India

“India would be making a big mistake if it allowed itself to get dragged into a Western anti-China alliance,” warns Martin Jacques, author of the international bestseller When China Rules the World.

The 67-year-old British author, broadcaster and speaker whose association with China began nearly two decades ago, is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on that country. His book, rated as by far the best on China to have been published in many years, has already sold more than a quarter of a million copies worldwide, a rare achievement for a scholarly 800 page work of non-fiction.

Mr Jacques has examined the remarkable rise of China and has predicted that “China will soon rule the world (and) as China’s powerful civilisation reasserts itself, it will signal the end of the global dominance of the Western nation-state, and a future of ‘contested modernity’”. In these circumstances, he argues that it would be better for India to make a grand rapprochement with China on entirely new terms rather than to treat it as an enemy.

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New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) India’s role in a future world order in which China is likely to lead from the front depends a lot on what happens on this country’s growth front, says Martin Jacques, the best-selling author of “When China Rules the World”.

“A lot has been happening to China’s economic growth. It does not matter if India is behind China by 1 or 2 per cent; the main thing is India must carry on growing at a reasonably fast rate. India has to find ways to sustain the growth rate. It will open possibilities for India,” Jacques told IANS in an interview.

Jacques said the great advantage of China is that “it is a competent state and is endlessly reforming”. The Chinese state has “great legitimacy among the Chinese people” as an embodiment of Chinese civilization, the writer said.

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The emergence of China as an economic super-power, holding its own with, and surpassing, the US, is now taken for granted. However, both admirers and detractors of China have been viewing it in the conventional setting, implying some sort of a deviation from the commonly touted notions of politics and economics. They pine for the prospect of China somehow righting itself and conforming to political theories, economic dogmas and social mores familiar to them.

The success of the West in imposing its model so far was largely for want of a spirited effort by the countries of the Orient to contest its basic assumptions. China’s pre-eminence threatens the postulates that the West has long cherished. That is what explains both its fascination for, and fear of, China. What if the political, social and functional paradigm that it represents becomes universal and China, in effect, sets out to rule the world?

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The Chinese premier’s visit will boost bilateral trade, the bedrock of Sino-Indian relations

To the millions of Chinese children, Premier Wen Jiabao is affectionately known as grandfather Wen, conveying the tremendous success he has achieved in cultivating the image of ‘people’s man’ or the ‘humane face’ of the Chinese government. This sentiment was transmitted to Delhi’s Tagore International School, which was Wen’s stop on the first day of his recent trip to India. A child asked him, “Could I call you Grandfather Wen?” Pat came his reply, “I love to be called that, especially by children.” Perhaps this exchange was scripted, but one indisputable feature of how he came across—whether meeting schoolchildren or addressing business leaders or talking to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh—was his winsome demeanour. Through it, he conveyed the message that he’s a reasonable man, arguably India’s best bet to improve its relations with China.

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To borrow a line from the nuns in that old musical, how do you solve a problem like China?

It isn’t a will o’ the wisp that’ll go away; it isn’t a clown, though it might think the rest of us are. It is a worry for the world and a headache for India.

The Economist, which is now a weekly must-read for trend analysts everywhere, ran a special survey recently on ‘The Dangers of a Rising China’. Several Asia-watchers have written volumes full of anxiety. One by Martin Jacques, titled ‘When China Rules the World’, declares in its subtitle: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order. China’s influence, says Jacques, will extend well beyond the economic sphere. It will have social, cultural and political repercussions.

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A new dictionary, out from Oxford University Press, incorporates some very earthy Chinese slang expressions and new words, including some that you can’t invoke without having to rinse your mouth out with soap

(Now, you’re dying to know what they are, aren’t you?)

Although these street-talk words (among other more socially acceptable words) only made it to the parallel universe of the Oxford English-Chinese, Chinese-English dictionary — not the more definitive Oxford English Dictionary — it has set off a frisson of etymological excitement among folks in China. Some see it as the beginning of a lexicographic lead-in to a world that will, progressively, speak Chinese — and in countless other ways be ‘Sinified’ by Chinese soft-power influences.

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Sino-Indian relations are back in public debate

Sino-Indian relations are back in public debate after the New York Times report on Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers in Gilgit-Baltistan, visa denial to Lt. Gen. B.S. Jaswal, General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC-in-C), Northern Command, and on top of earlier Chinese transgressions like separate paper visas for Jammu and Kashmir residents. Were not the bilateral relations on the upswing since the handshake between Rajiv Gandhi and Deng Xiaoping in 1988?

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Some of us still dream of Chindia, an approaching phase of history when China and India will not only be the biggest powers on earth, they will partner each other in running the world, which will regard them as one glorious Asian entity

Sino-Indian relations are back in public debate after the New York Times report on Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers in Gilgit-Baltistan, visa denial to Lt. Gen. B.S. Jaswal, General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC-in-C), Northern Command, and on top of earlier Chinese transgressions like separate paper visas for Jammu and Kashmir residents. Were not the bilateral relations on the upswing since the handshake between Rajiv Gandhi and Deng Xiaoping in 1988?

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The regional scenario of inter-state relations is the result of clear trends: the continuing rise of China, the diplomatic activism of Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, and America’s current economic decline.

The dawn of 2010 has brought with it expectations of a greater degree of economic cooperation among the politically diverse states of East Asia. In realpolitik terms, the dominant role of the United States — or as its critics say, its domineering presence in East Asia — may be just beginning to fade. Emerging already are political signs that a new ecosystem of inter-state ties is slowly evolving in the region.

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Updated and expanded new Chinese edition just released.

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Turkish edition just published!

When China Rules the World is the first book to fully conceive of and explain the upheaval that China’s ascendance will cause and the realigned global power structure it will create.

New edition available now from:

Amazon UK
and all good booksellers.

US second edition is available now via: 

Amazon US