Reading about Chinese history. China became a republic in 1912, the "Boxer Rebellion" of 1901 had already weakened the monarchy. Sun-Yat-Sen (1866-1925), a Chinese Nationalist fluent in English, was the provisional first president of the new rebublic, taking office on 01.01.1912.
Chiang-Kai-Shek (1888-1975), a member of the newly educated military elite, will become Mao's (1893-1976) main rival.
Reading about Confucianism. It's going to be interesting to see within the coming years, if this old tradition will still be relevant today in China (or even somehow worldwide).