Environment and Nature: China

  • Kenneth J. E. Berger
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_9415

China represents one of the four ancient civilizations of the world, the others being Egypt, Mesopotamia, and India. The one unifying feature of these civilizations is that they all developed along the floodplains of major rivers. The Chinese civilization started along the valleys of the Yellow and Wei Rivers and gradually expanded to the middle and lower parts of the Yellow River and eventually across the North China Plain. It was not by accident that this occurred. Flood plains are well suited to agriculture and China's greatest natural resource is her agricultural land. The river waters also served other purposes such as domestic (drinking, cooking, washing), aesthetic, recreational, irrigation, and fishing.

The early Chinese knew that their livelihood was dependent on nature and in turn believed that their fate and nature were intertwined. This belief caused them to hold the soil in reverential regard and, in some areas, even to consider the rain to be the life‐giving seed of the...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

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  • Kenneth J. E. Berger

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