The Chinese system of writing is one of the oldest writing systems known to man, with roots going back to the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC). It is a logographic writing system, meaning that each character represents a word or an idea, rather than a single sound. This system of writing has been passed down through generations and is still in use today. It is considered one of the most complex writing systems in history and is composed of thousands of characters. Chinese writing has had a profound influence on other writing systems in East Asia, and its influence continues to be felt in modern times.