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 difference between a helping hand and an outstretched palm is a twist of the wrist.
The first country to abolish capital punishment was Austria in 1787.