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To what extent was China a unified country in the early imperial period (Qin through Tang)?

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  1. Periods of political chaos
  2. A centralized empire
  3. The myth of China's isolation
  4. The Chinese identity and the Confucian thoughts

To a large extent, China can be considered as a dramatically diverse country. Firstly, while its physical boundaries were constantly changing throughout its history, its territory remained constantly perceived as a juxtaposition of contrasting environments. Moreover, since the evolution of the 1950s, Chinese scholars and politicians have especially laid extra emphasis on China's ethnic and cultural diversity. However, despite the political purpose and influence of such claims, it is evident that China was and continues to remain a multiethnic country inhabited by various minorities. Additionally, Hansen titled in her book, that China can be considered as an ?open empire' which comprises of various relationships with the outside world. All these thoughts and facts just reiterate the significance and growth that China has witnessed and its zest to acquire more and more. To cite another critical example, China developed a tremendous network of trade routes known as the ?Silk Road' theory. Through this, the country received numerous kinds of influences which could have impeded the construction of a Chinese identity during the early imperial period.

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