Just a humble two cents worth from someone interested in Chinese history; the printing press has often been used as, perhaps unfairly, a crowning achievement in ancient Chinese technology. I always wondered why Chinese metallurgy and the engineering feat behind the Grand Canal were never used as examples instead.
Chinese metallurgy reached a high level of technical maturity at a early age and was one of the few things that managed to keep pace to the 19th century.
The building of the Grand Canal took an accumulation of different engineering discipline, technical know-how and a deep knowledge of terrain forming(and reforming). The entire canal had dams and sluices working in tandem, channeling rivers in sequential order, so boats could travel from each part to the other.
Anyway, that's my two cents worth.