As the largest land empire in history, the Mongol Empire plays an important role in the history of colonialism in China. This section gives an overview of Genghis Khan and the Mongol conquest of China.
In late 1100's Genghis Khan, a Mongol chieftain who was formerly called Temujin became the main force in unifying and organizing the scattered Mongol and other tribes into a powerful alliance. Perceived as ambitious, shrewd, ruthless, strict and a disciplinarian, Genghis Khan developed a path of conquest and thus, created a forceful, best-disciplined and most effective army in that time. The Army was the most important institution of the Mongol state.
On of the main desire of Genghis Khan was to conquer China. For reaching this, the attack was aimed first at Xi Xia, which was a state along the northwestern border of China. Representing the Chinese military pattern with Chinese-trained armies and Chinese-built fortresses, Xi Xia further served as a training for Genghis Khan to establish strategies again the Chinese.
After subduing Xi Xia after three massive invasions in 1205, 1207 and 1209, the Mongols turned to North China, where the Jin Dynasty was ruling. After capturing the major cities of Jin, Zhongdu, which is currently Beijing, more and more area in the north of the Yellow River were dominated by the Mongols. Furthermore, Genghis Khan established 'Khanbaliq' (city of the Khan) and made it the Mongol capital in China.
The Mongol conquest of North China took several decades and was not completed until 1234, after Genghis Khan's death.
Genghis Khan died in 1227 and his grandson Kublai Khan was appointed to be the new Khan, leader of the Mongols.
Kublai Khan completed the conquest of North China, Kublai Khan unified the vast land of the northern areas and founded a new dynasty in 1271, the Yuan Dynasty. By broadening the attack the South, the Mongols furthermore occupied South China. Kublai Khan launched fierce attacks against the southern Song Dynasty in 1726 and defeated the Song Dynasty. When the last emperor of Song committed suicide in 1279, the Mongols achieved their goal of conquering entire China.