Popular Chinese Inventions That Shaped the Modern World

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One central feature of the incredibly rich and beautiful culture of China is the affinity that Chinese people have for invention. In fact, some of the most important inventions that helped shape the modern world came from China! It’s safe to say that without the export of some inventions that are listed below, the rest of the world would never have developed as it has today.

Paper and Printing

The first sheets of paper are said to have been created during the Han Dynasty around 105 BC, by an imperial court official. While historians disagree with the correct age and date when such a monument event took place, no one questions the importance that this invention gave to the written word not only in China, but also the rest of the world.

In fact, it was this invention that led to the development of another, equally important one i.e. printing which was first achieved (by the Chinese) by using wooden blocks with letters etched on them. 

The Compass

It was extremely difficult, if not impossible for ships to travel over long distances in the time when sailors still used to navigate with the help of stars (impossible to do during the day and on cloudy nights). Then the compass was invented somewhere between the 9th and 11th centuries, which helped solve the problems of navigation.

The then advanced compass technology was passed and shared to the rest of the world with the help of nautical contact and drastically increased sea trade as well as contact between cultures.      

Chinese Inventions

Kites and Movable Sails

China had one of the most advanced maritime forces in the world early in the country’s history. Part of this was because the compass, but another invention helped usher the Chinese as well as the rest of the world into the modern age. The invention of easily movable sails is still considered as the most important and contributing factor for shaping the modern world.

The Chinese invented kites nearly two thousand years before the discovery of sails was made by the Europeans. The kites weren’t merely children’s toys but an important part of military messaging systems that were largely being used in that time. In fact, this invention in turn led to the development of the world’s first ever moving sails that were very different from the ones used by the Europeans and Arabs of that time.

Recognizing the accomplishments of the Chinese in these aspects is the first step to maintaining strong and cordial relations, especially if you are just entering the Chinese market. Translating your website’s content into their dominant language is an effective way to achieve this as well. 

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