The Chinese have not invented anything in the last 600 years, right? Or, how in the 1680s China became the West’s bogeyman, along with Islam. China Rising Radio Sinoland 240401




Sixteen years on the streets, living and working with the people of China, Jeff








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Here is a comment I got from a reader about China Tech,

I appreciate an alternative viewpoint as much as the next guy, but China being the primary locus of engineering and technological innovation for 5000 years is absurd. What of the antikythera mechanism? The Parthenon? Euclidean geometry? The discovery of musical scales? Roman Roads? Roman concrete? The Coliseum? Flying buttresses? Bifocal lenses? Modern musical notation? The Gutenberg printing press? The scientific method? JS Bach? The sextant? Electricity? Telegraphs? Refrigeration? Plumbing? Internal combustion engines Powered flight? Rocketry? Microchips? Antibiotics? The list goes on and on. The mind boggles. There is no Chinese equivalent.


Here is my reply,

Hi Oliver,

I appreciate your comments about Chinese science, technology, innovation and invention. From the early 1500s, China was lauded and admired by Europeans at all levels of society. They were enamored with Sinoland. In philosophy, great minds like French Voltaire and German Leibnitz were extolling the virtues of Confucism and Daoism. Chinese Great Works were being translated, published and read at all levels. Everyday folk were drinking Chinese tea and moving up the socioeconomic ladder, boatloads of Chinese spices, bric-a-bac, trinkets, jewelry, tools, machinery, furniture, paintings, clocks, clothing, silk and porcelain were clogging Europe’s ports.

By the 1680s, the dawn of the Age of Enlightenment, the European people were becoming more literate, because of a vast amount of printing on those Gutenberg presses that were actually invented by the Chinese long before. The good Christian masses in Europe were becoming unsettled about the rape, pillage and slavery of colonialism around the world and were starting to ask questions. The monarchies and the elites of Europe decided that this was something that needed to be nipped in the bud.

These 1% decided that in order to focus the people’s energies on other things besides the genocide being perpetrated from colonialism across the world, they came up with two enemies, Islam and China. Immediately, everything that was great about China, all of its myriad innovations and inventions disappeared and suddenly they were sui generis, now created by Europeans. Chinese who, China where? With the Ottoman Empire, the Europeans had a convenient nearby enemy to attack to foment Islamophobia.

Since then, the denial of Chinese science, technology, innovation and invention has been full bore. Thus, I can appreciate your lack of knowledge about it. Dr. Joseph Needham, the greatest Sinologist of the 20th century, estimated that 50% to 60% of all the innovation and invention in the West originally came from the Chinese, just like the printing press. His posthumous institute, even 20 years ago, had already collected 22 million words of text about China’s science, technology, innovation and invention going back thousands of years.

I strongly suggest checking out the website below that has a lot of useful information. You should print out the Table of Time Lags PDF that I created from the book, “The Genius of China: 3000 Years of Science, Discovery and Invention”, written by Robert Temple. It was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II to honor the return of Hong Kong to the Motherland in 1997. You should check out Temple’s book at the library or you can even find it for free now in PDF form, but with all the visuals, it’s much more fun in print. It is concise and entertaining. You will be shocked to find out how much has been invented by the Chinese, long before Westerners. And it just scratches the surface. On this same page are a number of books and resources on the history of China Tech.

China Tech: Invention, Innovation, Technology, Research and Development – Past, Present, Future – 5,000 Years of Progress. A China Rising Radio Sinoland Living Document.


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JEFF J. BROWN, Editor, China Rising, and Senior Editor & China Correspondent, Dispatch from Beijing, The Greanville Post

Jeff J. Brown is a geopolitical analyst, journalist, lecturer and the author of The China Trilogy. It consists of 44 Days Backpacking in China – The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass (2013); Punto Press released China Rising – Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations (2016); and BIG Red Book on China (2020). As well, he published a textbook, Doctor WriteRead’s Treasure Trove to Great English (2015). Jeff is a Senior Editor & China Correspondent for The Greanville Post, where he keeps a column, Dispatch from Beijing and is a Global Opinion Leader at 21st Century. He also writes a column for The Saker, called the Moscow-Beijing Express. Jeff writes, interviews and podcasts on his own program, China Rising Radio Sinoland, which is also available on YouTubeStitcher Radio, iTunes, Ivoox and RUvid. Guests have included Ramsey Clark, James Bradley, Moti Nissani, Godfree Roberts, Hiroyuki Hamada, The Saker and many others. [/su_spoiler]

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