China and the Barbarians
China’s development has been completely different from the West - in terms of language, philosophy and history. Insight in China’s traditions offers a better understanding of China’s contemporary nationalism. Aspiring to remain in control, the Chinese Communist Party creates the myth that without the Party China could not have returned on the world stage, and that without the Party the ‘territorial integrity’ of the country cannot be restored. What does a ‘restored’ China look like? Conservative think tanks and generals are of the opinion that China should recover all the territories that once belonged to the Qing empire (1644-1912) or paid tribute to the emperor in Beijing. This point of view is not part of the official narrative, but Beijing’s regional policy causes structural tensions between China and most of countries located in East and Southeast Asia and, indirectly, their ally the United States. Are we on the verge of a conflict between the superpowers of the 21st century?
Businessman Henk Schulte Nordholt is a sinologist and author of the Dutch book China en de Barbaren - het verzet tegen de Westerse wereldorde.
Organized in collaboration with CEASG, the Centre for East Asian Studies Groningen, an inter-faculty institute launched by the Faculty of Arts and facilitated by Globalisation Studies Groningen.