Will the rise of China change the international system built by the industrial and constitutional democracies of the West of the past centuries? Should China be content with the maintenance of that system: one of competing nation-states of absolute sovereignty and relative power? Does the Confucian past contain a moral vision that may connect with universal human values of the modern world? And will the rising China become an engine for a renewed Chinese civilization that contributes to the equity in the international system?
Pondering these fundamental questions, historian Prof. Wang Gungwu probes into the Chinese perception of its place in world history, and traces the unique features that propel China onto its modern global transformation. He depicts the travails of renewal that China has to face and betters our understanding of China’s position in today’s interconnected world. This collection of Prof. Wang Gungwu’s thoughts is a must-read for us to contemplate China’s root and routes along its modernization trajectory.