- Friday, September 19, 2008 Visiting China 1 - Initial Impressions
- Tuesday, September 23, 2008 Visiting China 2 - musings on social and economic change in modern China
- Tuesday, September 23, 2008 China and the West - a note on the importance of dates in comparative history
- Wednesday, September 24, 2008 Visiting China 3 - population, ethnicity and governance in modern China
- Thursday, September 25, 2008 Another view of China - and the importance of shifting perspectives
- Friday, September 26, 2008 Visiting China - the photos are back!
- Friday, September 26, 2008 Visiting China 4 - out with the old, in with the new
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Saturday Morning Musings - a note on China
In many ways it was a golden trip, seeing a country that I had read about over many years but had not visited. I was very impressed.
Looking back now, I feel a sense of sadness. Two themes in Chinese history have been the shifting balance between centre and regions along with concerns about the preservation of social order.
Naively, I had expected modern China to continue to evolve, balancing the desire of the Party to stay in power with the progressive development of institutions that might trammel, perhaps channel is a better word, Party power over time.
I had expected Chinese power to rise, but had expected that the exercise of that power would be more subtle, more centered within existing global institutions that, or so it seemed to me, benefited China. While I recognised that it was possible, I had not expected a return to the old imperial Chinese model with its inward focus and all its in-built assumptions about superiority. I also underestimated the degree of turmoil that would emerge in US foreign policy.
Like many Australians, I am now struggling to work out what all this means. How should Australia respond? I'm not sure, but do feel that our approach needs to be more subtle, more nuanced, than it has been to this point.
The China Visit Posts