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European economic history

How do you explain the fact that china had a much more highly developped economy than most of the rest of the world in the year 1000AD?

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In and around 1000A.D., Chinese merchants ruled the seas of Asia. Chinese shipbuilders began to build massive ocean liners, boats and so forth. These ocean carriers had a capacity of approximately 1,250 tons and were able to carry from five hundred to a thousand people at one time. Because the leaders in sea trade--India, Persia and some Arab countries--were facing problems in their homeland the volume to China diminished. The Chinese had to find a way to get what they needed and in turn began their own sea trading by building massive ...