Emperor Qian Long is particularly known for his great patronage of the arts and Buddhism. He was one of the longest-reigning and most enlightened rulers of the Chinese Qing dynasty (1644-1911). He was the grandson of the Kangxi Emperor who also ruled for sixty years (1662-1722), and who greatly fostered cultural and intellectual life. The Qing were Manchurian horsemen who, like other foreign rulers, absorbed the culture and administrative system of China.
At the age of 25 years old Qian Long was selected by Kangxi Emperor to succeed the throne and he learnt his grandfather's and father's way of state administration. He skillfully used Buddhism to unite all the different ethic groups including Manchu, Han and Tibetan to consolidate his imperial power. Till today if you go to Wu Tai Shan you will see the inscription of Buddhism in Manchurian, Tibetan, Mongolian and Han on a pillar of a temple, which is a symbol of unity.
Qian Long's reign in particular has been termed one of China's golden ages, during which the economy expanded, and China was the wealthiest and most populous country in the world. Qian Long was greatly ambitious, he made Tibet a protectorate and he went on to conquer other nations to expand his empire. Towards the end greed and corruption of his officials weaken and cause a downfall to his empire.