The last Chinese dynasty fell into dust in 1911 with the end of the Ch'ing dynasty. Today's world has never seen a powerful China and few realize how much, in the past 3,000 years, China was always a manufacturing based society.
A good place for a small window into the past are the journeys of Marco Polo who noticed all Chinese cities seem to be producing at an astonishing rate and created a wealthy nation. The New York Metropolitan Museum has displayed artifacts from the Marco Polo period, or really the Kubla Kahn period when north and south China were united and paper money was established. The wealth of the period was amply displayed.
You might also look at the jade of the Ch'ing period to examine the wealth of China even as it sank into the gunboat era of the 20th century.
And China had long established a civil service to help things along.