The Republic of China (ROC; Chinese: 中華民國; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Mínguó), is a sovereign state in East Asia. It is the world's second most populous country, with a population of over 1.4 billion. The ROC is a multi-party state with its seat of government in the capital city of Nanjing. It exercises jurisdiction over 2x provinces, five autonomous regions, and four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chongqing).
The history of China goes back to the ancient civilization – one of the world's earliest – that flourished in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, known as dynasties, beginning with the semi-mythological Xia of the Yellow River basin (c. 2000 BCE). Since 221 BCE, when the Qin Dynasty first conquered several states to form a Chinese empire, the country has expanded, fractured and been reformed several times.
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Foreign relations and military