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China is a strong, versatile faction, wiht bonuses to trade, science, and a great unique combat unit. This faction will fit into many styles of play.
Pangaea or continents. China needs some room to spread, regardless of whether you intent to cuild just a fw cities or as many as you can.
The ability to boost science and trade together cannot be overrated. With the Paper Maker, China can boost both science and trade together. Once yu have discovered Writing, every city should build a Paper Maker before anything else.
The Cho-ku-no unit replaces the Crossbow and has a slightly lower strength. This is more than compensated for by the ability to shoot twice, something ranged units need 100XP to do normally, and then only by taking specific upgrades before that. The additional attack remain with the unit even after it is upgraded, making your Gatling Guns something to watch out for too.
Your first task is to get to Writing as quickly as you can to build those incredible Paper Maker buildings.
Once this is achieved, your next stop is Machinery for those Cho-ku-no. If you aren’t too worried about the unit, your way is clear to research whatever will most help your chosen victory condition. I did say China is a versatile faction.
Your first policy
Tradition. A lot of these faction guides are going to nominate Tradition. Any other choice can only be second best.
Your first 50 turns
Secure your capital, scout the nearby terrain for a good second city location, and research Writing. These ar eyour first three tasks and will take most of this time to achieve.
Pantheon of Choice
Religion is not necessary when playing China, which means you can choose whichever Pantheon bes suits your current position.
China is versatile enough to go for any win condition. Science is probably the easiest, due to the early Paper Maker bonus.