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Chinese Dynasty Timeline
A quick, chronological look at Chinese history.

The Chinese imperial system lasted from 2100 BC to 1911, 4,000 years in all. The history of the ruling houses in China and their emperors was complicated at times with overlapping and competing dynasties, and some that were short-lived. This is a basic outline of the most important dynasties only.

Name
Chinese
Period
Xia (Hsia)
2100–1600 BC
Shang
1600–1050 BC
Zhou (Chou)
1050–256 BC
Qin (Ch'in)
221–206 BC
Han
206 BC–AD 220
The Three Kingdoms
三國
220–280
Jin (Chin)
265–420
The Sixteen Kingdoms
十六國
304–439
The Southern & Northern Dynasties
南北朝
420–589
Sui
581–618
Tang (T'ang)
618–907
The Five Dynasties
五代十國
907–960
Northern Song (Sung)
北宋
960–1127
Southern Song (Sung)
南宋
1127–1279
Liao
907–1125
Jin
1115–1234
Yuan (Yüan)
1271–1368
Ming
1368–1644
Qing (Ch'ing)
1644–1911
The Republic of China (R.O.C)
中華民國
1912–49
The People's Republic of China (P.R.C)
中華人民共和國
1949–

 
 
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Featured Chinese Food Snippets

The True Origin of Kiwifruit

Although its name strongly suggests a New Zealand origin, the kiwifruit is in fact, native to China's Yangtze Valley. Until midway through the 20th century, the fruit was known as Chinese gooseberry. Once a commercial industry was developed in New Zealand, fruit growers apparently decided that the furry egg-shaped fruit bore a symbolic resemblance to their native flightless bird, the kiwi … continue reading

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