NEW YORK, November 11, 2009 - The world is approaching the end of an era that has long been dominated and shaped by the West, according to Martin Jacques, author of When China Rules the World: The Rise of the Middle Kingdom and the End of the Western World. As the ascendancy of China, India, and other Asian nations challenges Western hegemony, the West will be confronted with the fact that its institutions and values are no longer the predominant model for development.
In conversation with Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director at Asia Society Center on U.S.-China Relations, and Emily Parker, Senior Fellow, Jacques offered his insights into China's rise and the implications for a new global order. The assumption that countries will become Westernized as they develop is "an illusion," according to Jacques.
Jacques explained how China’s distinctive history and culture will challenge the presumption that modernity is synonymous with Westernization. China's long history as a "civilization-state" rather than a nation-state whose overriding political priority has been unity, combined with the unique relationship between its citizens and state, have created a distinctly Chinese modernity that cannot be understood through a Western prism. According to Jacques, the influence of China's brand of modernity is already being seen in the developing world as it extends its soft power reach, and will leave a profound global imprint as China ascends to hegemony.