The Song dynasty began in 960 and continued until 1279. During this period, China experienced sharp economic growth and became the world's most advanced economy, with science, technology, philosophy, and mathematics flourishing. It was the first government to issue banknotes in the whole history of the world and also the earliest to use gunpowder and invent the movable type printing. The high fertility made a growing number of people flock to cities where there were lively entertainment quarters. Social life during the Song was vibrant. Citizens gathered to view and trade precious artworks. The Song’s government system was also advanced then. For example, government officials were recruited through competitive examinations.
The Tang dynasty began in 618 and ended in 907, which was the most glorious period in Chinese history. Through three hundred years’ development, it became the most prosperous powerful country in the world, and its capital, Chang’an, was the largest metropolis in the world. At that time, economy was developed, business flourishing, social order stable, and even the border opening up. With the increase of wealth of urbanization, art and literature prospered as well. Li Bai and Du Fu were poets known for the natural and concise works. Their poems touched the hearts of scholars and ordinary people, many of which are still read and recited today by children and adults.
The Ming Dynasty, which reigned China for 276 years, is described as one of the greatest epochs with orderly governance and social stability in human history. During this period, the development of handicraft industry promoted the development of market economy and urbanization. Large scale of commodities, including wine and silk, were sold in the market. Meanwhile, many foreign goods such as clocks and tobacco were imported. Business centers like Beijing, Nanjing, Yangzhou, Suzhou were taking shape in succession. It was also in Ming Dynasty that Zheng He led the seven large-scale expeditions to the Indian Ocean. Particularly worth mentioning is that three of the four great classics in Chinese literature are written during the Ming Dynasty.