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The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State Paperback – March 21, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1938134012 ISBN-10: 193813401X

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: World Century Publishing Corporation (June 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193813401X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938134012
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #518,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"One of the most popular books on sale in China at the moment is on the rise of a civilizational state, by Zhang Weiwei. Mr Zhang argues that China is unique as 'the world's only amalgam of an ancient civilization and a huge modern state', and is 'increasingly returning to its own roots for inspiration, and producing its own norms and standards."
-- The Economist: Nothing New under Heaven

"As China feels its own economic and political strength in the world, it is natural that its own intellectuals should want to explain China's progress theoretically, first to themselves, then to the world. Prof. Zhang's book has been well regarded within China, making a major contribution to the internal debate on China's future. By translating his book into English, Prof. Zhang adds to the world's understanding of China's development and what this means for the world. China's astonishing re-emergence on the global stage has thrown into confusion traditional western-dominated theories of modernization, in Prof. Zhang's own words, putting 'an end to the End of Civilization'."
-- George Yeo, Former Foreign Minister of Singapore

"The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State is the geopolitical book for our times. It frames the rise of China, which is the big story of the 21st Century, with a bold and novel theory that challenges conventional wisdom of national structure, democracy, and what constitutes good governance. At a time when American exceptionalism is on the wane, are we ready for Chinese exceptionalism on the rise? Zhang Weiwei, whose energetic vision resonates well among Chinese future leaders, makes a compelling case. His arguments and insights, as analytical and passionate as they are confrontational and controversial, should be required reading for everyone concerned about China. Ignore this book and you will not understand how China's leaders think."
-- Robert Lawrence Kuhn, Author, How China's Leaders Think

"The rise of China is the biggest story of our time and the best story-tellers of our time come from the West. This has led to a huge global paradox where the best story-tellers have failed to understand the biggest story of our time. This is why the world urgently needs good Chinese story-tellers to provide the Chinese perspective. Prof. Zhang has done the world a huge favor by coming out with this timely and interesting new perspective on the rise of China." --Kishore Mahbubani, Dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, Author, The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Power to the East, One of the Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2010 & 2011 by Foreign Policy Magazine

"Few scholars from the mainland are as urbane, connected and savvy as Zhang Weiwei ... The book's central idea is that China is different from other nation states. There is some merit to this. Unlike the politically diffuse civilisations of Europe, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, China has managed to establish political unity over most of its territory." --South China Morning Post

"Mr Xi [Jinping] is also said to have read The China Wave by Zhang Weiwei, a professor at Fudan University in Shanghai and the Geneva School of Public Diplomacy and International Relations. That book offers a vigorous summary of the 'China model' theory, which holds that China can successfully meld authoritarian government with a capitalist-style economy. (Section titles include 'The China Model May Win Out' and 'Political Reform, the Chinese Way'). It depicts China's rise as the rise of a civilization - something bigger than a nation." --Didi Kirsten Tatlow, The New York Times: The Risks of Taking China's Helm

About the Author

Zhang Weiwei is a professor of international relations at Fudan University and a senior research fellow at the Chunqiu Institute, China. He is concurrently a senior fellow at the Centre for Asian Studies, Geneva, and a visiting professor at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations. He has written extensively in English and Chinese on China's economic and political reform, China's development model and comparative politics. He worked as a senior English interpreter for Deng Xiaoping and other Chinese leaders in the mid-1980s.

Customer Reviews

I found it to be very informative and interesting.
Hubert wong
Noting that education is invaluable and had played a crucial role in China's rise, one can at once understand why America is heading the opposite direction.
Hande Z
Harmony Renaissance will be a preferred balance to U.S. relentless and powerful push of liberal democracy ideology on other countries in a multipolar world.
Francis Fung

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Hande Z on April 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
This small, 176-page book by Zhang, a professor at Fudan University and one-time interpreter for Deng Xiaoping, addresses the most gripping debate in and about China today: Should the most populous nation and the second largest economy in the world follow the Western, particularly American, model of economy and governance, or follow its own model of development while assimilating the best from the world? Zhang favours the latter and in this book, he provides his analysis and reasoning as to why he thinks so.

Modest and careful, Zhang sees two sides to every major issue, and recognising that statistics can be deceptive, he acknowledges that there may not be a great deal to rejoice in being the second largest economy. He remembers the lessons of history - that China lost the Opium Wars when it was then the world's largest economy. He understands that the "rise of China" irks as many as it impresses. He is cautious in rejoicing in China's new status not because he belongs to the camp that views it as a false dawn, but because he prefers (like Deng Xiaoping) that China keeps a low profile to avoid "unnecessarily heavy international burdens".

He issues a gentle but firm reminder to those who would scoff at the "rise of China" that China was not just an ordinary country rising through the application of a Western model economy. The nature of China's rise, in his view, "is the rise of a civilizational state which has amalgamated the world's longest continuous civilization with the modern state.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sceptique500 on April 8, 2014
Format: Paperback
The interest of this book lies in the fact that it was written originally for a Chinese audience - more or less it is Chinese talking to each other. What arguments are used, what self-images are evoked? I'd recommend it on such grounds. Of course, all self-analysis is necessarily self-affirmation, and the author resolutely avoids stepping outside the boundaries of the politically comfortable; don't expect excruciating self-flagellation. The book is easy to read, if somewhat repetitive. It is worth spending same time with, and keeping handy as a collection of (+/- ideological) statements of Chinese political wisdom.

The Chinese play "go," and the West plays chess. There is no point in arguing which game is more satisfactory, or useful. To each his preferred game - though the choice is telling of the underlying mentality. I'll gladly accept China's claim to its own strategic and culturally based development path as presented here by the author. Three cheers for the three "no" (pg. 89).

My comments take the author's arguments as starting points. I'll check them for consistency; I'll verify historical facts and assess the current dynasty on its own terms, as given by the author. The balance sheet is checkered, in my double-entry book (a Western invention).

The strong points first.

China's long-standing ability to deal with the inner diversity of its civilization is remarkable. There seems indeed to be a willingness to strive for inclusiveness. The current approach of experimenting, of allowing diversity to bloom, in order pragmatically to find the best way forward, is laudable. It is a Bayesian approach, rather than top-down planning, and is per definition inclusive of experience and people.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting viewpoint of China. But there is an error. Lim Kit Siang is not a Thai opposition. He is Malaysian DAP leader.
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By Barry Williams on October 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very informative
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The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State
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