China Before Mao Zedong and Communism

according to the Angus Madison database China together with India accounted for well over 50% of the world's GDP for most of the past 2,000 years yet despite being a very powerful country for a ridiculously long time and for example even having advanced navigation technology over a century before the Europeans China well never really cared about international trade and meaningfully interacting with other nations in general foreigners were perceived as cold unquote barbarians and interactions with them were kept to a minimum domination averse neighbors in the minimal interventionist manner sophisticated diplomacy to either keep barbarians at bay or pit them against one another etc China's combination between an efficient bureaucracy and skilled diplomacy allowed it to survive in relative isolation for quite a while despite occasional military shortcomings however as of the first Industrial Revolution other countries became too technologically superior and the China that was in no hurry to adopt new technology had to suffer in 1820 China was still the largest economy in the world but defeats such as the opium wars ones against the British Empire conflicts which started in 1839 forced China to reconsider its isolationism and trade with other nations at gunpoint within the decade after the Second Opium War was over its share of the world's GDP was could in half and what followed was a humiliating period of concessions and complicated relationships with not just Europeans but also the Russians and Japanese

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