The Chinese civilization are one of the East Asian civilizations in Age of Empires II along with the Japanese, Mongols, and in The Conquerors expansion, the Koreans. The Chinese are based on the Tang and Song dynasties of medieval China which were best known for their unprecedented technological innovations and highly populated cities that can accommodate millions of people by the 1200s, with the largest being Hangzhou. To reflect this achievement and for being one of the civilizations that suffered the least during the Dark Ages, they start with extra villagers and their Town Centers support a higher population. Although they have fewer resources to compensate, allied farms produce extra food. The unique unit of the Chinese is the Chu Ko Nu, a foot archer wielding the eponymous semi-automatic crossbow invented by the Chinese that would load a new bolt simultaneously as soon as the last one was fired. Chu Ko Nu fire multiple arrows at once and, if employed en masse, they can wreak havoc on infantry and even cavalry.
The Chinese lack access to two important late game gunpowder units, Hand Cannoneers and Bombard Cannons, which can be a huge flaw in late game. The lack of gunpowder units is ironic, since the cannon and the hand cannon were historically invented in China, in the Song dynasty as the earliest record of a written formula for gunpowder appears in the 11th century Song dynasty text, Wujing Zongyao. The lack of access for gunpowder units is more for gameplay balance rather than historical accuracy, but their unique technology, Rocketry, reflects their discovery of gunpowder and allows them to excel at long-range sieging to compensate the lack of Hand Cannoners and Bombard Cannons. The technology allows Chu Ko Nu and Heavy Scorpion to do the same job hand cannoneers and bombard cannons do in a weaker degree (giving them +2 and +4 attack respectively) and Demolition Ships are more durable as they have 50% more HP and allow them to reach their targets easier. Another Chinese invention that they lack is Block Printing, as the earliest woodblock printed fragments to survive are from China and are of silk printed with flowers in three colours from the Han Dynasty. Finally, the Chinese research all technologies more cheaply than any other civilization due to being the one of the most advanced civilizations on Earth during the time frame of Age of Empires II.
The Chinese have strong economic bonus. Chinese players on Random Maps start with six villagers instead of the usual three at the cost of having less starting resources, and their Town Centers supports ten units, which enables quicker expansion. They also have cheaper technologies - every technology's cost is decreased as they advance in age. Chinese Demolition Ships also have extra hitpoints. The Chinese unique unit is the Chu Ko Nu, which is a Crossbowman that fires three arrows in succession, but at a shorter range in comparison to normal Archers.
Unique Unit: Chu Ko Nu (foot archer that fires multiple arrows)
Unique Technologies: Rocketry (increased pierce attack for Chu Ko Nu and Scorpions), Great Wall(increases Walls' and Towers' HP)