• Around 500,000 to 25,000 years ago, human exisitence by “Peking Man”
  • 25,000 year ago, modern man emerged
  • 5,000 years ago, the mythical ‘Yellow Emperor” united all the tribes of China


Xia dynasty (c. 2070 to 1600 BC)

Shang Dynasty ( c. 1600 to 1046 BC)

Western Zhou  (c. 1046 to 771 BC)

  • 841 BC, a “republic administration’ government , hence the first year of the republic, and the beginning of the Chinese calendar.

Spring and Autumn Periods (770 to 476 BC)

  • Confucius born in 551BC

Warring States Period (475 to 221BC)

  • Emergence of a feudal society

Qin Dynasty (221 to 206 BC)

  • Qin Shihuang (Terracotta warriors mausoleum)unified empire of China

Western Han Dynasty (202BC to 8 AD)

  • Peasant uprising by Liu Bang overthrows Qin

Eastern Han (25AD to220 AD)

  • Dissolution by war ends the Han and begins a period of fragmented rule for 370 years

Three Kingdoms Period (220 to 280 AD)

Western and Eastern Jin ((265 to 420 AD)

North and South Dynasties Period (420 to 589 AD)

Sui Dynasty (581 to 618 AD)

  • China re-unified
  • Grand Canal project begun

Tang Dynasty (618 to 907 AD)

  • Considered the height of Chinese cultural splendour
  • China and Tibet establish a good relationship through marriage
  • Wu Zetian becomes first female emperor in China in 690

Five Dynasties (907 to 960 AD)

Northern Song Dynasty ((960 to 1127 AD)

Southern Song Dynasty (1127 to 1279 AD)

  • Temujin unites Mongolian tribes, and is renamed Genghis Khan

Yuan Dynasty (1271 to 1368 AD)

  • Kublai Khan, Grandson of Genghis, takes over north of China, sets capital in Dadu, now Beijing
  • Marco Polo arrives in Dadu and spends 17 years in China
  • Southern Song remnants taken over by Yuan in 1279

Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644 AD)

  • Admiral Zheng He begins his voyages of discovery, reaching SE Asia and India in 1405
  • Forbidden City construction in Beijing completed in 1420

Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1911 AD)

  • Taiwan reclaimed from Dutch colonists 1662
  • Britain begins opium war, forces the Treaty of Nanjing 1840, cHong Kong ceded to Britain in 1842
  • British and French troops enter Beijing in 1860
  • Qing defeated in Jiawu War and forced to cede Penghu Islands and Taiwan to Japan in 1895
  • Alliance of eight nations invade and force the Xinchou Treaty, resulting in a number of ‘Concessions’ under foreign control.
  • Wuchang uprising forces the young Emperor Pu Yi  to abdicate in 1911

REPUBLIC OF CHINA (1911 to 1949)

  • Song Zhongshan (Sun Yatsen)becomes interim President of the Republic
  • Forbidden City converted to the Palace Museum in 1925
  • Japanese occupy three provinces of North East China in 1931
  • July 7 incident in Beijing starts the Japanese invasion war on China in 1937
  • Japan defeated and Taiwan returned to China in 1945
  • People’s Liberation Army overthrow Nationalist Government to end civil war

PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (1949 to present)

  • Mao Zedong announces foundation of PRC in Beijing, October 1, 1949
  • Cultural Revolution period of chaos from 1966 to 1975
  • Open and reform policy implemented in 1978
  • Hong Kong returned to China in 1997, Macao in 1998
Song Qingling, the most revered woman of modern China




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