''Huaxia'' is a historical concept representing the Chinese nation and civilization, and came from the self-awareness of a common cultural ancestry by the various confederacy (pre-Qin) era Han Chinese people.


According to the ''Zuo zhuan'', ''xia'' () signified the "grandness" in the ceremonial etiquette of China, while ''hua'' () was used in reference to the "beauty" in the clothing that the Chinese people wore ().



Huaxia refers to a confederation of tribes—living along the Yellow River—who were the ancestors of what later became the Han ethnic group in China. During the Warring States (475–221 BCE), the self-awareness of the Huaxia identity developed and took hold in ancient China. Initially, ''Huaxia'' defined mainly a civilized society that was distinct and stood in contrast to what was perceived as the barbaric peoples around them.

Modern usage

Although still used in conjunction, the Chinese characters for ''hua'' and ''xia'' are also used separately as autonyms. The official Chinese names of both the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) use the term ''Huaxia'' in combination with the term ''Zhongguo'' (, translated as "Middle Kingdom"), that is, as ''Zhonghua'' (). The PRC's official Chinese name is ''Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo'' (), while that of the ROC is ''Zhonghua Minguo'' (). The term ''Zhongguo'' is confined by its association to a state, whereas ''Zhonghua'' mainly concerns culture. The latter is being used as part of the nationalist term ''Zhōnghuá Mínzú'' which is an all Chinese nationality in the sense of a multi-ethnic national identity. The term ''Huaren'' () for a Chinese person is an abbreviation of ''Huaxia'' with ''ren'' (, person). ''Huaren'' in general is used for people of Chinese ethnicity, in contrast to ''Zhongguoren'' () which usually (but not always) refers to citizens of China. Although some may use ''Zhongguoren'' to refer to the Chinese ethnicity, such usage is not accepted by some in Taiwan. In overseas Chinese communities in countries such as Singapore and Malaysia, ''Huaren'' or ''Huaqiao'' (overseas Chinese) is used as they are not citizens of China.

See also

* Yan Huang Zisun, literally the "Descendants of Yan and Huang" * Zhongyuan, the central regions associated with Huaxia * Zhonghua (disambiguation)


{{Reflist Category:Ancient peoples of China Category:Chinese words and phrases Category:Han Chinese Category:Names of China