In the past half decade, the collapse of Communist-governed multinational states has inevitably brought disintegration: the seventy-year-old Soviet Union crumbled, Czechoslovakia divided peacefully, and civil war tore apart Yugoslavia. In China, the development of a market economy has led to a steady decline in the influence of Communist ideology; as the party’s controls weaken, more and more people wonder if China will face traumas of division and secession.
For over two thousand years Chinese politics has been dominated by distinct, sometimes parallel cycles. The first is a cycle of dynasties. From the Qin and Han to the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing, one dynasty perished and another was born. After the 1911 revolution ...
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