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Why China Will Never Rule the World:Travels in the Two Chinas Paperback – September 15, 2011
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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. --Publisher's Weekly, June 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.
Top customer reviews
This is a grumpy but well-written travelogue about the author's experiences in China and Taiwan. He doesn't find much that he enjoys in China, but he explains his reasons why and backs up his points with references from history and society.
The book is sometimes funny and just manages to stay within the territory of not going too far. It gets a little bit too long in some parts but it just about stayed ok.
In particular I enjoyed the chapters where the author describes his experiences on Chinese public transport. I had the same experiences when travelling in China too!
I find that anyone from a Western country who spends many years in China will grow bitter and resentful about some of China's eccentricities. In this book, Troy Parfitt makes an argument and supports it with evidence collected interacting with Chinese people in China over many years. It's fair game to base a book around China's weaknesses, if you ask me. This is essentially one of those books.
While reading this book, I silently nodded my head in agreement with the author's observations countless times. He really captures many of the small details of China that are rarely put into print. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know what the real China is like - the good and the bad.
Old China hands will likely suffer a sore neck after extended reading from near constant nodding in agreement with the author's experiences and well-documented conclusions. But the dreariness of the landscape he paints is regularly interrupted with moments of keyboard-splattering hilarity, as I mentioned, and with lots of myth-busting history dealing with the big players (Mao, Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-shek) and major events (founding of modern China, the civil war, the war with Japan, and Taiwan).
As the product description says, this book is vital for anyone wishing to understand what China is, what it has been, and what it is likely to become.
Most recent customer reviews
China definitely have a lot of problems, and it has a long way before becoming the true super power (if ever), for a good reasons.Read more