Timeline of China History: Chinese History QUICK (in a table)

China has over 3,000 years of history, based on the earliest written records. China’s timeline shows the rise and fall of the main 15 Chinese dynasties, and modern era governments.

This table shows the timeline of Chinese history. Read on for the years of China's dynasties and coexisting kingdoms with their founders and capitals.

Years Dynasty
(Eras and sub-eras)
Periods of
Coexisting Kingdoms
Founder
(also known as)
Capital
(Modern City Area)
c. 2100–1600 BC Xia Dynasty   Yu the Great Zhenxun (Luoyang), Yangcheng (Dengfeng), Zhengzhou
c.1600–1046 BC Shang Dynasty   King Tang Yin (Anyang)
c. 1046–256 BC Zhou Dynasty      
c. 1046–771 BC Western Zhou   Ji Fa (King Wu of Zhou) Fengjing and Haojing
c. 770–475 BC Eastern Zhou Spring and Autumn Period Ji Yiju (King Ping of Zhou) Luoyi (Luoyang)
475–221 BC Eastern Zhou Warring States Period    
221–206 BC Qin Dynasty   Ying Zheng (Qin Shihuang 'First Emperor of Qin') Xianyang (Xi'an)
206 BC–220 AD Han Dynasty   Liu Bang Chang'an (Xi'an)
206 BC – 9 AD Western Han (Former Han)   Liu Bang Chang'an (Xi'an)
9–23 Xin Dynasty   Wang Mang Chang'an (Xi'an)
25–220 Eastern Han (Later Han)   Liu Xiu Luoyang
220–265 Three Kingdoms Kingdom of Wei Cao Pi Luoyang
221–263   Kingdom of Shu Liu Bang Chengdu
222–280   Kingdom of Wu Jianye (Nanjing) Jianye (Nanjing)
265–420 Jin Dynasty (Sima Jin)   Sima Yan Luoyang
265–316   Western Jin Sima Yan Luoyang
317–420   Eastern Jin Sima Rui Jiankang (Nanjing)
304–439   Five Hus and Sixteen States    
420–589 Northern and Southern Dynasties      
386–581   Northern Dynasties    
386–534   Northern Wei Tuoba Gui Pingcheng (Datong), Luoyang
534–550   Eastern Wei Yuan Shanjian (regent: Gao Huan) Yecheng (Handan)
535–557   Western Wei Yuan Baoju (regent: Yuwen Tai) Chang'an (Xi'an)
550–577   Northern Qi Gao Yang Yecheng (Handan)
557–581   Northern Zhou Yuwen Jue Chang'an (Xi'an)
420–589   Southern Dynasties    
420–479   Song Liu Yu Jiankang (Nanjing)
479–502   Qi Xiao Daocehng Jiankang (Nanjing)
502–557   Liang Xiao Yan Jiankang (Nanjing)
557–589   Chen Chen Baxian Jiankang (Nanjing)
581–618 Sui Dynasty   Yang Jian Daxing (Xi'an), Luoyang
618–907 Tang Dynasty   Li Yuan Chang'an (Xi'an), Luoyang
907–960 Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period      
907–923 Later Liang   Zhu Wen Kaifeng
923–936 Later Tang   Li Cunxu Luoyang
936–946 Later Jin   Shi Jintang Kaifeng
947–950 later Han   Liu zhiyuan Kaifeng
951–960 Later Zhou   Guowei Kaifeng
907–1125   Liao Dynasty Yelv Abaoji Shangjing (Chifeng)
960–1279 Song Dynasty   Zhao Kuangyin  
960–1127   Northern Song Zhao Kuangyin Bianjing (Kaifeng)
1127–1279   Southern Song Zhou Gou Lin'an (Hangzhou)
1038–1227   Western Xia Dynasty Li Yuanhao Xingqing (Yinchuan)
1115–1234   Great Jin Dynasty (Jurchen Dynasty) Aguda Huining (Harbin), Zhongdu (Beijing), Bianjing (Kaifeng)
1279–1368 Yuan Dynasty   Kublai Khan Dadu (Beijing)
1368–1644 Ming Dynasty   Zhu Yuanzhang Yingtian (Nanjing), Shuntian (Beijing)
1644–1912 Qing Dynasty   Hong Taiji (Aisin Gioro Nurhachi) Beijing
1912–1949 Republic of China   Sun Yat-sen (Sun Zhongshan) Beijing, Wuhan, Nanjing
1949–present People's Republic of China   Mao Zedong Beijing