but rather, ‘Why did it take until 1978?’ We shouldn’t be surprised by what\'s happening because China has historically been one of the most advanced countries in the world. There is much that the Chinese can draw upon from their history, which has enabled them to do what they’re doing.
3.Could you explain the notions of a nation state and a civilisation state with regards to China?
The modern concept of a nation state emerged from Europe. With its extraordinary success, European nation states expanded and colonisedmuch of the world. Even after ending imperialism, most newly independent countries adopted the nation state model. National identity is fundamental to the way in which Western nation states are constituted. But with China, we must understand it in civilisational terms.
China was not a nation state, but it was forced by its relative weakness at the end of the 19th century to adopt the nation state model. So whilst it may be a nation state, China is primarily a civilisationstate at the same time. Its sense of consciousness is civilisational rather than national. It is not derived from the past 100 years like other nation states, but rather the past 2,000 years. It has maintained long-held ideologies such as Confucianism, the relationship of state and society, and the notion of family. This is very different from all European countries and the US.
As a civilisation state, China has three key characteristics. Firstly, it has longevity. We’re talking about an extraordinary long historical period – thelongest continuously existing polity in the world. 2000 years. You can’t understand the Chinese state and its relationship with society without it.
Secondly, China has consistency. Chinese civilisation has relatively coincided with Chinese borders over a long historical period.
Thirdly, the sheer scale of Chinahas given it a particular characteristic. A civilisation state is impossible to run under narrow and rigid unitary lines. Although China is not a federal state, the provincial governments have huge powers which nation state cities don’t enjoy.So when Deng Xiao Ping proposed for Hong Kong that it be ‘one
马丁•雅克 中国经济 当中国统治世界 菁华专访
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