" It is just as much surprise for the Chinese as for Westerners to realize that modern shipping, the modern oil industry, modern astronomical observationis, modernmusic, decimal mathematics, paper money, umbrellas, fishing reels, wheelbarrows, multistage rockets, guns, underwater mines, poison gas, parachutes, hot-air balloons, manned flight, brandy, whisky, the game of chess, printing and even the essential design for the steam engine, all came from China.
'possibly more than half of the basic inventions and discoveries upon which the modern world rests' arose in China." Robert K.G. Temple, who published the first popularization of Needham's work, (China: Land of Discovery and Invention, by Partrick Stephens, Wellingborough, England, 1986)
Dr. Joseph Needham, as an envoy of the Royal Society, was asked to visit China in 1942, where he remained till the end of World War II, as Scientific Counsellor at the British Embbassy in Chunking. His master work, Science and Civilization in China, was published in 1954, with twenty four volumes following.
"The decimal system, a mathematical fundamental of modern science, was in place during the Shang Dynasty dating from 1600 B.C.
The Nine Chapters of Mathematical Art an early Chinese classic, describes a method of extracting the cube root of 1,860,867.
Excavations in 1976 revealed that Queen Fu Hao had been buried in a laquered coffin during the thirteenth century BC
Iron ploughs were in use in the sixth century BC, as was the row cultivation of crops. The circulation of the blood was known in the same period. Advanced brewing techniques, making use of stimulated enzymes, were developed sometime prior to the eleventh century BC. The world's first magnetic compass was used in the fourth century BC as were poison gas, tear gas and smoke bombs. "Newton's" First Law of Motion was known to the Cinese at this time. They had evfen managed manned flight, using kites.
The Chinese had recognized sunspots for what they were prior to the fourth centurey BC."
Martian Genesis, by Herbie Brennan, pages 192-195.