Have the past two centuries of a Western defined and dominated world order — the norms, rules and ways of thinking about the world — the very concept of modernity — been a historical anomaly? After all, until the early 1800s, really until the onset of the industrial age, China and India accounted for some 50% of the world economy. The list of Chinese inventions over its nearly 5000 year history is a long one, from gunpowder and the printing press to oceanic navigation decades before the West.

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