Chinese name: 中国

Pinyin: zhōng guó

English name: China

Characters: The first character 中 is an ideographic character. Originally in oracle bones, it is a picture of two flags planted on both sides of a land. Later the character evolved into a flag inserted into the center of a land. Now the character simply means middle.

The second character 国 means kingdom or country. Originally, the character has the enclosure radical  surrounding a king 王 and weapons戈. The simplified version of this character consist the enclosure radical   and a component 玉 (pinyin: yù; meaning: a string of jade).

A literal translation of  中国 in English is middle kingdom.