During the Middle Ages, the Chinese enjoyed a higher standard of living than almost any other contemporary nation. This high standard of living was made possible by their stable civilization, which for the most part had remained unbroken for centuries. While Europe was amid dark times, poverty, war and disease, China was flourishing, producing new art, science, and literary works.
The best way to destroy your enemy is to make him your friend.
Fingerprinting was in use in China as a means of identifying people as early as A.D. 700.