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History of migration in China

China has been a country of migration since the ancient period. Communities from #CentralAsia, North #Russia and Steppe land would travel across Chinese land. Chinese empire also had to stave off attacks from nomadic groups from the North and East. It was due to the attacks of the #Huns that the #GreatWall was built.⁣

In the Ancient period, China came in contact with nomadic groups known as the Five Barbarians. #Xiongnu became the most prominent one, as they defeated the Han dynasty. Later, they established several dynastic states within China. The #Mongols were the most dominant group to traverse China in the medieval period. They were a warrior community that had established a large empire in Central Asia by conquering parts of many other empires, including that of China. Mongols were one of the few non-Han dynasties that had managed to bring China under their control.⁣

#Europeans had been aware of the eminence of China since the medieval period due to Marco Polo’s writings and planned to establish trading relations with them. After occupying multiple nations in South East Asia, Europeans tried to force the Chinese emperor to open trade relations. Chinese administration was tired of the European interference and their interest in selling opium to the Chinese population, resulting in the two Opium Wars. The defeat of the emperor would allow new entry points for the Europeans, including #Shanghai. European powers decided to divide the trading rights and territorial control amongst themselves, the incident famously known as ‘carving the Chinese melon’.⁣

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, #European, #Russian and #American merchants and military leaders tried to pry their way into China and weaken the administration. However, the rise of Japanese imperialism led to the Japanese conquest of #Manchuria. #Japan controlled Chinese territory until the end of WW2.⁣

The migration of people into China through history resulted in a multi-ethnic nature of today's population. People’s Republic Party recognises 56 ethnic groups, but some remain unrecognised and intentionally marginalised by the government.

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