开元盛世 The Flourishing Kaiyuan Reign Period
Kaiyuan (713-741 AD) was the earlier reign period of Li Longji, Emperor Xuanzong (r.712-756 AD). The unprecedented prosperity of these years earned them the description "The Prosperous Kaiyuan Period".
Emperor Xuanzong was the grandson of Wu Zetian, but he modeled his rule on that of Emperor Taizong. He made use of capable people, listened to his ministers'advice and devoted himself to affairs of state. He demonstrated his capability with prompt measures one year to combat a plague of locusts in northern China, and saved the people from starvation.
The renowned poet Du Fu described the prosperity of that time in his poem "emembering the Past": "I remember the good old Kaiyuan days/When even a small county had ten thousand households/The rice shone and the corn was white/And granaries of state and people burst with grain alike."
During the Kaiyuan Period, the society was stable and peaceful, and commerce and transportation were highly developed. Yangzhou, located where the Grand Canal meets the Yangtze River, was a bustling city where merchants from all over China and abroad converged. Chang'an, the capital of the Tang Dynasty, was then one of the world's great metropolises. Envoys, merchants, scholars and artisans of many countries flocked to Chang'an to trade, and to study the advanced culture and technology of the Tang Dynasty.