Martin Jacques, author of the best-selling “When China Rules the World,” said China’s rise in becoming a global power may not tread the old and disputed paths of the United States and Britain.

In an interview during the 5th World Forum on China Studies that closed on Sunday, Jacques said as the world inquires about China’s path toward global power, he believes its style will differ from that of Britain and the United States.

“Historically, the expansion and influence of Britain and America were largely military and political; in the case of China, it would be economic and cultural,” said Jacques, who is also a columnist and visiting fellow at London School of Economics and Political Science.

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SHANGHAI – Whether and to what extent China will adjust its diplomatic policy under its new leadership has become a focus of attention for China watchers.

“China will continuously push for construction of a harmonious world with permanent peace and common prosperity,” Hong Lei, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson, told a journalist on November 15 in response to a question as to where the country’s foreign policy will move following this month’s 18th Party Congress. “China will unswervingly follow the road of peaceful development and firmly pursue the independent and peaceful foreign policy. China will unswervingly follow a win-win and open-up strategy. China will comprehensively develop the friendly cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.”

His statement was reiterated by a foreign ministry spokeswoman four days later.

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Norwegian historian says China must develop closer, stronger relations with its neighbors

Odd Arne Westad insists those who claim China has been inward-looking for much of its recent history are making a serious error.

The Norwegian historian believes it is a major fallacy that often leads to a completely false view of the former Middle Kingdom.

“Anyone in East Asia in the mid-18th century who said the Qing Empire (1644-1911) was particularly inward-looking would have been sent off to have their heads examined,” he says.

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Author of When China Rules the World says he’s been vindicated

Martin Jacques says China doom-mongers were typically dismissive when he argued the former Middle Kingdom would have a central role in shaping the 21st century.

In his book, When China Rules the World, which some regard as a potential classic, he forecast China would become the world’s largest economy by 2027, albeit using Goldman Sachs data, and that we were all going to be living in a more Sinocentric world.

His critics said the more likely scenario was that China was going to succumb to a crisis that completely knocks it off track.

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Global business leaders are voicing increasing concern over heightened political tensions between China and Japan, sparked by a maritime dispute in the East China Sea. They fear an escalation may have a spill-over effect on their regional operations and damage trade ties between the world’s second and third-largest economies.

Company executives, diplomats and analysts told CNBC that supply chains across China and Japan and regional trade flows are at risk if the territorial dispute between the north Asian neighbors – believed to be the worst in decades – deepens.

“This could really be something that causes a huge economic dislocation,” Mike Splinter, chief executive officer at Applied Materials told CNBC. “If import barriers go up, it could affect our business.”

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Will China rule the world? Many have expressed doubt, but Martin Jacques, author of a bestseller on China issues, is firmly on the side of “yes.”

At a recent Beijing book reading to celebrate his release, the second edition of When China Rules the World, Jacques said he wondered why people are ignoring the rise of the new global powerhouse with a closed mind.

Although three years have passed since the book’s release, Jacques said he still believes China will shape the world as it continues to grow.

“I don’t see any reason to change (my conclusions) because as I finished the book, its development was speeding up,” he said.

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Across the globe, China’s influence is increasing – most especially in Africa

Napoleon Bonaparte was a very quotable guy. He preferred lucky generals to smart ones, and he was convinced that an army marched on its stomach. But the French emperor would never have guessed that his most quoted bon mot would concern a country he never visited, let alone conquered. “Let China sleep; when she wakes she will shake the world,” he once observed. As The Economist points out “it has become the quote that launched a thousand articles”, including this one.

Not just articles, too. James Kynge’s award-winning book is titled China Shakes the World and Martin Jacques seems to have drawn on Napoleonic inspiration for his own 2009 effort When China Rules the World: The Rise of the Middle Kingdom and the End of the Western World.

Mark Leonard also penned a volume on a related theme. Hitherto an expert on European Union affairs, Leonard realised that the policy papers he was writing all had some type of China angle. As he put it in his book’s introduction: “Very few things that happen during my lifetime will be remembered after I am dead. Even 9/11 or the Iraq War – events which transfixed us, took innocent lives and decided elections – will gradually fade until they become mere footnotes in the history books. But China’s rise is different: it is the big story of our age and its after-effects could echo down generations to come.”

Books on China have never been more popular, but are they teaching us anything?

Few books have polarized opinion in recent years as much as When China Rules the World, but when it was published in 2009, author Martin Jacques was thinking less about kickstarting an international debate than he was simply relieved to have completed a 10-year project marred by personal tragedy.

“I’d moved to Hong Kong in 1998 with my wife Hari and our 9-week-old son Ravi. We were going to be there for three years and I had ambitious plans for the book as well as a television series lined up,” Jacques says. “But after we’d been there for 14 months, my wife died in terrible circumstances and the book went out of my mind. I was just struggling to survive and I didn’t touch the book for five years. I wasn’t sure I’d ever be capable of writing it, but it must have somehow stayed in the back of my mind because by 2005 I started to work on it again.”

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LONDON – Several renowned experts from China and foreign countries gathered on Monday todiscuss China’s development model during the London Book Fair, exchanging views on itsfuture.

At the beginning of the forum, Liu Binjie, Director of the General Administration of Press andPublication, reviewed China’s path of development over the past century.

“China has considered about the way of western style, and also once followed the formerSoviet Union’s planned economy,” he said. “But during the course, it found out that only a waywhich complies to its culture and fits its real condition could lead the country to success.”

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