China Is Not Like The West, Nor Will It Ever Be

March 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

A fantastic talk by Martin Jacques on China. Three take-away points –

  1. What makes Chinese people Chinese, is not anything from the last 100 years. It goes back two millenia. It’s sense of civilisation goes way further back than any Western nation, and is a Civilisation State, rather than a Nation State.
  2. The notion of race. Although China is very diverse, and very decentralised – Chinese society puts unity comes before anything else. It sees itself as uni-racial.
  3. The way power is constructed in China, is very different from the Western experience – leading to a very different relationship with the state. It is not an outside invader of personal freedoms, but rather a patriarch of the family, central to the everyday experience.

h/t Duncan Green

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