Tuesday, April 18, 2017

How History Has Shaped China's Push for Global Power

Just prior to Nixon’s visit to China in 1972, the then Chinese premier Zhou Enlai, was asked how he thought the visit might turn out. He answered “for us, it is all right if the talks succeed, and it is all right if they fail.” A little inscrutable for sure. But also a reflection of a China that was very cautious about it’s place in the world. A nation focused on its own internal issues and that on the global stage, has seen it all.

It’s an almost unspoken sense of history. Of a nation that has seen its fortunes rise and fall. A sense of a scope of time, often unimagined in the West.

But today, that seems to be changing. China, now seems to want its rightful and earned place in the world.  Howard French helps us to understand this in Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China's Push for Global Power.

My conversation with Howard French: