How did an African Giraffe end up in a Chinese court in 1415? To many, especially in China, the opening ceremony for the games didn’t just signal the start of the Olympics. They symbolized the arrival of modern China on the world stage. But this isn’t the country’s first go-around as a world power. We’ll spend this hour with Stewart Gordon, author of “When Asia Was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars, Warriors and Monks Who Created the ‘Riches of the East'” (Da Capo, 2008).