Back in the early 1980s, when the Japanese economy was on a roll, the number of books, journal and media articles extolling its strength and impact became almost a weekly staple of publication that the late Dr. Hadi Soesastro remarked at a CSIS Jakarta seminar “I’m going to commit suicide if another speaker is going talk again about the virtues of Japanese economic model.”
It is with the same sense of measured reluctance that I read through China’s Rise by Gary Schmitt, China Megatrends by John Naisbitt and When China Rules the World by Martin Jacques. All this after scanning through The Beijing Consensus by Stephen Halper and, tellingly, during China’s current troubles facing devastating floods, landslides, acute rural and urban problems and lowered pace of economic growth.
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When China Rules The World: The Rise Of The Middle Kingdom And The End Of The Western World
The less-than-subtle title of this thought provoking book almost guarantees it will be read. Some will be drawn to it because the idea of China ruling the world — or, perhaps, the United States losing global supremacy — is what they want to hear. Others will be attracted because the book spells out what they fear (we all secretly enjoy the thrill of a good horror story at times). Martin Jacques has both bases covered. Quite clever, really.
The central premise to Jacques’ 550-page warning-red tome is that China’s rise is assured and the Western world, which has been top dog for more than two centuries, should be worried sick. The British journalist and author argues that the West’s conviction that all developing nations aspire to one universal idea of modernity, and that Western civilization (popular representation, rule of law, free markets, etc.) reveals human achievement at its most admirable, is flawed or, at least, outdated.
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