The Chinese archaeologists made one of their biggest breakthroughs during a 2011 excavation of Fuyan Cave in Hunan province, where they found 47 teeth belonging to modern humans. The teeth were buried underneath stalagmites that were found to be least 80,000 years old, suggesting the fossils were older.
The fossil in Al Wusta was discovered by a team of researchers from the University of Oxford led by archaeologist Huw Groucutt, whose report was published in the journal Nature this week. He had been searching the area for human fossils for 10 years before unearthing a single bone from the middle finger of a Homo sapien.
“It now seems likely that early modern humans were in southern China about 100,000 years ago,” said Professor Chris Stringer, who researches human origins at the Natural History Museum in London.
"It has made the largest leap among the top 10 economies, which in turn are supported by strong and stable financial markets," says the report. It attributes the large leap to the mainland's physical infrastructure and healthy level of competition and openness, which it says ensure efficient markets.
"These are countries we have seen strengthen their trade and investment relations with China over the recent past, particularly in the infrastructure sector. I am sure that the expansion and modernization projects that have recently been completed have ultimately improved the region's attractiveness to foreign direct investment," says Robert Kagiri, director for the Centre for Strategy and Policy Management at the Africa Policy Institute, an economic policy think-tank based in Kenya.
The discovery of an 88,000-year-old human finger bone at the Al Wusta archaeological site in the Nefud Desert, Saudi Arabia, has turned this idea on its head. The age of the fossil suggests an earlier migration from Africa into Eurasia - a theory supported by other archaeological discoveries made in China that were previously met with skepticism.
In a series of events organized by the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco, China's diplomats and business representatives exchanged thoughts and had provocative discussions about the issues, hoping some consensus could be reached through a clash of ideas and heated debates.