原創翻譯:龍騰網 //www.oewjxg.com.cn 翻譯:大寫的字母 轉載請注明出處









…From nearly the beginning of time it seems, China was ruled by emperors. And before that, what you might call “proto-emperors.” All-powerful at times, tangled in struggles for that power in other times. Emperors served the people right. Some of the time. When they didn''''t, problems arose. You see, when we talk about emperors “ruling” China, it''''s a bit misleading. There is always been a balance of power between the working class and the ruling class. Sometimes those classes were near each other. Other times, there were layers upon layers of people divided them. Traders, landlords, peasants, royalty. There were sometimes hundreds of classes to speak of. The tales of these people and their legacies went on to lay the groundwork in thought. They laid the foundation for the China we find today. But first, long before China had a name, there was only people and land. An area in fertile East Asia became the bedrock of China in ancient times. 4,000, 5,000 thousand years ago is what you often hear. But already the mainstream understanding is misleading. While Chinese civilization proper could be considered that old, in reality we know people were drawing symbols reminiscent of Chinese characters much, much earlier than that.

…彷佛幾乎從時間的初始,中國就是由皇帝統治的。在那之前的,可以稱之為“原帝王”?;實塾惺比ㄔ諼?,有時為權力斗爭。有時候皇帝會好好對待子民,當他們不這么做時,問題就出現了。你看,當我們談論皇帝“統治”中國時,這個用詞其實有點誤導。農民階級和統治階級之間一直存在著一種權力制衡。有時,階級之間離得很近;有時,人們把階級層層分離。商人、地主、農民,皇族。有時候會有上百個階級。這些人的故事和他們的遺產逐漸形成了中國人的思維方式。他們為我們今天所看到的中國奠定了基礎。但首先,在中國有名字之前很久很久,那里只有人和土地。富饒的東亞地區自古就是中國的基石,你經常聽到的是四五千年前,但是主流的理解已經有誤導了。雖然中華文明本體可以被認為是古老的,但事實上,我們知道人們畫中文象形文字比那要早得多。

Take a look at this image, It’s from 4 or 5 thousand years ago. But take a look at this one. The bottom image looks surprisingly similar to the Chinese character日, meaning the Sun. It''''s from over 8000 years ago, right inside the region of East Asia we now call China. That''''s how old the roots of China. So sometime before that, around 9 or 10 thousand years ago, people formed groups which became tribes, factions and eventually kingdoms. As states came and went, a small amount of stability created a new center. Among a constantly changing outer region, the inside became known as中國. That roughly meant the “middle Kingdom.” Contrary to popular belief, the name didn''''t suggest ancient Chinese consider themselves the center of the Earth. Or the center of Asia. And while for various periods of time some upper-class Chinese did consider themselves the most elite in the world, 中國 was never meant to reflect that idea. It was simply in reference to the center of the Kingdom itself, the heart of an ever-shifting region. A constant flux of borders and control. But the heartland created stability. Over the centuries it became one name for all the states together. As an American, I have a certain background and cultural history that I can identify with. The expansion of people across a vast and open area of North America. War with Native Americans. Slavery. Development, the Wild West. It''''s interesting to somehow identify with these things, even though no one on either side of my family was in America for nearly any of it. Somehow, the history of a nation becomes part of the culture of those who living in it, even if it technically has little to do with them. But being a Chinese person must be different, I tell myself. Because so many are indigenous, there''''s a long cultural chord connecting from belly buttons to ancestors’ graves. I fantasize sometimes about what it must feel like to look around and realize everyone in your family, and everyone in their families, and theirs, all the way up the line, lived in one country. Or at least one single area. That sense of shared blood and history forms a gravity between Chinese people, in my imagination. One moment there''''s no attraction between strangers. But in times of crisis, despair or desperation, the people for better or for worse become one. These are the types of dreams I have in the daytime. What a fascinating bond.





看看這張圖片,那是四五千年前的。但是看看這個,圖片最下面的部分看起來驚人的類似于漢字的“日”,意思是“太陽”。那是八千多年前的,就在我們現在稱為中國的東亞地區。中國的根便是如此古老。所以在那之前的某個時候,大約九千到一萬年前,人們形成了群體,之后再漸漸形成了部落、派別,最終形成了王國。隨著國家的更迭,少量的穩定創造了一個新的中心。當外部區域不斷變化,中間的就被稱為了“中國”。大致意思是“中央王國”。與普遍的看法相反,這個名字并不意味著古代中國人認為自己是地球的中心。雖然在不同的時期,一些上層階級的中國人確實認為自己是世界上最精英的人群?!爸泄幣淮蝕永床皇且饌擠從癡飧魷敕?。它僅僅是指王國的中心,一個不斷變化的地區的中心。一個邊界和控制不斷變化的地區。但中心地帶創造了穩定。幾個世紀以來,中國成了所有地區的統稱。作為美國人,我有一定的背景和文化歷史認知。像是人口在北美廣闊開放的地區的擴張,與印第安人的戰爭,奴隸制,發展,西大荒等。在某種程度上認同這些事情是很有趣的,盡管那時候我的祖先幾乎都還沒到美國過。不知何故,一個國家的歷史會成為當下居民文化的一部分,即使從嚴格意義上講與他們無關。但我告訴自己,作為中國人肯定是不一樣的。因為很多人都是土著,所以從肚臍眼到祖先的墳墓都有著漫長的文化共鳴。我有時會幻想,當你環顧四周,意識到你的長輩,他們的長輩,祖祖輩輩都生活在同一個國家,或至少在同一個地區,這種感覺一定很奇妙。在我的想象中,這種血緣和歷史的共通感,在中國人之間形成了一種引力。這一刻陌生人之間沒有吸引力,但在?;?、絕望的下一刻,無論好壞,人們都會團結起來。這些就是我常做的白日夢。多么迷人的聯系啊。

The people were never much empowered on the whole. Nearly every single person in China in all of its history has done one thing. Agricultural work. If you somehow could communicate randomly with a Chinese person throughout the past, the chances are overwhelming that you would be talking to a farmer. A worker. A peasant. Emperors knew enough to know that the people were the true power. The force of the country. They were the body of China. Look at these men. They have no names. No one knows them anymore. But they and the billions like them use the land to make food. Prosperity. Wealth. Power. One common theme we see throughout all of China''''s history is rebellion and revolt. Often led by one of those very same farmers. And just as often, the goal and promise was land reform. Give the land to the people. Take it from the rich and return it to the rightful owners, they said. Thousands of years before socialism or communism existed, the Chinese were pioneers in the politics of stripping property from the rich to provide for the poor. But the Chinese weren''''t always alone. Some of the earliest European visitors to China came around the time of the Qin dynasty. For perspective, this was about ten United States’ life spans ago. And it''''s around that period foreign languages began referring to 中國 as however their closest way to pronounce Qin was.

總的來說,人民從未被賦予太多權力。在中國歷史上,幾乎所有人都做過一件事,那就是——農業勞動。如果你能以某種方式隨意地與一個過去的中國人交流,那么你與一個農民、工人、鄉下人交談的幾率是壓倒性的高?;實勖巧鈧嗣癲攀欽嬲牧α?,是國家的力量。他們是中國的主體??純湊廡┤?,他們沒有名字,如今也沒人認識他們了。但是他們和數十億像他們一樣的人,用土地創造食物、繁榮、財富,權力。縱觀中國歷史,一個共同的主題就是反叛。通常由這些農民中的一個來領導,且通常,目標和承諾都是土地改革。把土地還給人民。他們說,把土地從富人手中拿走,物歸原主。在社會主義出現之前的幾千年里,中國人是奪取富人財產以供養窮人的政治先驅。但中國人并不總是孤獨的。最早一批來中國的歐洲人大約在秦朝的時候。對比來看,這大約是美國10倍歷史更久之前,也是在那個時期外語開始用最接近秦的發音來表達中國。



This image is a map from knowledge gained around that time. While it doesn''''t focus on China, you can clearly see that China had been reached by the West. Foreigners develop their words for China from Qin. For example, Kina, Cina and so on. That evolved in English to be “China.” So, technically speaking, today we’re actually calling their country the name of an ancient dynasty-the Qin dynasty. That dynasty, by the way, didn''''t even last 20 years, but managed to be extremely influential on future dynasties. Some examples of foreigners? This Greek soldier found his way to Xinjiang, in West China, around the time we saw our first Western maps with China on them. Around 200 BC. Here we see a Westerner and some Koreans in China before 1000. And let''''s not forget the legendary travels of Marco Polo, around the 13th century. This is a tombstone for an early European living in China, who died in the 14th century. Foreigners came for trade, for exploration, or for conquest. Like this ancient Jew trader who came in the Tang dynasty.

這幅圖是用那時的知識描繪出的地圖。雖然它的關注點不是中國,但你可以清楚地看到,西方已經接觸到了中國。外國人對中國的描述是從秦開始的。例如,Kina,Cina等等。隨后在英語中逐漸演變成“China”。所以,嚴格來講,我們今天實際上是在用一個古老朝代的名字來稱呼他們的國家——秦朝。順便說句,那個朝代甚至都沒有持續20年,但卻對未來的朝代產生了巨大的影響。外國人的一些例子?這個希臘士兵找到了去中國西部新疆的路,大約是在我們第一次看到西方地圖上有中國的時候。公元前200年左右。這里我們看到公元1000年前在中國的西方人和韓國人。然后我們別忘了13世紀馬可波羅的傳奇之旅。這是一位生活在中國的早期歐洲人的墓碑,他死于14世紀。外國人來這里為了貿易、探險或征服。比如這個在唐朝時期來到中國的猶太商人。





They even came to spread their ideology to China. But more on that later. It''''s important to reiterate that at almost no time in China''''s ancient history did it ever consider itself what we would call a “country,” exactly. This is a very interesting thing, when you really think about it. China was a group of states, held together by a central authority. States often had their own militias, and local governance. Time and time again when the central power failed, China fractured and put itself back together again, often in a new shape. Land reforms, anti-corruption campaigns and purging of the old regimes were common. And more often than not, these purges involved significant overlap in rule. That mean war. Lots and lots of wars. In addition to the problems of vastness China''''s rulers faced, there was another issue. It’s one that many people overlook or under-appreciate to this day. Often China is described as a super-nation of subnations. But there''''s a real, down-to-earth backbone to that. You see, there’s a primary language for the people of china, and in each town or city, another language for the locals. For millennia, rulers struggled to keep these states together, a painstaking task made much more difficult by the language barrier. That has been the majority of effort the Chinese dynasties unification and stability as a unified what we would call today-country.

他們甚至為了傳播意識形態來到中國。但這點稍后再詳細講。需要重申的是,在中國古代歷史上,它從未認為自己是我們所說的“國家”。當你真的去思考一下的時候,你會發現這是一件非常有趣的事情。古代中國是一個國家集團,由一個中央權威機構維系在一起。各地通常都有自己的民兵和地方政府。中央政權一次又一次地失敗,中國因此分裂,之后又重新統一起來。而且常常是以新的形式。土地改革、反腐運動、舊政權的清洗都很常見。通常情況下,這些清洗涉及到統治上的重疊,這意味著戰爭。很多很多的戰爭。除了中國統治者面臨的問題之外,還有另一個問題。直到今天,它仍被許多人忽視或低估。古代中國經常被描述為由子國家組成的超級國家。但它有一個真正的、腳踏實地的支柱。你看,中國人有一種主要語言,而在每個城鎮,當地人有另一種語言。數千年來,統治者們努力維持國家的統一,但由于語言障礙,這項艱巨的任務變得更加困難。這就是中國各朝代的主要努力方向,作為一個統一的國家的統一和穩定,也就是我們今天稱之為的國家。

But the situation was different than Europeans experienced. This makes up the first in a very long line of fundamental differences in Chinese history from European history. We are already, as of this coming point, breaking away from the intuition of westerners. You see, written Chinese has no alphabet, instead originally relying on imagery to convey meaning. That''''s quite useful in the sense of spreading the written word. It''''s easy for multiple tribes to understand the same image. But a downside of not having an alphabet is pronunciation is not exported with the image. You cannot “spell out” Chinese. If you don''''t know a character, you simply cannot know it without someone else telling you the meaning. And however they pronounce it is how you will think it''''s pronounced. In combination with the fact that the vast majority of people on Earth were uneducated throughout history, a very wide range of pronunciations evolved in China. Even though a written character might be similar or even identical, the pronunciations at hand numbered in the dozens, hundreds or thousands. Regions developed their own dialects. Each city had their own. And then, each town. Some dialects grew to languages, with more branches growing in turn. Even now, cities right next to each other often have different ways of pronouncing words in their traditional dialects. Throughout history, and here''''s the point, this helped maintain rifts between regions, and a constant pressure against the ruling class, which usually couldn''''t speak the language of most people in China. Think about that. The normal, absolutely common situation in China would be that no one anywhere could actually speak to everyone. The remains of this ancient fact still live in rural China today. What an amazingly powerful problem to try to overcome. How do you rule a region or regions in which no single person can speak a language everyone else can understand? Their answer was to do it in writing. Chinese writing was used heavily over the ages. Carving turtle shells led to inventions like the paper-making process or movable type. It was extremely important for leadership in China to have the ability to write. States combined and split over the generations. Ethnicities blended together, languages blended. Cultures collided and blended and collided again. Chinese people found their identities in those powerful dynasties of the past and carried many traditions forward. Most empires were closely associated with the race in power. Racial tension was a major factor in conflicts as far back as we have record.

Religion started in China as basic beliefs in an afterlife. Later, major ideas converge into what might be best described as Chinese traditionalism. Belief in the spirits of ancestors fostered a culture in which looking backwards was encouraged. Remembering one''''s elders and what their lives were like has been part of Chinese culture from the early beginnings. Religion has also played a major factor in conflicts of the past. But it’s this looking backwards that interests me more. I never cared about history as a young man. But in speaking with Chinese people, I was often quite surprised by how much he or she knew about the past. And it’s this sense of looking in the rear view mirror that has kept China…Chinese. This is one thing I really feel missing from my own American culture. We are often so progressive and desperate for change that we dismiss the past as all bad. This looking back is a valuable, sometimes difficult activity. Collectively as a species, our pasts are quite painful. But perhaps no modern country’s past as painful as China''''s. Certainly none much more painful. Eventually, in the process of bringing traditions forward, gods emerged. But, Interestingly, while direct beliefs in those gods declined, beliefs based on those gods survived. The Chinese people have often viewed the world as having an undercurrent of causality. Some call it superstition, but I don''''t really agree with that characterization. It''''s more like a basic skeptical view. They''''ve always had the motivations of the universe in question. And that''''s had many effects on the culture; one of which is the belief in the Mandate of Heaven. Originally based on interpretation of a deity''''s wishes, the belief outlived much of the faith in the deity. This is how Chinese belief systems have ultimately worked-utility and practicality is what reigns supreme in the end. The actual deity takes a back seat to the prayers the deity can answer. And over time, each God vanished, leaving behind their most useful traditions and tenants. The Mandate of Heaven is a simple concept of distilled for western minds. The rulers of China could only remain so if they pleased the gods. What pleased the gods was taking care of the people responsibly. When the rulers failed in that duty, they would inevitably be replaced through famine or plague. Earthquakes. Rebellions or war. Anything and everything that could happen, would happen. This concept is a crucial element of the historical Chinese psyche. Overthrowing a government or emperor could only work if the Mandate of Heaven was won first. This instilled an interesting necessity to many revolutions. Before an uprising, before an empire changes hands, the agitators must be sufficiently indoctrinated. They must extensively believe not only that they reigning empire has lost the Mandate of Heaven, but that they have gained it. And even the modern Chinese judgment of past rulers is different than I expected it to be. Some cultures in the world view the qualifications for leadership to be moral alignment. That is to say, the hope is that each leader should be a better moral person than the previous one. More polite, or more Christian, or more righteous. But Chinese people tend to reflect on leaders’ performance by the standard of how good their rule was for the people. And thus, the specific morality of the ruling class has never been as important as the efficacy of the reign. An immoral tyrant who overall did good for the people is nearly always preferred over a moral “nice guy,” who did little actual good. Some eras had formal state religions, or belief systems.

宗教在中國起源于人們對來生的基本信仰。后來,主要的思想都集中在所謂的中國傳統主義上。對祖先精神的信仰培育了一種鼓勵向后看的文化。緬懷長輩從一開始就是中國文化的一部分。宗教在過去的沖突中也發揮了重要的作用。但是這種向后看的文化更讓我感興趣。我年輕時從不關心歷史,但在與中國人交談時,我常常驚訝于他們對過去的了解之多。正是這種從后視鏡里看過去的感覺讓中國…有中國味。這是我從自己的美國文化中真正感到缺失的東西。我們常常是如此進步,如此渴望改變,以至于我們認為過去都是糟糕的。這種回頭看是一種有價值的,有時是困難的活動。作為一個物種,我們整體的過去是比較痛苦的,但也許沒有一個現代國家的過去像中國的過去那樣痛苦??隙揮斜戎泄墓セ雇純嗟枚嗟?。最終,在推進傳統的過程中,神出現了。但有趣的是,雖然對這些神的直接信仰減輕了,但基于這些神的信仰卻幸存了下來。中國人常常認為世界上存在著一種潛在的因果關系。有人說這是迷信,但我不同意這種說法。它更像是一種基本的懷疑論觀點。他們總是對宇宙的動機存有疑問。這對文化產生了很多影響。其中之一是對天命的信仰。最初是基于對神靈的愿望的解釋。這種信仰本身比對神靈的信仰更長久。這就是中國信仰體系的最終運作方式——效用和實用性才是最終的主導。真正的神靈退居二線,主導的是向神靈的祈禱。隨著時間的推移,所有神靈都消失了,留下了他們最有用的傳統和信條。對西方人來說,天命是一個簡單的概念。中國的統治者只有取悅神明才能維持統治。能取悅神明的是負責地照顧百姓。當統治者未能履行這一職責時,他們將不可避免地因饑荒、瘟疫、地震、叛亂或戰爭而被取代。任何可能發生的事,都會發生。這個概念是中國歷史心理的一個重要元素。只有先贏得天命,推翻一個政府或皇帝才能奏效。這給許多革命注入了一種有趣的必然性。在起義之前,在帝國易手之前,煽動者必須被充分灌輸思想。他們必須深刻地相信,不僅統治帝國失去了天命,他們還獲得了天命。甚至現代中國人對過去統治者的評價也和我想象的不同。世界上的一些文化認為統治的資質是道德品質。也就是說,希望每個統治者都是比前任更有道德的人。更有禮貌,更信奉基督教,更正義。但是中國人傾向于用統治者的統治對人民有多好來衡量他們的表現。因此,統治階級的特定道德品質從未像他們統治的效果那樣重要。一個不道德的暴君總體上為人民做了好事,幾乎總是比一個道德上的“好人”更受歡迎,而“好人”實際上做的好事可能很少。有些時代有正式的國家宗教或信仰體系。

Daoism and Confucianism competed for influence and adoption, but it’s Confucianism that overall influenced and was influenced most by Chinese culture. At the core of Confucianism is the idea that rules and rituals are necessary to correct for the degraded state of people. Strong concepts of rationality, as opposed to the spiritual, more emotional Daoism. Not to say Confucianism was the only influencer-not at all. But there are very clear signs of it glaring out from Chinese culture. In Confucianism, humans are meant to respect their superiors. A son must honor absolutely his father. One of the major goals Is a structured, stable society. Societal harmony, peace, rules and structure. Family. Groups. Society. Stability. Collectivism over the individual. These are some confucian messages so tightly intertwined with Chinese culture. The survival of the People is more critical than the survival of the few. Your father is more important than you are. And China is more important than he, for China contains many more fathers. The origins of this series, Epic China, begins with the end of the Yuan Dynasty. Mongolian clans United to overthrow the rich and used that power to conquer. And as we see nearly every time, the new emperor undertook Land reforms-redistribution of land to the people. That, and a purge of political opponents. The goal was often to undo corruption left over from the previous dynasty. Support of the people was won by their return to balance and faith in government restored by seeing corrupt oppressors executed, exiled or removed from post. The Yuan dynasty was one of the oddest dynasties, certainly worth more attention than I''''ll give it in this series. In less than 200 years through, incompetence and negligence in the Yuan ruling class opened vulnerabilities. Race-based persecution of Han Chinese fueled rebellions, while natural disasters and plague decimated the population. This is what it looked like to lose the mandate of heaven. The infamous Mongol empire finally crumbled in the middle of the 14th century. In its place cam the Ming dynasty, a new Han empire. It was a return to the classic Chinese rule, in many people''''s eyes, a conservative, strong-government state. And policies reflected that. In part to counter Japanese piracy and in reaction to millions dead from the plague, private foreign trade was criminalized. China had almost always been concerned with national stability rather than conquest partially because it was such a difficult task to keep each region unified in the first place. But with reduced trade, it grew increasingly isolationist. As was normal throughout history, China, no matter what it was called, was worried about issues within itself more than in the rest of the world. China''''s diplomacy was very unique, as was its position in the world.



In most of the world international relations were generally placeable on a range of all-out war to peaceful ally. Choose any two countries and you’ll usually find their relationships on that spectrum. China could never negotiate or trade with another nation; that would be to admit equality. Instead of trade was the concept of tribute. Some areas we now consider countries were for much of their existence in many ways part of China. Or at the very least, deeply connected to China in ways that go beyond what we think of as alliances. They gave huge tributary donations to China, which sometimes offered protections in return, or gifts, or nothing at all. Gifts were how two-way trade often worked. Offer up tribute and receive A gift back from the self-declared superior empire. Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Thailand are some examples of formerly tributaries. It''''s interesting to see how Chinese culture blends in to make significant contributions to each of these countries even today. Most of the time they weren’t formally part of China, but one could be forgiven for thinking that they were. That''''s how close tributaries could be. China was the father of the tributary nations. That''''s important to understand. Though the ruling class might have viewed the empire as the most supreme government in the world, it was rife with internal issues. Famine, disease and tragedy struck an unimaginable number of people in China over the last several thousand years. Throughout most of recorded history, China has been estimated to have experienced an average of one famine per year. Movement of food through the country has always been an issue. Weather, wars, insects, floods. Death and suffering has always been with china. And there was an almost unimaginable amount of people. That''''s the thing. Many people underestimate China’s sheer size.

在世界上大多數地方,從戰爭到和平盟友的國際關系通常是可替代的。隨便選兩個國家,你通?;岱⑾炙塹墓叵稻馱謖飧齜段?。當時中國不可能與另一個國家談判或貿易。因為那就是承認平等。進攻的概念代替了貿易。我們現在稱之為國家的一些地區在歷史上大多數時候,在很大程度上都是中國的一部分,或者至少,與中國的緊密聯系超出了我們所認為的同盟。他們向中國大量的進行朝貢,而中國有時會提供?;?,禮物,或什么都不提供。禮物是雙邊貿易通常運作的方式。獻上貢品,然后從這個自稱為超級帝國的國家得到一份禮物。越南、日本、韓國,泰國都是以前的藩屬國。有趣的是,即使在今天,也會看到中國文化如何融入這些國家,為這些國家做的重要貢獻。大多數時候,他們并不是中國正式的一部分,但如果你認為他們是,也是可以理解的。藩屬國便是如此得緊密。中國是藩屬國的父國,理解這一點很重要。雖然統治階級可能認為王朝是世界上最至高無上的政府,但它充滿了內部問題。在過去的幾千年里,饑荒、疾病和悲劇襲擊了無數的中國人。在有記載的歷史中,古代中國估計平均每年都要經歷一次饑荒。食物在全國的流動供給一直是個問題。天氣、戰爭、蟲災、洪水,死亡和苦難一直伴隨著中國。且古代中國的人數多得難以想象。這是關鍵。許多人低估了中國的龐大規模。



In 500 BC, it already had more people than Australia has today. By 400 BC, it had passed the modern population of Canada. Today''''s British population was surpassed around 750 AD. The boundaries shifted, and with it the census areas, but over time China grew to be massive. During some periods, one in every 8 people in the world were Chinese. In other periods, that number was more like one in every three. Count up all the romance stories of the past. All the arguments. All the families and the interactions by people. A large portion of those were Chinese people. Everything humans have experienced has been experienced in China. By 1405, the Ming’s navy was larger than all of Europe’s navies combined. The enormous Navy sailed not for conquest, but for tribute visits and gifting trade. Though many Chinese believed the Earth was square-shaped, 28,000 men traveled the seas in a heavily armed military formation. Central Asia, Africa, the Middle East. Southeast Asia. China''''s powerful Navy flexed its muscles to all nearby countries. While it did occasionally interfere with local politics or daily life, in seven major voyages, China never sought to colonize. China was worried about china. And maybe it should have stayed that way, because a single encounter with a foreign nation set into motion a series of fateful events. These events would eventually lead to the near total destruction of the entire super-nation, the end of the empire, and the deaths of countless millions of people. Though this episode seems like the beginning, it''''s only the background of the story. Next, we will discuss the beginning of the end of china. And then we''''ll start the real story-it’s rebirth…

在公元前500年,它的人口已經超過了今天的澳大利亞。到公元前400年,它的人口已經超過了今天的加拿大。大約在公元750年左右人口超過了今天的英國。疆界在改變,人口普查區域也隨之改變。但隨著時間的推移,中國變得越來越龐大。在某些時期,世界上每八個人中就有一個是中國人。在某些時期,這個比例超過三分之一。把過去所有的愛情故事都加起來,所有的爭吵,所有的家庭和人們的互動,其中很大一部分都是中國人。人類所經歷的一切都在中國經歷過。到1405年,明朝的海軍規模已經超過了歐洲各國海軍的總和。龐大的海軍航行不是為了征服,而是為了考察藩屬國和禮物貿易。盡管當時許多中國人認為地球是方的,但2.8萬人組成全副武裝的軍事編隊在海上航行。中亞、非洲、中東、東南亞,中國強大的海軍向周邊國家展示了自己的實力。雖然它偶爾會干涉當地政治或日常生活,但在其次主要的航行中,中國從未尋求殖民。中國只關心中國。也許它應該保持這種狀態,因為與外國的一次邂逅就引發了一系列重大事件,這些事件最終將導致整個超級王朝幾乎完全毀滅。帝國的終結,以及無數人的死亡。雖然這一集看起來像是開始,但它只是故事的背景,接下來我們會討論古代中國毀滅的開始,然后我們會開始真正的故事——中國的重生…