Well before it was published, even before the author had typed his final chapters, this book was causing a stir. What Martin Jacques set out to do – and has done in meticulous detail – was to challenge what he regards as a dangerously false premise: that the rise of China will be benign. Don’t lull yourself into a false sense of security, he warns. China’s ascent to global dominance is inevitable, and the Western world has much to fear.
In so saying, Jacques takes on a formidable global establishment and breaks a series of taboos. Chief among them is the idea that Western civilisation reflects the pinnacle of universal achievement and that the success of individual countries will forever be measured by how closely they match that model.