Chinese Inventions

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 4 April 2016

Chinese Inventions

I would like to continue with some other Chinese inventions, then introduce a small research and draw our conclusions. Paper Money
It is so common in out everyday life that we hardly give a thought to the fackt that it had to be invented by someone.

Around 650 AD (po kr.), the emperor of China began to issue paper “value tokens” for general use. The first paper banknotes appeared in China about 806 AD. Its original name was ‘flying money’ because it was so light it could blow out of one’s hand. As Marco Polo reported enthusiastically in 1275, “I tell you that people are glad to take these tokens, because wherever they go in the empire of the great Khan, they can use them to buy and sell as if they were pure gold”.

Yet paper money did not succeed. By the 15th century China had more or less given up paper money. Over this period, paper notes grew in production to the point that their value rapidly depreciated and inflation soared. Then beginning in 1455, the use of paper money in China disappeared for several hundred years. This was still many years before paper currency would reappear in Europe, and three centuries before it was considered common. Europeans had to wait until the 17th century when Sweden took the lead in issuing paper currency. Other countries gradually followed the Swedish example. (The first Western money was issued in Sweden in 1661. America followed in 1690, France in 1720, England in 1797, and Germany not until 1806.) Medicine. Blood circulation

China, Second Century BC.
Most people believe blood circulation was discovered by William Harvey in 1628, it appears that he is wrongly credited for this discovery. There are other recorded notations dating back to the writings of an Arab of Damascus, in 13th century. However, circulation was first discussed in full and complex form in The Yellow Emperor’s Manual of Corporeal Medicine in China by the second century BC.

This proves that Chinese medicine is also based on precise anatomical information as western doctors usually find it too vague and mystical or

Match, non-friction

The sources of information are full of stories related to the invention of matches and its developing history which was actually quite colourful. However all this information touches only Western countries. The first version of the match was invented in 577 AD by impoverished court ladies during a military siege as they desperately looked for materials to light fires for cooking and heating. The matches consisted of little sticks of pinewood impregnated with sulfur. However early matches in China were designed to be lit by an existing flame and carried to light another fire. And there is no evidence of matches in Europe before 1530, almost millennium later. And The self-striking, friction match was not made until 1827, John Walker. Other

Whisky and Brandy China, Seventh Century AD. Distilled wine was known in China by the 7th century. The distillation of alcohol in the West was discovered in Italy in the 12th century. Noodles and dumplings or pasta and ravioli? This is a popular food in China already for thousands of years. Is doesn’t really matter if Marco Polo introduced it to the west or was that already there by that time. Chinese win this race by some millenniums. A Calendar of 365.25 days First was created in China and only some centuries later in Rome. Chuiwan (Chinese golf) Chuiwan, a game similar to the Scottish-derived sport of golf, was first mentioned in China in 11th century AD (Golf invented in Scotland in 15th century). Cuju (football) The game of football known as cuju was first mentioned in China by two historical texts, 3rd to 1st centuries BC.

It is more than common to claim that Chinese differ from Europeans by having no imagination but great ability to memorise and copy while Europeans supposed to be creative. Even from my personal experience which let me evaluate Chinese way of life I was tend to think so. However, I knew about great inventions that China gave to the world and through preparing this
presentation I was hoping to find the answers to my questions: “where did all that creativity disappear?” “Was that Confucianism influence or maybe Marxism?” Looking for the contemporary scientific achievements I found this list of 6 names. These are claimed to be Chinese who received a Nobel Prize. Good for them, but… * Tsung-Dao Lee, Physics, 1957 – Chinese American

* Edmond H. Fischer, Physiology or Medicine, 1992 – Swiss-American (born in China) * Daniel C. Tsui, Physics, 1998 – Chinese American
* Gao Xingjian, Literature, 2000 – French Emigre
* Chen Ning Yang, Physics, 1957 – Chinese American
* Samuel C.C. Ting, Physics, 1976 – Michigan-born Chinese American What does that say?
As you can see, they are all Chinese American, or American born in China, or Chinese born in America, and one lives in France. With over a billion people, native Chinese do not win Scientific Nobel Prizes. Furthermore, in the case of Gao, the Chinese government officially regards him as an exiled dissident, and all of his works are banned. Now let‘s compare numbers. The groups I compare are based on social or national background. And Prize for peace is excluded as non-scientific. China – 6; Arabs – 5; Soviet Union – 14 (at all Russia – 17) USA – 294 (huge percent are Jewish); Jewish (in the world) – 154 In the case of the 5 Arabs who have won Scientific Nobel Prizes, 3 are Christian and the other two, though Muslim, are Arab-Americans. Just as in the case of Chinese, Arabs, unless they are Arab-Americans or non-Muslim, do not win Nobel Prizes. In the case of the Egyptian who won the literature prize, he was attacked by Muslims for his writings and died. Of course we consider that it might be difficult for the Nobel Prize jury to get information from certain regions, but we assume that numbers more or less shows the real situation. Our last idea

So we say that Chinese government, Soviets in the past era or Islam is or was holding back scientific progress. Religion or Governments that deny freedom and liberty just do not create anything. They can steal it, or buy it, but they cannot create it. These facts and conclusions do not claim that some nations are more intelligent than the others. It just illustrated that in certain times in China there were better conditions to create and adapt
something new that it is now. And opposite in the West. We hope you had fun or so… 😉


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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 4 April 2016

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