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

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,413 ratings  ·  177 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 p
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Hardcover, 778 pages
Published November 12th 2009 by Penguin Press (first published 2008)
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Whitaker
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
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Troy Parfitt
Mar 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
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Ann
Jan 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Robert Morris
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
AC
Nov 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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Rob
Jun 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
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.
Jake Goretzki
Nov 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Tom Bernthal
The premise of this book was extremely intriguing to me, and I started the book with high hopes. For me, the book never lived up to the promise.

At the same time, I liked the book for what it offered. It was just presented differently than I anticipated.

The author goes into a lot of detail, which becomes both a blessing and a curse.

I enjoyed the detail as it related to history and how cultural differences influence business and economic activity in a way that westerners like me might find hard to
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Jarvo
Nov 02, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a really interesting book, on a subject which is difficult to write about it because it is trying to persuade us to see the world differently. Some of the central themes of the book can be summarized quite briefly. The west has dominated the world for two centuries or more, and has tended to project its values and world view as universal norms. The rise of China has inevitably begun to disrupt this, and will disrupt it much further as the century progresses. China is not a western libera ...more
Ryan
One of the main criticisms of this book is that it's repetitive. Now that I've read it, I agree. Some of the same points are made multiple times throughout the book. I found myself fighting to maintain my interest and attention.

The detailed facts and figures about China's economy were perhaps overdone and unnecessary, especially since they were outdated the moment the book was published. This had the effect of making me feel as if I was reading an old magazine article.

The best portions of the bo
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Michael Gerald
If this was written two decades ago, this would have seemed heresy. But not so today. However, this should still be read with a grain of salt, considering the author's background.
Peter Crofts
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dense with stats. Sometimes it's a bit too much. It also offers one of the more nuanced analysis of the long tradition of the Chinese cultural outlook. From the country's origins up to and including the Communist era.

There is a belief that as a country becomes progressively more "modern", it will become progressively more "Western". It's the belief that what we have undergone is where everyone will end up, it's a historical inevitable because that's what Westerm liberal democratic and capitalis
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Angelito
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sounds like propaganda; but notwithstanding the palpable bias, it is insightful and informative.

"Ultimately, nations see the world in terms of their own history, values and mindset and seek to shape that world in the light of those experiences and perceptions."

"What then will be the key characteristics of Chinese modernity? They are eight in all, which for the deeply superstitious Chinese happens to be their lucky number. In exploring these characteristics, we must consider both the internal f
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Shailesh Wasti
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Can Beijing be the next global capital? Why the massive continental size of the country and the population will be the prominent factors for China to "rule the world"? Martin Jaques has obviously better assessment than any other writers. Worth reading!
Alex Scroxton
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Outstanding, but in need of an update.
Jao Bautista
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the last month alone, articles involving China are heavily present in the news sites that I follow: From the extradition bill being fought in HK, the projected political climate in the upcoming Taiwan election, the increasing presence of Chinese military in the Philippine-owned islands, the Huawei espionage controversy in the US, the alleged separation of children from their Muslim families in Xinjiang; to the big investments in renewable energy, the huge solar and wind energy deals, the the ...more
Andrewh
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
Alesa
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Trena
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
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Nilesh
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
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Michael
May 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Michelle
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
Owlseyes
"Since 1945 the United States has been the world’s dominant power.
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The baton of pre-eminence, before being passed to the United States, had been held by Europe, especially the major European nations like Britain, France and Germany, and previously, to a much lesser extent, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands.
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According to projections by Goldman Sachs, as shown in Figure 1, the three largest economies in the world by 2050 will be China, followed by a closely matched America and India some way
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Ken Mattes
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
The author, an avowed communist (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marti...) presents an interesting landscape of biased-perspective of information regarding the history and potential future of China in the future.
Need to listen/read this book with a large grain of salt, but fascinating none the less.
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Marie
May 24, 2015 rated it liked it
What an interesting book, hard to know if it's opinion or well researched but a good read nonetheless
Socraticgadfly
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
When China Ruled the World

This was a great book, until it went too far.

Even though I didn’t agree with everything in the first 80 percent or so, I agreed with much of it, and that with which I disagreed, I still found thought provoking.

Until it went too far.

And I can tell you EXACTLY where that happened.

On page 372, complete with Ming-era watercolor, Martin talks about a Chinese game roughly similar to golf. That’s fine. Obviously such a game existed.

He then insinuates that surely golf, and othe
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Tomq
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Summary:
• First edition 2009, second edition (reviewed here) 2012
• China will soon be the top dog;
• China will export/impose its culture, which will be traumatic for the West;
• Chinese culture is characterized by: deep historical roots, the importance of the family, a sense of Chinese superiority, identification of the nation and civilization with an immensely powerful and overall efficient state, internal politics characterized by "concentric" and "divergent" poles (rather than "conservative" a
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Krishna
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
The premise of this book is simple, but quite iconoclastic: that China and with it other parts of the developing world are on a relentless rise, and that the resulting world will look quite different from what it does now. Both propositions are widely questioned.

First, the idea that China's rise is unstoppable has been questioned: first, by comparing it to Japan, which too was seemingly seen as inexorable, until its bubble burst and its economy fell into malaise and disappointment. Second, by ci
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Lasse Birk Olesen
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SUMMARY: As China overtakes the US on several fronts, most fundamentally by the size of their economies, the world will change. The world has been dominated by Western powers, first British then American, for centuries, so we have become so used to Western values being seen as universal that we are still not able to envision anything else.

Author argues that China is unlikely to westernize politically and culturally, so far it has shown practically no signs of doing so. Instead, the communist lea
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Anoop Kutty
Oct 27, 2013 rated it liked it
A book on China by Martin Jacques, who feels that China will one day, rule the world.

He sets forth his arguments nicely and thereafter tries to speculate as to how the world will look like - ‘When’ China rules the world.

So will it? It’s a big ‘Maybe’, I think.

Some commentators like Nitin Pai (@acorn on twitter) do not think so. In his ‘Business Standard’ column Nitin says the title should have been “if’ and not ‘When’.

China is a freak of nature.

Else how is it that a nation, the size of a contine
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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 honors degree, and subsequently studied for a PhD at King's College, Cambridge.

Jacques was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, becoming, in his own words, "a member of its Executive Committ
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