Rising China

Rising China

Rising China is the topic of a lecture given by economist Martin Jacques who was speaking at a TED Salon in London. He asked: How do we in the West make sense of China and its phenomenal rise? The author of “When China Rules the World,” Mr. Jacques examines why the West often puzzles over the growing power of the Chinese economy, and he offers three building blocks for understanding what China is and will become.

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“The world is changing with really remarkable speed. BNP Parbias, a bank, projects that China will have a larger economy than the United States’ in the year 2020 – just a decade away.” This is how Mr. Jacques opens his lecture in the TED salon in London. Mr. Jacques believes that the world is changing right before our eyes, and it is happening faster than we can recognize. China is quickly becoming an economic powerhouse that the West can no longer ignore.

Watch: Martin Jacques Talks about Rising China


Rising China is Changing the World

Mr. Jacques believe that Rising China is going to change the world in two fundamental respects: “First of all, it is a huge, developing country with a population of 1.3 billion people, and it has been growing for over thirty years at around 10% a year. Within a decade it will have the largest economy in the world. Never before, in the modern era, has the largest economy in the world been that of a developing country rather than that of a developed country.”


“Secondly, for the first time in the modern era, the dominant country in the world, which I think is what China will become, will be not from the West but from very different civilization groups. I know that it is a wide-spread assumption in the West that as countries modernize they also westernize. This is an illusion! It’s an assumption that modernity is a product simply of competition markets and technology. It is not. It is also shaped equally by history and culture. China is not like the west and it will not become like the west. It will remain in very fundamental respects very different.”

Mr. Jacques thinks that the West has a problem with understanding Rising China, since the West looks at China and tries to understand it using Western terms and Western ideas. He suggests three building blocks that will help the West and westerners to understand China.