What is a famous Chinese invention

The four great inventions

He ground the raw materials and soaked them in a water bath. This formed a pulp that was then boiled. The paper pulp was then dewatered layer by layer with a sieve. The resulting thin paper was dried and so suitable for writing. The papermaking method spread to Japan and Korea in the third century, and reached Europe in the 12th century.

The letterpress
The invention and development of the printing press shows a long historical period. One goes from the 2nd century AD. from when people were still writing in stone slabs to make paper prints. Around AD 600 block printing with wooden panels was invented in China for the first time. In the Tang Dynasty (618-907 BC), a woodcut process with whole plates and a panel and block printing process with printing blocks were developed.

Bi Sheng is considered to be the inventor of book printing, who further developed the block printing process in the Song dynasty (960-1279 AD) and was introduced in 1048 AD. invented printing with movable, interchangeable characters (huozi yinshua 活字印刷). Bi Sheng arranged individual characters made of clay, wood, tin, or lead on an iron frame for printing. After printing, these characters could be reassembled. This has enormously improved the speed and quality of book printing. This technology soon became known in Europe, Korea and Japan. In the middle of the 15th century, Johannes Gutenberg invented the art of printing in Germany with movable metal characters. The invention of the printing press is considered to be one of the greatest inventions in world history!

Gunpowder
The invention of gunpowder is also attributed to the Chinese. Already around the year 250 AD. they experimented with explosive powder mixtures of saltpeter, charcoal and sulfur and developed a black powder as an explosive. They discovered that you can cause an explosion if you mix certain ores with fuel and heat them. In the 9th century the Chinese invented a powder (Chinese: huoyao 火药) which can also be used for fireworks. They filled bamboo canes with powder to drive away evil spirits as well. The bamboo crackers were lit and shot into the air. Later they were also used for military purposes. However, all of this happened long before gunpowder and firearms were developed in Europe (14th century).

The magnetic compass
It was in the 6th century BC when the Chinese discovered the importance of the magnet. In the 4th century BC. Then the magnet was developed to recognize cardinal points and the magnetic compass was invented, which was called "Si’nan", which in Chinese means something like "show the south direction"! However, it took several centuries for the magnetic compass to be introduced in Europe in the 13th century AD.

Finally
One can only guess what effects it would have had if the important Chinese inventions had only shaped world history many centuries later. Would the navigator and explorer Marco Polo have sailed the world's oceans in the 13th century without a magnetic compass?

So we have to acknowledge that China has been way ahead of the world in many areas for millennia in terms of scientific progress. History critics see Confucianism as an obstacle to China's progress from the Middle Ages to the end of the 19th century. Because Confucius did not support the technical innovations. He stood up for humanity, justice, ethical behavior, wisdom and goodness. Who knows what achievements the world would have experienced even earlier without the restrictions!

China's steady change to an industrialized nation is also reflected in the double-digit growth rates for patent applications annually. In addition, the Chinese government promotes research by Chinese companies with tax breaks.

Author: Daniele Bardaro