There was no word "Chinese people" before the Qin Dynasty. At that time, "China" and "people" were used separately, and the meaning of the word was different from today. "China" originally refers to the capital city, such as the "Daya · minlao" saying: "benefiting China, suisifang." Mao Shizhuan was interpreted as: "China, the capital." Later, "China" also extended to the Central Plains, the center of the world and so on.
And "human" and "people" are also two different concepts in the pre-Qin period. "Shuowen Jiezi" says: "human, the nature of heaven and earth is the most expensive." "People, people are cute."
When did the "Chinese people" come into being as a complete and independent phonetic unit? According to the Western Han historians in the biography of the commodity colonists, the products of Shanxi, Shandong, Jiangnan and Northern China are all loved by the Chinese people.
Although the meaning of the "Chinese people" here is not much different from that of the pre Qin period, it is the first time that it connects the two together to form a partial positive phrase, so it is Sima Qian who first created the term.
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