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(2,267 words)

Author(s): Cabestan, Jean-Pierre
While political relations between China and France have often been complicated or loaded with conflicts, the economic and cultural exchange between these two countries has been constant and fruitful, although not always intensive and balanced. The episodic contacts that China and France were able to establish during the reign of Louis XIV and after China's opening-up in the 19th century hardly compare to those developed by these two nations during the 20th century and particularly during the pas…

Political System

(6,437 words)

Author(s): Emmerich, Reinhard | Cabestan, Jean Pierre | Heilmann, Sebastian | Schubert, Gunter
1. Imperial Period For over 2000 years, the Chinese seriously questioned the concept of the empire neither in political theory nor in practice, and the imperial period (221 BCE to 1911) is thus by far the longest era of Chinese history. The following sketched generalizations, however, must not conceal the fact that China's political system, here understood in the restricted sense of "system of government", underwent considerable historical changes. These changes took place essentially because the I…