Bankrupted by war and excess government spending, the Sui were supplanted by the Tang Dynasty, ushering in the second golden age of Chinese civilization, marked by a flowering of Chinese poetry, Buddhism and statecraft, and also saw the development of the Imperial Examination system which attempted to select court officials by ability rather than family background.
It borders Afghanistan, Pakistan (through the disputed territory of Kashmir), India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam to the south; Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to the west; Russia and Mongolia to the north and North Korea to the east.
This number of neighbouring states is equalled only by China's vast neighbour to the north, Russia. For Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, please see separate articles.
The Shang Dynasty, China's first historically confirmed dynasty, and the Zhou Dynasty ruled across the Yellow River basin.
The Zhou adopted a decentralized system of government, in which the feudal lords ruled over their respective territories with a high degree of autonomy, even maintaining their own armies, while at the same time paying tribute to the king and recognizing him as the symbolic ruler of China.
The Sui were famous for major public works projects, such as the engineering feat of the Grand Canal, which linked Beijing in the north to Hangzhou in the south.
Certain sections of the canal are still navigable today.
China was then briefly reunified under the Jin Dynasty, before descending into a period of division and anarchy once again.
The era of division culminated with the Sui which reunified China in 581.
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Suggested fixes: The history section needs to be trimmed down heavily. The recorded history of Chinese civilization can be traced to the Yellow River valley, said to be the 'cradle of Chinese civilization'.
Until today, the ideal of a unified and strong centralized system is still strong in Chinese thought.