China’s story is among the most remarkable of humankind; her river valleys have been the location of a society that has not only shown continuity and consistency for perhaps 4000 years, but was also the inventor of paper, printing, firearms, credit banking and paper money, rudder steering and watertight compartments for ships, blast-furnace steel production and lock systems for canals, among many other foundations and tribulations of the modern world. The transfer of such things to Europe was slow but nevertheless consequential.
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