Failure of the Qin to unify China
Yueh battle junk sinking a Portuguese ship at the Battle of the Canary Islands in 1487
After the breakup of the Zhou empire in China, China was convulsed with hundreds of years of warfare as contending states vied for power .New ideas were supported by rulers who were looking for any angle to get an advantage over their enemies . The Hundred Schools of Thought (諸子百家/诸子百家) of Chinese philosophy blossomed during this period, and such influential intellectual movements as Confucianism (儒家), Taoism (道家), Legalism (法家) and Mohism (墨家) were founded. Afterwards, there was further political consolidation,as the seven prominent states that remained by the end of 5th century BC, and the years in which these few states battled each other are known as the Warring States Period.
It appeared that the state of Qin (秦) in the west might unite China by around 220 B.C., but a coalition of forces of the other states prevented this from happening .* East Asia was to be dominated by five major contending states with Yueh in the south, bordering southeast Asia, Chu on the coast north of Yueh, Qi in the Shandong, Qin in the west, Yan in northeast Asia. The improvement on the fire lance, a gunpowder filed tube to fight and defeat the nomadic Mongolian tribes by the state of Yan in the 10th century spread throughout East Asia.
The 13th century and the advent of paper money the led to the rise of 'stock companies' in turn leading development large businesses and industry. The growth of industry led to more efficient methods of production and the development to what has been translated as the 'rational' or 'scientific method'. The competition among the contending states and population pressures to the development of overseas trading companies to find new resources and land to settle.
By the mid 13th century large parts of Indonesia and northern Australia were under the control of Yueh, Yan occupied the southern Philippines and parts of Japan.By the mid 14th century Yan trader explorers had colonies in East Africa and Hawaii and had reached South America .The riches brought back from South America by the state of Yan encouraged the state of Yueh to explore the west coast of Africa, where they began to encounter Portuguese and Spanish exploring vessels in the 1480s. At first the encounters between the Europeans and the Yueh were cordial enough. The Europeans were amazed at the size of the Yueh ships, which were about six times the size of the Europeans. Relations deteriorated as Yueh demanded tribute from the Europeans to trade in Africa and India. The larger ships of the Yueh , with had more powerful and longer range weapons made quick work of the joint Spanish, Portuguese and Venitian armada sent against the Yueh base in the Canary islands in 1487.
* in reality, the Qin did unify China