Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Historical Proof Chinese Cannot Innovate

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 20, 2011


I have been reading a lot of old stuff about China these days, just to see how it squares with what is happening today. By my reckoning , Mao did little to change things in China as many would say. As you can see by this excerpt written over 130 years ago, the Chinese were good at copying, but not inventing.
from the book In Eastern Seas Or, the Commission of H.M.S. ‘Iron Duke,’ flag-ship in China, 1878-83 (J. J. Smith)
“The Chinese are splendid workmen, providing you can furnish them with a model or copy, for there is very little genius, properly so-called, attached to John Chinaman.”

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