You know, I\’m not entirely sure about this:
The Chinese do not think of themselves in terms of nation but civilisation; it is the latter that gives them their sense of identity.
Although we tend to think of China in somewhat homogeneous terms, it is a continent that contains great diversity; and to govern a continent requires a plurality of systems that a nation state would never tolerate. The maxim of a nation state is “one nation, one system”; that of a civilisation state is, of necessity, “one country, several systems”.
Think back to the constitutional formula that underpinned the handover of Hong Kong: “one country, two systems”. Despite Western scepticism, the Chinese really meant it, as the Hong Kong of today clearly illustrates.
Now imagine what it might be like to have a civilisation state, rather than a nation state, as the world\’s dominant power: the consequences are bound to be very far-reaching but very difficult to conceive because of its unfamiliarity.
I think it\’s just as valid to think of China as a racial (as opposed to racist) state. A Han Chinese state.
But of course, saying that wouldn\’t get you feted in leftist circles now, would it?