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People's Republic of China

The ancient [Chinese civilization] —one of the world's earliest—flourished in the fertile basin of the [Yellow River] which flows through the [North China Plain] . For more than 4,000 years, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies (also known as [dynasties] ). The first of these dynasties was the [Xia] (approx 2000BC) but it was the later [Qin Dynasty] that first unified China in 221 BC. The last dynasty, the [Qing] , ended in 1911 with the founding of the [Republic of China] (ROC) by the [Kuomintang] (KMT), the Chinese Nationalist Party. The first half of the 20th century saw China plunged into a period of [disunity and civil wars] that divided the country into two main political camps – the Kuomintang and the [communists] . Major hostilities ended in 1949, when the communists won the civil war and established the People's Republic of China in [mainland China] . The KMT-led Republic of China government retreated to [Taipei] , its jurisdiction now limited to Taiwan and several outlying islands. Since then, the PRC has been involved in disputes with the ROC over issues of sovereignty and the [political status of Taiwan] .

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