The bottom line: Tons of concrete historical information yet not as solid prediction on China’s global legacy.
As the title suggests, When China Rules the World foretells that the global dynamics of power will soon dramatically shift in favor of China.
This shift will be economic, political, and cultural, and will give rise to a new global order. This ascendancy will happen in spite of Chinese implementation of many bedrocks of the Western world such as government transparency, democracy, and economic freedom. Martin Jacques argues that the world has miscalculated China, and their roadmap to world power looks completely different to that of traditional Western powers.
This book does a fantastic job of building up intellectual capital and presenting objective data that reveals how Western assumptions lack tangible value in their application to the Chinese. Resultantly, Jacques doesn’t come off as unnecessarily alarmist or blindly optimistic—he depicts the yet-to-be determined future based upon the quantifiable present. However, while the book portrays what happened (and therefore explaining how China rose as it did) in such detail, it tends to make its projections with much less factual support and general assumptions. Consequently, there exists the unmistakable conclusion that China will continue to rise without convincing evidence as to where that rise will ultimately place China in the race for global domination.
The book has two main parts: “The End of the Western World” and “The Age of China.” Part I describes how the United States rose to global ascendancy and points to other success stories using the Western model. Part II gives a background on China and highlights how its uniqueness is exactly what qualifies it to rise without Western rules.
If for nothing else, When China Rules the World will provide eye-opening insights into the nation whose history and development has taken a course far different that what is considered “typical” in the 21st century. Looking back, this book will provide much reliable information, but looking forward, the author’s stance becomes much more subjective.
Dr. C. H. E. Sadaphal