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China is a cultural region and ancient civilization in East Asia. China refers to one of the world's oldest civilizations, comprised of states and cultures dating back more than six millennia. The stalemate of the last Chinese Civil War following World War II has resulted in two separate states using the name China, the People's Republic of China PRC, administering mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau and the Republic of China ROC, administering Taiwan and its surrounding islands.
Lijiang City refers to an administrative division comprising of urban and rural areas in northwestern Yunnan Province, China. The population of the city is 1,100,000. The famous Lijiang old town is more correctly called the Dayan old town. Lijiang City is a fairly large geographical area that comprises of one district and four counties, including the Liijang new town, Dayan old town, Shuhe old town, Baisha old town, and parts of the Tiger Leaping Gorge.
The Lijiang old town has a history going back more than 800 years and was once a confluence for trade along the old tea horse road. The Lijiang old town is famous for its orderly system of waterways and bridges. It has been called the Venice of the East. Lijiang old town including Dayan, Baisha and Shuhe was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in December 4, 1997. Since then, the local government has taken more responsibility for the development and protection of the old city. Recently, the government has started to develop additional old city sections adjacent to the site of the original old city.

Lijiang's tourism also boomed, and travellers from around the world flooded in although many locals fear that due to much of the development, the old town of Lijiang will lose its appeal. Evenings in the old city can be particularly rowdy, not least due to the many outdoor bars, where boisterous groups of tourists try to out sing other groups.

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