Martin Jacques is a highly distinguished British scholar, writer and columnist.When China Rules the World, first published in 2009, is among his most important publications. Since then the book has been translated into eleven languages, and sold nearly quarter of a million copies worldwide. The book’s focus is on Asian modernity and the rise of China as a global power is of course highly relevant for contemporary concern and interest in globalization, as well as, its implications for evaluating an evolution from the economic and geopolitical ‘great divergence’ to the recent rapid ‘convergence’ between China and the West. Jacques argues that the rise of China has not followed the Western model of a transition to modernity and will challenge the global dominance of the Western nation-state. China, as a ‘civilization-state’ will soon rule the world. Its impact will not be only the economic but also the culture, leading to a global future of ‘contested modernity’.
Ting Xu of London School of Economics has rightly indicated that this excellent book raises more questions than it answers. China’s growth and transformation were and are path-dependant. Historians will ask: “has China ever ruled the world before?”