The Newsletter 58 Autumn 2011

The Chinese century

Gregory Bracken

China's recent emergence as a world power will undoubtedly be seen by future generations as one of the transformative events of our time. The country’s recent and remarkable re-emergence onto the world stage has startled everyone, not in the least China itself, whose leaders seem to be almost as surprised as the rest of us by its all-encompassing swiftness. The twentieth century was dominated by the West, particularly America. After World War II it even began to be known as the ‘American Century’, with the War representing the height of American values, not to mention their power and military might. The Cold War that ensued led to a somewhat tense stalemate that ended in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the domino effect of democratization in Eastern Europe, prompting Francis Fukuyama to go so far as to claim we had come to the ‘end of history’.

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