In China, the term "Middle Kingdom" refers to the central part of that nation. China, like other nations, is divided into distinct regions and provinces. The Middle Kingdom contains distinct political and geological boundaries; over time, it protected citizens from political turmoil and gave the region a distinct culture.
The term "Middle Kingdom" dates back nearly 7,000 years. Citizens of that region, enjoying protection and isolation on the northern, eastern, southern and western borders, considered themselves at the center of the world. That ideology remained through the 1800s. People of central China refer to their land in Chinese as "Zhong Guo." The Middle Kingdom contains a diverse and distinct geography. Its southwestern portion contains the Himalayan Mountains, which extend down to its southernmost border. The Pacific Ocean lies to the east of Zhong Guo, creating its eastern border. The Gobi Desert lies in the north, forming the dry, arid northern boundary. Although part of China, the Middle Kingdom enjoyed isolation from the world for many years. The treacherous terrain thwarted attacks from invaders, preventing the influx of Western trade and culture. Folk religions, a regional style of writing and the practice of using specialized bronze art tools emerged in the Middle Kingdom, giving it a history and personality distinct from other regions in China.