These two plots show how big China had dominated the world economy before the 19th century

These two plots show how big China had dominated the world economy before the 19th century

China had dominated the world in at least 6 times in the last ten centuries.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, China was about 25-30% of the global economy, but come 1950-1970, after the destruction of World War II and under the rule of Mao Zedong, it was under 5%. Today, its economy is about 17% of the global economy — roughly the same as the US.

China had pioneered many technologies and by the start of the 15th century, China already had the compass, movable type print, and excellent naval capacity.

But notice how U.S. emerged below with the reversal of fortune in the GDP per capita. U.S. grew, China shrank.

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