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" The next half-century saw the fragmentation of China" or " The next half-century witnessed the fragmentation of China", which one is better?

Context:
Misrule, court intrigues, economic exploitation, and popular rebellions weakened the empire, making it possible for northern invaders to terminate the dynasty in 907. The next half-century saw the fragmentation of China into five northern dynasties and ten southern kingdoms.
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I am unable to choose-- they are both fine, Jobb. 'Witnessed' is of course a bit more formal. (Somewhere there is a thread concerning whether an inanimate 'century' can see or witness anything, but the metaphor, a common one, does not bother me a bit.)
Comments  
Now I understand 'witness' is more formal.