Wa State, Burma
The Sinitic languages, often synonymous with the Chinese languages, are a language family frequently postulated as one of two primary branches of Sino-Tibetan. The Bai language may be Sinitic (classification is difficult); otherwise Sinitic is equivalent to the Chinese languages, and often used in opposition to "Chinese dialects" to convey the idea that these are distinct languages rather than dialects of a single language.
Assuming Bai is Sinitic, it diverged at approximately the time of Old Chinese, perhaps before. By the time of Middle Chinese, the Min languages had also split off. An evidence is that all Chinese languages can be fit into the structure of Qieyun except Min. Languages traceable to Middle Chinese include Mandarin, Wu, Hakka, and Yue]citation needed[. As more comparative work is done, additional "dialects" are found to be mutually unintelligible with their parent language; the latest to be separated out as languages were Huizhou, Jin, Pinghua, and Qiongwen, though the remaining Wu and Yue varieties are not all mutually intelligible, or have very limited intelligibility. Some varieties remain unclassified within Chinese.
The Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to East Asia. They constitute approximately 92% of the population of China, 98% of the population of Taiwan, 74% of the population of Singapore, 24.5% of the population of Malaysia, and about 20% of the entire global human population, making them the largest ethnic group in the world. There is considerable genetic, linguistic, cultural, and social diversity among the Han, mainly due to thousands of years of immigration and assimilation of various regional ethnicities and tribes within China. The Han Chinese are a subset of the Chinese nation (Zhonghua minzu). Sometimes Han and other Chinese refer to themselves as the "Descendants of the Yan and Huang Emperors".
The Languages of China are the languages that are spoken by China's 56 recognized ethnic groups. The languages of China are collectively known as Hanyu (simplified Chinese: 汉语; traditional Chinese: 漢語; pinyin: Han yǔ)]citation needed[, and their study is considered a distinct academic discipline in China. Hanyu span eight primary language families, are diverse morphologically and phonetically, and may be mutually unintelligible to each other. The languages most studied and supported by the state include Chinese, Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhuang. China has 292 living languages and 1 extinct language (Jurchen) according to Ethnologue.
East Asian languages belong to several language families that are generally believed to be genetically unrelated, but share many features due to interaction. In the Mainland Southeast Asia linguistic area, Chinese varieties and languages of southeast Asia share many areal features, tending to be analytic languages with similar syllable and tone structure. In the first millennium AD, Chinese culture came to dominate east Asia. Literary Chinese was adopted by scholars in Vietnam, Korea and Japan, and there was a massive influx of Chinese vocabulary into these and other neighbouring languages. The Chinese script was also adapted to write Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese.
The languages of Southeast Asia and East Asia belong to several language families.
The Sino-Tibetan languages are a family of more than 400 languages spoken in East Asia, Southeast Asia and parts of South Asia, including the Chinese and Tibeto-Burman languages. They are second only to the Indo-European languages in terms of the number of native speakers. The internal classification of the family is debated.