"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."
-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
2 China’s Giant History in Brief4 China’s Giant History in BriefChina’s Giant History in BriefChapter 6: The Big Cycle of China and Its Currency2020-10-09Journal
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Over most of last 1,400+ years most dynasties were very powerful, civilized, and cultured. Under the Tang Dynasty, China expanded its borders extensively and experienced a cultural flourishing; in the Northern and Southern Song Dynasties (from the 900s to the 1200s), China was the most innovative and dynamic economy in the world; in the Ming Dynasty (1300s to 1600s), China was a great power that enjoyed an extended wonderful period that was both very prosperous and very peaceful; and in the early Qing Dynasty (1600s to 1700s), China had its maximum territorial expansion, governing over a third of the world’s population while having an extremely strong economy. Then in the early 1800s and through the first half of the 1900s, China lost its power while European countries, and especially the British Empire, gained theirs. The shift of relative wealth and power from Asia to Europe from around 1800 until recently, which created one of the biggest wealth and power shifts in world history in which China was uniquely weak, should be considered an anomaly rather than a norm. This evolution and the lessons this history provides are very much in the minds of Chinese leaders and are especially interesting to me.