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The Sui dynasty

The Sui dynasty The founder of the Sui dynasty was Yang Jian, who called himself as Emperor Wen. This dynasty lasted only 40 years (581-618), but had a great important into the Chinese history. The Sui achieved successfully the reunification of the empire after centuries of political fragmentation.

Wen was a vigorous Buddhist ruler who took the best from the past and built on it. He simplified the system of government, brought in a new legal code, recentralized civil and military authority and made tax collection more efficient. His new capital, Da Xing Cheng was the biggest city in the world at that time. It had a palace central, a residential quarter of 108 walled compounds, numerous vast markets and an outer wall over 35km round. His successor was his son Yang Di.

Yang improved administration, motivated a resurgence of Confucian learning and led an aggressive foreign policy. He reasserted imperial Chinese control in northern Vietnam and carried out campaigns against Central Asian tribes to the north and west and even Korean states, although the latter campaign was a disaster for his army. Yang also initiated numerous ambitious projects including construction of the Grand Canal (2,000 km) from the Yangzhou on the Yangtze River to Luoyang on the Huang He River. The canal made it much easier to transport agricultural products and enhanced north-south communication.

Yang’s huge projects and military campaigns caused death, exhaustion and unrest. In 618 a Sui general, Li Yuan, took the capital, killed to Yang and declared himself emperor of a new dynasty, the Tang.

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