Why China Will Never Rule the World: Travels In The Two Chinas
Parfitt, who has taught English in Taiwan for over a decade, uses his experience there to start several months of travel through the People's Republic of China in order to challenge the assumptions that China will determine the course of the global economy in the next century. The result is mostly travelogue told from an outsider's perspective, contextualized with overviews of major events in Chinese history. Parfitt argues that China will not rule the world, because as a nation it is more interested in the appearance of success than actual substance. He suggests that culturally, China has little to offer. More importantly, the majority of goods currently being created in China come from non-Chinese companies, again proving a lack of innovation. Parfitt makes a compelling case from the microcosmic level for why it will be difficult for China to become the primary hegemonic force of the 21st century. However, his book lacks the pre-cise facts and figures that he decries in other books promoting Chinese dominance. Parfitt is a persuasive writer and readers will leave his tale scratching their heads and perhaps deciding that they do not want to visit China at all. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2011
About the Author
The author of Notes from the Other China (New York: Algora Publishing, 2007), Troy Parfitt lived and worked as an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea and Taipei, Taiwan for nearly thirteen years. In 2009, he returned to Canada to take a teaching position at that country's oldest English-language university.