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Several historical maps of China in English to see difference between them and Chinese painting

There are many English versions of Chinese historical maps, and differences between them are relatively large. Since Westerners are not so familiar with history and geography of China, there will be big mistakes in making maps. In addition, due to different concepts, Chinese and Westerners will also have deviations in drawing historical maps. The map chosen in this article is taken from English version of world historical map, which does not show many parts of China, just a few. Possibly due to influence of Mediterranean centrism, maps of Mediterranean countries are relatively rich.

The first special map of China was a map depicting Zhou, Qin and Han dynasties. Let's first look at map in upper left corner. The blue part is territory of Zhou Dynasty, which is basically objective. Then look at big picture where light green part is labeled "Later Zhou" which means "Eastern Zhou". However, green part is blatantly mislabeled and stated to have been taken in Shanxi Province. The same error appeared in several places, for example, location of Xi'an was noted in Gansu. The part circled in red in picture is territory of Qin Dynasty. The main error in map of Qin dynasty lies in northeast, because Qin dynasty included Liaodong area, which is not on map.

The yellow part is territory of Han Dynasty. Compared to most maps of China, maps of Han Dynasty are drawn here on a larger scale, mostly drawn to north on Mongolian plateau. This is because Westerners considered territory of southern Huns to be Han dynasty, and southern Huns were subject to Han dynasty for a long time. However, there is no Hainan Island on map as Han Dynasty ruled Hainan for a certain period of time.

The second is a map of Tang Dynasty. This map is too far from Tang Qixiang's version. In picture, you can roughly see that big picture is territory of Wu Zetian period, and small picture is map after Anshi rebellion. By and large, most of Qianzhong Road is not included in territory. The editor believes that although chiefs are widespread in Qianzhong Street, they also belong to Tang Dynasty. Moreover, there is no image of Hainan Island in picture. Another strange place is Northeast, where North Korea has been drawn in general to Tang Dynasty. In fact, Tang Dynasty did not rule Korean Peninsula, but Silla did at time. Going northeast, part of state of Bohai was also included. The small map represents territory of late Tang Dynasty, which is mainly limited to agricultural land, so there is no big problem.

Tang Dynasty

The Song dynasty map is also divided into Southern Song dynasty and Northern Song dynasty. There are two mysterious places: firstly, map of Liao kingdom does not reach Sea of ​​Japan, which is a bit unbelievable. Secondly, Jin Kingdom map includes North Korea. Western countries seem to think that Korea was part of China in ancient times. In other aspects, it is not very accurate, for example, territory of Xixia Kingdom is too strange.

I drew two maps of Mongolia and Yuan Dynasty. It seems that in West they pay more attention to this period of history. Figure 1 has two colors, blue is Mongol Empire in era of Genghis Khan, and yellow is territory conquered by descendants of Genghis Khan. Figure 2 is a map of Yuan dynasty and four great khanates. In painting, Vietnam and North Korea were included in Yuan dynasty as a whole, and most of Myanmar was also included in Yuan dynasty. But in northeast, territory of Yuan Dynasty only faced Heilongjiang region. This shows that Westerners did not intentionally shrink China when drawing maps, but that Chinese and Western standards were different. Of course, Tan Qixiang painted Yuan Dynasty by Arctic Ocean, which is biggest absurdity. The blue part of Figure 2 is principalities of Russia that are controlled by the Golden Horde profile.

The Ming Dynasty map should be a map of peak period of Ming Dynasty, that is, Yongle period. Since picture includes many areas in northeast, there is existence of Nuer Gandusi. However, coverage of Northeast Region is only to west of Songhua River, which is in line with coverage of conventional Western Ming Dynasty maps. In south, northern Vietnam was drawn in, and at this time chief envoy of Cochin was stationed there. In addition, there is also Zheng He's travel route to West. The map does not include Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

This atlas does not specifically draw territory of Qing Dynasty, but there is this map of world during era of colonial expansion. It can be seen that outline of Qing Dynasty almost corresponds to most of territory of Qing Dynasty, which prevailed in China. Among various versions of historical maps of China and world, only Qing Dynasty is least controversial among Chinese dynasties, and drawings of all are very close. It also shows that territory of Qing Dynasty was recognized by all.

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