Portal:China

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Nathu La-Stairs.JPG

Nathu La is a mountain pass in the Himalayas. It is located on the Indo-China border connecting the Indian state of Sikkim with the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. The pass, at 4,310 m (14,140 ft) above mean sea level, forms part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road. Nathu means "listening ears" and La means "pass" in Tibetan. It is also spelled Ntula, Natu La, Nathula, or Natula. Nathu La is one of the three trading border posts between China and India; the other two are Shipkila in Himachal Pradesh and Lipulekh (or Lipulech) in Uttarakhand. Sealed by India after the 1962 Sino-Indian War, it was re-opened in 2006 following numerous bilateral trade agreements. The opening of the pass is expected to bolster the economy of the region and play a key role in the growing Sino-Indian trade. Currently, agreements between the two nations limit trade across the pass to the export of 29 types of goods from India and import of 15 from the Chinese side. The opening also shortens the travel distance to important Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the region.

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Sanya, Hainan Island
Credit: Ppntori

A beach in Sanya, on Hainan Island, facing the South China Sea.

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The Wanfo Hall of Zhenguo Temple

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Luan Da (died 112 BC) was a religious figure during the early Han Dynasty from the state of Yue. He professed to know the secret to immortality and be able to communicate with spiritual beings. Possessing the gift of gab and adept at confidence tricks, Luan Da gained the favour of Emperor Wu of Han, also known as Han Wudi. In the space of a few months, he rose from a commoner to great influence, holding titles and land, and marrying one of the emperor's daughters. However, he could not fulfill his promise to Emperor Wu, failing to produce a means to immortality. He gradually lost the emperor's favour and went on a purported visit to immortals; however, he was eventually captured and executed. At the apex of his career, many of his fellow mystics held him up as their role model and sought to emulate him. His death was a sign of the trade's fall from favour; laws were passed to restrict the practice of mediumship, even penalising those who married its practitioners.

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