Throughout two-odd millennia of its existence, the Chinese empire encountered – like any other comparable polity worldwide – periods of internal wars and foreign incursions, alien occupations and devastating rebellions; at times the entire sociopolitical fabric disintegrated, and the very survival of Chinese civilization looked precarious. Yet spectacular collapses notwithstanding, after years, decades, or (in one case) centuries of turmoil, the empire was repeatedly resurrected in more-or-less the same territory and with similar functioning mode to that of the pre-turmoil period. In my paper I shall analyze this peculiar kind of imperial immortality in China, and shall argue that the major factor that contributed to the empire’s resilience was the common adherence of major political players to the empire’s fundamental political values, most notably the idea that “All-under-Heaven” should be ruled by a single monarch. Through analyzing the trajectory of the empire’s collapse and resurrection I shall demonstrate how hegemonic ideology can decisively shape political dynamics and how expectations of political unification can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.