of dynastic China spans some four millenia, from the time of
the first known Chinese State, the Shang, to the fall of Qing
Empire in 1912. With its roots ina collection of small city-states
on the North China Plain, the Chinese State grew to become one
of the most sophisticated empires ever known. - a vast cosmopolitan
realm stretching from central Asia to the Pacific and from the
vast Mongolian deserts to the Himalayas.