From ancient empire to economic giant, the world’s most populated nation is a land of contradictions
China, together with its recently returned territory Hong Kong, stands out as the world’s earliest civilization and, currently, the most populous one. The country’s long history—from dynastic empires in the B.C.-era to the rise of Communism in the 20th century to the extended financial boom of the 21st—traces its evolution into a global superpower.
Its enormous urban centers reflect the many facets of old and new China. Sites like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Bund in Shanghai and the Temple Street Night Market in Hong Kong point to China’s revered past, while their soaring skyscrapers and contemporary architectural structures showcase its leap into the future.