The Sui Dynasty, founded by Yang Jian in 581, was responsible for unifying China for the first time in 400 years. The capital was re-established at Chang’an .Yang Jian turned Chinese religion from Confucianism to Buddhism and Daoism. The strength of both belief systems were evident as monasteries for both were built in the capital and Buddhist monks were appointed as key advisers in the government. A major accomplishment of the Sui Dynasty was the construction of the Grand Canal. The Canal linked the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers and provided for political, social, and economic uses. Politically, the Canal was used as an imperial highway for the emperor to inspect the kingdom and used as a means to rapidly deploy troops to the various provinces. The Canal was used socially for quick communications throughout the country. It also facilitated shipments of grains, rice, and other needed commodities from rural south China to the over-populated northern region. The Sui Dynasty came to an end in 618 after Emperor Sui Yangdi’s murder. Li Yuan, a general under the Sui, took control of the empire during the instability that followed the murder and established the Tang Dynasty.
The Tang Dynasty began in 618 and continued to build on the accomplishments of the Sui. The main feature of the Tang was the expansion of the Chinese empire. The Dynasty expanded their influence over the area south of the Yangtze River and took control of Tibet. The Xinjiang province was established in the northwestern section of the empire. Significant diplomatic and economic relations began between China and other country-states in Southeast Asia. Chang’an had been restored to its