The Sui dynasty (Chinese: 髓朝; Hanyu pinyin: Suĭ cháo) established central rule in China in A.D. 589 for the first time since the Han dynasty in A.D. 220. But the Sui dynasty ruled for only a very brief period of 29 years, until A.D. 618. Yet during this time, it accomplished something magnificent: it built the Grand Canal to connect northern and southern China. This tremendous engineering achievement consisted of a canal nearly 1240 miles long, with a road running alongside it on each side. It enabled the transportation of agricultural products such as rice from the fertile Yangtze River valley to northern China. Other construction also occurred, such as repairing walls that defend China. (The current “Great Wall of China” was based on walls built as early as 210 B.C., but its present form was not completed until the Ming dynasty (A.D. 1368-1544)). These enormous construction efforts are likely a contributing factor to the fall of Sui due to the crippling financial burden. The Sui dynasty ended in a revolution against high taxes in northern China and the assassination in 618 of the emperor Sui Yangdi. The Tang dynasty followed, a period considered one of the golden ages of China.