According to the Japanese historian, Ichisada Miyazaki, who is the expert in Chinese history, remarked that China has observed more chaotic times than period where emperors reigned the country with stability and peace. 1
The ancient relics show that the country has lasted for more than 4000 years. The main Han tribe has been in conflict with Mongolian, Tibetan, Manchurian, Qidan, and other minority tribes, which reside in the surrounding regions ever since its early days. It is no wonder that China has been struggling with the Xingjiang issues till now.
Because of these conflicts with the surrounding regions and vast land and population, China has promoted rigid emperor system to sustain order and gained muscle of authoritarian type of dictatorship till now.
On the other hand, however, China has been the king of the East until the Opium War and attracted many Western leaders as well as the business trade owners that helped the Renaissance movement flourish. Also, its imperial Examination system has been a role model for Korea and Japan for a long time. The Chinese art, especially bone china has impacted the world and brought cultural influence in both East and West.
China established a position as a suzerain state in the East. The surrounding countries asked for permission to the emperor and tribute to enter the country. One of the reasons why China sustained this position was that it took the role to arbitrate the conflicts between the surrounding countries. It was a neutral hub, and even it pulled into a war like Yongzheng Emperor (1723-1735), when China conceded with the small countries. 2 This diplomatic measure in international affairs is a very rare exemplar case.
1. Yushinfu, Chuko-bunko, P.131
2. Yushinfu, Chuko-bunko, P.153