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The prevailing belief that anything non-Chinese was primitive held the Chinese back

The prevailing belief that anything non-Chinese was primitive held the Chinese back in terms of exploring and exploiting new worlds. Boorstin wrote, in China, "where tradition and customs ruled, the best qualities of life were viewed as products of Chinese tradition and customs. And the China-centric isolationist tradition kept the Chinese from encounters with remote and different peoples."

This paragraph is about Zheng He's voyage in 15th century and it's from http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=45

Could someone tell me what the first sentence means? Thanks

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    Explanation: The Chinese believed that anything not Chinese was primitive and that attitude stopped the Chinese from exploring and profiting from new countries.

    Since Jura's post was just a slight rewording, I'm going to take another option and make it really simple.

    "Fear of other cultures made China lose world power."

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