China, with a recorded history of 5,000 years, was one of the world's earliest civilizations. China was one of the countries where economic activity first developed. As early as 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, people in the Yellow River valley had already started farming and raising livestock. In the 21st century B.C., China established a slave society with the founding of the Xia Dynasty, thereby writing a finale to long years of primitive society.
In 221 B.C., Qin Shihuang established China's first centralized autocracy, the Qin Dynasty, thereby ushering Chinese history into feudalism, which endured in a succession of dynasties until the Opium War of 1840.
The Bourgeois Democratic Revolution of 1911 led by Sun Yat-sen toppled the rule of the Qing Dynasty, putting an end to more than 2,000 years of feudal monarchical system.
The People's Republic of China was founded on October 1st, 1949. Today, China is implementing reform and open polices, and has established a socialist market economy.
The People's Republic of China is the third largest country in the world in terms of area. It is situated in eastern Asia on the western shore of the Pacific Ocean, with an area of 9.6 million square kilometers. China's continental coastline extends for about 18,000 kilometers, and its vast sea surface is studded with more than 5,000 islands, of which Taiwan and Hainan are the largest. China has shared borders for centuries with Korea, the former Soviet Union, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Burma, Laos and Vietnam.
China's land drops off in the escarpments eastward to the ocean, letting in humid air currents and leading many rivers eastward. Among the rivers totaling 220,000 kilometers in length in China; the Yangtze and the Yellow are the two major ones.
China has a diversity of land formations including mountains, hills, highlands, plains and basins. The highlands and hill regions account for 65 percent of the country's land mass. The highest mountain peak is Qomolangma (Everest), 8,848 meters above sea level; the lowest point is the Turpan Basin, 154 meters below sea level.