Most of the world’s largest countries are extremely multicultural. China is a great exception. The vast majority of Chinese people speak Mandarin or a similar language, and most Chinese families have considered themselves Chinese for millennia. Diamond theorizes that China was once as linguistically and culturally diverse as Russia or Brazil, but that China began its process of unification far earlier.
To support this point, Diamond turns first to Chinese languages. Mandarin and its seven close relatives, all Sino-Tibetan languages, are collectively spoken by 1.1 billion Chinese...
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