A British journalist with experience reporting from China and Japan, Jacques explores the increasing influence of a strengthening China on international relations. Citing economic statistics in abundance, Jacques depicts China’s booming economy in relative ascendance over those of Europe, Japan, and the U.S. The author argues, however, that China’s civilization rather than its GDP will be the crucial impact on the international system, which he sees as Western-created, U.S.-dominated, and—given Jacques’ certainty that the U.S. is a declining power—destined to be modified by China.

Essentially, Jacques refutes that Western theories of modernization and democratization apply to China and predicts a Chinese style of modernity characterized by a revival of a Chinese historical sense of civilizational superiority. Delivering a tour d’horizon of China’s relations with foreign countries, Jacques envisions their future development as comparable to a comeback of imperial China’s tributary system. Jacques’ views will be discussion starters for trend-spotting students of the world scene.

– Gilbert Taylor