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New Chinese Empire: And What it Means /Terrill, Ross/Paper/0868407585/S051-D1
A new society and economy has blossomed in post-Mao China, but an old state holds it back. The Chinese dynastic state’s blend of idealism and realism, attachment to doctrine, paternalism, and obsession with unity has continued to shadow ‘revolutionary China’. This book addresses the question central to China today: Is the People’s Republic of China, whose politics is a hybrid of Chinese imperial tradition and Western Marxism, willing to become a modern nation or does it insist on remaining an empire?
Today, with new leader Hu Jintao, China stands as the most contradictory of the major powers, hovering between an unsustainable tradition and a yet-to-be-born political form that would support its new society and economy. Hanging in the balance is the prospect for freedom within China (for Chinese people and also for Tibetan, Uighur, and other non-Chinese), the future of Australia’s relations with China, and the security of China’s neighbours.
This is Ross Terrill’s broadest, most ambitious work, combining political science and history, dealing equally with the People’s Republic of China and China’s imperial story. It weaves in the author’s experiences within China, uses a diversity of Chinese-language sources, and compares the Chinese empire and other ancient and modern empires. Terrill delivers an in-depth picture of where China has come from and where it is going and concludes with scenarios for the fate of the world’s last multi-ethnic empire.