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A civilization in Civilization Revolution 2
|Leaders|| Mao Zedong|
Taizong of Tang
|Begin the game with||Writing|
Despite political and social upheavals that frequently ravaged the country, China is unique for its longevity and resilience as a politico-cultural entity. Even when the country was conquered and ruled by such "barbarian" peoples as the Chin or Mongols, these were soon absorbed into the fabric of Chinese culture.
The casting of bronze and the development of an alphabet date from the period of the Shang dynasty - China's first, believed to have dominated north China from the mid-16th to mid-11th century BC. The overthrow of the Shang dynasty by the Chou (1111-255 BC) spanned three generations; although the vibrant Chou culture produced some of history's greatest philosophers and artists, among them Confucius and Lao Tzu, the final two centuries of the dynasty saw China engulfed by a series of civil wars known as the "Warring States" period (403-221 BC).
The fighting came to an end when Qin Shi Huang conquered all of his rivals and established the Ch'in Dynasty (221-206 BC). He became the first Chinese Emperor, and was the first man to unite all of China under a single ruler. The following centuries saw a series of dynastic changes in the country, during which great technological strides were made and a number of massive engineering projects (including the Great Wall) helped begin the process of unifying the disparate kingdoms into one nation.
Despite its size and potential power, during the twelfth century China was unable to fend off the assaults of the Mongol people under Genghis Khan. For several years Mongol armies pillaged the country; finally, in 1214 Genghis overwhelmed the capital of the northern Chin (modern Beijing). After Khan's death his heirs continued southward, and by the latter half of the century the entire country was under Mongol rule.
The Mongols occupied China for a century, but ineptitude on the throne, factionalism at court, and rivalries among generals weakened their rule. They were eventually supplanted by a new native dynasty, the Ming (1368-1644), known for patronage of the arts. The Ming were followed by the Manchu Dynasty (1644-1911), the last imperial dynasty of China. Their rule was marked by continuous warfare, Western imperialism, rampant corruption, and bureaucratic ineptitude. By the early twentieth century the country was once again largely dominated by foreigners.
In the wake of the disastrous Boxer Rebellion, the imperial court could no longer maintain support among the peasantry and army; revolution (1911-1912) followed. The first half of the 20th century saw the disintegration of the old order in China and the foundations of a new society, begun by the short-lived democratic Republic (1912-1920), which quickly degenerated into the dictatorship of Chiang Kai-shek.
In response a new revolution, led by the Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), erupted. Although they had been united against the Japanese invasion, by the end of World War II civil war raged in China. Eventually the balance shifted in favor of the Communists under Mao Zedong, and the defeated Nationalists retreated to the island of Taiwan.
After Mao's death in 1976, his rival Deng Xiaoping assumed power and began social and economic reforms that would see China return to world prominence. China today is one of the world's rising powers, but exactly what course its leaders will chart next remains uncertain.
A significant number of humanity's most important discoveries were made by Chinese thinkers, among them gunpowder, the printing press and paper currency.
China is the world's most populous nation and has been for the majority of history, although China is expected to be eclipsed by India before 2050 AD.