East Asia: China, Korea, Japan 30 BCE

Under the Han dynasty, ancient Chinese civilization has expanded both its territory and its influence.

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What is happening in East Asia: China, Korea, Japan in 30BCE

The Han dynasty has now ruled a united China for 200 years. The peace they have maintained has led to an upsurge in prosperity and in material civilization.

The Confucian State

The Han government has adopted Confucianism as its official ideology; it has also built on the centralized bureaucracy of the earlier states (above all Qin) to develop a huge and sophisticated administrative system. This includes methods of ensuring that government officials are appointed and promoted on merit – a practice that will not arise elsewhere in the world for another two thousand years (and even then as a result of China’s example).

In these and many other ways the Han regime is laying the foundations for later developments, in China as well as other East Asian nations.

Spreading influence

With China now unified and able to exert great power beyond its borders, central Asia in the west, Korea in the north and Vietnam in the south have been drawn deeply into its orbit, with a large portion of each becoming integral parts of the Chinese empire. Japan, also, has come to some extent under China’s influence. This country has seen the rise of powerful and warlike chiefdoms, some of whom pay tribute to the imperial Chinese court.

Chinese power has also enabled a new trade route to the West to be opened up – the famous Silk Road across central Asia.

Next map, East Asia in 200 CE

Dig Deeper

Ancient Chinese civilization

The Han dynasty

Korean civilization (brief article)

Japanese civilization

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China in the Classical Age


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