Home / Business / Macro

Damping down the nation's rejuvenation

By CHENG XIAOHE | China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-12 10:23

In his well-known book, When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order, Martin Jacques claims China's impact on the world will be profound and, in the long term, China will seek "to transform that system while at the same time, in effect, sponsoring a new China-centric international system which will exist alongside the present system and probably slowly begin to usurp it".

Jacques' bullish statement raises the expectation that China may come to dominate the world in the not-too-distant future. However, David Shambaugh, a leading expert in the field of contemporary China studies in the United States, pours cold water on such an upbeat sentiment.

In his newly released book, China Goes Global: the Partial Power, Shambaugh systematically examines China's global impact in economic, political, military and cultural fields.

Although he acknowledges that China's rise is a "big story of our time", he draws conclusions: China is a partial power and the elements of China's global power are actually surprisingly weak and very uneven; China is not as important, and it is certainly not as influential, as conventional wisdom holds; China has a very long way to go before it becomes - if it ever does - a true global power and it will never "rule the world".

As a thoughtful scholar, Shambaugh's sector-by-sector diagnosis is incisive, straightforward and even inspiring to some Chinese, who truly cheer their nation as a rising great power. But he also believes China is a reactive, lonely power and has "very little influence on global cultural trends, minimal soft power and a mixed-to-poor international image".

Standing in sharp contrast with many scholastic books, which pay more attention to China's rising power, Shambaugh's book reveals the downside of China's performance on the world stage. Although this assessment could make many Chinese uncomfortable - as an old Chinese saying goes, good medicine tastes bitter to the mouth, faithful words are contrary to the ears - Shambaugh's diagnosis reads like a wake-up call for many Chinese, who love to celebrate their nation's remarkable economic achievements.

Previous 1 2 Next

Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349