Chinese History Early dynasties to 770BCE Spring and Autumn Period 770-476BCE Warring States Period 476-221BCE Qin dynasty 221-207BCE Han dynasty 206BCE-220CE Period of disunity 220-581 Sui dynasty 581-618 Tang dynasty 618-907 Five dynasties and Ten kingdoms 907-960 Song dynasty 960-1279 Yuan/Mongol dynasty 1271-1368 Ming dynasty 1368-1644 Qing/Manchu dynasty 1644-1911 Republic of China 1912-1949 Peoples Republic of China 1949-present

Chinese History lì shǐ

China motif
Japan and China

Japan and China

China

History of the often difficult relations between China and Japan. With the Japanese occupation of China 1937-45 and continued U.S. support for Japan has led to continuing frictions between governments and peoples.
Imperial officials

Imperial officials

History

The prized job in dynastic China was as an Imperial official. As well as prosperity and a life of relative leisure an official received respect from the community. As anyone who passed the Imperial examinations could hope for such an appointment the posts were potentially open to all men.
Chinese money

Chinese money

Culture

Like in many other things China was the first to introduce paper currency and has had a standard coinage for thousands of years.

Most countries can look back at a few hundred years of continuous recorded history; China looks back at thousands of years. From earliest times an accurate account of events has been treasured by the Chinese, this is embodied in the character shǐhistory’ which also has the meaning ‘impartial’. Chinese people know their heritage well and have a long tradition of revering their ancestors. A good knowledge of Chinese history is essential to understanding and relating to its people.

We include pages on all the main dynasties as well as significant events in Chinese history, up to the foundation of the Republic in 1912, including the Taiping Rebellion; coming of railways; the Imperial system; and the Opium Wars. We will continue to add further topics.

Superpower China

There is worldwide speculation on where the future will take China. For thousands of years China was by any measure the top nation on Earth, and so it seems natural that after 150 years of turmoil China will become the leading country again. In this page we speculate on what this might mean to China and the rest of the world.
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Click on the time chart on the left to go to a particular time period. Hover the mouse over a dynasty to pop-up a list of key dates during each dynasty and then click on it to go to a more detailed page. You can also navigate between dynasties by clicking on the time bar at the top of each dynasty page.


Gansu, Tianshui, Buddhism, cliff
Cliff with many caves and large Buddha, Tianshui, Gansu

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