Polo, the fabled markets of China have drawn
the west like a magnet. This ancient culture has been colonized
by foreign powers, buffeted by war and revolution - yet China
remains one of the most constant of international influences.
It is a sleeping giant. Many fear and some welcome its awakening.
These tapes examine both the changing and the constant face
that China has offered to the world.
Century B.C.-The Shang Dynasty: court, calendar,
army, metal industry.
1025-225 B.C.-Chou Dynasty (900 years). Mandate
of Heaven. Confucius,
800 B.C.-Ch'in Dynasty in the far west: Legalism
(tyranny), warfare and conquest. Unified state (222 B.C.).
Ch'in is source of the name China. Shih Huang Ti
(ca 246 B.C.) begins the Great Wall (and burns China's Books).
B.C. - 245 A.D.-Han Dynasty: bureaucracy, mandarins.
Chinese Renaissance of scholarship and arts in 1st-
Dynasty, called China's "Golden Age"; painting, sculpture,
rival dynasties, including Southern Sung and Northern
Sung. Printing, paper money, gunpowder; the height of Chinese civilization.
Khan leads Mongol invasion from the northwest and conquers
China. Khanbaliq is renamed Beijing (1260).
Dynasty, established by Mongols (Kublai Khan).
Roads, canals built throughout much of China.
Dynasty. Last of the native emperors; international exploration,
Westerners (Portuguese adventurers) arrive.
Dynasty (Manchus, i.e. Turkic nomadic invaders).
1800s-Opium trade thrives among British merchants
defeats China in Opium War. Hong Kong ceded to Britain;
opium trade surges.
P'ing rebellion. 60 million Chinese die; half of China
Rebellion is suppressed by an international force.
Chinese Republic proclaimed under Sun Yat-sen.
seizes Manchuria, renames it Manchukuo.
Japanese surrender in WWII,
China's Nationalist and Communists fight in
1, 1949-People's Republic of China proclaimed under Mao
Zedong. Nationalists flee to Formosa (Taiwan).
million Chinese die in
Korean War. 3 to 5 million
purged, jailed, or executed.
opens dialogue with China, followed by full diplomatic relations
Zedong dies. China opens and begins experiments with market