Will the rise of China change the international system built by the industrial and constitutional democracies of the West of the past centuries? Should China be content with the maintenance of that system: one of competing nation-states of absolute sovereignty and relative power? Does the Confucian past contain a moral vision that may connect with universal human values of the modern world? And will the rising China become an engine for a renewed Chinese civilization that contributes to the equity in the international system?
Pondering these fundamental questions, historian Prof. Wang Gungwu probes into the Chinese perception of its place in world history, and traces the unique features that propel China onto its modern global transformation. He depicts the travails of renewal that China has to face and betters our understanding of China’s position in today’s interconnected world. This collection of Prof. Wang Gungwu’s thoughts is a must-read for us to contemplate China’s root and routes along its modernization trajectory.
In this thought-provoking volume an eminent historian takes up major issues concerning a rising China's place in the international system and provides answers by drawing upon decades of learning and reflections. The book combines a plea to the wisdom of Asian leaders, a prescription for the Chinese to look beyond the violence and violations of colonialisms and revolutions, and a statement of confidence in Chinese abilities to adapt and contribute. It is a must-read for anyone who contemplates the global significance of the transformation of modern and contemporary China.
--Wen-hsin Yeh, University of California, Berkeley
Professor Wang Gungwu, one of the world's most eminent historians of China, has contributed this major study which helps observers understand how China's future on the world stage will be constrained by its complex history and conflicted national identity. In this truly globalized history of China, the author has written an integrated narrative that is filled with insights and should be read by all who wish to understand how China's unsettled past will shape its unpredictable future."
--David Shambaugh, George Washington University
This collection of Professor Wang's historical thought is a rich analysis of how China emerged, from earliest times to the present. The emphasis is on how culture and politics interacted to solve problems of state, livelihood and security. In his usual insightful way, Professor Wang uses the changes in Chinese self-consciousness and the resulting forms of government to illuminate China's march to modernity.
--Philip Kuhn, Harvard University
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