From imperial dynasty to communist regime

By the grave of China’s first emperor, who lived over 2,000 years ago, hundreds of figures of warriors made of terracotta were found, which were to protect him in the afterlife. (EFE)

The emperors reigned in China for thousands of years up until the 20th century, when a socialist government took over

China is one of the world’s most ancient civilizations in the world. Over 3,000 years ago, the first dynasties of kings and emperors rose, who either fought against each other or formed alliances to reign.

Dynasties of kings and emperors expanded the territory of China throughout the continent. (Wikipedia)

For centuries, Chinese emperors extended their power across the Asian continent and beyond, reaching Europe through the Silk Road. To defend themselves from the foreign invasions, they built the Great Wall of China, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

These dynasties expanded the empire’s borders and founded a very rich and diverse culture, since the country extended itself over and across an immense territory, with very different customs and traditions.

In those times, Chinese writing was invented, a pictogram system with thousands of symbols that have survived to this day.

 

The end of Monarchy

Xia, Zhou, Qin, Sui, Yuan, Ming … Dozens of royal families succeeded each other on the emperor’s throne. The last to do so was the Qing Dynasty, which ruled for almost three centuries.

Throughout the 20th century, the Chinese army was defeated in several wars against foreign countries. In addition, the emperor had to face internal riots and the famine killed millions of people.

Disappointment and misery were the reason to such popular riots and the emperor ended up abdicating in 1911: this was the beginning of the Republic of China.

A period of political instability then began. The supporters of different movements and ideas disputed over power, represented by the two major parties: the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party.

The confrontation ended in Civil War that confronted the population with thousands dead. The Chinese Communist Party defeated the Kuomintang government, which went to Taiwan into exile.

 

To Republic of China to People’s Republic of China

The leader of China’s Communist Party (CPC), Mao Zedong, was a great follower of Karl Marx’s socialist theories. He changed the country’s official name of the Republic of China to the People’s Republic of China so as to reinforce his ideas.

Mao Zedong imposed a new political system for the country based on the socialist system and communist ideas: private property did not exist; businesses and means of production belonged to its people and were run by the government.

The new government was also authoritarian and repressive with those who did not support their policies nor dared to criticize them. Still today, the CPC is the only party that exists in China and its members control the population’s entire political, economic and cultural life.

For decades, China only interacted with other socialist countries, such as Russia, North Korea or Cuba. But today, the Chinese government tries to adapt itself to a globalized world without losing control of what happens within its borders.

Translated by Chaplin’s Languages | Find out more in Junior Report

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