I have enjoyed reading Martin Jacques’ opinions published in the BBC website and I though it would be good to share them here:
As a Chinese whom speaks, writes and breath Chinese I am please to see that someone in the West has finally cracked it! Jacques understands China. He is also able to put in words the very differences which distinguish Chinese worldview and that of the West.
Among the interesting points he made is the fact that Chinese has a deep sense of superiority, and this is due to their view on history and culture. Jacques also refers to China as a civilisation state, effectively differentiating it from the West’s understanding of ‘nation state’. The Chinese simply has a very different worldview and culture. It is true, from my own reading and feeling, that China, or the Centre State (中国), has never thought itself as any less, than being the centre and most supreme. History does attest this. In fact, there have been records of people as far as Africa living in China as early as Tang Dynasty, and all those who have come to China has accepted the superiority of the Chinese culture and many have since been assimilated. So there has never been a desire to be superior or world domination. Instead, having people coming to China and wanted to stay and willingly becoming a part of the society has always been a norm. Furthermore, stronger neighbours have, over the ages, came to China for learning. The Japanese, Koreans and Vietnamese have all been a part of the grand Chinese sphere of influence and the Chinese are so used to being the centre of civilisation admired by others. Thus, with this so-called resurgence of China, the Chinese are just relishing a return to what they used to be.