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HOME: China Stamps 1996: 1996-4
1996-4, Scott 2650-54 The Centenary Birthday of Post of China
Original Site of Tianjin Posts Bureau
(4-1), Original Site of Tianjin Posts Bureau, 10 fen, 40*30mm
Large Picture
Original Site of Beijing Postal Administration
(4-2), Original Site of Beijing Postal Administration, 20 fen, 40*30mm
Large Picture
Original Site of Directorate of Posts of China Soviet Repoublic
(4-3), Original Site of Directorate of Posts of China Soviet Repoublic, 50 fen, 40*30mm
Large Picture
Complex of Beijing Postal Hub
(4-4), Complex of Beijing Postal Hub, 100 fen, 40*30mm
Large Picture
100th Anniversary of Post in China
(1-1), 100th Anniversary of Post in China, 500 fen, 154*83 mm/ 90*60 mm
Larger Picture
Technical details
Scott No: 2650-54
Serial number: 1996-4
Values in set: 4
Souvenir sheet: 1
Date of issue: March 20, 1996
Designers: Li Qingfa;JiangWeijie
Size of stamp: 40*30mm
Size of S/S: 154*83 mm
Size of S/S stamp: 90*60 mm
Perforation: 11.5
Sheet composition: 40
Printing process: gravure
Themes: Anniversary,
Background
China's postal service is developed from the courier station service in the ancient times. The primitive communications means in the Shang Dynasty in the 11th century BC was by hearing the drums and watching beacon-fire, which conveyed a message or border alarm in the Zhou Dynasty, courier stations and the beacon towers co-existed. The Qin Dynasty ( 221-207 BC) unified the characters, and constructed many postal routes and postal pavilions to further boost the development of postal system. The Han Dynasty ( 206 BC - AD 220), which followed the postal system in the Qin Dynasty, built a relatively complete postal network by setting up a postal station every 30 li ( 15 kilometers ). Then in the Southern and Northern Dynasties ( 420-581). Postal law was issued.

The ancient postal system climbed to its height of development in the Tang Dynasty ( 618-907), when more then 1,600 postal stations were built nationwide, and 300 li ( 150 kilometers ) for a courier was a day's journey. The remaining dynasties in Chinese history followed the conventions, among which the Yuan Dynasty ( 1271-1378) was famous in the world at that time for its large scale and the number of postal stations, and developed postal routes. A courier in the Qing Dynasty ( 1644-1911) could travel 600 li ( 300 kilometers )per day and night.

The ancient Chinese postal stations, as compared to blood and veins of the State, were the main communications means for the rulers in every dynasty to disseminate policies and send military messages.

The modern Chinese postal service was a business communications organization run by the State to serve people in 1866, the Customs was entrusted to concurrently handle the postal business, and in 1878, it was empowered to run the postal service on trial basis. And finally in 1896, the country's postal service was formally launched.

On March 20 that year, pursuant to the memorial to the throne submitted by Zhang Zhidong, the minister of the southern coastal province, and the postal rules drafted by a British, Hurd, who served in the General Taxation Department of the Customs, the Premier Tamen ( government office in feudal China ) of the Qing Dynasty applied the establishment of an Imperial Postal Bureau in their memorial to the Emperor Guangxu. This memorial, submitted to the throne was approved on the same day, thus inaugurating China's postal service history.

The centennial postal service history has witnessed the development periods including those of the Qing postal service, the old China postal service and the New China postal service. The postal service in the people's revolutionary war period is also an important component of the Chinese postal history.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, China's postal service has developed at a rapid pace. By the end of 1995, the number of postal stations in the country has amounted to 63,000, and the postal routes have extended to 1.88 million kilometers, with the business volume totaling RMB 14 billion yuan ( $ 1.68 billion ). A grand postal network has been constructed to cover whole. Besides, postal service has formed an independent industrial system and the pace of its modernization construction has stepped up.
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