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By Simon Foster

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They still inhabit parts of the Yangzi in Anhui and a research and breeding center has been established to help increase Chinese alligator awareness and numbers. Cranes – Cranes are large and spectacular birds and have cultural significance throughout the world (symbolic of new life and of babies in the West and of longevity and happiness in China). ” Worldwide, there are 15 species, of which 11 are threatened. Eight of these species breed or winter in China, and three of them are endangered – the Siberian crane, the sarus crane and the red-crowned crane.

The Chinese have known about the burning properties of coal far longer than we have in the West, and while it has aided the country’s industrial development, recently many smaller mines have been closed in response to safety concerns. There are also precious metal and stone deposits to be found, particularly in the west, and these have been utilized since early times to produce tools and fine arts. The Environment Environmental degradation poses a very real threat to the nation as increasingly frequent dust storms sweep through the north of the country and the rivers in many cities run black.

Theravada is the version which originally arrived in China, but its focus on gaining nirvana as an individual had little hold with the regimented group mentality prominent in the Middle Kingdom. Thus, Yellow Hat monks mahayana, which indicated that release could only come as a whole, and that arhats (known in China as luohan) and bodhisattvas (enlightened beings who choose to stay on earth) would remain on this earth to guide others, was far more suited to China. Over time, bodhisattvas and arhats came to be worshipped themselves and local deities were brought into the fold.

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