« Yes, the market is efficient | Main | Health spending & life expectancy »

August 13, 2009



Jacques is, in the words of Confucious, a complete bell end. I'm not sure about the democracy/creativity/hegemony axis, though. One of the slightly depressing things about the way China is developing internally is how much "creativity" is entirely compatible with dictatorial rule. The proximate barrier to hegemony here is really language. There's also the fact that a)China isn't particularly interested in spreading cultural influence outside the Chinese speaking world on any mass level and b) there isn't a Chinese ideal that is designed to serve as a beacon to others. Beijing isn,t saying "you should all do it like us", Jacques is saying it. That's what makes him such a bell end. It's transferred nationalism, in Orwell's phrase.


Martin Jacques argues that as China gets rich, it will not become westernized, but it will become a hegemonic power, using its economic might for political, military and cultural purposes.

This is so and the name of my blog is drawn directly from this. They are utilizing the market economy while it behoves them to.

John Terry's Mum

An interesting talk on what life might be like in an Era of Chinese Hegemony



"the creativity which gave rise to this hegemony is a democratic creation"

The US was a democracy at the time of de Tocqueville? Not if we count Blacks as people.

Phillip Huggan

Not if you count prisoners (blacks) now. Can vote in Canada (and Maine and VT I think). Give them the vote and a lobby may just develop to end this vestige of slavery.

Bruno Vartuli

In my view, democrasy can be manipulated like any other political system. We are lead to belivieve that globalisation created by democrasy is good for the whole world population. Is It? I think that globalisation = capitalism = jiant corporation = more super millioner and thefore little people has to slave to make a living. China survived in the past! The future depend on smart and cosciencious leader! not on a political nomination system.One day China rule the world and the world will rule China.


Quote: "And if the relationship between GDP growth and poverty reduction remains the same as it was between 1981 and 2004, then even 20 years of 8% growth will still leave over 50 million living below $1.25 a day, and leave the average Chinese only four-fifths as rich as the average Englishman is today."

-- Comparing the income level between China and US might give Americans a bit hope, but this generally is not a good way to think about how China will grow. For example, let's take a look of McDonald's Big Mac and use that as a fair price indicator, which translates into an 80% undervalued Yuan. That leads us to the following 2 items:

1. PPP - Purchasing Power Parity
It's hard to get a precise number but you can tell that the real income difference between mid-class Chinese and Americans are actually a lot smaller than we know.

2. Dollars' position as world reserved currency is in danger. The only reason why it is still holding up is because this unique role, while Chinese have realized it and they are seriously challenging it. If its position is replaced, the rise of Yuan and Asian currency will further close the income gap between China and U.S.

The author of this review is making the same mistake that Jacques actually pointed out in his book - I hope he'll read it again, is to assume and think in a widely accepted western thought process, while overlooking some of the most important factors - whether by ignorance or by intention, however either makes little difference to support an already weak argument.


Quote: "....It is when American high school students aspire to study at Chinese universities, and when the brightest Americans migrate to China that China will become truly hegemonic. How likely is this?"

---- When China's economy grows, its citizen's income will grow, and business opportunity will grow.. all these will attract young professionals, be them Chinese or foreigners. In return, they will get to experience the 5000 years Chinese history and its culture. How likely is this? oh very likely, just ask the millions of foreigners who already live and work in China.


China isn't this cohesive, well organised state that people think it is...

this is from a journal article wot I wrote:


Managing diversity. We often think of China as coherent nation with a strong central government, but China is very diverse. The population is huge (1.3 billion) but not uniform – there are 7 major dialects spoken, and 80 languages in use. Despite the appearance of a strong centralized state power – in reality decision making is highly decentralized as there are 31 provinces, 656 cities, and 48,000 districts.
A lack of private sector and capitalist ‘soft infrastructure’. China is overwhelmingly a state led economy. Half of the productive capacity of China is in state hands, and all 11 of China’s Fortune 500 companies are state controlled and owned. Some commentators (such as Hutton, 2006) argue that China lacks much of the ‘soft infrastructure’ of market-led economies. An example of this is preparing graduate and professional skills. McKinsey Global Institute estimated that China and India have more than twice the young professionals in fields such as engineering, finance and life sciences than the US – but only 1 in 8 of these workers would make suitable candidates for employment in a multinational corporation.
Uneven economic growth and development. Economic growth in China is uneven, in terms of the distribution amongst its population and the provinces. Out of China’s 31 provinces, 8 of these are responsible for three quarters of economic growth since 2000. China has achieved levels near 10 per cent GDP growth per annum, but only 1 per cent employment growth. China needs to create 24 million new jobs per year for migrants leaving the countryside, students leaving schools and colleges, and the newly unemployed from rationalizing state enterprises. It is estimated that hidden and official unemployment comprises 23 per cent of the workforce and totals 170 million.
Social and institutional barriers to commerce. China faces many problems to undertaking commerce such as bureaucracy, transparency of law and regulations, an under-developed financial and accounting system, social unrest, the inconsistent application of laws and regulations locally, and corruption.


Quote: "....We often think of China as coherent nation with a strong central government, but China is very diverse. The population is huge (1.3 billion) but not uniform – there are 7 major dialects spoken, and 80 languages in use. "

Glenn, I think you meant 80 different dialects, as a matter of fact, there are probably more than 80, in the province of Fujian, a villager will not be able to understand what people are talking about if he travels, lets say 80 miles. There are hundreds of dialects spoken in China, Cantonese is just one of them. The city where I was born - Xian, the local dialect is called Shaanxi Hua, presumably has the similar tone when the first emperor -QingShiHuangDi spoke to his people.

However that's not the point I am trying to prove, the matter of fact is that all Chinese speak Mandarin, they all use the same characters, that's what unifies them, about 94% of them think they are Han Chinese - the majority in China. But you can tell the physical difference among them, from the northern part of China, like Xian, people are taller and stronger, like me they mostly have a square face and rigid jaws. Going down to the south, people are much smaller, but faster, they tend to have a round face.

The majic of all these is they all think they are Han Chinese, that's why China - as the world oldest civilization, went through ups and downs, but never broke up, and going ever strong.

I admire Jacques's work, apparently he did some serious study and really understands the root of Chinese culture. or you can say that he is "civilized" - in Chinese people's eyes. That is the fearsome power of Chinese civilization.

The comments to this entry are closed.

blogs I like

Blog powered by Typepad