Chinese civilization - one of the oldest in the world. According to the Chinese researchers, its age may be five thousand years, and the available written sources cover a period at least 3500 years. The presence of administrative systems, which improved replacing each other dynasties, the early development of the major agricultural centers of the basins in the Yellow River and Yangtze River, has created benefits for the Chinese state, whose economy was based on the development of agriculture, compared with its neighbors-nomads and mountaineers. Chinese civilization introducing Confucianism as the state ideology (I century BC) аnd a single writing system.
It should be understood that the study of such a length of time associated with a strong asymmetry in the amount of historical data sources, while the relative unity of the Chinese civilization has meant that late epoch actively identifies himself with its predecessors, interprets tradition. To facilitate an objective perception of the entire length of China's history, use the following division, based on the traditional Han Chinese historiography:
- Ancient China ( Xia, Shang. Zhou- till 221 BC)
- Imperial China
- New China (1991- present day)