Imperial China had not adopted the policy of open economy for centuries and its economy was almost as deep as a well to the West up until 1978 – the year which marked the beginning of a series of radical economic reforms China has undergone. It is not surprising that imperial Chinese economy did not interact much with the economy of any other nation of the time considering the fact that it could meet its own needs relatively easily thanks to its wide lands, rich underground resources and intense human power. In fact, China had been able to protect its closed economy for some time with a few occasional exceptions until recently. It has lately happened that the economy has been fully opened to the outside world. However, the incident that initiated such open economy policy dates back as far as to the Opium Wars fought between China and Western powers in the 19th century. The period that started with these wars, which provided the basis for China's economic transformation, is called "Century of Humiliation" in Chinese history.

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