Are we entering a new era of Chinese exceptionalism?

Reaching for the heavens – China’s expanding ambitions now include sending men to the moon as well as rapid expansion of military capacity on earth. And all the while its economy continues to grow at a rate far outpacing the economies of western nations.

With increasing confidence, China’s leaders have now stepped to the center of the world stage and for many people in China that is exactly where they should be, given the country’s history and civilisation.

Does that necessarily mean that we are entering a new era of Chinese exceptionalism or even dominance?

Professor Zhang Weiwei, served as a translator for one of the key architects of China’s transformation, Deng Xiaoping.
He is now an international scholar arguing a case for China as the world’s exceptional civilisation. In his latest book, The China Wave: the Rise of a Civilizational State, he offers a robust rebuttal of critics, especially in the West, who keep emphasising China’s shortcomings.

Professor Zhang Weiwei talks to Al Jazeera’s Teymoor Nabili about the ‘China model’ and explains where China is going.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 thoughts on “Are we entering a new era of Chinese exceptionalism?

  1. Christopher Hoare

    The viewpoints expressed by Professor Zhang Wei Wei seem much more mature and reassuring that those expressed by his western interlocator. Three second culture is nothing more than a ship of fools.

    As long as Chinese culture and science are dominant over the Western models its overseas students are absorbing it will be able to strike out in beneficial ways its western contemporaries are stifled from attaining. The Greek models of “Science” taken from flawed philosophers and the Hebraic picture of religion based on factually challenged “revelations” have long outlived their usefulness. Human progress cannot advance beyond its present dalliance with false expertism and the profitism of greed without learning from a culture not so fettered.

    One point about the depth of the western cultural paralysis: much is made of the science vs religion clash, but is it not remarkable that both the Big Bang and Genesis are parallel quests for a creation that probably never happened in a way our four dimensional minds can grasp? Lao Tzu’s teachings would hardly make such a mistake.

  2. Mario

    Chris wrote : ‘Lao Tzu’s teachings would hardly make such a mistake’.

    Agreed — but it is highly unlikely that China will display any interest whatsoever in Lao Tzu — like Sth Korea, they are far more likely to follow an ultra hierarchical, right wing conservative Confucian model, tempered by aggressive capitalism, and ultra jingoistic nationalism.

Comments are closed.