in the world, which belongs to Morpheme syllabic language of ideographic writing.

Symbols of China - Chinese characters

The Chinese Characters we see today has gone through several major transformations with the development of culture and civilization. In the Neolithic Age, people in China began to express things by simple marks that similar to some of the earliest known Chinese characters. When the inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells were found, the considered earliest Chinese characters came to us, with a history that can be dated back to the late Sang Dynasty (14th -11th century before Christ). Then it gone through Chinese Bronze Inscriptions of Bronze Age, Seal Script, Proto-clerical Script, Official Script, Standard Script, Cursive Script, Semi-cursive Script and the original complex form, till the simplified Chinese character used today in mainland China.

Chinese Medicine

Symbols of China - Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) , 中医 Chinese pinyin: zhōng yi, is one of the great herbal systems of the world, is a branch of learning that studys physiology and pathology of the human body, and finds out how to diagnose, treat and cure disease. The history of TCM can be dated back to the 3rd century BC. The doctrines of Chinese medicine are rooted in books such as the Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon and the Treatise on Cold Damage, as well as in cosmological notions like yin-yang and the Five Phases. 

Yet throughout its history it has continuously developed according to the changing of clinical conditions, and it has been sustained by research into every aspect of usage. This process continues today with the development of modern medical diagnostic techniques and knowledge. Chinese herbal medicines are very safe when prescribed correctly by a properly trained practitioner.

The main difference between Chinese and Western medicine can be described as Chinese treats the Yang (inner) and Western treats the Yin (outter). Everything in the universe can be described in terms of Yin or Yang. This is one of the underlying philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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