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Brief Intro to China

China, an ancient, mysterious and beautiful land, is always appealing to adventurous foreign visitors. As the third largest country in the world occupying an area of 9,600,000 sq km, it spans 62 degrees of longitude and 49 degrees of latitude. A wide variety of terrain and climate shape its numerous natural attractions. Abundant in a variety of resources, plants, animals, and minerals, the land has nurtured countless generations of Chinese people. One of China's greatest treasures is her long, rich history. As early as 1.7 million years ago, the earliest humans evolved on this land. The first dynasty, the Xia Dynasty, dates to about the 21st century BC. For 4,000 years, feudalism was the dominant economic and cultural model. Then, in 1911, the revolution led by Sun Yat-sen brought the monarchy to an end. On October 1st, 1949, modern China was founded as the 'People's Republic of China'. Since then, China has developed independently and vigorously. Most recently, reform and opening-up policy has energized life in China. China is proud of her many people, long history, resplendent culture and distinctive customs. Among her greatest gifts to the world are the 'four great inventions' (paper, gunpowder, printing and the compass) . Chinese arts and crafts, including painting, calligraphy, operas, embroidery and silk are distinctive and unique. Martial arts, which have only recently begun to enjoy popularity in other parts of the world have been part of Chinese culture for centuries, and Chinese literature is testifies to the country's rich heritage. And, of course, there is Chinese cuisine, which has been exported to every corner of the globe. Basic details: Full name: The People's Republic of China Area: 9,600,000 sq km Location: middle and East Asia, bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean Climate: mainly continental monsoon climate (Tibet: vertical climate zone) Territorial seas: the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, and the South China Sea Population: 1.3 billion (as of 2004) Capital City: Beijing People: Han Chinese (93.3%), plus 55 ethnic groups like Miao, Li, Mongolian Language: Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua) based on Beijing dialect, plus local dialects The main religions and beliefs: officially atheist, Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam (over 22 million), Catholicism (over 4 million) and Protestantism (over 10 million) Currency and monetary unit : Renminbi/Yuan Form of government: system of National People's Congress Administrative demarcations: 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities, and 2 Special Administrative Regions Chinese President: Hu Jintao

History of China
China, one of the countries that can boast of an ancient civilization, has a long and mysterious history almost 5,000 years of it! Like most other great civilizations of the world, China can trace her culture back to a blend of small original tribes which have expanded till they became the great country we have today. It is recorded that Yuanmou man is the oldest hominoid in China and the oldest dynasty is Xia Dynasty. From the long history of China, there emerge many eminent people that have contributed a lot to the development of the whole country and to the enrichment of her history. Among them, there are emperors like Li Shimin (emperor Taizong of the Tang), philosophers like Confucius, great patriotic poets like Qu Yuan and so on. Chinese society has progressed through five major stages - Primitive Society, Slave Society, Feudal Society, Semi-feudal and Semi-colonial Society, and Socialist Society. The rise and fall of the great dynasties forms a thread that runs through Chinese history, almost from the beginning. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1st, 1949, China has become a socialist society and become stronger and stronger. List of Chinese Dynasties Chinese Dynasties Prehistoric Times Xia Dynasty Shang Dynasty Period 1.7 million years - the 21st century BC 21st - 16th century BC 16th - 11th century BC Western Zhou (11th century BC - 771 BC) Zhou Dynasty Eastern Zhou ---- Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC - 476 BC) ---- Warring States Period (476 BC - 221 BC) 221 BC - 206 BC Western Han (206 BC - 24 AD) Eastern Han (25 - 220) 220 - 280 Western Jin (265 - 316) Eastern Jin (317 - 420) Northern Dynasties (386 - 581) Southern Dynasties (420 - 589) 581 - 618 618 - 907 Five Dynasties ---- Later Liang (907 - 923) ---- Later Tang (923 - 936) ---- Later Jin (936 - 946) ---- Later Han (947 - 951) ---- Later Zhou (951 - 960) Ten States (902 - 979) Song Dynasty Northern Song (960 - 1127) Southern Song (1127 - 1279)

Qin Dynasty Han Dynasty Three Kingdoms Period Jin Dynasty Northern and Southern Dynasties Sui Dynasty Tang Dynasty

Five Dynasties and Ten States

Liao Dynasty Jin Dynasty Yuan Dynasty Ming Dynasty Qing Dynasty

916 --- 1125 1115 --- 1234 1271 --- 1368 1368 --- 1644 1644 --- 1911

Emperor Table
Emperors of the Three Kingdoms Period Reign Time (years)

Order

Name

Notes Kingdom of Wei (220-265)

Wei Wendi (Cao Pi) Wei Mingdi (Cao Rui)

The second son of the Chinese politician and poet Cao Cao; he is considered the founder of the Kingdom of Wei

220 - 226

Son of Cao Pi; during his reign, the Shu and Wu become more entrenched. Before he died, he entrusted his son Cao Fang to the 226 - 239 regency of Cao Shuang and Sima Yi - ultimately a fatal mistake for his empire. Adopted son of Cao Rui, he was rumored to be the son of Cao Kai who was a grandson of Cao Cao. Although, he reigned longer than any other emperor in Wei's history, he did not have any real imperial authority. He was eventually deposed by Sima Yi. A grandson of Cao Pi, his reign was under the domination of the Simas. He attempted a coup against Sima Zhao, but was killed by Sima's troop. A grandson of Cao Cao, and the last emperor of Wei who was still a figurehead of the Simas. During his reign, the Shu was defeated by the Wei. He was forced to abdicate by Sima Yan, and was given the title of "Prince of Chenliu" which he retained for the rest of his life. Kingdom of Shu (221-263) 239 - 254

Wei Qiwang (Cao Fang) Gaoguixiang Gong (Cao Mao) Wei Yuandi (Cao Huan)

254 - 260

260 - 265

A descendant of the Western Han (206 BC - 24 AD) imperial family Zhao Liedi (Liu and born into the commoner class. With military counselor Zhuge Bei) Liang's assistance, he founded Kingdom of Shu and became the first emperor of the Shu. Hou Zhu (Liu Chan) Dadi (Sun Quan) Kuai ji wang (Sun Liang) Jingdi (Sun Xiu) Wen Cheng Hou (Sun Hao)

221 - 223

The second and last emperor of the Kingdom of Shu. During his reign, 223 - 263 he surrendered to the Kingdom of Wei in 263. Kingdom of Wu (222-280) Son of Sun Jian and founder of the Kingdom of Wu, Sun Quan had the longest reign among the emperors of Kingdom of Wu

1 2 3 4

222 - 252

Sun Quan's youngest son and heir, he was known as the Prince of 252 - 258 Kuaiji , a title given to him after he was removed by the regent Sun Lin Another son of Sun Quan and brother of Sun Liang, Sun Xu was known for being tolerant of differing opinions and for being studious 258 - 264

The eldest son of Sun He and a crown prince of the first emperor Sun 264 - 280 Quan. During his reign, he surrendered to the Jin Court.

Three Kingdoms Period


Just as the name implies, the Three Kingdoms were made up of three kingdoms - the Kingdom of Wei, Kingdom of Shu and Kingdom of Wu. As a single dynasty, the Three Kingdoms Period originated in 220 AD when the Kingdom of Wei replaced the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 AD-220 AD) and ended in 280 AD when the Kingdom of Wu was defeated by the Court of Jin. It is considered to be a special historical period full of power struggles and sophisticated military strategies. Political History In 189 when Emperor Ling of the Eastern Han dynasty died, a young emperor - Emperor Shao was put on the throne. Resenting the manipulation of eunuchs, two generals Yuan Shao and He Jin plotted to murder them. During the chaos caused by the fighting between the eunuchs and generals, Dong Zhuo, a treacherous court official of the Eastern Han drove his army into Luoyang. With full political power in his hand, Dong Zhuo dethroned Emperor Shao and put Emperor Xian on the throne. All Dong's deeds aroused strong protest from the courtiers and many local officials. As the political situation became acute, a large-scale civil war finally broke out. After Dong Zhuo invaded Luoyang, Cao Cao fled to Chenliu (currently southeast of Kaifeng in Henan Province) and began to assemble military forces to revolt. In 193, Dong was killed in a mutiny but the melee remained. This period of unrest continued until 196, Balkanized areas were formed among which the most two powerful ones were those of Yuan Shao and Cao Cao. In 196, Cao Cao held Emperor Xian under duress and took this advantage to strengthen his military power. In 201, with comparatively weaker strength, Cao Cao defeated Yuan Shao in the Battle of Guandu after which he gradually unified the northern area of China. In 209, Cao Cao drove his troops to the southern area and captured Jingzhou. But when he wanted to expand his power further to the south, he was defeated by the allied forces of Liu Bei and Sun Quan in the Battle of Red Cliff and thus he withdrew his army back to the central plains of China. In 220 when Cao Cao died, his eldest son Cao Pi proclaimed himself emperor, with Wei as his National Title and Luoyang as his capital city. In 221, Liu Bei proclaimed himself emperor, with Shu his national title and Chengdu the capital city. And in 229, Sun Quan proclaimed himself emperor in Wuchang (currently Wuhan), and later moved the capital to Jiankang (currently Nanjing), with the national title Wu. Since then, the so-called Three Kingdoms' Tripartite Confrontation was formed. On the whole, Wei occupied the north, Shu occupied the southwest and Wu occupied the southeast. Upon the founding of the three kingdoms, rulers of each kingdom all committed to improve the way of ruling and develop their national economy. In the Kingdom of Wei, Cao Cao made many reforms to discard old policies inform previous dynasties. The Tun Tian (farming done by soldiers) System was also carried out, which greatly promoted the national productivity. In the Kingdom of Shu, Zhuge Liang set up strict social order and tried to govern the kingdom by law. With his assistance, Shu's agriculture and handicraft industry developed rapidly. Additionally, Shu formed a friendly relationship with ethnic minorities in southwestern areas. In the Kingdom of Wu, the shipbuilding industry was much more prosperous. As for the national strength, the Kingdom of Wei ranked first, Wu second and Shu third. Throughout the Three Kingdoms Period, battles between the three countries were countless. Among those, battles between Shu and Wu fighting for Jingzhou, Shu and Wei fighting for Hanzhong as well as Wei defeating Shu were all illustrious ones in Chinese history. Finally, the end of the Three Kingdoms Period started from the Sima Yan (son of Sima Yi and chancellor of Wei)'s usurpation of Wei and the establishment of the Jin Dynasty (265 - 420). In 282 when the Jin army conquered the last kingdom - Wu's capital, the Three Kingdoms Period was ended.

Kingdom of Wei
As the most powerful kingdom of the Three Kingdoms Period, Kingdom of Wei was successively reined by six emperors including Cao Cao who was proclaimed as Wei Dynasty Tai Tsu after his death. Cao Cao paid close attention to the application of talented people and economic development during his reign. In the beginning, he tried to recruit as many talented people as possible and made many reformations to discard the old political patterns of the Eastern Han (25-220). As a result, the monopolization of eunuchs was swept away and personages from different social status participated in the Court of Wei. In order to have a continuous supply of soldiers, a special system called Shijia (family of warriors) System was founded by Cao Cao. Men in those families had to join the army or to do the corvee labor from generation to generation. In this way, the military force of Wei was guaranteed. Economically, Cao Cao benefited a lot from the Tun Tian (farming done by soldiers) System. Since the productivity of soldiers was greater, the demand for combat food was well met in a short period of time. Besides, Hu Tiao (Tax Modification) System was also carried out, which to some extent added a burden to landlords while lightening the burden on farmers. Under all these policies, the social order of Wei became extremely harmonious. In addition, remarkable accomplishments were achieved in literature, philosophy and technique. Numerous predominant poets emerged from the Kingdom of Wei, including Cao Cao and his two sons Cao Pi and Cao Zhi as well as the seven leading writers during the Jian An Period. The noted Yuefu Poem-Peacock Flies to Southeast was also written in the Jian An Period. Metaphysics represented by He Yan and Wang Bi also came into being. In medicine, the commonly known 'Miracle Doctor', Zhang Zhongjing wrote the book Theory of Exogenous Febrile Disease which established the foundation of traditional Chinese medicine. In the late Wei Dynasty, power struggles between the imperial clan of Cao Cao and the military official Sima Yi appeared within the Court. Finally, Sima Yi made contributions to the war and defeated Kingdom of Shu in 263. Two years later, a new dynasty - Jin Dynasty (265-420) was founded by the son of Sima Yi.

Cao Cao
Cao Cao, with his more common name being Mengde, was born in Qiao County of Peiguo (currently Anhui Province). He was born into an eminent eunuch family, with his father Cao Teng, being one of the ten 'Chang Shi' (eunuch) of Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). Being a master of both the pen and the sword, Cao Cao was considered an excellent strategist, politician and poet of late Eastern Han. In 174 when Cao Cao was 20 years old, he was elected as a local official of Luoyang. In this position, he carried out his duties and the law strictly, without fearing the power of royal relatives and minions which contributed his later promotion. After the Yellow Turban Rebellion broke up, Cao Cao was appointed by the Han Court to suppress the insurgents which, because of his achievements in the suppression, lead to a further promotion. In 190, he joined the military alliance fighting against Dong Zhuo (a treacherous court official of Eastern Han), and started to build up his own armed forces which were named the 'Qingzhou Army'. In 196, Cao Cao led his troops into the capital city Luoyang and forced the Emperor Xian of Han to carry out his commands in order to control the political situation. In 201, Cao Cao's troop defeated Yuan Shao's (leader of a rebel force against Eastern Han court) in the Battle of Guandu. From that time on, Cao Cao gradually unified northern China. However, his political aim of unify the whole of China was never achieved. In the Battle of Red Cliffs, which had the aim of capturing the southern area, Cao Cao suffered a disastrous defeat in fighting with the allied forces of Liu Bei and Sun Quan. As a politician, Cao Cao paid great attention to the development of an agricultural economy by setting up the Tun Tian (farming done by soldiers) System to promote productivity and meet the demands of the army's food supplies. Meanwhile, he also set up Zu Tiao (Tax Modification) System to ease the tax burden on farmers' while at the same time punishing the big landlords. All these efforts had consolidated a strong economic foundation for his military group. In dealing with human resources, Cao Cao focused close attention on recruiting talented people to strengthen the power of his group and was also considered an impartial dispenser of rewards and punishments. Known as an illustrious poet, Cao Cao wrote a list of poetry anthologies, such as Haolixing, Duangexing, Guancanghai (The Sea) and Guisuishou (Though the Tortoise Lives Long). His poems were deeply influenced by Yuefu Poem pattern while being more creative in content. Therefore, Cao Cao's poems, as well as those of his two talented poet sons Cao Pi and Cao Zhi, began a new style of Jian An literature. Cao Cao died of a head disease on March 15th, 220 and was posthumously titled Emperor Wu of Wei after his son Cao Pi succeeded him to the throne.

Kingdom of Shu
With only two emperors Liu Bei and his son Liu Chan, the reign of Kingdom of Shu was much shorter than that of the Kingdom of Wei. As for the national strength, Kingdom of Shu was the weakest of the three kingdoms. In 188, a member of the imperial clan of Han Dynasty (206 BC-220), Liu Yan, was appointed the chief executive of Yizhou (which includes present-day Sichuan Province, Chongqing City, southern Shaanxi Province and northwest Yunnan Province). After Liu Yan died, his son Liu Zhang succeeded. In 212, Liu Zhang invited Liu Bei and his court to Yizhou, persuading him to attack Hanzhong. In 215, Liu Bei occupied Yizhou and then captured Hanzhong, after which he proclaimed himself as King of Hanzhong'. In the same year, Jingzhou was captured and Guan Yu was killed by Sun Quan's army. The following year, hoping to recapture Jingzhou, Liu Bei fought with the Wu army in the Battle of Yiling. Unfortunately, he did not achieve his goal and soon died of illness. Following Liu Bei's death, his son Liu Chan succeeded. During the reign of Liu Chan, the Chengxiang (ancient term for secretary of state) of Shu Kingdom Zhuge Liang played an indispensable role in governing the country. He assisted under the circumstances that Liu Chan was very young and the Kingdom of Shu was in great difficulties. He ruled the country by law and established a system of strict discipline to manage the army. During this period, the agriculture and handicraft industry recovered and became well developed. Another contribution by Zhuge Liang was his eagerness to develop the regions inhabited by the Yi people, thus enhancing the unity of different ethnic groups. As a loyal chancellor, Zhuge Liang never gave up the chance to realize Liu Bei's ambition - to restore the Han Dynasty and regain the former capital. He led Shu's army to attack Wei many times. However, during the last northern expedition, Zhuge Liang died of illness on the march. After 258, political power fell into the hands of eunuchs and the government became corrupt. In 263, Kingdom of Shu was completely overpowered by the Wei army.

Liu Bei
Liu Bei, better known as Xuan De, was born in Zhuo County in Hebei Province. His ancestor was Liu Sheng, son of Emperor Jing in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD).Judging by Liu Bei's position in the family hierarchy, he was the last emperor of Eastern Han (25 - 220) - Emperor Xian's uncle. He founded the Kingdom of Shu and was regarded as a great statesman and strategist in the Three Kingdoms Period (220 - 280). Liu Bei lost his father while he was still young. After that, he existed by selling straw sandals and weaving straw mats with his mother. At the age of 15, Liu Bei went out to pursue his studies. In 188 after the Yellow Turban Rebellion broke out, Liu Bei, along with his two sworn brothers Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, began to organize his own troops to fight against the insurrectionists. After the battle, Liu Bei formally set up his military group and was soon appointed as a county governor. Later, he was successively promoted to chief executive of Xuzhou, Zhendong General, and chief executive of Yuzhou. However, because it was weaker militarily than other groups and without a stable military base, Liu Bei's group sought support temporarily under the domain of big warlords such as Cao Cao, Yuan Shao and Liu Biao. In 207, after paying three visits to the thatched cottage of the great sage, Zhuge Liang, Liu Bei received advice crucial to his subsequent role in political and military affairs. With Zhuge Liang as his military counselor, Liu Bei followed his strategic guidance to capture Jingzhou, with support from The Kingdom of Wu, by attacking Cao Cao's troops and to driving into Sichuan Province. In 221, Liu Bei reclaimed himself emperor in Chengdu, establishing the Kingdom of Shu. As one of three kingdoms, The Kingdom of Shu covered the area of Sichuan Province, Yunnan Province, the northern part of Guizhou Province and the southern part of Shaanxi Province. As an emperor, Liu Bei loved his people and treasured talented people very much. As an individual, he was fair and sincere, humane and righteous. The main features of his political characters embodied Chinese traditional political thoughts, especially Confucianism. Because of this, he always received courteous reception and deep respect wherever he arrived. In 223, Liu Bei launched a battle against The Kingdom of Wu to avenge the death of his sworn brother Guan Yu. Unfortunately, Liu Bei was defeated and had to draw back into the domain of Shu. In April of the same year, Liu Bei died in Baidi City (currently Fengjie in Chongqing). On his death bed, he entrusted his son Liu Shan to Zhuge Liang.

Zhuge Liang
Zhuge Liang, also named Kong Ming, was born into an official family in Yinan County, Shandong Province. He was a famous statesman, ideologist and strategist during the Three Kingdoms Period (220 280). As the Cheng Xiang (an ancient term for prime minister) of the Kingdom of Shu, Zhuge Liang devoted his life to his monarch Liu Bei, and to the existence of the Shu Dynasty. Zhuge Liang had an unfortunate childhood. His mother died when he was three years old and his father died when he was eight. After his father's death, Zhuge Liang and his brothers and sisters all lived with his uncle Zhuge Xuan, a local officer. Zhuge Liang's uncle passed away a few years later, and 16-yearold Zhuge Liang began to live on his own. Unwilling to serve under Liu Biao whom his uncle had followed, Zhuge Liang moved to the country in the Longzhong area, of Xiangyang in Hubei Province. There worked as a farmer while studying. During his ten years of reclusion, Zhuge Liang met a group of contemporaries including Xu Shu, Pang Tong and Sima Hui. These men were considered the most intelligent people of that period. Through study and astute observation, Zhuge Liang was not only an expert in astronomy and geography, but also mastered military strategy and tactics, and carefully analyzed political situations with great ambition. In 207, on the recommendation of Sima Hui and Xu Shu, Liu Bei paid three visits to the thatched cottage of Zhuge Liang asking for his assistance. From the Longzhong area, Zhuge Liang introduced his detailed plan for reunifying the whole nation. This both enlightened and pleased Liu Bei and his initiatives were subsequently called the 'Longzhong Dialogue'. From that point on, Zhuge Liang began to assist Liu Bei in realizing his political goal to reestablish the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD). Zhuge Liang assisted Liu Bei and helped him through many difficult situations. Following Zhuge Liang's strategies, Liu Bei made an alliance with Sun Quan's group and defeated Cao Cao's troops in the Battle of Red Cliffs. Later, Liu Bei successfully captured Jingzhou, Yizhou and Hanzhong. With Zhuge Liang's assistance, Liu Bei appointed himself emperor in 221 and Zhuge Liang was appointed as Cheng Xiang to preside over political affairs. In 223 when Liu Bei died, Zhuge Liang was entrusted with Liu Bei's son, Liu Shan. After Liu Shan succeeded his father, Zhuge Liang was authorized as Wuxiang Hou (a title of vassal who was given the land of Wuxiang (in current Hanzhong) and appointed the chief executive of Yizhou (most areas of current Sichuan Province). During his tenure, he was always diligent and conscientious in governing the Kingdom of Shu. As a loyal chancellor, Zhuge Liang devoted all his efforts to realize Liu Bei's political ideal. He aligned the Shu with the Wu, implemented the Tun Tian System (farming done by soldiers) and consolidated the military strength of Shu. Zhuge Liang launched six consecutive northern expeditions to the central plains. Unfortunately, he failed to conquer any northern area and did not accomplish Liu Bei's goal of full unification In 234, during the last northern expedition battle with the general of the Wei Sima Yi, Zhuge Liang died of exhaustion at Wuzhang Plain (currently southwestern of Mei County in Shaanxi Province).

Kingdom of Wu
Kingdom of Wu was consecutively ruled by four emperors and lasted for 52 years. Although Kingdom of Wu was not the strongest one among the three, it had the longest history. During the rebellion of Dong Zhuo, Sun Jian joined the allied forces against Dong Zhuo. The military area of his troop was mainly to the south of Huaihe River. After Sun Jian died, his son Sun Ce began to lead the army and gradually expanded his military area to the east of Yangtze River. In 196, Sun Ce made an alliance with Cao Cao and was conferred 'Wu Hou (vassal)' by Cao Cao. In 201 when Sun Ce died, his younger brother Sun Quan took charge with Zhou Yu's assistance. After Sun Quan's army captured Jingzhou and defeated the Shu army in the Battle of Yiling, Sun Quan proclaimed himself emperor in 229. Under the rule of Sun Quan, the economy of regions in the east of Yangtze River made notable progress. With the development of economy, the number of counties and towns increased largely. Due to the convenient river transportation in the east of Yangtze River, the shipbuilding industry of Wu was prosperous. Besides, using the advantage of navigation, Kingdom of Wu established close trade routes with some overseas countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia. Meanwhile, both economical development and international exchange also promoted the cultural development of the South Yangtze River regions which produced a group of well-known economists and scholars. After Sun Quan died in 252, Kingdom of Wu fell into decline day by day. In 282 when Jin Army captured the capital city of Wu - Jianye (currently Nanjing), the last emperor of Wu surrendered, thus ending the glorious reign of the Kingdom of Wu.