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Chinese Innovations

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In many years, the Chinese have had great innovations that have helped to bring about major technological developments and globalization all together. The four major innovations by the Chinese consisted of compass, gunpowder, printing and paper. The innovations took place in a number of the traditional Chinese dynasties, Tang dynasty being major of these dynasties that these major innovations took place. Details of these innovations in the times of Tang dynasty, and their contribution to globalization are going to be discussed.

Paper is thought to have been invented by a Chinese by the name Chai Lun during the second century. Contrarily new archeological discoveries indicate paper to have been in use in china for the last 200 years with China being the pioneers in use of paper (Ray, 5). In then days, the paper was made from materials like rags, tree back, worn out fishing nets, and tree backs. In these days paper is still being made out of wood pulp and rags. In the times of the Tang dynasty, a number of improved types of paper were produced.  The various papers were made from hemp, bamboo and hide. Another type was Xuan paper used by the Chinese for inscription and painting due its good attributes of being white with a fine texture and it is also long lasting.

According to Antonio (293), this is the major innovation that followed paper invention and production. Printing came with an advantage of increasing the pool of information by actually revolutionizing this sector of communication. The information could now be printed unlike before when it was only passed by   mouth or expensive manuscripts. As printing was innovated and during the time of its development in Tang dynasty, the technology grew into many other Asian countries like Vietnam, Japan, Philippines, Korea, and many others. Apart from the many advantages that came with the printing technology, there were also disadvantages that included one error spoiling the whole mass, and further more the mass was rendered useless once it was used because each one was exceptional in its way.

It was in the reign of Tang dynasty that we also witnessed the invention of the gun powder. This was a number three major discovery. The idea of gun powder came about as a result of the effort of traditional necromancers in finding an eternal life for the emperor and in the process they found out that the combination of particular fuels and ores in correct portions, and exposed to heat could lead to a blast. This idea was later developed to generate the gun powder discovery. China through various dynasties was the first to have a design of cannon as early as 1127. This is believed to be approximately 150 years before the technology reached other western countries. This great innovation of the gunpowder by the Chinese enabled them to keep at bay the Mongols for many years.   Mongols succeeded in capturing the Chinese people who were the specialists in making of the gunpowder, employed them in their army with a resultant impact of empire growth. The Mongols at last embraced and perfected the technology of gunpowder (Antonio, 295).

The innovation of the magnetic compass was a number four major scientific innovations in china and especially among the people of the Tang dynasty. The idea of the magnetic compass came in existence as a result of the mine work by Chinese miners. They did the mining and they also smelted iron and copper. It is during their work that they came across the naturally occurring magnetite mineral. This magnetite mineral naturally attracted iron plus it pointed to the north when it was left to hang. It is this property of the magnetite that facilitated its use in the making of a round compass. Compass invention happened at around 221-206 BC. It was later improved in 8th century when the needles that were magnetized were made (, 1).

Besides these four innovations, there were other many innovations .They included kites,spaghetti,first to harness animals from agriculture, calculator, paper money, and in the discipline of medicine there were innovations like brain surgery and others.

Globalization involves events where by governments; people and companies join together and interrelate. This is facilitated by multilateral trade and transfer of currency and it majorly depends on the systems put in place to ensure the transfer of information. The above innovations had various effects on globalization (Ray, 6). First, the discovery of paper facilitated trade between china and the other nations in which the technology of paper manufacturing was yet to be developed. Also the paper production technology later spread from china to other countries like Japan, Korea, India, Vietnam, and also in Europe especially in England. This helped to enhance the trade and the political relationship among these countries and of course with those others who were the consumers of the paper products.

The innovations of the printing accelerated globalization to a remarkable extend. First, it eased the passage of information from one place to another or from country to another since there was production of printed information in bulky print media. This made communication fats and cheap unlike the use of word of mouth or manuscripts (Antonio, 294). Additionally, other nations borrowed this printing technology and embraced it to develop it in their countries. This enhanced cooperation among these countries that were enthusiastic to develop the print technology. The print technology spread from China to the countries in Asia like Vietnam, Korea, and Japan and eventually in Europe where it was functional on a very large scale until the computers came in.

Besides paper and print technology, gunpowder was also the major innovation in china whose contributions to globalization is worth acknowledgement. After its innovation in china, it spread to Arabian countries at around 12th century and at around 14th century, it spread in Europe. The gunpowder was discovered to have great military potential which was harnessed and spread globally as various countries struggled to attain and maintain power. International trade in weapons, in form of war tanks and other explosives between the countries that produces these goods and those that don’t produce also has enhanced the international trade hence globalization (Ancient China's Technology, 1).

Lastly, the innovation of the compass also fueled globalization. This came about as a result of the compass being used by sailors to tour and discovers the world. The sailors consisted of the early missionaries, the colonies and the traders. During their movement, people from different places interacted with others cultures and this led to spread of cultures that led to emergency of global cultures (Valley, 1). The missionaries that came from European countries for example spread Christianity to Africa making it a global religion. The spread of the technology in other countries also contributed towards building of good trade and ideological understanding among some countries.


The major innovations in china’s Tang dynasty included the paper innovation, printing, gunpowder and the compass. These innovations later on spread to other countries across the world with an effect of globalization which made countries to interrelate and turned to a global village through the developed system of information production and sharing. This was through the paper and printing innovations.  Other innovations in form of gunpowder and the compass also played the same role of enhancing globalization. The technologies spread and shared by   countries among which trade took place either in the products of these technologies or those related, this helped to establish and maintain good trade and political relationships and policies among trade partners who are countries.

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