There is no point in believing we can make sense of China by a skin-deep knowledge of present-day China. We will be little the wiser. Chinese civilization is over 4,000 years old: as a political entity it is over 2,000 years old, the longest continuously existing polity in the world. Chinese history and culture is fundamentally different from that of the West: it always has been and always will be. So best to dispense with our Western-tinted spectacles and open our minds to arguably the world’s most successful civilization. China has been the most advanced country not just once but at least four times; and we are on the verge of this becoming five. A country, a culture and a people with the most extraordinary history that is fast becoming the magnet of the future.
We have entered a New Cold War. The US is attacking on China on many fronts. It cannot accept China’s rise. Like all hegemons, it cannot imagine a world in which it is no longer dominant. But in reality the US is in rapid relative decline. Its dominance has become an anachronism. The fact is that an international system led by China and the developing world will be much superior to one characterised by Western dominance, with the US and Europe accounting for less than 15% of the world’s population.
As UK-China ties continue to deteriorate, in this exclusive interview with the Chinese and English editions of Global Times, Martin Jacques shares his perspective on the UK decision to ban Huawei from its 5G network, its harsh stance on the national security law for Hong Kong, and the escalating tensions between the US and China.
GT: In your latest tweet, you described the Huawei ban as “an exercise in national suicide.” Could you elaborate further? What would the Huawei ban mean for the UK in a technological, geopolitical, and economic sense respectively?
Jacques: This is the context: Britain is leaving the European Union. This is to be finalised on January 1, 2021. And the European Union was by far Britain’s biggest trading partner. So suddenly, there’s a big hole as a result of that. Now Britain has decided to end the relationship with Huawei and remove all Huawei equipment, and not have any Huawei 5G equipment. Inevitably, this affects in a very negative way the economic and trading relationship between Britain and China.
After many months of rioting and unrest in Hong Kong, it was patently obvious that the Chinese government would have to introduce national security legislation. The Basic Law required its introduction, and the SAR government had sought to do this in 2003, but large-scale opposition scuppered those plans. Its absence left the authorities badly exposed in 2019. Every modern country has such laws. No Western country would tolerate the kind of violence and rioting that scarred Hong Kong in 2019. Given the failure of the SAR government to introduce national security legislation, it became essential for the Chinese government to do so. The outcry in the West reeks of hypocrisy. The British, after all, enjoyed sweeping draconian powers in colonial Hong Kong.Read more
Lawrence Summers, former US Treasury Secretary, was interviewed by The Point on how he saw the present state of US-China relations. In this interview, Martin Jacques responds to Summers’s points. Moderated by Liu Xin.
China confronts Europe with an enormous problem: we do not understand it. Worse, we are not even conscious of the fact. We insist on seeing the world through our Western prism. No other tradition or history or culture can compare. Ours is superior to all and others, in deviating from ours, are diminished as a consequence. This speaks not of our wisdom but our ignorance, an expression not of our cosmopolitanism but our insularity and provincialism. It is a consequence of being in the ascendant for at least two centuries, if not rather longer. Eurocentrism – or perhaps we should say western-centrism – has become our universal yardstick against which, in varying degrees, all others fail. (more…)Read more
Martin Jacques speaks forthrightly on the crisis in Hong Kong and what needs to be done.
Produced by T-House for CGTN.
Martin Jacques delivered the Keynote Speech, titled ‘China, The Philippines and a New World Order’, at a special conference organised by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines to a specially invited audience of leading government, media, business figures, and ambassadors, in Manila on 10 September 2019.
Watch the interview below:
Martin Jacques delivered the Keynote Speech, titled ‘Beginnings of a New World Order: The Rise of China’, at This is Tomorrow, a Symposium organised by the University of Bath Institute for Policy Research (IPR).
The session was chaired by Professor Nick Pearce, and held 12 September 2019 at Arts Lecture Theatre, The Edge, University of Bath.
Video copyright held by the University of Bath.
Martin Jacques joins Karen Davila on ANC Headstart to talk about the ongoing US-China trade war, China’s handling of the situation in Hong Kong and why he thinks President Duterte’s pivot to China is the right decision.
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Martin Jacques discusses Chinese governance with People’s Daily Online on 5 July 2019.
Watch the interview below:
Martin Jacques discusses the West’s fear of China’s progress, its transformed position on the world stage, and what kind of great power it will become. One-to-one interview with Liu Xin on The Point (CGTN) on 22 May 2019.
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This hugely successful TED talk in London has now had over 4 million views. Martin Jacques asks: How do we in the West make sense of China and its phenomenal rise?
The following article by Martin Jacques was a contribution to the debate on the Economist website on the theme ‘Should the West worry about the threat to liberal values posed by China’s rise?’
For long the West has thought that history is on its side, that the global future would and should be in its own image. With the end of the cold war and the implosion of the Soviet Union, this conviction became stronger than ever. The future was Western; nothing else was imaginable. Of course, already, well before the end of the cold war, in 1978 to be exact, China had started its epic modernisation such that, in the annals of history, 1978 will surely prove to be a far more significant year than 1989. During China’s rise, hubris continued to shape the West’s perception and understanding of China. As the latter modernised it would become increasingly Western, it was supposed: Deng’s reforms marked the beginning of the privatisation and marketisation of the Chinese economy—its political system would in time become Western, otherwise China would inevitably fail.Read more
The following article by Martin Jacques appeared in China Daily, 20th January 2018.
As momentous historic events go, China’s reform period was relatively unheralded. Little did anyone realise at the time – probably no one, in fact – that 1978 would enter the history books as one of the most important years in modern history.
We should not be surprised. At the time, the Chinese economy was a mere one-twentieth of the size of the US economy, with a per capita GDP roughly on a par with that of Zambia, lower than half of the Asian average and lower than two-thirds of the African average. China’s impact on the world was very limited, even in East Asia. (more…)Read more
(Double click on video for full screen)
Part 1: How does China’s global outlook differ from the West’s?
‘The idea of a common future, or a sense of shared destiny, has become a very powerful theme of Chinese foreign policy’
In Part 1 of Martin Jacques on China (presented by CGTN), Martin Jacques explains China’s growing influence on the world stage, and considers why its global outlook is so different to that of Western countries. (more…)Read more
Martin Jacques, the journalist and academic, is now seen by many as the man of the moment in China.
Click here to access PDF of the full article, published in China Daily on 17th November 2017. The article was written by Andrew Moody.
On October 19th, Martin Jacques did this one-to-one interview on China in Washington DC with Anand Naidoo, the host of The Heat, CGTN America’s flagship current affairs programme.
This short profile was broadcast on CCTV News and other CCTV channels in May 2016.
A Special Briefing for NATO on ‘The Role of China in the World’
Held at NATO’s Military HQ (SHAPE). The audience consisted mainly of military officers in leadership positions from all NATO countries.
12 March 2020
What will China be like as a great power: causes for optimism
The 6th Global China Dialogue: Governance for World Peace, organised by the Global China Institute, the Centre for Applied Linguistics, University College London, and the China Media Centre of the University of Westminster
Closing Speaker with Professor Zhao Kejin
London, United Kingdom
Globalisation in Transition: Adapting to a Changing World and Cooperation Forward: China and the World in a New Era
CGTN Global Media Summit and VMF 2019
4 December 2019
China’s 70-Year Development and the Construction of the Community with a Shared Future for Mankind
Hongqiao International Economic Forum, part of the Second China International Import Expo, organised by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Speaker and Participant