Martin Jacques and Chinese civilisation

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?

7 thoughts on “Martin Jacques and Chinese civilisation”

  1. The Chinese firmly believe in their own exceptionalism, which encompasses everything from racial differences with other populations to a Golden Age belief in the superiority of their civilisation

    Perhaps the most bizarre example of this is a belief, promulgated by the Chinese state, that they are effectively a different species, one descended from a mythical homo erectus population that occupied China before Homo Sapiens emerged from Africa.

    Of course, DNA evidence says otherwise, but that belief is still being promoted nonetheless.

  2. The DNA of the southern Chinese is consistent with northern Chinese conquerors having slaughtered the local males and bred with the local females.

  3. “a mythical homo erectus population that occupied China before Homo [s]apiens emerged from Africa.”

    Nothing mythical about it: Homo erectus pekinensis, Homo erectus yuanmouensis, Homo erectus nankinensis, Homo erectus lantianensis.

  4. Good for the Chinese. And I hope they never get Nu labor
    Britain used to be a civilisation once.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *