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Chinese kids the world over are frequently taught that there is "5000 years of Chinese history". What basis is there for this claim?
The basis for the 5,000 years figure comes from tracing Chinese "history" to the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors. This figure includes over 1,000 years of legends. The next 1000 years are semi-legendary, being only somewhat corroborated by historical evidence. We start to have fragmentary historical records for a few centuries after that, but true recorded history is generally held to have begun in the 8th century B.C., less than 2800 years ago.
Therefore, whether Chinese history is really 5,000 years is quite dependent on how broadly you want to define "history". I'll list a few of the major points here:
- c. 3,000 B.C. : Fu Hsi (pinyin Fu Xi or Fuxi), traditionally regarded as the origin of Han Chinese civilisation. The source of the 5,000 years of history claim. First of the Three Sovereigns.
- c. 2,400 (2,600) B.C. : The Yellow Emperor, traditionally regarded as the ancestor of the Han Chinese people. In ancient genealogy, progenitor of the royal houses of all three ancient Chinese dynasties. First of the Five Emperors.
- c. 2,200 (2,400) B.C. : Emperor Yao, traditional starting point of historical annals. One of the Five Emperors.
- c. 2,100 B.C.: The Great Yu, founder of the Hsia/Xia Dynasty. Start of hereditary dynastic rule in China.
- 1192-1150 B.C.: Wu Ding, 29th King of the Shang Dynasty. Source of the oldest Chinese records. The majority of recovered oracle bone script records originated during his reign.
- 841 B.C.: Chou/Zhou Interregnum, established after the tyrant King Li was exiled. Start of consistent recorded history in China.
Contrary to the assertions of some, written history was very prominent in China long before the Tang dynasty. A strong culture of writing existed in Ancient China, as attested to most famously by extensive inscriptions on some 150,000 pieces of oracle bones found from the reign of King Wu Ding of Shang (1250-1192 B.C.) onward. Important documentation of historical events begin to appear en masse in inscriptions on bronzewares by the Chou/Zhou Dynasty (770-255 B.C.).
Such archaeological sources provide corroboration for ancient history chronicles as well as primary information. The highly influential Han Dynasty Records of the Grand Historian by Ssu-ma Chhien/Sima Qian (139-86 B.C.), for instance, provided a list of Shang Dynasty kings which were confirmed in the early 1900s by oracle bones excavated from Anyang. The oldest extant fragments of this text date from the Northern and Southern Dynasties period (A.D. 420-589).
Canonically, the oldest history text was the Classics of History. It was "edited" together by Confucius (551-479 B.C.) during the Spring and Autumn Era, from a collection of earlier works. The oldest existing copy is a set of excavated bamboo slips, dating from the mid-late Warring States Era (c. 305 B.C.).
Traditional versions of the Classics of History date from the Chin/Sima Jin Dynasty (A.D. 265-420), after known original copies were destroyed during the Chin/Qin Dynasty's suppression and the early Han Dynasty recreations lost in warfare. Notably, during this period a set of ancient historical annals were discovered in an old tomb: the Bamboo Annals. It appears to be the official history of the State of Wei (403-225 B.C.) from the Warring States era, and recounted history from pre-Hsia/Xia Dynasty legends to the reign of King Hsiang/Xiang (319-296 B.C.). Unfortunately most of its contents have been lost.
A notable example of a well-preserved ancient Chinese history manuscript comes from a set of annals contained in bamboo slips excavated from the tomb of a government official in Yunmeng. The Shuihudi Chin/Qin Annals recorded major events of the last century of the Warring States Era, leading up to the conquest of the six eastern states by Chin/Qin. This set of annals were produced during the short lived Chin/Qin Dynasty (221-206 B.C.) and was part of an extensive collection that seemed to have helped the official (whose tomb it was found in) administer the Chin/Qin Empire's laws.
Major early Chinese historical writings (all dates approximate):
- ??? B.C. - The Classics of History
- 1046-??? B.C. - The Book of Chou/Zhou (original)
- 722-481 B.C. - The Spring and Autumn Annals (of the State of Lu)
- 5??-4?? B.C. - The Discourses of the States
- 389 B.C. - The Chronicle of Tso/Zuo (Commentary on the Spring and Autumn Annals)
- ???-2?? B.C. - The Records of the Generations
- ???-2?? B.C. - The Bamboo Annals
- ??? B.C. - Yan Yin's Spring and Autumn Annals
- 239 B.C. - Lu Pu-wei/Lu Buwei's Spring and Autumn Annals
- 100 B.C. - Records of the Grand Historian
- 018 B.C. - The Biographies of Eminent Women
- A.D. 04? - The Book of Yue
- A.D. 056 - The Wu and Yue's Spring and Autumn Annals
- ??? B.C. - A.D. ??? - The Stratagems of the Warring States (a compilation)
- A.D. 111 - The Book of Han
- A.D. 196 - The Records of Han (Tung-kuan/Dongguan Records of Han)
- A.D. 297 - The Records of the Three Kingdoms
- A.D. 376 - The Annals of the Later Han
- A.D. 445 - The Book of the Later Han
Well, to be factual, more like 4100 years+ of history is available for study. The Xia Dynasty is dated back to c. 2100 BC - 1600 BC, and numerous sites have been found meeting these dates. Well before that, dates and historical records get more and more inaccurate and enter into the realm of legends. "5000 years" seems like a generous rounding up, but it is not very far from reality.
The Xia Dynasty (2070 BC - 1600 BC) is the first dynasty in China to be described in ancient historical chronicles. The Records of the Grand Historian and the Classic of Rites say that Yu the Great, the founder of the Xia dynasty, was the grandson of Zhuanxu, one of the legendary "Five Emperors" who were the first rulers of China.
Chinese history is well documented since their writing system of pictograms changed relatively little compared to the European and Middle-Eastern writing systems, so their historical documents in any form or shape are still readable for researchers who've studied the evolution of the pictograms. To get the history recorded there is an important factor as well: China wasn't invaded many times by different cultures. Here I compare with Egyptian history: Copt, Greek, Roman, Arab, and colonial eras succeed each other. In China they assimilated everybody they could and only the Mongols could force them to knees as a country. Other than Mongols, Manchus could conquer China (and became a dynasty) and the imperial Japan managed to partially conquered China.
I like @Semaphore 's answer above. I'd like to clarify a little:
What kind of history are you asking about?
There is an important distinction between recorded history and pre-history. Generally speaking, when people speak about history, they are referring to recorded history, which requires the answer to be no, Chinese history is between 2,500 and 4,000 years old, depending on how reliable you view the source material.
Pre-history relies more on legends, oral history, and archeology. Chinese pre-history extends at least 10,000 years - to at least 8,000 BCE. For example, the domestication of millet occurred about 12,000 years ago, as shown by an archeological site containing >50,000 kg of millet in storage containers. This article (which I find interesting) give the details about an ancient neolithic agricultural community, that had evidently existed for some time prior to their storage of these vast quantities of grain.
So we have about 12,000 y.b.p. as a starting date for agriculture. People were living in this region at least 750,000 years before that! So when did pre-history begin?
History, however, relies to a great deal on written records. The written history for the warring states period 476 - 221 BCE., is very strong. So it can be agreed that History in China is more than 2500 years old (2015-476 ~ 2500 years).
Written history before this time becomes less historical and more legendary. Certainly the Zhou dynasty information is more factual, and again, @Semaphore's answer speak very well about the historocity of the Shang. The older history includes something like this:
After the heaven and the earth were founded, there was Tiānhuáng who had twelve heads, cast his magic to fill the earth with water. He lived until his age of eighteen thousand.
Of course, this is an extreme example. See this SE question. I think a reasonable start to Chinese recorded history is 4000 years before present. Either way, Chinese recorded history is between 2500 and 5000 years old, depending on your view of the source material.
- ∼320,000 to 305,000 years ago: Populations at Olorgesailie in Southern Kenya undergo technological improvements in tool making and engage in long distance trade. 
- 315,000 years ago: approximate date of appearance of Homo sapiens (Jebel Irhoud, Morocco).
- 270,000 years ago: age of Y-DNA haplogroup A00 ("Y-chromosomal Adam").
- 250,000 years ago: first appearance of Homo neanderthalensis (Saccopastore skulls).
- 250,000–200,000 years ago: modern human presence in West Asia (Misliya cave in Israel).
- 230,000–150,000 years ago: age of mt-DNA haplogroup L ("Mitochondrial Eve").
- 210,000 years ago: modern human presence in southeast Europe (Apidima, Greece). 
- 200,000 years ago: oldest known grass bedding, including insect-repellent plants and ash layers beneath (possibly for a dirt-free, insulated base and to keep away arthropods). 
- 195,000 years ago: Omo remains (Ethiopia). 
- 170,000 years ago: humans are wearing clothing by this date. 
- ∼164,000 years ago: humans expanded their diet to include marine resources 
- 160,000 years ago: Homo sapiens idaltu.
- 150,000 years ago: Peopling of Africa: Khoisanid separation, age of mtDNA haplogroup L0.
- 125,000 years ago: peak of the Eemian interglacial period.
"Epipaleolithic" or "Mesolithic" are terms for a transitional period between the Last Glacial Maximum and the Neolithic Revolution in Old World (Eurasian) cultures.
- 67,000–40,000 years ago: Neanderthal admixture to Eurasians.
- 50,000 years ago: earliest sewing needle found. Made and used by Denisovans. 
- 50,000–30,000 years ago: Mousterian Pluvial in North Africa. The Sahara desert region is wet and fertile. Later Stone Age begins in Africa.
- 45,000–43,000 years ago: European early modern humans. 
- 45,000–40,000 years ago: Châtelperronian cultures in France. 
- 42,000 years ago: Laschamps event, a geomagnetic excursion with major implications for humans at the time. 
- 42,000 years ago: Paleolithic flutes in Germany. 
- 42,000 years ago: earliest evidence of advanced deep sea fishing technology at the Jerimalai cave site in East Timor—demonstrates high-level maritime skills and by implication the technology needed to make ocean crossings to reach Australia and other islands, as they were catching and consuming large numbers of big deep sea fish such as tuna. 
- 41,000 years ago: Denisova hominin lives in the Altai Mountains.
- 40,000 years ago: extinction of Homo neanderthalensis. 
- 40,000–30,000 years ago: First human settlements formed by Aboriginal Australians in several areas which are today the cities of Sydney, Perth and Melbourne. 
- 40,000–20,000 years ago: oldest known ritual cremation, the Mungo Lady, in Lake Mungo, Australia.
- 35,000 years ago: oldest known figurative art of a human figure as opposed to a zoomorphic figure (Venus of Hohle Fels).
- 33,000 years ago: earliest evidence of humanoids in Ireland 
- 31,000–16,000 years ago: Last Glacial Maximum (peak at 26,500 years ago).
- 30,000 years ago: rock paintings tradition begins in Bhimbetka rock shelters in India, which presently as a collection is the densest known concentration of rock art. In an area about 10 km 2 , there are about 800 rock shelters of which 500 contain paintings. 
- 29,000 years ago: The earliest ovens found.
- 28,500 years ago: New Guinea is populated by colonists from Asia or Australia. 
- 28,000 years ago: oldest known twisted rope.
- 28,000–24,000 years ago: oldest known pottery—used to make figurines rather than cooking or storage vessels (Venus of Dolní Věstonice).
- 28,000–20,000 years ago: Gravettian period in Europe. Harpoons and saws invented.
- 26,000 years ago: people around the world use fibers to make baby carriers, clothes, bags, baskets, and nets.
- 25,000 years ago: a hamlet consisting of huts built of rocks and of mammoth bones is founded in what is now Dolní Věstonice in Moravia in the Czech Republic. This is the oldest human permanent settlement that has yet been found by archaeologists. 
- 24,000 years ago: Evidence suggests humans living in Alaska and Yukon North America. 
- 21,000 years ago: artifacts suggest early human activity occurred in Canberra, the capital city of Australia. 
- 20,000 years ago: Kebaran culture in the Levant: beginning of the Epipalaeolithic in the Levant
- 20,000 years ago: oldest pottery storage or cooking vessels from China.
- 20,000 years ago: theorized earliest date of development of traditional Inuit skin clothing
- 20,000–10,000 years ago: Khoisanid expansion to Central Africa. 
- 20,000–19,000 years ago: earliest pottery use, in Xianren Cave, China.
- 18,000–12,000 years ago: Though estimations vary widely, it is believed by scholars that Afro-Asiatic was spoken as a single language around this time period. 
- 16,000–14,000 years ago: Minatogawa Man (Proto-Mongoloid phenotype) in Okinawa, Japan
- 16,000–13,000 years ago: first human migration into North America.
- 16,000–11,000 years ago: Caucasian Hunter-Gatherer expansion to Europe.
- 16,000 years ago: Wisent (European bison) sculpted in clay deep inside the cave now known as Le Tuc d'Audoubert in the French Pyrenees near what is now the border of Spain. 
- 15,000–14,700 years ago (13,000 BC to 12,700 BC): Earliest supposed date for the domestication of the pig.
- 14,800 years ago: The Humid Period begins in North Africa. The region that would later become the Sahara is wet and fertile, and the aquifers are full. 
- 14,500–11,500: Red Deer Cave people in China, possible late survival of archaic or archaic-modern hybrid humans.
- 14,200 years ago: The oldest agreed domestic dog remains belongs to the Bonn-Oberkassel dog that was buried with two humans.
- 14,000–12,000 years ago: Oldest evidence for prehistoric warfare (Jebel Sahaba, Natufian culture).
- 13,000–10,000 years ago: Late Glacial Maximum, end of the Last Glacial Period, climate warms, glaciers recede.
- 13,000 years ago: A major water outbreak occurs on Lake Agassiz, which at the time could have been the size of the current Black Sea and the largest lake on Earth. Much of the lake is drained in the Arctic Ocean through the Mackenzie River.
- 13,000–11,000 years ago: Earliest dates suggested for the domestication of the sheep.
- 12,900–11,700 years ago: The Younger Dryas, a period of sudden cooling and return to glacial conditions.
- c.12,000 years ago: Volcanic eruptions in the Virunga Mountains blocked Lake Kivu outflow into Lake Edward and the Nile system, diverting the water to Lake Tanganyika. Nile's total length is shortened and Lake Tanganyika's surface is increased.
- 12,000 years ago: Earliest dates suggested for the domestication of the goat.
The terms "Neolithic" and "Bronze Age" are culture-specific and are mostly limited to cultures of the Old World. Many populations of the New World remain in the Mesolithic cultural stage until European contact in the modern period.
Timeline of Chinese History
Pre-1600 BC, China is charted mainly by legends and prehistoric evidence. The ancient China era was c. 1600–221 BC.
The imperial era was 221 BC – 1912 AD, from China's unification under Qin rule until the end of the Qing Dynasty, the Republic of China era was from 1912 until 1949, and the modern China era from 1949 until the present day.
Read on for a snapshot of China's historical timeline and some key events. There’s also a simple comparison with the world’s cultural development.
Does Chinese Civilization Come From Ancient Egypt?
On a cool Sunday evening in March, a geochemist named Sun Weidong gave a public lecture to an audience of laymen, students, and professors at the University of Science and Technology in Hefei, the capital city of the landlocked province of Anhui in eastern China. But the professor didn’t just talk about geochemistry. He also cited several ancient Chinese classics, at one point quoting historian Sima Qian’s description of the topography of the Xia empire — traditionally regarded as China’s founding dynasty, dating from 2070 to 1600 B.C. “Northwards the stream is divided and becomes the nine rivers,” wrote Sima Qian in his first century historiography, the Records of the Grand Historian . “Reunited, it forms the opposing river and flows into the sea.”
In other words, “the stream” in question wasn’t China’s famed Yellow River, which flows from west to east. “There is only one major river in the world which flows northwards. Which one is it?” the professor asked. “The Nile,” someone replied. Sun then showed a map of the famed Egyptian river and its delta — with nine of its distributaries flowing into the Mediterranean. This author, a researcher at the same institute, watched as audience members broke into smiles and murmurs, intrigued that these ancient Chinese texts seemed to better agree with the geography of Egypt than that of China.
In the past year, Sun, a highly decorated scientist, has ignited a passionate online debate with claims that the founders of Chinese civilization were not in any sense Chinese but actually migrants from Egypt. He conceived of this connection in the 1990s while performing radiometric dating of ancient Chinese bronzes to his surprise, their chemical composition more closely resembled those of ancient Egyptian bronzes than native Chinese ores. Both Sun’s ideas and the controversy surrounding them flow out of a much older tradition of nationalist archaeology in China, which for more than a century has sought to answer a basic scientific question that has always been heavily politicized: Where do the Chinese people come from?
Sun argues that China’s Bronze Age technology, widely thought by scholars to have first entered the northwest of the country through the prehistoric Silk Road, actually came by sea. According to him, its bearers were the Hyksos, the Western Asian people who ruled parts of northern Egypt as foreigners between the 17th and 16th centuries B.C., until their eventual expulsion. He notes that the Hyksos possessed at an earlier date almost all the same remarkable technology — bronze metallurgy, chariots, literacy, domesticated plants and animals — that archaeologists discovered at the ancient city of Yin, the capital of China’s second dynasty, the Shang, between 1300 and 1046 B.C. Since the Hyksos are known to have developed ships for war and trade that enabled them to sail the Red and Mediterranean seas, Sun speculates that a small population escaped their collapsing dynasty using seafaring technology that eventually brought them and their Bronze Age culture to the coast of China.
Pit of oracle bones in Anyang, China. Photo credit: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons.
Sun’s thesis proved controversial when the Chinese travel site Kooniao first posted it online in the form of a 93,000-character essay in September 2015. As the liberal magazine Caixin commented, “His courageous title and plain language attracted the interest of more than a few readers.” That title was Explosive Archaeological Discovery: The Ancestors of the Chinese People Came from Egypt, and the essay was reproduced and discussed online, on internet portals such as Sohu and popular message boards such as Zhihu and Tiexue. Kooniao also set up a widely read page dedicated to the subject on the microblogging platform Weibo — hashtagged “Chinese People Come From Egypt” — which contains a useful sample of responses from the public. Some of these simply express outrage, often to the point of incoherence: “That expert’s absurd theory randomly accepts anyone as his forebears,” fumed one. “This is people’s deep inferiority complex at work!” Another asked, “How can the children of the Yellow Emperor have run over to Egypt? This topic is really too pathetic. The important thing is to live in the moment!”
Other commentators have been more thoughtful. If they are not fully convinced, they are at least willing to entertain Sun’s ideas. In fact, a rough count of comments from the intellectually curious outnumbers those of the purely reactionary by about 3-to-2. As one user wrote, “I approve. One has to look intelligently at this theory. Whether it turns to be true or false, it is worth investigating.” Another wrote, “The world is such a big place that one finds many strange things in it. One can’t say it is impossible.” One more wrote, “One can’t just sweepingly dismiss it as wrong or curse out the evidence as false. Exchanges between cultures can be very deep and distant.”
Anticipating his critics, Sun wrote online that to examine anew the origins of Chinese civilization “may appear ridiculous in the eyes of some, because historians long ago stated clearly: We are the children of the Yan and Yellow Emperor.” Historian Sima Qian took these legendary figures as the progenitor of the Han Chinese and the Yellow Emperor’s great-grandson, Yu the Great, as the founder of the semimythical Xia dynasty. These served as the origin stories for imperial China and continued to be credited for decades after the Republic replaced it in 1912, so that even the nation’s most iconoclastic and rebellious sons — Sun Yat-Sen, Chiang Kai-Shek, and People’s Republic founder Mao Zedong among them — have at some time or other felt the need to pay their respects at the Yellow Emperor’s tomb. Even now, the oft-repeated claim that Chinese civilization is approximately 5,000 years old takes as its starting point the supposed reign of this legendary emperor.
Unbeknownst to many, an anti-Qing Dynasty agitator was the first to publish (under a pseudonym) this claim for the nation’s antiquity in 1903. As his nationalist ideology had it, “If we desire to preserve the survival of the Han Nation, then it is imperative that we venerate the Yellow Emperor.” At that time, the Qing dynasty was in serious decline, its obvious backwardness compared with Western powers the cause of much soul-searching. Anti-Qing intellectuals began to examine critically the roots of Chinese civilization and, for the first time, seized on the idea that they lay in the West. The work that most captured their imagination was that of the French philologist, Albert Terrien de Lacouperie, who in 1892 published the Western Origin of the Early Chinese Civilization from 2300 B.C. to 200 A.D. Translated into Chinese in 1903, it compared the hexagrams of the Book of Changes with the cuneiform of Mesopotamia and proposed that Chinese civilization originated in Babylon. The Yellow Emperor was identified with a King Nakhunte, who supposedly led his people out of the Middle East and into the Central Plain of the Yellow River Valley around 2300 B.C.
Sun Yat-Sen in Guangzhou, 1924. Photo credit: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons.
Liu Shipei, the Peking University history professor and true author behind the pseudonymous chronology of the Yellow Emperor, was among the first to promote Sino-Babylonianism in books such as his 1903 History of the Chinese Nation. By 1915, the theory was widespread enough that the national anthem of the republic, commissioned by President Yuan Shikai referred to it obliquely, calling China “the famous descendant from Kunlun Peak,” which Chinese mythology locates in the far, far West. Another endorsement came from Sun Yat-Sen, founder of the Republic of China, who stated in his 1924 Three Principles of the People lectures that the “growth of Chinese civilization may … be explained by the fact that the settlers who migrated from another place to this valley already possessed a very high civilization.”
To these and other revolutionaries, Sino-babylonianism was not only the latest European scientific opinion. It was the hope that since China shared the same ancestry as other great civilizations, there was no ultimate reason why it should not catch up with more advanced nations in Europe and America.
Sino-Babylonianism fell out of favor in China during the late 1920s and early 1930s, when Japanese aggression escalated and a different nationalist politics took hold. Chinese historians, seeking to distance China from imperialist powers, cast a critical eye on Western origin theories and their earlier supporters. At around the same time, modern scientific archaeology was debuting in China. The discovery of Neolithic pottery in Longshan, Shandong, in 1928 showed that eastern China had been inhabited by indigenous groups before the Bronze Age migration Lacouperie had posited. In the same year, excavation of the city of Yin began. On account of the excellence of the Yin-Shang’s material culture — its famous oracle bones, for example, whose writing is the ancestor of the modern Chinese script used today — that polity is often considered the “root of Chinese civilization,” situated well within China’s borders, in present-day Anyang, Henan.
In the end, Western origin theories were replaced by what sounds like a compromise: a dual-origin theory of Chinese civilization. The view proposed that Eastern Neolithic culture moving West encountered Western Neolithic culture moving East, fusing to form the progenitors of the Shang. It held steady until the 1950s.
But Chinese archeology took a radical swing toward more extreme nationalism after the 1949 founding of the People’s Republic of China, when, in the words of the historian James Leibold, “China’s scientific community closed inward on itself.” Nationalism and authoritarianism required the interpretation of archaeological evidence as proof that Chinese civilization had arisen natively, without outside influences. As the Sichuan University archaeologist — and eventual dissident — Tong Enzheng wrote in his fascinating account of the politicization of scholarship between 1949 and 1979: “Mao Zedong implemented a comprehensive anti-Western policy after 1949,” which expanded “already extant anti-imperialism … ultimately becoming total anti-foreignism. Unavoidably, Chinese archaeology was affected.”
Maoism also required a belief that Chinese civilization had developed in accordance with “objective” Marxist historical laws, from a primitive band to a socialist society. Mao-era archaeologists thus strove to use their findings to prove these laws, legitimizing the status quo. As Xia Nai, the director of the Institute of Archaeology himself, wrote in a 1972 paper, “We archaeologists must follow the guide of Marxism, Leninism, and the thought of Mao Zedong, conscientiously fulfilling the great guiding principle of Chairman Mao, to ‘make the past serve the present.’” It’s no surprise then that during the Cultural Revolution meetings were convened under such absurd headings as “Using the Antiquities Stored in the Temple of Confucius in Qufu County to criticize Lin Biao and Confucius.” Meanwhile, revolutionary sloganeering found its way into scientific publications alongside the data.
Left: Oracle shell with inscriptions. Photo credit: Chabot Space and Science Center/Wikimedia Commons. Right: The Yellow Emperor. Photo credit: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons.
Blatant ideological bias faded from scientific endeavors in the post-1978 reform era, but the ultimate goal of Chinese archaeology — to piece out the nation’s history — remained. The best-known example from that era is the Xia-Shang-Zhou Chronology Project, directly inspired by the achievements of Egyptian archaeology. State Councilor Song Jian toured Egypt in 1995 and was particularly impressed by a genealogy of the pharaohs that went back to the third millennium B.C. This prompted him to campaign for a project — included in the government’s ninth five-year plan — that would give Chinese dynasties a comparable record. Mobilizing over 200 experts on a budget of around $1.5 million over five years, the Chronology Project has been considered the largest state-sponsored project in the humanities since 1773, when the Qianlong emperor commissioned the Siku quanshu, an encyclopedia roughly 20 times the length of the Britannica.
Some questioned the Chronology Project’s motives. One of the most prominent detractors was University of Chicago historian Edward L. Shaughnessy, who complained, “There’s a chauvinistic desire to push the historical record back into the third millennium B.C., putting China on a par with Egypt. It’s much more a political and a nationalistic urge than a scholarly one.” Others criticized the project’s methods and results. The Stanford archaeologist Li Liu, for instance, took issue with the fact that it regarded the Xia as historical and fixed dates for it, when there is still no conclusive archaeological evidence for its existence.
But the project also had defenders, including Harvard anthropologist Yun Kuen Lee, who pointed out that “the intrinsic relationship between the study of the past and nationalism does not necessarily imply that the study of the past is inherently corrupted.” The usefulness of archaeology in bolstering a nation’s pride and legitimacy — explaining and, to some extent, justifying its language, culture, and territorial claims — means that most archaeological traditions have a nationalistic impulse behind them. Thus, in Israel, archaeology focuses on the period of the Old Testament in the Scandinavian countries, it focuses on that of the Vikings. “The important question that we should ask,” Yun went on to say, “is if the scientists of the project were able to maintain scientific rigor.”
In some ways, Sun’s current theory is an unintended result of the Chronology Project’s scientific rigor. At the project’s launch in 1996, he was a Ph.D. student in the radiation laboratory of the University of Science and Technology. Of the 200 or so items of bronze ware he was responsible for analyzing, some came from the city of Yin. He found that the radioactivity of these Yin-Shang bronzes had almost exactly the same characteristics as that of ancient Egyptian bronzes, suggesting that their ores all came from the same source: African mines.
Perhaps anticipating serious controversy, Sun’s doctoral supervisor did not allow Sun to report his findings at the time. Sun was asked to hand over his data and switched to another project. Twenty years after the start of his research and now a professor in his own right, Sun is finally ready to say all he knows about the Yin-Shang and China’s Bronze Age culture.
Although the public has mostly received Sun’s theory with an open mind, it still lies outside the academic mainstream. Since the 1990s, most Chinese archaeologists have accepted that much of the nation’s Bronze Age technology came from regions outside of China. But it is not thought to have arrived directly from the Middle East in the course of an epic migration. The more prosaic consensus is that it was transmitted into China from Central Asia by a slow process of cultural exchange (trade, tribute, dowry) across the northern frontier, mediated by Eurasian steppe pastoralists who had contacts with indigenous groups in both regions.
Despite this, the fascination with ancient Egypt appears unlikely to go away soon. As the Xia-Shang-Zhou Chronology project demonstrated, the sentiment has deep, politically tinged roots. These were on display again during President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Egypt in January to commemorate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations. On arrival, Xi greeted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi with an Egyptian proverb: “Once you drink from the Nile, you are destined to return.” They celebrated the antiquity of their two civilizations with a joint visit to the Luxor temple.
It remains to be seen whether Sun’s evidence will be incorporated into mainstream politics to prove a long-standing Sino-Egyptian cultural relationship. But if it is, the proverb Xi uttered after he set foot in Egypt will have been strangely prophetic.
Top image: Xuan Yuan Inquires of the Dao, scroll, color on silk. Courtesy of the National Palace Museum in Taibei/Wikimedia Commons.
6) Marco Polo frequented the Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty covered 5.41 million square miles of land - more than 9% of the earth's landmass.
The empire had almost 60 million people in 1291 — about 17% of the world's population.
The Yuan Dynasty, which was founded by the grandson of Genghis Khan, began in 1271.
Five years after founding the dynasty, Kublai Khan captured the capital of the rival Southern Song Dynasty and unified all of China. The dynasty enjoyed a bountiful life, encouraging trade with foreign countries as well as a visit from famed Italian merchant Marco Polo.
History of China
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.
|Timeline of Chinese History (Click to enlarge)|
From the 1800s to Today
From the 1500s onward, till around the year 1800, life expectancy throughout Europe hovered between 30 and 40 years of age.
Since the early 1800s, Finch writes that life expectancy at birth has doubled in a period of only 10 or so generations. Improved health care, sanitation, immunizations, access to clean running water, and better nutrition are all credited with the massive increase.
Though it’s hard to imagine, doctors only began regularly washing their hands before surgery in the mid-1800s. A better understanding of hygiene and the transmission of microbes has since contributed substantially to public health.
Disease was still common, however, and impacted life expectancy. Parasites, typhoid, and infections like rheumatic fever and scarlet fever were all common during the 1800s.
Even as recently as 1921, countries like Canada still had an infant mortality rate of about 10%, meaning 1 out of every 10 babies did not survive. According to Statistics Canada, this meant a life expectancy or average survival rate in that country that was higher at age 1 than at birth—a condition that persisted right until the early 1980s.
Today most industrialized countries boast life expectancy figures of more than 75 years, according to comparisons compiled by the Central Intelligence Agency.
Moveable type was invented by Bi Sheng (畢昇), a craftsman who worked in a book factory in Hangzhou in the eleventh century. Characters were carved onto reusable clay blocks which were fired and then arranged in a metal holder brushed with ink. This invention contributed greatly to the history of printing.
Persecution during Cultural Revolution
In the 18th century, the relationship between Muslims and the state in China began to change. This period witnessed some violent clashes as the state tried to exert more direct control over territories where the majority of Muslims lived.
The Qing Dynasty, which lasted from 1644 through 1911, marked a period of unprecedented population growth and territorial expansion. During this period, Muslim populations clashed with the Qing rulers and revolted on numerous occasions.
Many revolts were staged as opposition to the influx of migrants, who were coming from the overpopulated regions of China to regions that had not previously been under direct Chinese control. These revolts were violently suppressed by the state, ending a long period of accommodation for Muslims in China.
After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, ethnographers and anthropologists divided the people who lived within the borders of the new state into 56 ethnic groups based on relatively ambiguous criteria, such as shared language, territory, history and traditions.
Of these groups, 10 are now recognized as Muslim minorities. They are, in descending order based on the sized of their populations: Hui, Uighur, Kazakh, Dongxiang, Kyrgyz, Salar, Tajik, Uzbek, Bonan and finally Tatar, who currently number around 5,000.
In the first years after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, Muslims enjoyed relative religious freedom. However, during the chaotic early years of the Cultural Revolution between 1966 and 1969, mosques were defaced, copies of the Quran were destroyed, Muslims were prohibited from going on the religious pilgrimage of hajj and expressions of all religious beliefs were banned by the Communist Red Guards.
After the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, the Communists adopted more relaxed policies towards Muslim communities.
An old missionary student of China once remarked that Chinese history is &ldquoremote, monotonous, obscure, and-worst of all-there is too much of it.&rdquo China has the longest continuous history of any country in the world&mdash3,500 years of written history. And even 3,500 years ago China&rsquos civilization was old! This in itself is discouraging to the student, particularly if we think of history as a baffling catalogue of who begat somebody, who succeeded somebody, who slew somebody, with only an occasional concubine thrown in for human interest. But taken in another way, Chinese history can be made to throw sharp lights and revealing shadows on the story of all mankind&mdashfrom its most primitive beginnings, some of which were in Asia, to its highest point of development in philosophy and religion, literature and art.
In art and philosophy, many people think, no culture has ever surpassed that of China in its great creative periods. In material culture, though we think of the roots of our own civilization as being almost entirely European, we have also received much from Asia&mdashpaper, gunpowder, the compass, silk, tea, and porcelain.
We Were Once the &ldquoBackward&rdquo Ones
There is nothing like a brief look at Chinese history to give one a new and wholesome respect for the Chinese people. We are likely - today to think of the Chinese as a &ldquobackward&rdquo people who are less civilized than we are, and it is true that in what we carelessly speak of as civilization&mdashmechanization and the fruits of scientific discovery&mdashthey have, in the last hundred years, lagged behind the procession and are only beginning to catch up. There are reasons for this temporary backwardness which we will take up later. It is wholesome to realize, however, that this attitude of superiority on the part of Western nations has existed for only about a hundred years.
Until the Opium War of 1840&ndash42 the European merchants and voyagers who reached the distant land of China had looked upon the Chinese with a good deal of awe as a people of superior culture. They still had much the same attitude as Marco Polo, who, in the thirteenth century, had told the people of Italy that China under the rule of the Mongols had a much more centralized and efficient system of government than European countries had. Coming from the banking and trading city of Venice, he admired the wide use of paper money in China. To a Europe which had not yet begun to use coal he also described how the Chinese mined and burned a kind of stone which was much superior to wood as fuel.
NEOLITHIC AGE. Agricultural communities in Yellow River valley cultivated loess soil with stone tools. Domesticated dog and pig. Hunting and fishing tribes in Yangtse valley.
BRONZE AGE. Primitive Yellow River city states. Probable use of irrigation. Shang-inscribed bones give base line of history. Sheep and goats domesticated. Writing. Beautiful bronze castings. Potter&rsquos wheel. Stone carving. Silk culture and weaving. Wheeled vehicles.
ANCIENT FEUDALISM. Expansion from Yellow River to Yangtse valley. &ldquoCity and country&rdquo cells. Increased irrigation. Eunuchs. Horse-drawn war chariots. 841 B.C. earliest authenticated date.
IRON AGE. Round coins. Magnetism known.
CLASSICAL PERIOD. Confucius. Lao-tze.
BEGINNING OF EMPIRE. Great Wall.
Palace architecture. Trade through Central Asia with Roman Empire. Ink
Carthage and Corinth destroyed
First Buddhist influences.
3 KINGDOMS (CHIN WEI SUNG, CHI, LIANG, CHEN)
Political disunity but cultural progress and spread.
Buddhism flourishing. Use of coal.
Trade with Indo-China and Siam.
Large-scale unification. Grand Canal.
ZENITH OF CULTURE. Chinese culture reaches Japan. Turk and Tungus alliances.
Revival of Confucianism weakens power of Buddhist monasteries. Mohammedanism. Cotton from India. Porcelain. First printed book. State examinations organized. Rise of Khitan. Foot binding. Poetry, painting, sculpture.
Classical Renaissance. Paper money.
Navigation and mathematics.
MONGOL AGE. Jenghis Khan. Marco Polo. Franciscans.
Turks take Constantinople
Period of restoration and stagnation.
Portuguese traders arrive.
Clash with Japan over Korea.
American, French, Industrial Revolutions
Canton open to Western trade.
Treaties with Western powers. Spread of
Western culture. Taiping Rebellion.
Boxer Rebellion. 1911 Revolution. Nationalist
Revolution. Unification under Chiang Kai-shek.
Japanese invasion and World War II.
China in fact had a civilization similar to that of Europe before the Industrial Revolution, and superior to it in many ways. The agriculture of China was more advanced and productive than that of Europe because of the great use of irrigation: and the wide network of canals that supplied water for irrigation also provided cheap transport. The Chinese bad reached a high level of technique and art in the malting of such things as porcelain and silk, and in general the guild craftsmen of their cities were at least equal to those of the cities of pre-industrial Europe.
Moreover the Chinese had gone a good deal further than Europeans in the use of writing as a vehicle of civilization and -government, and everything which that means. They had extensive statistics of government and finance at a time when Europe had practically none. They used written orders and regulations when Europe was still dependent on government by word of mouth.
The historical chart shows what was happening in China at the time of well-known events in the Western world. Note that some of the highest points in Chinese civilization came during the darkest days in Europe. The central column of the chart shows a succession of Chinese dynasties. A dynasty is the reign of one ruling family, and some families remained in power for several hundred years before they were overthrown either by another Chinese family or by barbarians from the north.
In the Beginning
The Chinese people did not come to China from somewhere else as did our own early settlers but are thought to be the direct descendants of the prehistoric cave men who lived in North China hundreds of thousands of years ago. Chinese civilization as we know it first developed along the great bend of the Yellow River, where the earth was soft and easily worked by the crude tools of China&rsquos Stone Age men who lived before 3000 B.C.
From the Yellow River the Chinese spread north, east, and south, sometimes absorbing aboriginal tribes, until by the time of Confucius (500 B.C.) they occupied most of the coun­try between the Yangtze River and the Great Wall, and had developed from primitive Stone Age men to men who could domesticate animals, irrigate land, make beautiful bronze weapons and utensils, build walled cities, and produce great philosophers like Confucius.
At the time of Confucius, China consisted of many small states ruled by feudal lords. While they were loosely federated under an emperor it was not until 221 B.C., when the last of China&rsquos feudal kingdoms fell, that China was united as a single empire. The imperial form of government lasted from 221 B.C. to 1911 A.D.
China&rsquos first emperor, Shih Huang Ti, is known as the builder of the Great Wall, which runs from the sea westward into the deserts of Central Asia&mdasha distance about as great as from New York City to the Rockies. The purpose of this stupendous job of engineering was to protect the settled Chinese people from the raids of barbarian nomads who lived beyond it. Much of this great walled frontier is still standing today.
How Dynasties Rose and Fell
Through the 2,000 years of China&rsquos empire, students can trace a sort of pattern of the rise and fall of dynasties. A dynasty would come into power after a period of war and famine had reduced the population to the point where there was enough land and food to go around. There would be prosperity, a civilized, sophisticated, and lavish court, families of great wealth and culture scattered over the country, and a flowering of art, literature, and philosophy. Then gradually the population would increase and the farms be divided, the landlords would refuse to pay taxes, thus weakening the government, and at the same time would collect more and more rent from the peasants. There would be savage peasant rebellions. Out of these rebellions would arise warriors and adventurers who enlisted the outlawed peasants, seized power by the sword, and overthrew the dynasty.
Once in power, the successful war lord would need to bring into his service scholars who understood administration and the keeping of records. These scholars were largely from the landlord class, the only class with leisure to acquire an education. While they built a government service for the new dynasty they founded landed estates for themselves and their heirs. As the power of the landlords grew the state of the peasants worsened and the same things would happen all over again.
Several times dynasties were founded by nomad warriors from beyond the Great Wall. The last dynasty of the empire was founded by Manchus from Manchuria, who ruled in China from 1644 until the empire fell in 1911. It is said that China has always absorbed her conquerors. Until the Japanese invasion her conquerors have been barbarians who looked up to the higher civilization of China and eagerly adopted it. The armored cars and tanks of a more mechanized civilization are not so readily digested.
Of What Use Today Is an Old Civilization?
One may ask, &ldquoWhat good does it do the Chinese to have such an old civilization?&rdquo There is a very real advantage, which visitors to China often sense when they cannot explain it. The values of culture and of being civilized have existed in China so long that they have soaked right through the whole people. Even a poor Chinese with no education is likely to have the instincts and bearing of an educated man. He sets great store by such things as personal dignity, self-respect, and respect for others. Even if he knows the history of his country and his native region only by legend and folklore instead of reading, still he knows it&mdashusually a surprising amount of it. And he has a tremendous hunger and aptitude for education, which is one of the reasons why the future progress of China, once it is freed from foreign aggression, is likely to be amazingly rapid.
The 50 key dates of world history
Important Dates of World History
Building of the Great Pyramid.
First Olympiad in Greece.
Foundation of Rome.
Greeks defeated the Persians at the Battle of Marathon.
The period of Aristotle and Plato.
Egypt conquered by Alexander.
Alexander dies at Babylon.
Work on the Great Wall of China begins.
Julius Ceasar attacks Great Britain.
Birth of Jesus Christ.
Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Huns' invasion of Europe.
Prophet Mohammed born at Mecca.
Flight of Mohammed from Mecca to Madina.
Death of Mohammed Beginning of Hijiri Era.
Arabs invade Spain.
Norman invasion of England Victory of William the Conquerer over the English King Harold II at Hastings.
Roger Bacon invents gunpowder.
The Hundred years War broke out.
English faces Black Death Plague.
Turks captured Constantinople Renaissance in Europe.
Discovery of America by Columbus.
Sea-route to India discovered by Vasco-de-Gama.
Spanish Armada defeated.
British East India Company established in India.
Execution of Charles I.
Monarchy restored in England.
The Great Plague of England.
Glorious Revolution in England.
Battle of Blenheim.
Union of England and Scotland.
Declaration of American Independence.
French Revolution George Washington elected the first President of America.
Battle of Trafalagar and Nelson's death.
Battle of Waterloo Napolean exiled to St. Helena.
Death of Napolean.
Reforms Bill passed in England.
Queen Victoria's accession to the throne of England.
Beginning of the American Civil War.
Slavery abolished in USA
Assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Opening of the Suez Canal for traffic.
Roentgen discovered X-Rays.
Marconi invented wireless.
Japan defeated Russia Discovery of the theory of Relativity by Einstein.
Republic of China established.
Beginning of World War I.
End of World War I.
Treaty of Versailles signed.
Formation of the League of Nations.
Turkey declared Republic.
Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany.
Beginning of the Spanish Civil War.
World War II begins.
Russia invaded by Hitler Pearl Harbour invaded by Japan.
Establishment of UNO End of World War II Hiroshima and Nagasaki experience the first dropping of the Atom Bomb Death of President Roosevelt.
Civil War in China.
Burma and Ceylon get independence.
Indonesia gets independence The Communists capture power in China.
General Eisenhower elected as the American President.
Death of Stalin Mt. Everest conquered for the first time.
Military Aid Pact between China and Pakistan Chou En-lai visits India.
Austria gets independence Bandung Conference.
Suez Canal nationalised by President Nasser Egypt attacked by the forces of Britain France and Israel.
First artificial satellite launched by Russia.
Egypt and Syria united and renamed United Arab Republic (UAR)
Chinese capture Tibet Dalai Lama flees to India Sputnik launched by Russia.
Explosion of an atom bomb device by France Election of John F. Kennedy as President of USA
Yuri Gagarin of USSR becomes the first spaceman.
Partial Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty signed Malaysia established John F. Kennedy assassinated.
Death of Sir Winston Churchill Singapore becomes the sovereign independent nation outbreak of Indo-Pak war.
Tashkent Pact A Russian aircraft lands on moon.
Chinese explode hydrogen bomb Arab-Israel War Suez Canal closed.
Outbreak of Indo-Pak war Birth of Bangladesh Surrender of 93,000 Pakistani troops Khruschev died Z.A. Bhutto new President of Pakistan.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman freed from Pakistani Jail and assumed the office of P.M. Bangladesh Nixon of USA visited China King Mahendra of Nepal died USA and the USSR sign Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty.
Outbreak of fourth Arab-Israeli war Fourth non-aligned summit in Algiers.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, President of Bangladesh assassinated King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, assassinated Suez Canal reopened Red Cross force Cambodia Government to Surrender.
Chou-En Lai, P.M. of China, died Seychelles gets independence Viking I lands on Mars Mao Tse-tung died Jimmy Carter elected President of USA
Agreement between Israel and Egypt Vietnam attacked Cambodia Z.A. Bhutto, former P.M. of Pakistan, sentenced to death Bloody coup in Afghanistan Mohammed Daoud assassinated World's first test-tube baby born.
Chinese aggression in Vietnam Cambodian rebels grab power in Pnom Penh Mr. Z.A. Bhutto hanged Mrs. Margaret Thatcher is the first woman P.M. of Britain.
War starts between Iran and Iraq Ronald Reagon elected USA President.
Falklands, captured by Argentina Israel attacks South Lebanon Argentina forces surrender to British P.L.O. Chief Yesser Arafat leaves Beirut Bashir Gemyel, the President elect of Lebanon, assassinated Soviet President breathes his last.
US attacks Grenada USA withdraws from UNESCO.
India gets Presidentship of UN Security Council Soviet President, Mr. Konstantin Chernenko, dies Vietnam withdraws troops from Kampuchia.
American air attack on Libya.
Nuclear tests by USSR Fresh proposal by Gorbachev Group 77 meet at Havana Unsuccessful military coup in Philippines, Prime Minister of Lebanon killed.
WHO observes 7th of April as no smoking day, French President re-elected, Gen. Zia-ul-Haq killed in plane crash, Quake kills about 1,000 people in Bihar (India), George Bush elected President of USA, Arafat declares on independent state of Palestine, Nearly 1,00,000 people killed in earthquake in Armenia.
The UN Peace keeping force starts implementation of UN Resolution 435 for the independence of Namibia.
The Panamanian President surrenders to the United States. South Africa lifts lean on African National Congress. Lithuania declares independence from the Soviet Union. Namibia becomes a free nation.
Iraq overruns Kuwait. East and West Germanys unite.
War breaks out in the Gulf, With the defeat of Iraq and freedom of Kuwait, Gulf war ends.
5 new members of security council START II treaty between Russian & US Presidents, Security Council resolution on Angola, Emergency in Zambia, Elections in Australia.
South Africa emerged from aparted regime with Nelson Mandela as its president. GATT treaty signed to create World Trade Organisation (WTO).
WTO comes into existence. Nuclear test by France. Balkan peace accord signed.
Kofi Annan new UN Secretary General. Clinton re-elected US President. India refuses to sign CTBT. Shekh Hasina Wajed new PM of Bangladesh. Taliban capture Kabul and execute former communist
Tony Blair back in power in UK. Mohd. Khatami elected president of Iran. Hong Kong goes back to China after 99 year British rule.
Indonesian President Suharto resigns. Pakistan test fires `Gauri' missile. US President Clinton faces impeachment.
G-15 Summit ends. Yugoslavia accepts a peace plan for Kosovo.
Thai commandor rescue 700 hostages from a capital Ratchabuh. India-China sign agreement on Information Technology, World Aids Day observed.
Goerge W. Bush, was sworn in as the 43rd President of the United States. Heritage destroy of Bamiyan Buddha in Afghanistan by Taliban. Massacred of Nepal Royal family. Terrorist attacks on America by Taliban Supremo Osama bin Laden.
`Euro' becomes the official currency of 12 European countries. A new nation East Timor came into existence. Switzerland and East Timor becomes the 190th & 191th member of the UN.
Germany, Spain, Pakistan, Chile and Angola take rotating two-year seats on the UN Security Council Iraq and the UN sign a 10-point agreement to facilitate the work of disarmament monitors India-born American astronaut Kalpana Chawla and six other crew of the STS-107 space shuttle mission were killed as the US space shuttle Columbia disintegrates over Texas name of Yugoslavia has been changed, it became Serbia and Montenegro Australia win ICC World Cup by defeating India, war between US and Iraq International criminal court was launched. WTO ministerial conference held in Cancun. India and ASEAN signed three accord. Over 20,000 people are killed as a major earthquake
destroys the Iranian Fort city Bam.
India-Pakistan air links resume, the 12th SAARC Summit concludes in Islamabad after the signing of historic Agreement on Free Trade, Additional Protocol on Terrorism and Social Charter. NASA announced that it would name the spot where the robot probe Spirit landed successfully, in the memory of seven astronauts of the space shuttle Columbia. The US declares Mr. Saddam Hussein a prisoner of war. Pakistan has been readjusted to the common wealth. United States hand over political authority to Iraq. The 28th Olympics start in Athens. Russian Parliament ratifics the Kyoto Protocol, Yasser Arafat dies in Paris. Taslima Nasreen awarded UNESCO tolerance and non-violence Prize.
India and Pakistan agree to allow travel by bus across the Line of Control between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, Microsoft founder, The U.S. Senate approves Michael d. Griffin as NASA chief, Kuwaiti Parliament grants women the right to vote and run in elections, Latvia ratifies E.U. Constitution, The sixth book by J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, hits the stands worldwide, Junichiro Koizumi is reelected Japanese Premier by the new House of Representatives at a special session in Tokyo, The Dhaka Declaration decides to set up a SAARC poverty Alleviation Fund and to declare 2006-2015 the SAARC Decade of Poverty Alleviation, The Kyoto protocol on limiting pollution becomes fully operational, Evo Morales wins Bolivian presidential polls, The Galileo navigational telescope is launched from Kazakhstan.
SAFTA comes into effect. Sirleaf sworn in as Liberian president. Chile elected socialist Michelle Bachelet to be its first woman president. 18th CWG held in Melbourne (Australia). UNO passed a resolution for new Human Rights Council. UN General Assembly has approved Ban-Ki-Moon as the new Secretary General. North Korea conducted an underground Nuclear test. 15th Asian Games were held in Doha (Qatar) in December 2006.
Bangladesh declares a state of emergency. Nepal's Parliament unanimously approves the interim Constitution. 14th SAARC Summit held in New Delhi (India). Australia won the World Cup Cricket tournament, 2007. G-8 Summit held in Heilligendamm, Berlin (Germany). Viktor Zubkov has been appointed as a new Prime Minister of Russia. Yasuo Fukuda was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Japan. India won the Twenty-20 World Cup Cricket Championship over Pakistan in South Africa. Nobel
Prize 2007 has ben announced.