History & Culture
China, with a recorded history of 5,000 years, was one of the world’s earliest civilizations. China was one of the countries where economic activity first developed. As early as 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, people in the Yellow River valley had already started farming and raising livestock. In the 21st century B.C., China established a slave society with the founding of the Xia Dynasty, thereby writing a finale to long years of primitive society.
In 221 B.C., Qin Shihuang established China’s first centralized autocracy, the Qin Dynasty, thereby ushering Chinese history into feudalism, which endured in a succession of dynasties until the Opium War of 1840.
The Bourgeois Democratic Revolution of 1911 led by Sun Yat-sen toppled the rule of the Qing Dynasty, putting an end to more than 2,000 years of feudal monarchical system.
The People’s Republic of China was founded on October 1st, 1949. Today, China is implementing reform and open polices, and has established a socialist market economy.
Brief Chinese Chronology
|Xia Dynasty||21st century BC-16th century BC|
|Shang Dynasty||16th century BC-1066 BC|
|Zhou Dynasty: Western Zhou||1066 BC-771 BC|
|Eastern Zhou||770 BC-476 BC|
|Spring and Autumn||770 BC-221 BC|
|Qin Dynasty||221 BC-206 BC|
|Han Dynasty: Western Han Dynasty||206 BC-23 AD|
|Eastern Han Dynasty||25-220|
|The Three Kingdoms: Wei||220-265|
|Southern and Northern Dynasty:|
|The Five Dynasties||907-960|
|Sung Dynasty: Northern Sung||960-1127|
|Western Xia Dynasty||1032-1227|
|Republic of China (Guo Ming Dang)||1912-1949|
|The People’s Republic of China||1949-the present|
China is a multi-religious country, where Taoism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity are practiced. Freedom of belief is a government policy, and normal religious activities are protected by the constitution.
Chinese family names came into being some 5,000 years ago. There are more than 5,000 family names in China, of which 200 or 300 are popular. The order of Chinese names is family name first. For example, the family name of a person called Li Ming is Li.