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.
Similar predictions of a “Chinese Century”, often initiated by foreign observers, have occurred on and off since the turn of the century. While most Chinese stay cool-headed, the proclamation has once again aroused heated argumentation among scholars and policy-makers around the world over the potential of China’s future.
“From time to time, the West is reminded that China is growing rapidly and is bigger and bigger, and then you get some discussions about the ‘Chinese century’,” added Jacques, who is also a senior fellow at the department of politics and international studies at Cambridge University.