The kings of the Zhou Dynasty 周 (11th cent.-221 BCE) secured domination over a vast territory by giving distant regions into the hands of regional rulers (zhuhou 諸侯), many of them related to the royal house by kinship. These rulers were granted titles of nobility, like duke (gong 公), marquis (hou 侯), or viscount (bo 伯). While many of the smaller regional states were conquered by larger ones during the Spring and Autumn period 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE), the remaining of the regional rulers began during the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE) to appropriate the title of king (wang 王).
For the Western Zhou 西周 (11th cent.-770 BCE) and Spring and Autumn periods, traditional Chinese historians provide the annals and ruler lists of 13 regional states (incl. the semi-barbarian state of Wu 吳), for the Warring States period 7 (including Qin 秦). Information about lesser states is scarce. For the statelet of Qi 杞 and some others, just incomplete list of rulers have survived.
|ZHOU 周||Cai 蔡||Cao 曹||Chen 陳||Chu 楚|
|Jin 晉||Lu 魯||Qi 齊||Qi 杞||Qin 秦|
|Song 宋||Wei 衛||Wu 吳||Yan 燕||(Yue 越)|
|Zheng 鄭||[Han 韓]||[Fan 范]||[Wei 魏]||[Zhao 趙]|
|[Zhi 知 (智)]||[Zhonghang 中行]||[Ba 巴 and Shu 蜀]|
|ZHOU 周||Han 韓||Chu 楚||Yan 燕|
|Qin 秦||(Zheng 鄭)||Yue 越||Qi 齊|
|Wei 魏||Zhao 趙||(Cai 蔡)||Song 宋|
|Wei 衛||Zhongshan 中山||Lu 魯||[Ba 巴 and Shu 蜀]|
Apart from these larger states, there was a abundant number of statelets that was by and by conquered by larger states. The most important ones might be: Bei 邶, Bin 豳, Cheng 成/郕, Chui 垂, Fei 費, Guan 管, Gui 檜, Guo 虢, Hua 滑, Huo 霍, Ji 薊, Jiao 焦, Ju 莒, Kang 康, Kuai 鄶, Kui 夔, Liu 六, Long 龍, Ni 郳, Pi 邳, Quwo 曲沃, Ran or Na 冉 (冄, 𨚗, 𨚉), Ren 任, Sui 隨, Tan 郯, Tang 唐, Teng 滕, Xi 息, Xu 許, Xue 薛, Yang 陽, Yi 益, Ying 應, Ying 英, Yong 鄘, Yu 邘, Zeng 繒, Zhu 邾 (Zou 鄒, Zou 陬 or Zhulou 邾婁), Zhu 祝 and Yu 虞.