History of China | How Old is China?

How Old Is China?

China is one of the oldest countries on Earth. Even though it has certainly evolved over the years, it is one of the few places that has retained the same name for multiple millennia. The history of China dates back more than 4,000 years. It is possible that China is significantly older than that, but that is as far back as recorded history goes. China has flourished economically, experienced a tremendous amount of hardship, and has become a world power once again. Anyone who is interested in learning about the history of the world cannot do so without studying the history of China.

What Was the First China Dynasty?

The very first dynasty in China was the Shang dynasty. While recorded history is a bit sketchy from this time period, it is estimated that the dynasty was founded in 1600 BC. Then, the dynasty fell in 1046 BC. There are numerous stories from this era that reference the famous dynasty, and it is possible that China dates back to well before the Shang Dynasty; however, there are no texts that go back that far.

In 1046 BC, the Shang dynasty was overthrown and replaced by the Zhou dynasty. This dynasty would last until 256 BC. This was the first dynasty to institute the Mandate of Heaven to justify their rule over the area. After the Zhou dynasty fell, the country splintered into several smaller kingdoms throughout the Spring and Autumn Period. This would continue through the Warring States Period, until the country finally came back together.

Was China Ever Conquered by Another Country?

There are plenty of periods throughout history where China came close to being completely conquered by another country, but it never happened. Some people argue that the Huns conquered China about 1,000 years ago, but China retained a significant amount of autonomy during this time. Furthermore, Japan tried to conquer China in the 1930s. Japan started by invading Manchuria in 1936, but Manchuria was not technically part of China during that time. Manchuria is considered a part of China today. China was liberated when the United States defeated Japan at the end of WWII. Since that time, China has retained its autonomy.

Is China a Global Superpower Today?

China is considered a global superpower today. In the eyes of many people, China has a significant amount of influence on global politics, second only to the United States. One of China's closest allies is Russia, but China maintains friendly relationships with a wide variety of countries all over the world. Even though the relationship between China and the United States is a bit rocky at times, the two countries are still cordial. China is in the process of acquiring territory that it believes is rightfully theirs. China recently took back control of Hong Kong from the British, and it has rolled back a significant amount of autonomy on the island. There are also people who are concerned that China may try to retake Taiwan.

Date of Initial Sovereignty
1600 BC
Years Since Initial Sovereignty

How old is China?

The country of China is 3624 years old, founded in the year 1600 BC.

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