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When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order: Second Edition

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  752 ratings  ·  98 reviews
How China's ascendance as an economic superpower will alter the cultural, political, social, and ethnic balance of global power in the twenty-first century, unseating the West and in the process creating a whole new world
According to even the most conservative estimates, China will overtake the United States as the world's largest economy by 2027 and will ascend to the po
ebook, 576 pages
Published November 12th 2009 by Penguin Books (first published 2008)
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Update: 13 December 2011

The Atlantic Monthly had an excellent article that I thought was quite revealing about how evolution towards greater public space for diverse opinions in China will and will not follow American trends. The article, “Clash of Civilizations: The Confusion of Being a Chinese Student in America”, is well-worth reading in full.

Brian, this might interest you in particular. The extracted comments below illustrate well, I feel, the different cultural views that the Chinese have
Troy Parfitt
Part Wish, Part Propaganda, Much Pish Posh

Martin Jacques’s When China Rules the World is well written, nicely packaged, and fails utterly in explaining why China is going to rule the world. But then, maybe we should it expect it to. After all, it’s not called Why China Will Rule the World, but with a title like the one it has, one can be forgiven for expecting a concrete explanation.

In this book, you’ll find academic prose, a massive select bibliography, 70 pages of notes, lovely maps and graph
Lately there have been a lot of negative reviews about this book, here for example, a review that equates Jacques with (cringe!) Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington of neo-con fame. This review, like others, calls Jacques view of China negative (racism thing, coming culture clash). I have say, almost having finished with this book, that's not what I took from Jacques message but then, I like to think I'm smarter than the average bear.

What's important to keep in mind while reading this book is to
After a long hiatus I've gone back to finish this. It is, in my opinion, one of the most important books written on the topic in many years -- insightful, intelligent, never dogmatic, informed by a true historical vision -- it is a book that I think will long outlast its critics... of which there seem to be quite a few.

I have read some of the reviews of this book -- not all, of course -- and have to say that I have rarely seen so many understand so little. For the most part, they seem to have si
I finally gave up on this. I just couldn't suffer through the last 100-150 pages. While I agree with the thesis (that China's growing economic power will make it the most influential nation of the 21st century, and that this shift will have far reaching consequences that the world is only starting to feel), I was unable to get more than a couple of pages at a time before I found some other assertion by the author that was often (at best) unsupported by his previous text and occasionally (at wors ...more
A very interesting premise. The book is divided into two parts, of varying quality - about the fall of the western world, and the rise of the Chinese. Covers both topics from a historical, economic, and political perspective.

Some of the conclusion are very interesting (e.g. China will modernize in its own way with a relatively authoritarian government, and not necessarily follow the Western method of industrialization which also involves greater social liberties), but some of the chapters and as
Represents so much of what I dislike in popular non-fiction like Thomas Friedman's "The World is Flat." Over generalizing, uninformed, and myopic. The issue it discusses is a serious one, but it adds little to nothing of value and does a disservice to the layman looking to get informed.
Write a review…A different book. Almost all the books I have read on China provide a Western perspective: what is likely to happen given the Western concepts of what is right and just, what should happen to keep Western values/hegemony intact, how West should shape China's growing powers etc or how according to Western experiences, China's political and economic future is going to be. This book provides the exact anti-thesis.

As a result, the book is as biased as any one is likely to come across.
For such a long book, this tome has surprisingly little content, nor is it at all enjoyable to read. I shouldn't have finished it.

Theoretically, the book is an examination of China's history and economy with the aim of preparing Westerners for the worldwide cultural shifts that will occur when China becomes the largest economy and then *really* takes off. I have some anxiety around this (one thing I did get out of the book is that being an American is hard, because we're the superpower--smaller
Jakey Gee
Hugely interesting, in general, and a good grounding in some key tenets of Chinese culture and politics. I came to this as one of those readers for whom China is known mostly through the BBC World Service and the odd flare up over Taiwan and Japan – and from the angle of a stratospheric economy run by a fantasy communist party that doesn’t allow protests or Facebook. It’s also pretty good on Japan, as a powerful contrast to China’s journey. I found the coverage of racism and the Chinese superior ...more
As the hypebolic marketing-speak title indicates, this is not an attempt at a balanced view of the much-discussed Rise of China - in parts, it is more like one of those colour supplements you used to get in the Sunday newspaper, extolling the virtues of investing in Belarussia or some such authoritarian paradise ('enjoy our fully flexible labour force!'). Jacques outlines the inevitable rise of China as an economic power well and this was engaging enough, especially the bits about the two-speed ...more
So this is one of those books that I felt was entirely too long/redundant, but read it to the end anyways. But there are a few enlightening points in here, for people unfamiliar with China and/or global economics (Which describes me a little bit. I think any politician harping on how China is stealing our jerbs should read this for sure). The main takeaways are how China's sense of uniqueness and self-importance will really shape international relations as the size of the country's economy grows ...more
Ignatius Tan
The problem with this book is that there is a mass of facts presented but I can't seem to see them structured into a coherent set of arguments to support the thesis as set out in the title of the book. Furthermore, a lot of facts that would argue against the rise of China were not presented and countered to sufficiently defend the central thesis.

As an ethnic Chinese person, I find it ironic that this book has been described as an assault on conventional thinking about China, since it very much r
Crabby McGrouchpants
Shockingly, the title (neither about "hard power" takeover nor cyber- and economic-invasion, but centrifugal pull) is wholly borne out in its provocativeness by the evidence patiently laid out by the author: a cumulative revelation-fest of how, yes, the cards are stacking up this way.

The idea that the United States could end up like England or France (-ish), rather than towering or toppled into a dystopian mess, isn't very "sexy" — but, this is what separates those who know better (i.e., "those

This book is a comprehensive study on the Chinese growth phenomenon, which all of us are witnessing now. China does have some influences in our life, but only by products and culture. Most of us are familiar with Chinese products and used them in our life sometime or other.Culturally Chinese Arts like Kung-Fu, Taichi, Wushu etc. are spreading all around the world and China is trying to support this cultural influences. This much is true.
But if China will rule the world? As of now, it seems a far
Robert Morris
Martin Jacques is a little too in love with his thesis. At initial publication this book performed a valuable service. Pre-financial crisis, people probably did take an excessively relaxed view of the consequences of China's rise. This edition of the book, however, is very much a mid-crisis animal. Every chapter is suffused with the awareness of the West's rapid decline, and China's new power and prestige. This change in relative power is a fact, and the data that he marshals to support his poin ...more
Bence Toth
Contents fall short of what is implied by the title (at least what I was anticipating, also from reading the appraisals): what you get is a description of key characteristics of China (according to the author) and a speculative reasoning how these characteristics might influence the modernization-path of China and its place in the world as a dominant force.
Very little time is spent assessing the potential pitfalls that could easily derail the rather bright outlook presented by the author, and v
Very interesting read on China and her rise as a major world power. Very clear and well-researched book on modern China (and her traditional roots), and how China is impacting the geopolitical scene in the 21s century.

As an ethnic Chinese, I'm surprised by how well Martin Jacques has elucidated the typical Chinese thinking, that we are a civilisation with very ancient roots. If you are brought up in a Chinese family, no matter how 'Westernised' you are, you would be imbibed by certain views of
I've always wanted to use the word 'epiphany'. To me, it sounds as cheerful as the event itself must be.
Anyway, I never got to it - largely due to not having had any...

Until this book.

I have rarely read a book which collects the fundamentals of a country, its people and beliefs like this one.
The popular Western question "will China develop into an image of ourselves?" is elaborately - albeit indirectly - discussed. 'Unlikely' is the inevitable answer after an excellent concluding chapter.

The fin
An intriguing title that fairly meets the challenge in predicting the state of the world and how China will rule as a hegemonic entity. The premise is that China will not evolve to what we currently acknowledge as a modern and democratic country. Potentially far from it, China will be greatly influenced by the fact that it is a civilisation state thoroughly obsessed with unity and with rooted values architected by Confucius. The "century of humiliation" due to the Western and Japanese occupation ...more
When China Rules the World, the book pronounces the emergence of a new impetus and burgeoning economic power, and within the next 15-20 years, China is threatening to dethrone the United States as the global economic superpower. The projected economic prowess of China is staggering.
Future indications and projections are scary for America suggesting a major shift in the global economic landscape. In 2025, projected GDP numbers indicate the sudden rise of China. However, projections further into t
This book is absolutely brilliant. In a style that is both scholarly and readable, the author shows that China has already overtaken the West, and will continue to do so both economically and culturally. And we Americans are so parochial that we won't even know what hit us. He has eight main points that support his thesis.
1) China is not a nation as we perceive it, but rather a civilization, with an unbroken history of at least 3,000 years. So we shouldn't try to make it fit our political model
This is, as everyone says, an important and timely book. Of course it is. The more interesting point is that it's actually rather good, and admirably coherent. Unlike some other recent books on China, which seem to hinge on one idea and uses it as a crow-bar with which to attack all issues relating to China (Will Hutton is definitely guilty in this regard), or one approach to the world (as with Kissinger and yet another book nominally about Realpolitik but which often seems to be more a thinly v ...more
C.H.E. Sadaphal
This book thrives in inviting the reader to view the world from Chinese eyes as opposed to most books on China that portray the civilization-nation through a tainted Western lens. Since both routes are biased, I assume the real truth lies somewhere in the middle.

The book is undoubtedly pro-China and gives insight in how their current economic, political, social, familial and power structures are a result of thousands of years of civilization that has only recently (late 1970s on) began to embrac
Megan (Book Brats)
Aug 04, 2011 Megan (Book Brats) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Megan (Book Brats) by: Professor
This book was assigned reading for me in a graduate-level Chinese foreign relations class. I didn’t expect much going in, but I was pleasantly surprised, both with the level of analysis offered by Jacques and with the readability. Like many students, I’ve been inundated for years with wordy scholarly pieces that make little sense to my homework-addled mind, but this book was actually fun to read, exciting and interesting with each turn of the page. It made me interested to learn more about China ...more
Paul Samael
Thoroughly bemused by the number of positive reviews this book has received - I found it over-long, repetitive, turgid in its treatment of statistics and questionable in its central assumption that the West is doomed to decline and China is destined to soar off into the stratosphere where it will dominate the new world order in a largely benign manner. I am not the only reader who seems to have felt that way, but I would have to admit that we do seem to be in the minority - so maybe I am missing ...more
I could not agree entirely with author. As a native Chinese, I don't really see the effect of Confucianism has on the modern China. Since the cultural revolution, there is a rupture in the inheritance of Confucianism. As of now, I don't see a serious revival of it. The author's arguments on the Confucianism as an important line of Civilization as the Hellenistic one, which provides a competing alternative to the "contested modernity" can be seriously harmed by the fact that Confucianism itself i ...more
I read this book because I'm spending much of he next two years working in China, and felt I should have some idea about what the country was like. In this regard, the book is informative. It gives you a potted history of the country, how they see themselves and why they are how they are. If I had actually read this book before I arrived, I would probably have been better prepared for what I experieced here.

The strengths of the book lie in the explanation of the Chinese psychology. Their history
Stewart Morris
This book will certainly help readers to get an understanding of modern China, and is full of interesting and challenging ideas.

For the most part I enjoyed the book and feel a lot better informed as a result of reading it.

But I also found some things about the book very frustrating:

- Martin Jacques reveals some interesting concepts early in the book (e.g. the civilisation-state), and replays them over and over again throughout a long book. I felt that the final two thirds of the book was almost
When China Rules The World takes a hard look at China's rapid rise during the last 3 decades and what it means to the rest of the world, including according to Jacques, the declining West.

Martin Jacques is an economist trained in Cambridge (with a specialization in Marxism), now working as columnist for various leading dailies and he has also served as a visiting professor in several major universities in China, Japan, Singapore and the USA.

Thr first parts of the books deal with the declining We
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Martin Jacques is a British former magazine editor and academic. He was born and raised in Coventry. He was an undergraduate student at Manchester University, where he graduated with a first-class honours degree, and subsequently studied for a PhD at King's College, Cambridge.
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