China Digest

Water Issues in China
Rapid urbanization and economic development are straining China's natural sources of fresh water. Aquifer levels are dropping, lakes are disappearing, rivers are drying up or becoming polluted, and air contaminants are producing acid rain. Water shortages plague over half of China’s cities. Today, water is one of China’s most crucial issues. 

Arts of the Silk Road
The travel of artistic motifs, styles, and techniques along the Silk Road is closely bound up with the larger context of the travel of beliefs, ideas, and technology. For example, the art of the Silk Road includes the devotional art of Buddhism and Islam, the ideas behind certain styles of art such as narrative murals, and the technology to produce various works of art, including gigantic statuary and printed pictures. Though much of the art of the Silk Road was created to encourage religious devotion, today we value it also as a source of precious historical information. 

Introduction to the Cultural Revolution
The “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution,” usually known simply as the Cultural Revolution (or the Great Cultural Revolution), was a “complex social upheaval that began as a struggle between Mao Zedong and other top party leaders for dominance of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and went on to affect all of China with its call for “continuing revolution.” 1 This social upheaval lasted from 1966 to 1976 and left deep scars upon Chinese society. 

Introduction to Buddhism
Buddhism, one of the major world religions, began in India around the
sixth century B.C.E. The teachings of Buddhism spread throughout Central and Southeast Asia, through China, Korea, and Japan. Today, there are Buddhists all over the world. 

The Shang Dynasty, 1600 to 1050 BCE
The Shang Dynasty marked the middle of China’s Bronze Age and was a dynasty that made great contributions to Chinese civilization. Scholars do not fully agree on the dates and details of the earliest Chinese dynasties, but most accept that the Shang Dynasty is the first one to have left behind written records and solid archaeological evidence of its existence. The Shang is the second dynasty of the Three Dynasties Period.