War in early China played a significant role in the rise and fall of states and empires and had enormous impact on the development of warfare and military affairs in subsequent eras. The study of early Chinese warfare therefore offers us an important perspective to understand certain features of Chinese history and culture. This chapter provides an analytical overview of early Chinese warfare in three aspects. The first gives a general account of how war was conducted, sketching several transformations that gradually unfolded on the Spring and Autumn and Warring States battlefields; the second focuses on how war was prepared, especially on the sources of soldiers and their preparedness; the third discusses how war was perceived among early Chinese thinkers and statesmen, with emphasis on the notions of justification and legitimation of military violence.