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