The Western portrayal of China’s future tends to “blow hot and cold”, but the heat of China’s rise is here to stay, British scholar Martin Jacques said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
Commenting on a resurfacing “Chinese Century” debate among global media, Martin said that the reason behind this hot discourse is simple: the fact that China’s development continues.
“The Western commentary about China’s rise is erratic, and tends to be a bit negative. And then from time to time, they sort of wake up and realize that the trend continues,” said the author of the international best-seller “When China Rules the World”.
In an article for the Vanity Fair magazine, U.S. economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate, foresaw the arrival of a “Chinese Century” in 2015 on the grounds that China has surpassed the United States to become the world’s largest economy in terms of GDP based on purchasing power parity.
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The emergence of China as a global superpower cannot be overlooked. China will play a hugely significant role in shaping both the developing world and redefining the developed world.
A staggering economic revolution will see China become the world’s dominant economic power by 2030, though widespread state corruption and environmental concerns have somewhat tarnished China’s otherwise remarkable rise to power.
Martin Jacques is Senior Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University, Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University Beijing and world renowned Ted talker, indeed there are few who are as qualified as he to speak on the subject of China and its relationship to the West. Jacque’s global best-seller When China Rules the World: the End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order, is justly hailed by the New York Times as being a work of ‘considerable erudition, with provocative and often counterintuitive speculations about one of the most important questions facing the world today’.
OgilvyOne have been speaking to Martin Jacques to develop our understanding of a market that will play such a crucial role in our professional and non-professional lives.
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A two-part interrogation into the changing balance of global power. In Part II, Martin Jacques argues that China’s rise is only a matter of time.
In Part II of our interrogation into the shifting sands of global politics, Martin Jacques warns that we are witnessing the inevitable decline of Europe and the US, with China rising to become the next global economic powerhouse.
In Part I, Rana Mitter argued that this is sill very much a story of US dominance, but here, however, Jacques speaks to the IAI about the future of global politics and why we mustn’t use a Western template to think about what China is going to be like. Jacques is a journalist and academic who founded the influential think-tank Demos. His 2009 book, When China Ruled the World, has helped shape debate on China’s future role on the world stage.
China has been reluctant to comment on recent events in Russia and the Middle East. It appears to be more concerned with internal affairs than intervening in global ones, so how can it truly be called a superpower? Isn’t it the case that all eyes turn to the US when major events like those in Russia and the Middle East occur?
I don’t think it is a superpower. I think that China is not really a global power in the way that say, the United States is, because its claim to be a global power is essentially economic. This year China has overtaken the United States as the largest economy in the world, and it’s a huge trader, so it’s becoming a very important exporter of capital. When you go to China, you will never think of the world in the same way again. Every city you go to is looking modern because the economic transformation has been very broadly based. Economically, it is a global power; I don’t think there’s any argument there at all.
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Martin Jacques (Jacques), a British journalist and former editor of Marxism Today, has become a well-known pundit on Chinese issues since the publication of his 2009 book When China rules the world. In his recent article published on the Financial Times, he argued that Western views on China’s system are flawed. What does he think of China’s success today? What problems does the country face? Global Times (GT) London-based correspondent Sun Wei interviewed him over these issues.
GT: You recently said that China’s governance system has been remarkably successful for more than three decades. Is your conclusion mainly based on China’s economic achievements?
Jacques: No. It’s true that China’s economic transformation has been hugely successful with remarkable achievements. But that’s the core of a much wider change in Chinese society. I regard this as being a very successful period for Chinese governance in general.
The economy does not exist in isolation from society. It’s not something you can change on its own and everything else stays the same.
First of all, how do you transform the economy? The state in China has been extremely important in that process. Then, the impact of this huge change in the economy is to transform Chinese society: the shift of around 30 percent of the population from countryside into the city, the pressures of creating more modern education system, and the requirement for a new healthcare service. There are many aspects to it. You cannot have huge economic transformation like that without also having to reform, re-engineer and re-purpose the state.
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China has replaced the US as the largest trading partner and largest market for East Asian countries, while it is also the most important investor in the region, Martin Jacques, Author of When China Rules the World, told RT.
RT: China has been highly active recently – the latest major deals are the one with Moscow and Malaysia. Do you think is Beijing’s ambition region-wise?
Martin Jacques: China regards itself to be the most influential power in the region – depends on how you define the region – but certainly in terms of East Asia which obviously embraces North-East Asia, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and also South-East Asia, the ASEAN countries. In a sense it sees itself as returning in some way to its former role.
RT: Do you think China considers itself to be hegemony? How are Beijing’s ambitions perceived by its neighbors?
MJ: I don’t think that China thinks of itself in those terms. It sees itself essentially as having major economic presence and influence in the region and growing political influence. But China is very aware that it arrived at this point very quickly and it has a long way to go. I do think that it views itself as likely in the future to increasingly replace the US as the dominant power in the region, and I think it will, it is already beginning to do this.
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On 9th November 2014 the Singaporean paper Lianhe Zaobao published an interview with Martin Jacques, reproduced below (click to enlarge):
撰文 | 桂田田
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Will China Dominate The 21st Century?
by Jonathan Fenby
(Polity Press, £9.99)
BEN CHACKO reviews Jonathan Fenby’s latest analysis of China’s chances
JONATHAN FENBY is one of Britain’s more knowledgeable China-watchers and his latest work on the subject deserves attention.
The book, however, ought really to take the title of its final chapter — Why China Will Not Dominate the 21st Century.
It reads rather like a refutation of Martin Jacques’s When China Rules the World, mirroring the latter even to the extent that both contain a section quoting attitude surveys “proving” that positive or negative views of China are the norm worldwide.
In this it is quite effective. Fenby relentlessly highlights China’s weaknesses, and in many respects he is right — right that China is nowhere near displacing the US as a global superpower, right that there is scant evidence that it wants to, right that it faces serious economic, political and environmental challenges which will keep its politicians’ focus firmly on their own country and not on attempts to become a world leader.
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