The New Chinese Empire: And What It Means for the World

By Bøckman, Harald | The China Journal, January 2005 | Go to article overview

The New Chinese Empire: And What It Means for the World


Bøckman, Harald, The China Journal


The New Chinese Empire: And What It Means for the World, by Ross Terrill. Sydney: The University of New South Wales Press, 2003. xviii + 380 pp. Aus$39.95 (paperback).

Ross Terrill's latest book is an ambitious attempt to blend Chinese history with present-day political affairs. The book presents thought-provoking observations, but Terrill's attempts to generalize across history unfortunately become moralizations about the historical course of events. Nor is this a comparative exercise, as his selections from the Chinese historical repository frequently become caricatures of contemporary Chinese politics, instead of characterizations. His facile conclusion is that China today is a "failed" state: "One day the Communist regime in Beijing will pass away ... and we should be prepared, in concert with our American, Japanese, Korean and other friends, for the dangers and opportunities of that moment" (p. xii).

In order to elucidate the intricacies of the traditional Chinese state, Terrill bases himself on S. E. Finer, which is not of much help, since two out of three basic state characteristics mentioned by Finer were absent in China. In other words, China is once more characterized as "lacking" something the West has and which China should have. Terrill writes: "To be Chinese came to mean being a child of the Chinese state. The culture has yet to disentangle itself from that paternal straitjacket" (p. 54). Sweeping statements like this characterize the book. Its subtext reads more like a judgement over the present state of affairs than an attempt at synthesizing the relationship between the individual and the state in Chinese history. It may lead a reader to conclude that the reach of the traditional Chinese state penetrated all the way down to the grassroots, but this was not achieved until under the early years of Communist rule.

Traditional Western philology-derived sinology explained China in cultural terms, echoing the traditional self-perceptions of the Chinese elites. Political changes were seen as only ripples on a vast cultural ocean. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The New Chinese Empire: And What It Means for the World
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.