In terms of full-fledged "civilization" Sumer (as well as the Indus Valley, Egypt and a few others) is usually ranked as being older than China, by about 1300-2200 years in the case of Sumer. Obviously people were living in China during and before the rise of Sumer, and had a culture, but it didn't rise to the level of a civilization. See, for example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilization#African_and_Eurasian_civilizations_of_the_.22Old_World.22 Evidence suggests that agriculture also began in the middle east and was the spur that sparked civilizations. Only once that made its way to China (stoen by the Chinese! Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!), were they able to settle in fixed locations and start a true civilization.