One important trans-Himalayan cultural entity was called “Qiang”by the ancient Chinese for nearly a thousand years from as early as centuries Before Christ. Yang Xianyi, the famous Chinese-English
translator has shown deep insight into the origin of the ancient Indian word Cina which is the origin of the Indo-European versions of “China”.He supports the opinion of Sylvain Levi that this Cina People could not have been the Chinese whose centres were in the North China plains. It must be referring to a race which existed in India’s neighbourhood north of the Himalayas with whom the contemporaries of Kautilya had close
contacts. Yang thinks that this race was Qiang and the Chinese word for it was the variation of “Qin” from which the pronunciation Cina (China)originated. However, this seems far fetched.
There are four famous rivers which have created the magnificent civilizations of India and China: Indus and Ganga have created the Indian civilization; Huanghe (Yellow River) and Changjiang (Yangtse) are the creators of Chinese civilization. The mighty flow of these four rivers is a
contributory factor for the birth of two of the four earliest civilizations of the world and for maintaining the eternal glory and vigour of these two civilizations in comparison to the transitory splendour of the other two of the Western Hemisphere. From another angle, the valleys of these
four rivers have always been the largest habitat of the human being which now accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the world’s population.These four river valleys now constitute the heartland of Asia, and the larger part of East and South Asia shared by China, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh Northeast India is the product of the Brahmaputra Valley civilisation.In the wider context it belongs to that great trans-Himalayan multinational habitat which is watered and nurtured by the Brahmapurta
in India, the Changjiang (Yangtse) in China and the Mekong river which
is the lifeline of Southeast Asia. The Mekong river originates near the
fountainhead of the Yangtse on the Tangla Range (on Qinghai-Tibet
border) with the name Langcangjiang and changes into Mekong as soon
as it flows out of Yunnan province of Southwest China. It then flows
through Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Kampuchea, and enters the Pacific
Ocean from Vietnam.Brahmaputra travelling along the Himalayan heights as the Tsangpo,reincarnates in India as the son of Brahma (or mountain if we take
Brahma as a variant of the Thai-Kampuchean word phram=phnam’i.e.
mountain), and flows into the Bay of Bengal as Jamuna through
Bangladesh. There is yet another inter-state river called Nujiang which
also originates from the Tangla Mountain. It flows from Yunnan into the
Bay of Bengal through Myanmar as the Salween River.