China had an appetite for silver, while the West hungered for Chinese goods.

When China wanted silver from the rest of the world

  • China accepting silver for commodities would eventually result in the world’s first common currency
  • The institution of the Spanish dollar – or pieces of eight – was arguably globalisation’s first chapter
Topic |   Chinese history

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China had an appetite for silver, while the West hungered for Chinese goods.
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Adolfo Arranz

Adolfo Arranz

After more than 10 years as an infographic artist for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, he joined SCMP in 2011, then became creative director at Media20Corp in Singapore. He has picked up almost every major prize along the way and currently helps run SCMP’s infographics and illustration department.

Marco Hernandez

Marco Hernandez

Marco Hernandez joined the Post in 2016 and specialises in interactive development for storytelling using infographics and data visualisation. He is a former senior infographic designer at La Nación and information design lecturer at the Science and Arts University of Costa Rica. He has won dozens of awards from international organisations, including the Society for News Design and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.