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The “Rise” of China: Continuity and Change

  • Jonathan Lipman

Abstract

Watching the awe-inspiring opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, most foreign commentators spoke of the “coming-out party” of China, as if that nation had been insignificant, adolescent, or somehow absent from the world until the summer of 2008. This chapter will show that impression to be profoundly false. China has been a crucial part of the world economy for over a millennium—long before Europe was—a source of everyday and luxury products, a major player in international politics, and a vital wellspring of invention and human creativity. A historian cannot answer this volume’s central question—what does the rise of China mean in our contemporary world? But without some understanding of China’s history, we might be tempted to regard that vast and complex country as a newcomer, which it is not, or as a simple, homogeneous, unitary actor on the world stage, which it has never been.

Keywords

Chinese Woman Communist Party Chinese People Chinese Communist Party Cultural Revolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Eva Paus, Penelope B. Prime, and Jon Western 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Lipman

There are no affiliations available

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