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The Chinese Empire referred to the ancient imperial system which governed China for many centuries.

The Empire was founded in the 3rd century BC by Qin Shi Huangdi, who unified China and became the first Emperor under the Qin dynasty. (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang, The Eleventh Tiger, AUDIO: The Emperor of Eternity, COMIC: The Immortal Emperor)

In the 17th century, the Manchu dynasty usurped the Empire from the Ming dynasty. (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang)

The Empire collapsed around the 1860s as a result of the Opium Wars, in which China fought Britain and France. (PROSE: The Eleventh Tiger, The Nightmare Fair, AUDIO: The Nightmare Fair)

The last remnants of Imperial China were wiped away in 1911 when Sun Yat Sen's Nationalist alliance ousted the boy Emperor Pu Yi and the Kuomintang came to power. (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang)

According to the Sixth Doctor, the Chinese Empire at the time of its collapse was corrupt, making it an attractive playing field for powerful beings such as the Celestial Toymaker. He opined that it would have been to the Toymaker's benefit if the Empire had lasted for a few hundred more years. (PROSE: The Nightmare Fair, AUDIO: The Nightmare Fair)