China is called 中国 (zhōngguó) in Chinese.
国 (guó): state
中国 (zhōngguó): Middle Kingdom
Maybe the map below will help us explain why China is called the Middle Kingdom.
Here is an excerpt from the article where I found the above map:
“The map is similar to many present-day Chinese world maps in that it positions at the centre of the map China (which used self-confidently to refer to itself as the “Middle Kingdom”), and not Europe.”
One theory, among few others, says that China is called the Middle Kingdom because its rulers believed that China is in the center of the world as shown in the map above.
But why is the United States called 美国 (měiguó)?