Explain Why Europe And The West? Why Not China?

891 Words4 Pages
Why Europe and the West? Why not China? attempts to explain why the Republic of China has lagged behind European countries and the United States in terms of development. Landes offers some insightful historical information from which he bases his argument for the Chinese’s sluggish economical development in the last millennium. The Chinese had traditionally been at par with their European counterparts in terms of knowledge, skills and technology since the middle ages. In fact, China had more advanced technology and resources in the tenth century compared to Europe, which at that time had deteriorated after the demise of the Roman and Greek Empires. Landes therefore provides an argument as to why China, with its mighty population, expansive territorial dominion and wealth, failed to surge ahead of Europe and the West in terms of development. Landes argues that China had a chance not only to create a long-term, self-sufficient practice of technological and scientific progression based on its native cultural institutions, but also to discover new information from technology and science presented by the Europeans early in the sixteenth century. China failed to utilize these two potentially progressive and transformational avenues. As early as the thirteenth century, China had a robust textile industry that was driven by machines, a technological invention that would only…show more content…
He asserts that Republic of China lacked a liberated market and proper rights for private ownership of property. These made it possible for the Chinese authorities to incessantly interfere with the private commercial businesses of citizens; by taking over some private business enterprises, haphazardly changing prices of goods and services and demanding bribes. The government also sought to control the country’s natural resources and discouraged trade as it was considered a threat to the stability of the imperial
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