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When China Rules the World

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When China Rules the World

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  • Feb. 6, 2013
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When China Rules the World
Martin Jacques

Last November 19, 2012 we attended a lecture at Hotel Inter-Continental. Mr. Martin Jacques lectured about his book entitled “When China Rules the World”. In here he critically explained the reasons why China has predicted by many that it will overtake the United States as the world's largest economy by 2027 and will ascend to the position of world economic leader by 2050.

Jacques elaborate three historical truths on what China did to reach the place where it is standing today. The Chinese have a rich and long history as a civilization-state. “China, as a civilization-state, has two main characteristics. Firstly, there is its exceptional longevity, dating back to even before the break-up of the Roman Empire. Secondly, the sheer scale of China – both geographic and demographic – means that it embraces a huge diversity. Contrary to the Western belief that China is highly centralised, in fact in many respects the opposite is the case: indeed, it would have been impossible to govern the country – either now or in the dynastic period – on such a basis. It is simply too large. The implications in terms of the way the Chinese think are profound.” Jacques said.

A tributary system is a traditional way of Chinese to manage their foreign relations; they found it as an effective for challenging compliance from other states and peoples on important matter of political, defensive, economic and diplomatic concern to China. Under the tributary system, outlying states paid tribute to the Middle Kingdom. Ninety-four percent of the population still believes they are one race-"Han Chinese."

Chinese people consider their state as part of their family; we can say that their sense of nationalism is somehow exceptional. Their ethnocentrism helps them to build a strong country. The reason why the Chinese state enjoys a formidable legitimacy in the eyes of the Chinese has nothing to do with democracy but can be found in the...