The whole story is interesting because it shows the rapid diffusion of military technology in the wake of the Mongol conquests - it took actually less than 30 years for the European bricola to make its way from Germany and southern Italy (1242) to China (1271).
The credit goes to the scholar Paul Chevedden who brought this new fact to light by a close study of Arab and Chinese sources.
In the Latin West, a pole-framed machine was introduced that had a bifurcated beam with two counterweights suspended from its fork arms. Its pivoting shaft and paired counterweights earned it its name, the bricola, or the "Two-Testicle" machine (Fig. 6), from the combination of the prefix bi-, "having two," and the Latin coleus, meaning testicle (Fr. bricole, It. briccola, Oc. bricola, Catal. brigola, Cast. brigola, late L. bric[c]ola, Gk. praikoula orprekoula). In 1242 Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen send bricolas to the Levant, and soon thereafter (post 1250) the Mamluks incorporated this versatile piece of artillery into their siege arsenal, calling it the 'Frankish or 'European" trebuchet (manjaniq ifranji or manjaniqfiranji).
Muslim engineers employed by the Mongols brought the bricola to China, where it was designated the "Muslim" trebuchet (hui-hui pao). Batteries of bricolas (sing. manjaniq firanji) rained destruction on the cities of Fancheng (1272) and Xiangyang (1273), on the Han River in northwest Hubei province, and broke the power of the Song Empire (960–1279). On the high seas, the bricola was mounted on the poops of ships and was used to bombard coastal cities and fortresses.
On the Muslim engineers who brought the bricola to China and the role these machines played in forcing the surrenders of Fancheng in 1272 and Xiangyang in 1273: Both [the Moslem historian]Rashid al-Din (1247?–1318) and Chinese historian Zheng Sixiao (1206–83) provide details on the heavy artillery used at the sieges of Fancheng and Xiangyang (modern-day Xiangfan). Rashid al-Din identifies the most powerful pieces of artillery as "European" trebuchets (sing. manjaniq firangi), or bricolas (Jami‘ al-Tavarikh, 1:651; Successors of Genghis Khan, 290), and Zheng, who calls the machines "Muslim" trebuchets (hui-hui pao), indicates that, "in the case of the largest ones, the wooden framework stood above a hole in the ground" (quoted in Needham and Yates, Science and Civilisation in China, 5:6:221).
Since the bricola was the only counterweight piece of artillery that had a framework capable of being mounted in a hole in the ground and was commonly set up in this fashion, there is little doubt that Zheng is referring here to the bricola. The stone-shot launched by these machines weighed 150 jin, or 94.5 kilograms (208 lb) (Moule, Quinsai, 76), and Zheng states that, "the projectiles were several feet in diameter, and when they fell to the earth they made a hole three of four feet deep. When [the artillerists] wanted to hurl them to a great range, they added weight [to the counterpoise] and set it further back [on the arm]; when they needed only a shorter distance, they set it forward, nearer [the fulcrum]" (Needham and Yates, Science and Civilisation in China, 5:6:221).
SOURCE: Paul E. Chevedden, “Black Camels and Blazing Bolts: The Bolt-Projecting Trebuchet in the Mamluk Army,” Mamluk Studies Review Vol. 8/1, 2004, pp.232-233
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The addendum shows contemporary various drawings of the European bricola which are very helpful to understand his comments above.