China is the third largest nation on Earth, bordering Mongolia, The Soviet Union and Manchuria to the North, and India, Kashmir, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Burma and Indochina to the south. Besides Egypt, China is the oldest nation on Earth.
The first dynasty in Chinese history is often accepted to be the Xia, formed in 2100 B.C. The succeeding Shang dysnasty was the earliest to be fully recorded and lasted from around 1,800 to 1,200 B.C. China soon became enveloped a civil war-esque period known as the "Warring States Era", in which six main nations arose from the remains of the Shang. Eventually the Qin dynasty conquered all others and unified China as a single state in 221 B.C.
The Qin lasted only 15 years, however, and China was soon plunged into another civil war. The Han emerged as rules of the region, establishing the ethonym of the Han Chinese that make up most of China's population to this day.
Following the Han, China experienced numerous civil wars and exchanges of rule for over 1000 years, and by the late 13th century, was entire annexed by the Mongol Empire. The following Qing Dynasty, which lasted from 1644 to 1912 was the final imperial dynasty in China's history and was overthrown in the anti-monocratic Xinhai Revolution of 1912, establishing the Republic of China, Mongolia, and Tuva.
Early Republican China (1912-1949)
On January 1, 1912, the Republic of China was declared. Led by the Kuomintang Nationalist Party, China remained mostly in-tact until 1916, when several military cliques declared themselves independent from China. However, following the continuation of the second Sino-Japanese war in 1937, these warlord states began to accept integration into China, fully reunifying the country by the end of the American war in 1950.
The war against Japan and the Axis Powers of the American War forced an uneasy alliance between the Kuomintang and the People's Republic of China following the Japanese destruction of Nanking and the massacre of its citizens in 1938. Following the exit of Japan from the Axis in 1946, China became a member of the League of Nation's Big 6 (at the time five, due to the lack of the Ottoman Confederacy in the group) and continued to support the allies despite a temporary treaty with Japan, sending over 2,000 troops to fight in Europe.
Civil War and Growth (1950-)
In late 1950, China entered a civil war between Communist forces from the People's republic of China and the Nationalist Kuomintang. Kuomintang assistance from NATO allowed for a nationalist victory, in which the Communist rebels, as well as their leader, Mao Zedong, were exiled to the island of Formosa, or Taiwan, where the PRC lives on to the modern day.
Following the civil war, the Republic of China experienced an era of rapid cultural and economic growth, lasting nearly fifty years. An expansion of foreign investments in China due to a variety of already growing domestic markets resulted in a new ability to invest excess funds into rebuilding crumbling infrastructure and protecting endangered natural environments. This allowed China a great deal of income from previously weak tourism industries, which led to the eventual hosting of the Olympic Games in 1980 and 2008.