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History of China

As one of the Four Great Ancient Civilizations, China has a recorded history of more than 4,000 years. The earliest primitive man discovered so far, known as 'Yuanmou Man' lived approximately 1.7 million years ago. The 'Beijing Man' discovered in Zhoukoudian in the suburban area of Beijing lived 600,000 years ago. Beijing Man was able to walk upright, use simple tools and make use of natural fire. Evidence of the cultivation of rice and millet using farming tools dating back to six to seven thousand years ago was discovered in Hemudu Town of Yuyao City, Zhejiang Province, and Banpo Village near Xian City, Shaanxi Province.

In 2070 BC, the first Chinese dynasty - Xia Dynasty was established. This brought into being a society based upon slavery and China experienced about 1,300-year's rule by the Xia, Shang, and Western Zhou Dynasties. This era was followed by the Eastern Zhou Dynasty also named Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods during which silk production advanced and steel production started. At the same time, many scholars rose to fame despite continual wars and chaos. These included philosophers Lao Zi, Confucius, Mencius and Mo Zi as well as the militarist Sun Wu.

In 221 BC, Ying Zheng, ruler of the Qin State with great talent and bold vision, established the first centralized, unified, multi-ethnic feudal state in Chinese history - the Qin Dynasty, bringing to an end over 250 years of rivalry among the vassals during the Warring States Periods. From that time on China was subject to a long period of feudal society that lasted for nearly 2,100 years, which was the dominant stage of the country's ancient history. During the feudal period, under the rule of many wise emperors, China was one of the world's greatest economies especially during the Han and Tang Dynasties.

At the end of the Qing Dynasty, the Republic of China rose from the chaos, thereby establishing the country as a modern capitalist society. This lasted for a short but turbulent period until the foundation of the People's Republic of China on January 1, 1949. This had the effect of totally changing the fortune of the Chinese people's fortune as the nation entered the socialist era that we know today.

 A list of the dynasties