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Home History and Culture Jin Dynasty;Southern and Northern Dynasties;Sui Dynasty
Jin Dynasty;Southern and Northern Dynasties;Sui Dynasty
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Jin Dynasty(晋朝)
Though the three kingdoms were reunited temporarily in 278 by the Jin Dynasty, the contemporary non-Han Chinese (Wu Hu, 五胡) ethnic groups controlled much of the country in the early 4th century and provoked large-scale Han Chinese migrations to south of the Chang Jiang. In 303 the Di people rebelled and later captured Chengdu, establishing the state of Cheng Han.

Under Liu Yuan the Xiongnu rebelled near today's Linfen County and established the state of Han Zhao. His successor Liu Cong captured and executed the last two Western Jin emperors. Sixteen kingdoms were a plethora of short-lived non-Chinese dynasties that came to rule the whole or parts of northern China in the 4th and 5th centuries. Many ethnic groups were involved, including ancestors of the Turks, Mongolians, and Tibetans. Most of these nomadic peoples had to some extent been "Sinicized" long before their ascent to power. In fact, some of them, notably the Ch'iang and the Xiong-nu, had already been allowed to live in the frontier regions within the Great Wall since late Han times.

Southern and Northern Dynasties(南北朝)

A limestone statue of the Bodhisattva, from the Northern Qi Dynasty, 570 AD, made in what is now modern Henan province.Main article: Southern and Northern Dynasties
Signaled by the collapse of East Jin (东晋) Dynasty in 420, China entered the era of the Southern and Northern Dynasties. The Han people managed to survive the military attacks from the nomadic tribes of the north, such as the Xian Bei (鲜卑), and their civilization continued to thrive.

An increasing number of nomadic people in Northern China adopted Confucianism as personal life guidance and state ideology while becoming gradually assimilated into the Han Chinese civilization. During this rivalry between Northern and Southern China, Buddhism propagated throughout China for the first time, despite facing opposition from Taoist followers. Tuo Ba Tao (拓跋焘), a faithful Taoist believer and emperor of the Northern Wei (北魏) Dynasty (one of the Northern Dynasties), issued orders to eliminate Buddhism from the country.

In Southern China, fierce debates about whether Buddhism should be allowed to exist were held frequently by the royal court and nobles. Finally, near the end of the Southern and Northern Dynasties era, both Buddhist and Taoist followers compromised and became more tolerant of each other.

In 589, Sui (隋) annexed the last Southern Dynasty, Chen (陈), through military force, and put an end to the era of Southern and Northern Dynasties.

Sui dynasty (隋朝)

China was reunified in A.D. 589 by the short-lived Sui dynasty (A.D. 581-617), which has often been compared to the earlier Qin dynasty in tenure and the ruthlessness of its accomplishments. The Sui dynasty’s early demise was attributed to the government’s tyrannical demands on the people, who bore the crushing burden of taxes and compulsory labor. These resources were overstrained in the completion of the Grand Canal(大运河) –a monumental engineering feat–and in the undertaking of other construction projects, including the reconstruction of the Great Wall. Weakened by costly and disastrous military campaigns against Korea (朝鲜)in the early seventh century, the dynasty disintegrated through a combination of popular revolts, disloyalty, and assassination.

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