ChinaPeople's Republic of China has the control over most of the area of China, while the Republic of China controls the island of Taiwan and other small islands (including the Pescadores, Quemoy, and Matsu).
China is one of the oldest civilisations in the world. It has a recorded history of 5,000 years. It reached its golden age during the Tang Dynasty (about A.D. 10th century). It declined during the Qing Dyansty (around 1600s to 1900s), and many of its lands were lost to the British, the Japanese, and other strong countries. In 1911 a republic, the Republic of China was established. But its government was very weak, and military leaders in different parts of the country controlled the local governments.
In 1931, Japan invaded Manchuria, an area in the north of mainland China. On July 7, 1937, the Japanese invaded the rest of China, leading to the Sino-Japanese War. The war was fought for eight years, and millions of Chinese people were killed. The war, which actually became part of World War II, ended in 1945 when Japan surrendered unconditionally to the Allied Powers.
However, the Chinese Civil War later broke out between the Nationalists and the Communists, who earlier had helped each other to fight Japan during the Sino-Japanese War. The Communists, led by Mao Zedong, eventually won the war, and the Nationalists (led by Chiang Kai-shek) fled to Taiwan. The Communists declared the establishment of the People's Republic of China in Beijing on October 1, 1949.