China

A stimulating yet ultimately flawed portrait of a China-dominated world

Martin Jacques, academic and former editor of Marxism Today, is a big fan of the Chinese development model. In his new book, When China Rules the World: The Rise of the Middle Kingdom and the End of the Western World, Jacques makes the provocative argument that China is not only set to rise in stature within the current system, but in fact will overturn the system and reconfigure it according to essential Chinese principles.

The thesis is stimulating and the book well-written, but it falls short of convincing to those who do not already share the statist premise.

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英国资深媒体人,专栏作家马丁·杰克斯(Martin Jacques)2009年出版的《中国统治世界之时:中央王国的崛起和西方世界的终结》(When China Rules the World: The Rise of the Middle Kingdom and the End of the Western World)激起很大反响。

书的标题回答了许多人从来不认为是个问题的问题:西方(先是欧洲,然后是美国)占据了很久的世界主导地位是否终于行将结束,人类进入中国主导世界的时代?杰克斯看来答案很清楚。
经济实力是政治、军事和文化实力的基础,而根据投资银行高盛的预计,再过十多年中国就将取代美国成为世界头号经济强国,到2050年中国经济的规模将扩大到美国的两倍。
杰克斯认为,假以时日,中国不会变得更西方化;世界将变得更中国化。中国作为一个“文明-国家”(civilisation state),它主宰下的世界会是什么样呢?到目前为止没有多少人真正思考过。世界并没有对此作好准备。

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With its provocative title, this well-written and timely book by the well-known British journalist Martin Jacques is something of a publisher’s dream. A cut above the annual crop of run-of-the-mill “China threat” books, Jacques’ thoughtful analysis is selling well and deservedly so. It combines an excellent introduction to Chinese history and culture with an exposition of the main arguments surrounding the 21st century “rise of China”, albeit heavily weighted in favor of the author’s own views. It even throws in an excellent chapter on Japan that, taken on its own, would be a good enough reason for buying the book.

But what of the massive assumption contained in the book’s title? Does Jacques manage to make his case that China is set to rule the world? Talk of the emergence of a G2 of America and China in the wake of the crash of 2008 appears, if not to confirm, then at least prefigure China’s rise to preeminence. None of the great issues facing the world can be solved without reference to and without the agreement of the “big two.” All eyes are on the U.S. and China as the world gathers in Copenhagen to address the existential threat of global warming. But counting as one of the world’s biggest problems does not translate to occupancy of the top seat, and would in any case be an unhappy way to ascend the throne.

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Books about China’s ascendancy to a leading world power are often prefaced by the word “if,” but author Martin Jacques has defied the formula by giving his book the eye-catching title, When China Rules the World: The Rise of the Middle Kingdom and the End of the Western World. The British writer, broadcaster and former visiting professor at Renmin University of China, is currently promoting his thought-provoking and somewhat controversial work.

Published by Penguin in June, Jacques’ latest book is a comprehensive and richly detailed analysis of China’s ascendancy and influence he believes it will have on East Asia and the rest of the world – including the West.

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Regardless of how you feel about China, one thing is clear- that it has captured the imagination of much of the world for good and bad. With its surging economy and growing global importance, there has certainly not been a dearth of writers, academics and journalists who believe China will be the next superpower. Leading UK intellectual, Asia expert and journalist Martin Jacques’ latest book boldly proclaims that not only will China become a superpower that may lead the world, but its rise will signify the end of the dominance of the West (the U.S. and Western Europe) in global affairs.

With When China Rules the World, he has written an ambitious, insightful and wide-ranging piece of work that argues that China’s rise will shake up the world order, due to its unique sense of identity and culture.

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英国专家雅克批判西方人的同时却掉入了同样的怪圈,他认为,中国的崛起会像西方曾经的崛起那样在全世界建立一个以自己为主导的中国模式

《国际先驱导报》记者杨英发自北京 让我们闭上眼睛来想像这样的画面:哈佛商学院的学生指着地图上的中国上海说:“这里,我的理想在这里。”在非母语国家旅行的游客拦住一位当地人问:“请问您会讲普通话吗?”周边国家围绕着复兴的中国,深深折服于中华文化的博大精深,感谢中国给予无私的经济援助;孔子的学说、秦朝的建立、四大发明、新中国的建立变得众所周知;人民币成为世界货币……
听起来多么不可思议!但这就是英国的中国问题研究专家马丁·雅克在他的新书《当中国统治世界——中央帝国的崛起和西方世界的终结》一书中为我们描绘的可能的未来景象。

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Recent books dealing with China’s unprecedented development over the last 30 years and its future have an annoyingly-repetitive habit of starting out by yelling the big facts: the country’s GDP growth, urban migration, education levels – and normally a concern or two about corruption, reforms and opacity. While these are all important issues to address, it does make the majority of these titles blend into one singular snapshot of the country.

At least journalist Martin Jacques tries a different and more anthropological tact. When China Rules the World leaves it until page 73 before it seriously starts to look at China and its current position. Until that point the book concentrates on exploring previous models of industrial revolution: Britain’s in the 1750s, the United States’ soon after, and Japan’s rise in the 19th and early 20th century following its adoption of many Western institutions and attitudes.

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中國改革開放三十年,經濟上取得驕人成績。心存「恐慌」的西方國家每隔一段日子,就會拋出一套「中國威脅論」;權威的「神算子」更預測,中國經濟實力到2030年時會超越美國,成為世界中心。

有關「中國威脅論」的書籍,近年熱爆歐美書市。英國上月出版一書涉及類似的威脅論,書未寫完,已轟動全球。書中提到的中國威脅,非指經濟或軍事,而是文化威脅。

作者認為,中國將以文化統治世界。到時,周邊國家向中國朝貢;有更多人看中國電影和學習漢語。 文:余綺平 圖:網上圖片

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中国的崛起将改变的不仅仅是世界经济格局,还将彻底动摇我们的思维和生活方式

以前,谈论中国统治世界话题的书通常以“如果”开始。如今,开场白更多转向假设性的“当……时”。这就是我们所生活的时代。马丁·雅克关于中国崛起的著作长达550页,但对其飞速经济发展是否不可阻挡的问题却惜墨如金。该书几乎完全不理会有关对中央王国的另一种流行——且看似很合理的——假设:“当中国奇迹破灭时。”

雅克的书基于如下推断:到2050年,中国将成为世界最大经济体,超过美国和那时的第三大经济体印度。借助GDP“无情的手段”,中国将在政治和军事上成为全球最强大的国家。雅克认为,中国的崛起将推翻对何为现代的“西方式”看法。他说,有关全球化的想当然结论认为,其他国家现代化会打上西方烙印,“我们习惯于西方化甚至美国化的世界,不能想象若非如此世界将会怎样”。

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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