China had several alternative names in ancient times including Chixian Shenzhou, Hua and Xia. The oldest is Chixian Shenzhou, which means the sacred earth and divine land. This reference was found in a book dating between 475 and 221 B.C.
"Hua," which means flowers, was also used in ancient times to refer to China. This name was derived from the people on the Central Plains calling themselves Hua, as they considered themselves more elegant and civilized compared to neighboring communities. The Zhou dynasty during the 11th century further used "Hua," as it is also used to denote the color red, which was used as a symbol by the dynasty.
"Xia" means big and huge. This was first used during the Xia dynasty, when China began to implement slavery in society.