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China, also known as Zhongguo, the Middle Kingdom, (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang) and Cathay, (TV: Marco Polo) and officially known as the People's Republic of China, (TV: Children of Earth: Day Three) was the oldest and most populous nation on Earth by the 20th century. (TV: Four to Doomsday) It was located on the continent of Asia. Its capital city was Peking, also known as Beijing.


Cities in China included Fuzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Ningbo, Shanghai and Wenzhou. Tai Lake was also located there. (TV: The Gathering)


Many languages were spoken in China, such as Mandarin, which was the most prominent language on Earth in the 21st century. (TV: Children of Earth: Day One) Other dialects included Cantonese, Hokkien, Manchu and Wu. (TV: The Mind of Evil, The Gathering; AUDIO: Sympathy for the Devil)

Time zone[]

China's time zone was five hours ahead of Moscow, seven hours ahead of France and eight hours ahead of GMT, the time zone of the United Kingdom. (TV: The Sontaran Stratagem)

The Doctor and China[]

The Doctor visited China several times at various points throughout its history. (TV: Marco Polo et al.)

The Third Doctor was once heard to speak in both Cantonese and Hokkien. (TV: The Mind of Evil) In his fourth incarnation, the Doctor claimed that he could speak all Chinese dialects including Mandarin and Cantonese. By that point in his life, he hadn't visited China in four hundred years. (TV: The Talons of Weng-Chiang) The Eleventh Doctor would later write a message in Chinese script. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)


Early history[]

China was originally known as the Middle Kingdom. The word "China" originally meant "perfumed garden". The word eventually came to be associated with the Middle Kingdom. (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang)

Circa 5519 BC, Monarch abducted Lin Futu and other natives of China. (TV: Four to Doomsday)

Prior to the unification of China and the reign of Qin Shi Huang, bands of Chinese dacoity lived in the mountains of Sichuan. They committed acts of banditry on behalf of their god Weng-Chiang, an ethnic corruption of Sung-Chiang, the god of thieves and criminals. These groups were the ancient forebears to the Tong of the Black Scorpion.

In the 3rd century B.C., Qin Shi Huang unified China under one empire, of which he became the first Emperor. (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang) The capital, at this time, was in Xian. (PROSE: Marco Polo)

In 221 BC, the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond visited the early-Qin dynasty to leave a message for River Song on a vase. The message was the expression, "Yowza", written in period Chinese script. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)

In 210 B.C., the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and Victoria Waterfield encountered Qin Shi Huang. (AUDIO: The Emperor of Eternity) Qin Shi Huang later died from from obesity and heavy metal poisoning from eating powdered jademercury and gold dust intended to make him live longer. (PROSE: The Eleventh Tiger)

One of the ships used by the Eternals in their contest for Enlightenment was a Chinese ship crewed by Chinese sailors from the Qin dynasty. (TV: Enlightenment)

13th century[]

The Venetian Marco Polo travelled throughout China (then called Cathay) as the then-emperor Kublai Khan would not permit him to return home. In 1289, the First Doctor, Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright and Susan Foreman travelled hundreds of miles to Kublai's palace in Peking. Polo planned to give the TARDIS to Kublai Khan, but eventually allowed the Doctor and his companions to escape. (TV: Marco Polo) The journey lasted several months. (PROSE: Nightshade; AUDIO: 1963: The Space Race)

While closely pursued by guards, Amy Pond and Rory Williams brought Chinese food from the Liao Palace to the TARDIS. (GAME: The Gunpowder Plot)

17th century[]

In the 17th century, the Manchu dynasty usurped the empire from the Ming dynasty. To resist the Manchus, several old Hung secret societies re-formed. They eventually evolved into the Tongs and Triads, including the Black Scorpion. (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang)

18th century[]

In the 18th century, the British established a lucrative opium trade in China. (PROSE: Foreign Devils)

19th century[]

In December 1800, riots orchestrated by the Chinese Emperor and his Chief Astrologer broke out in Canton against the British Trade Concession in an attempt to obstruct the British opium trade. The Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe visited China at this time. (PROSE: Foreign Devils)

Prior to the 1860s, China fought Britain and France in the Opium Wars (PROSE: The Eleventh Tiger) which led to the fall of the Chinese Empire. (PROSE: The Nightmare Fair, AUDIO: The Nightmare Fair)

In 1865, the First Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki Pallister visited China where they encountered the Wong Kei-Ying and Wong Fei-Hung who helped them defeat the Mandragora Helix. (PROSE: The Eleventh Tiger)

In 1872, Magnus Greel's 51st century time cabinet landed in the Jade Emperor Temple in Shangdong province. Li H'sen Chang found Greel and, believing him to be the god Weng-Chiang, became his devoted follower. The cabinet was seized by Emperor Tongzhi's army. In 1873, Professor George Litefoot's family departed China after his father had died. As a going-away present, Emperor Tongzhi gave Litefoot's mother a puzzle box which turned out to be Greel's time cabinet. (TV: The Talons of Weng-Chiang, PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang)

20th century[]

Captain Jack Harkness was active in China during the Boxer Rebellion, where he worked with explosives. (TV: The Blood Line) The First Doctor and his granddaughter Susan Foreman visited Peking during the rebellion and used smoke bombs to escape. (AUDIO: The Flames of Cadiz)

In 1911, Sun Yat Sen led an alliance of Nationalist warlords in a revolution which overthrew the boy Emperor Pu Yi. The alliance formed into the Kuomintang which became the governing party of China.

Chiang Kai-shek became leader of the Kuomintang and made efforts to suppress the growing communist movement in China fostered by the USSR in the north. The communists were successfully driven to the mountains of north and central China, bordering Mongolia. However, unable to dislodge them further, the struggle devolved into a stalemate. (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang)

On 27 July 1928, the Fifth Doctor, Tegan Jovanka and Turlough met Edward Grainger near Mount Lishan in China. (PROSE: Falling from Xi'an)

In 1931, Japan invaded the province of Manchuria in north-east China and established the puppet state of Manchukuo. (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang) The occupying Kwantung Army set the Chinese peasants in the region to work constructing Zhong Ma Fortress, where the young military scientist Ishii Shiro led experiments in biological warfare. (PROSE: Log 384) Disputes between China and Japan over Manchuria/Manchukuo persisted through the middle of the decade. (PROSE: The Year of Intelligent Tigers)

In 1932, the Chinese and Japanese clashed in Shanghai. The intervention of western powers seeking to protect their trade centres in the city defused the situation. (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang)

In 1933, the Seventh Doctor and Edward Grainger went on a mission to occupied Manchuria to save Mai Ling from the Zhong Ma Fortress. (PROSE: Log 384)

Fighting occurred between the Chinese and Japanese forces in 1936. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the War Games) In July 1937, the Japanese Army, which had agitated for further expansion into China beyond Manchuria, engineered a fight against the Chinese forces at Marco Polo Bridge. This sparked war between the two nations. Shortly after, the Japanese began launching air raids against Shanghai and KMT troops trains moving Chinese soldiers to the front lines in Shangdong.

In August 1937, the Fourth Doctor and Romana I visited China, where Hsien-Ko was attempting to prevent the death of Magnus Greel.

The Japanese eventually moved into Shanghai.

In 1941, a group of Alpha Centaurans became stranded in Shanghai. The Doctor, "a couple of centuries" before his fourth incarnation, assisted them. (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang)

The experiments conducted in Zhong Ma Fortress and its successor, Unit 731, produced biological weapons which the Japanese used to devastating effect in China before they surrendered to the Americans in 1945. (PROSE: Log 384)

By 1951, the Communists had won control of China from the Kuomintang. The country took part in the Korean War. (PROSE: Endgame)

In 1967, Fitz Kreiner was taken to China by Red Army soldiers. (PROSE: Revolution Man)

In the 1970s, China sent General Cheng Teik as a delegate to the first World Peace Conference in London. He was killed by his aide, Chin Lee, who was under the control of the Master. (TV: The Mind of Evil) Perhaps as a result of this, China was very reluctant to participate in the second World Peace Conference until persuaded by Sir Reginald Styles. (TV: Day of the Daleks)

During the Cold War in the late 20th century, China was counted as one of the superpowers alongside Russia and America. At one point, to avoid warfare, all three superpowers gave their destructor codes to Great Britain. (TV: Robot)

In 1979, China invaded Vietnam. (TV: Tooth and Claw)

In 1997, China gained sovereignty over Hong Kong. In advance of this, agents of China's Public Security Bureau created the fake Tao Te Lung triad to lure in potential kingpins and neutralise them. (PROSE: Bullet Time) In a parallel universe, China also gained sovereignty over Hong Kong at this time. (AUDIO: Sympathy for the Devil)

In 1998, the Three Families discovered that the Blessing passed through Shanghai. (TV: The Blood Line)

21st century[]

By 2007, H.C. Clements had an office in China. (TV: The Runaway Bride)

By 2009, China was part of the worldwide nuclear grid overseen by UNIT. (TV: The Poison Sky) Osterhagen Station 5 was located there. (TV: Journey's End)

In 2009, the People's Republic of China was among the nations which agreed to let John Frobisher speak on their behalf to the 456. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Three)

On Christmas Day 2009, when the Master used the Immortality Gate, all 2.5 million soldiers of the Chinese Central Military Commission became duplicates of him. (TV: The End of Time)

During the Miracle Day phenomenon in 2011, contraceptives were placed in the water supply of mainland China. (TV: Dead of Night) China dropped out of the United Nations. (TV: The Gathering)

During the Year of the Slow Invasion, Shakri cubes were reported in China. (TV: The Power of Three)

In 2020, the country sent the Long March 5B into space to explore the Ratts Transit Station that was orbiting the Earth. (PROSE: At Childhood's End)

In 2021, the Seventh Doctor noted that China "pretty much [ran]" the Moon. (AUDIO: The Harvest)

In 2048, China was taken over by Hong Kong. (PROSE: St Anthony's Fire)

22nd century[]

During the 22nd century Dalek occupation of Earth, a human resistance movement was formed in China, but was crushed by the Daleks within days. (AUDIO: Masters of Earth)

Undated events[]

At some point after the 1970s, Chinese scientist Chung Sen experimented with time travel. (TV: Invasion of the Dinosaurs)

Alternative timelines[]

In Roma I, Seres was ruled by the Ming and Yuan dynasties. Emperor Yung Lo built a formidable navy and waged a 28-year-long world war against the Roman Empire. This ended when Yung Lo and Roman Emperor Cosimo met on the Great Wall and agreed to a coin toss. Cosimo won the game and became ruler of both empires; in Roma III, the Seres won, but decamped to Rome and "togafied." (PROSE: Warlords of Utopia)

In the Year That Never Was, Martha Jones claimed to have gone to Beijing to collect one of the vials of liquid needed to arm the gun she was allegedly preparing to kill the Master with. (TV: Last of the Time Lords)

In Donna's World, China was choked by the ATMOS gas before the Sontaran invasion of Earth was thwarted by the sacrifice of Torchwood Three. (TV: Turn Left)

In an alternate timeline created by the Sontarans during their Flux assault, Russia and China were replaced by Sontar. During the alternate version of the Crimean War, the British fought against Sontarans. (TV: War of the Sontarans)

Parallel universes[]

In the Unbound Universe, the Master defected to China following the failed World Peace Conference after seeing more practical applications for the parasites that powered the Keller Machine, constructing more for them and creating the Ke Le Divisions to enforce security across China. By 1997, when Hong Kong was to be turned over to Chinese from the British, the Master's machines no longer functioned, due to the parasites being sated with the Master fleeing the Chinese. Seeking to wash their hands of everything, the Chinese destroyed the parasites via a nuclear weapon, the Doctor and Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart depositing the last parasite onto the site. (AUDIO: Sympathy for the Devil)


Clara Oswald had a travel guide to China in her collection. (TV: The Bells of Saint John)

Senator Alcott's worst fear was the Chinese. Chin Lee nearly had the Keller Machine kill him through this fear, but the Third Doctor stopped her. (TV: The Mind of Evil)