China and Western technology in the late eighteenth century

  title={China and Western technology in the late eighteenth century},
  author={Joanna Waley-Cohen},
  journal={The American Historical Review},
BY THE LATE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, THE BALANCE OF EUROPEAN OPINION had tilted against China. Westerners, earlier in the century almost uncritical in their admiration, came to the conclusion that the Chinese seemed unwilling, or unable, to improve on their earlier inventions, such as gunpowder and the compass, which formed part of the foundation for Western development. The famous assertion of Chinese self-sufficiency quoted above, made in 1793 by the Qianlong emperor (r. 1736-1795) in response to… Expand
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