Chinese writing is thought to have resisted for 4,500 years. And the greatest danger for it was the attempt of replacing it with the Latin script.
But this did not work due to ethno-political reasons: while those from the Han ethnic group regard themselves as Chinese proper, they speak 13 different languages (not dialects!), even if amongst them, Mandarin is the most spoken and official.
The phonetic Latin writing revealed they cannot understand one another by speech but by their common writing, which makes use of about 5,000 morphemes.
Combinations of characters create Chinese words.
From the time of Qin Dynasty (which give the western name of China) onwards, a standard written language has filled the gaps between the various Chinese languages.
But now Chinese archaeologists investigating ancient rock carvings claim that they have discovered proofs that modern Chinese script is thousands of years older than people believed.
Scientists have detected over 2,000 pictorial symbols, as old as 8,000 years, on cliff faces in the north-west of China. The ancient symbols display a strong similarity to later morphs of ancient Chinese characters. Scholars had thought Chinese symbols came into use about 4,500 years ago.
Based on the Damaidi carvings, found in the 1980s, covering 15 sq km (5.8 square miles) and depicting over 8,000 individual figures like the sun, moon, stars, gods and scenes of hunting or grazing, it was believed that the Chinese writing is about 4,500 years old and pottery inscriptions from Henan province (central China) were of similar age .
"We have found some symbols shaped like both pictures and characters," Li Xiangshi, a cliff carving expert at the North University of Nationalities in Ningxia Hui autonomous region, told Xinhua news agency.
"The pictographs are similar to the ancient hieroglyphs of Chinese characters and many can be identified as ancient characters."
To make a comparison, the Greek script is about 3,000 years old. The Latin script, based on the Greek, is even younger, about 2,500 years old. The Arab script is younger, almost 1,500 years old.