九州， jiuzhou, Nice Zhou (Regions)
The term is an alternative designation for China. According to The Book of History, the country consisted of nine zhou(州), namely Jizhou, Yanzhou, Qingzhou, Xuzhou, Yangzhou, Jingzhou, Yuzhou, Liangzhou, and Yongzhou. There are similar references to the nine zhou in classic works of the same or later period, such as The Rituals of Zhou, Er Ya, and Master Lv’s Spring and Autumn Annals. The nine zhou were never adopted as actual administrative divisions of the country, but they did show the general geographical area inhabited by the Chinese people since the late Spring and Autumn Period.
The vitality of China depends on wind and thunder, unfortunately not a single horse’s neighing is heard. I urge the Lord of Heaven to once again lift his spirits and, breaking all bonds and fetters, send talent of all kinds to the human world. (Gong Zizhen: Miscellaneous Poem Written in the Year of 1839)
As I see it, the cause of China’s disasters lies not overseas but within the country. (Zhang Zhidong: Preface to Encouragement to Learning)