The stamps of China need no promotion. Over the last twenty years the increases in prices and popularity has been astounding. Prices have risen geometrically and the number of China collectors both here and around the world has grown dramatically as well. I recently worked on a wonderful China consignment and it rekindled my interest. China is not just a philatelic area with lots of high priced stamps because there are so many new Chinese collectors. It is a fascinating and complex philatelic area that offers all the best that philately has to offer.
For collectors who like to keep things simple there are the stamps of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the People's Republic of China (Mainland China). Between these two issuing entities there are thousands of stamps, all of them colorful and well designed and replete with Chinese culture and history. They range in price from a few cents each to many thousands of dollars. The classic period of China offers complexity and arcane specialty interest. Most of the early issues are plateable, postal history is complex and there are many varieties and nuanced sub areas of interest. But what China offers that many countries don't is its long history of political turmoil. Political turmoil makes for ruined lives but it also makes for great philately. The history of foreign occupations of China, the Japanese takeover in WWII, the period of the Communist revolution and then the turmoil within the revolution itself, and China's imperialist forays are all reflected in its philately. And the future for Chinese philately is bright. A young population imbued with a collecting tradition and philatelic values make for a strong long term scenario.