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(907–1125) Dynasty formed by the nomadic Khitan tribes in much of present-day Manchuria, Mongolia, and the northeastern corner of China proper. The Chinese portion of the empire was governed on the Tang pattern, while the northern part was set up on a tribal basis. After the establishment of the Song dynasty (960–1279), the Liao carried out a border war for control of northern China. Eventually the Song agreed to pay the Liao an annual tribute. The Juchen, former subjects of the Liao, destroyed the dynasty in 1125 but adopted most of its governmental system. The name Cathay for China derives from Khitay, another name for the Khitan.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Liao dynasty, visit Britannica.com.
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