China: the Middle Dynasties 980 CE
By 980 most of China had been reunited under the Song dynasty.
A military leader founded the Sui dynasty and reunified China, bringing an end to 350 years of division and weakness.
The second Sui emperor's misrule brought about the downfall of the dynasty. A few years of civil war brought one of the greatest of all Chinese dynasties to power, the Tang.
The early Tang period was a time of great prosperity for China, and the empire’s borders reached far out into central Asia.
The last years of Xuanzong’s reign saw a terrible rebellion break out. This permanently weakened the Tang regime.
The end of the Tang dynasty came when China again fragmented into numerous states.
In 1126 the Song empire was confined to southern China by an invasion by a non-Chinese people called the Jurchen.
Between 1215 to 1236 the Mongols, a people from central Asia, conquered northern China.
The Mongol ruler Kublai Khan (Great Khan of the Mongol empire 1260 to 1294) conquered southern China.
The Mongol dynasty was driven from China in 1368, and the rebel leader founded a new dynasty, called the Ming.