I consider it a singular plan of the fates that human cultivation and refinement should today be concentrated, as it were, in the two extremes of our continent, in Europe and in Tschina (as they call it), which adorns the Orient as Europe does the opposite edge of the earth. Perhaps supreme Providence has ordained such an arrangement, so that, as the most cultivated and distant peoples stretch out their arms to each other, those in between may gradually be brought to a better way of life.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716), German philosopher. This passage illustrates the importance of China in Leibniz's estimation, and serves notice of his world-historic vision. Preface, NOVISSIMA SINICA, p. 68, trans. by Donald F. Lach, Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press (1957).