We certainly do live in modern times with serious world trade only starting in the 1840's with the advent of steam. If you are fascinated by disruptive change in wealth building and management you will find many parallels in disruption placed upon us by connectivity whether electronically or via modern shipping efficiency.
Let's discuss the adventures of the Chinese, very much like the travels stories of the various gods that are fun to the reader and serious to the characters. It's not been fun for the Chinese to be currency manipulators through the past 10 years and in 2018 we are back at 7 yuan to the dollar. They know, especially now for several reasons we will not discuss but are freely available in Wall Street Journal articles, they are breaking the linear economic codes as an economic entity increasing exports will their currency is devalued: ask Adam Smith and he will answer other influences are dominating rather than just trade.