“Why didn't ancient China produce great conquerors similar to Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great?”
Where is Caesar’s empire now? And where is Alexander’s empire now?And where is China now?
Just because Caesar and Alexander were lionized, doesn’t mean that these guys were indeed good for their country, or their people, or even their own family. Objectively, they started a process that over-taxed their national wealth, over-glorified violence, and bled too much the blood of their young men.
And you know what they say: live by the sword, die by the sword. They set up an incentive system where you got paid by killing other people. So their own families went genetically extinct pretty soon, wiped out by their own “family and friends”, and their empires died in a firestorm of violence.
It’s like playing Monopoly. If you spend all your money occupying “property”, leaving nothing to “develop the property”, you go bankrupt pretty quickly. The Chinese never had the urge to take territories it can not develop, and developing a place usually takes at least ten times more time, effort, and money than just conquering it.
Pretty much every single Chinese emperor who started a war, stopped the war and returned the state back to peaceful state within his own reign, urgently halting the cycle of violence and destruction. All the places the Chinese went, they immediately started making farmland, building roads, planting fruit trees, setting up schools, marrying with the local people, and appointing local officials selected through national exams, who would then be uated on the composite KPI right away.