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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This article examines how recent books by academics and public intellectuals are reshaping the discourse of the rise of China. While earlier trends argued that China was being socialized into the norms of international society, many texts now proclaim that due to its unique civilization, China will follow its own path to modernity. Such books thus look to the pastChinas imperial historyfor clues to not only Chinas future, but also the worlds future. This discourse, which could be called Sino-speak,presents an essentialized Chinese civilization that is culturally determined to rule Asia, if not the world. The article notes that nuanced readings of Chinas historical relations with its East Asian neighbors provide a critical entry into a more sophisticated analysis of popular declarations of Chinese exceptionalism.But it concludes that this critical analysis is largely overwhelmed by the wave of Sino-speak. 

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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 -

《“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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“중국은 지난 10년 동안 높은 성장을 기록했다. 하지만 앞으로 더욱 놀라운 일을 벌일 것 같다. 각국이 안전 벨트를 해야 할지도 모른다. 10년 뒤 중국의 국내총생산(GDP)은 13조 달러로 미국의 3분의 2 수준에 이를 것으로 보이는데, 이는 지금의 중국이 한 개 반 정도 더 생기는 것이다. 미국 GDP 성장보다 2배 빠른 속도로 성장할 것이다.”

브릭스(BRICs)라는 단어를 만든 짐 오닐 골드만삭스 글로벌자산운용 회장이 11월3일 방한 기자간담회에서 설명한 중국의 급성장에 대한 대목이다.

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15/10/10 -

한승동의 동서횡단 /

19세기 중반까지도 유럽의 평균적 소득(생활) 수준은 중국의 그것을 넘어서지 못했다. 특수한 경우를 예외로 한다면, 유사 이래 중국 인민 일반의 평균적 삶의 질은 적어도 19세기 중반까지는 유럽보다 우위에 있었고, 정도 차이는 있었겠지만 조선 등 동아시아 전체가 그랬을 것이다.

지난 200여년간 그런 관계는 서구 우위로 역전됐다. 마틴 자크의 <중국이 세계를 지배하면>은 21세기 들어 그 관계가 재역전되고 있음을 알리는 최근의 많은 저작물들 중의 하나다. 마틴 자크는 소련식 개혁개방인 페레스트로이카와 글라스노스트가 서구식 민주주의와 민영화·시장제일주의를 강요한 과도한 서구 근대화 모델 추종 때문에 실패로 끝나면서 양극분해와 매판적 올리가르히들이 득세하는 혼란과 퇴락을 면치 못했던 사실을 떠올린다.

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