The emergence of China as an economic super-power, holding its own with, and surpassing, the US, is now taken for granted. However, both admirers and detractors of China have been viewing it in the conventional setting, implying some sort of a deviation from the commonly touted notions of politics and economics. They pine for the prospect of China somehow righting itself and conforming to political theories, economic dogmas and social mores familiar to them.

The success of the West in imposing its model so far was largely for want of a spirited effort by the countries of the Orient to contest its basic assumptions. China’s pre-eminence threatens the postulates that the West has long cherished. That is what explains both its fascination for, and fear of, China. What if the political, social and functional paradigm that it represents becomes universal and China, in effect, sets out to rule the world?

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