Reviews

China has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Its rapid industrial progress, growing military strength, large population and steadily increasing international influence, are all clear signs that China will have a secure place among the super powers in the near future.

The question, raised in a book by journalist Martin Jacques, is not if China will rule the world, but simply when?

In the interview below, Jacques argues that in the twenty-first century, China will challenge our perception of what it is to be modern, and the West will be forced to learn from growing eastern powers.

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Updated for the paperback edition, When China Rules the World by Martin Jacques is beautifully written and incredibly challenging for most readers whose politics remain unaffected by the irresistible rise of China as a global power. If half of what Jacques claims for the significance of China to the 21st Century is proved to be correct then a fundamental rethink will be needed. This book provides the basis for such a process, an absolutely essential read.

- Mark Perryman is the co-founder of the self-styled ‘sporting outfitters of intellectual distinction’, aka Philosophy Football

When China Rules The World: The End Of The Western World And The Birth Of A New Global Order
Author: Martin Jacques
Publisher: Penguin, 848 pages

SKEWED as they may be, reactionary Orientalist perspectives of East Asian realities remain the norm in Western punditry and news reports. The problem has become prevalent in both conservative and liberal circles.

The problem for the West itself is that such a persistent misperception of modern China may undermine Western interests further. Martin Jacques’ When China Rules The World: The End Of The Western World And The Birth Of A New Global Order is intended largely as a corrective, looking at the historic phenomenon of China’s grand return to the global stage in China’s own terms.

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Martin Jacques has only a few doubts that the Middle Kingdom will soon be the centre of the world. The title of his book is provocative. What this British journalist actually predicts is a “new kind of world system in which China is the main player — but not to the exclusion of the rest of the world.” What is more important to him is the need for the world, especially the West, to get a grip of what the return of China to a position of global preeminence will mean. Superpower China will not be a West that happens to speak funny.

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When China Rules the World considers how China has become a challenge to the West and is reshaping the global economy, but may not replace the US if it cannot make further cultural and institutional breakthrough.Ting Xu recommends this book to anyone interested in not only China and its future, but also the future of the West and the global world.

Martin Jacques is a highly distinguished British scholar, writer and columnist. When China Rules the World, first published in 2009, is among his most important publications. Since then the book has been translated into eleven languages, and sold nearly a quarter of a million copies worldwide. The book’s focus on Asian modernity and the rise of China as a global power is of course highly relevant for contemporary concerns and interests in globalisation, as well as its implications for evaluating an evolution from the economic and geopolitical ‘great divergence’ to the recent rapid ‘convergence’ between China and the West. Jacques argues that the rise of China has not followed the Western model of a transition to modernity and will challenge the global dominance of the Western nation-state. China, as a ‘civilisation-state’, will soon rule the world. Its impact will be not only economic but also cultural, leading to a global future of ‘contested modernity’.

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Martin Jacques’s thesis – that China will become the dominant global power within decades, and it won’t become more westernised but will make the rest of the world more Chinese – is hard to dispute, and if one felt like disputing it one would soon be discouraged by the weight of evidence in the form of statistics, graphs, surveys and analysis Jacques brings to bear.

Reading this made me aware of my ignorance – I didn’t know the Chinese invented steam power before James Watt. At times I could wish the explanations crisper – Jacques repeatedly says that China is a “civilisation-state”, not a nation-state, and I would love to have the difference neatly explicated. But Jacques’s erudition is impressive – and persuasive.

- Brandon Robshaw

The expanded paperback edition of Jacques’ highly sympathetic assessment of China clearly places this “civilization state” (as opposed to nation state) in the context of east Asian economic history.

Jacques’ central thesis is that, although China was late to industrialise and is still developing, its exponential economic growth is supported by two millennia of broad political unity.

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The rise of China and the potential economic and political decline of the United States is a concern for many Americans. In When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order, Martin Jacques depicts a world in which Chinese influence is paramount. He challenges the assumption that China will adopt Western values. Chinese modernity, he argues, would be very different from Western modernity, and China would transform the world far more fundamentally than any other global power has done in the last two centuries.

Martin Jacques, the author of the book “When China Rules the World” is also an economist and columnist of the Guardian and New Statesman. He recently spoke before a TED Salon in London about how China is going to overtake the US sooner than most people think.

What Martin Jacques had outlined in his lecture is of great importance to us Filipinos who are caught in the big geopolitical power game between the US and China. Per Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary, Albert del Rosario, we will continue our “sole strategic partnership” with the US.

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16/12/10 - donga.com

《“새로운 강대국으로 떠오르는 국가는 반드시 자신의 경제력을 정치적, 문화적, 군사적 목적에 이용한다. 세계의 헤게모니가 관련되어 있는 경우에는 이러한 모습을 당연히 보이게 되며 중국도 예외는 아니다. 그러나 서구에서 이러한 시나리오를 떠올리기는 쉽지 않다. 오랫동안 헤게모니를 장악해 왔던 서구 국가들은 대체로 자신들만의 가정 속에 갇혀 있기에 다른 기준으로 세계를 바라볼 수 없기 때문이다. -김민주 (마케팅 컨설턴트)》

중국이 서구식의 근대화 선진화 모델 대신 중국 특유의 모델로서 강대국으로 부상할 것이라고 예견하는 책이다. 중국의 미래는 미국을 중심으로 한 서구가 수세기에 걸쳐 구축해 놓은 소프트한 국제 정치질서에 순종하는 형태가 아닐 것이라는 주장이다.

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