AT THE CLOSE OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, CHINA WAS KNOWN AS
THE SICK MAN OF ASIA because it had been defeated by Western and Japanese powers. However, the nation rebounded through trade and commerce that turned the ecocomy around. About the size of the United States, China has a population five times larger than that of America and is home to one-fifth of the world’s population.
Originating in China, silk was so acclaimed that a 4,000-mile trade route across Western Asia and China was called the Silk Road. Silk, when first discovered, was so desired by international merchants that it was traded extensively, and so coveted that visiting monks smuggled silkworms out of the country in the hollows of their walking sticks.