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A Short History of China

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Prehistory

For more than a million years ago, China was used to be inhabited by Homo erectus.  The archeological site of Xihoudu in the province of Shanxi shows the earliest use of fire.  The Peking Man is considered to be the most popular case of the Homo erectus which was found in 1923.  The Neolithic age in China started as early as 10,000 B.C.  During this period, the Yellow River valley became a cultural center where villages were formed.

Ancient Era

This period includes the reign of the Xia Dynasty (believed to have started some 4,200 years ago), Shang Dynasty (the longest dynasty in Chinese history with 31 kings), Zhou Dynasty as well as the so called Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period (a time during the 5th century B.C. when 7 well-known states remained and battled each other).

Imperial Era

The Imperial Age shows the grandeur of the following dynasties – Qin (the Great Wall of China began its construction), Han (philosophy of Confucianism was embrace), Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan (first dynasty that rules entire China with Beijing as capital), Ming (last construction of the Great Wall was carried out) and the Qing (introduction of the “Eight Banners” system and formation of the most complete dictionary of Chinese characters) as well as the purported Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (period of political disagreement between Tang and Song). 

Modern Era

By the dawn of the 19th century, historical personalities like Sun Yat-sen (孫中山,孙中山), Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石,蒋介石) and Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung, 毛澤東) played important roles in establishing the future People’s Republic of China (PRC).  During the Long March, Mao Zedong reorganizes the communists during the Japanese invasions that ended in 1945.  In October 1, 1949 the People’s Republic of China was proclaimed, with Taiwan once again politically separated from mainland China. 

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