Mod Edit: This post plagiarized from here: www.newsgd.com...
China's revitalization shouldn't be understood as returning to the time centuries back when China was the dominant power in East Asia. Chinese
people can be proud of their revitalization process, but shouldn't have sentiments of 'historical nationalism'.
"China's rise' is in fact a western concept to describe a country's development. Most of western powers were either established on the bases of
the ancient imperialist or the unlimited exploration of the new continent. However China's progress is based on the five thousand years of history as
well as absorbing fine culture from the west. Therefore it is better to describe China's current development as 'China's revitalization' than
China's revitalization means China will prospect a new development road as a national state according to the United Nations Charter without a return
to the past.
Misunderstanding on China's revitalization
Currently some western or bordering countries scholars are wondering if China's revival means to go back to the time when China was the center of
East Asian politics. According to their conclusion, China was the center of Asia in pre-modern history.
With the fast development in China, more and more western scholars became interested in China. Taking the famous American Sinologist David Shambaugh
as an example, he pointed out in an article 'Power Shift - China and Asia's New Dynamics' that, ¡®the power in Asia has shifted from Tokyo to
Beijing and away from Washington, so America should not make enemies with Beijing.
The article tries to illustrate what China's development means to Asian order.
In fact, today's China has fundamental differences from the ancient dynasties. Modern China is a nation that is participating in the development wave
in a global world. It is a new trial of development, but not a repetition of the past. On regional order, Chinese government has always expressed that
China will not become a hegemony even if it becomes stronger. However, many western scholars like to use words such as 'Chinese empire', which in
fact gives the wrong impression about modern China, as it there is reference to the ancient one.
Chinese shouldn't be a historic nationalist
To get rid of people's misunderstanding about modern China, we Chinese must be sober-minded about China's current revitalization One should not
think that China's development will revert back to the time where China lead as the center. One should not take on such a historic nationalism.
Chinese people have a strong sense of history, which can be either a treasure or a burden. To say it is a treasure is because Chinese people can
always have an historic example to identify themselves and have a historic view of the national mission and the state's rise and fall. Therefore,
even when Chinese people are in a very difficult situation, they will have a resolute will to revive the country. To say it is a burden is because
Chinese people are used to being strong. And this kind of historic perspective imbues every Chinese with a strong sense of historic mission that China
should be and is destined to be strong and powerful, any weakness or humility is temporary and every Chinese person should make his or her own efforts
to carry on the splendor of the past.
In essence, both treasures and burdens are good because they can become a source of confidence for the Chinese people and inspire them to continue to
struggle. But some individuals have overemphasized historic humility and still base their thoughts on the past. Such feelings or thoughts tend to be
narrow-minded. It is the craze of the past prosperity and modern western nationalism that form the ¡®historic nationalism'.
Currently China is trying its best to merge with the world, thus we shouldn't have such historic nationalism and should be careful about western
scholars' ¡®China center' theory.
"Chinese empire revival" will scare the bordering countries
Historic nationalism can make bordering countries view China's revitalization as ¡®Chinese empire revival', and thus feel scared. While some
people suddenly think of ancient Chinese honor as people from many other ancient countries having come to worship Chinese emperors. The problem with
this is that if people think like this and even tell our neighboring friends about it, it will probably hurt their feelings and cause some
psychological shock and concern.
China's current development is surely not a repetition of the past, but a chance to the bordering countries in economic development. However, due to
misunderstandings, many of them are suspicious and worried that China will try to resume its ancient empire status. Therefore, to talk about Chinese
civilization circle or Greater China Economic Rim are all easy to be misunderstood and can became the source of so-called "China threat".
Under the current condition that Chinese cultural revival is being hot, it is better to know that to put Japanese, Korean or other Southeast Asian
countries culture into Chinese civilization circle is not necessarily a consensus from them. Those countries have a strong pride and sense of
belonging to their own culture. They might not think that their culture is also part of Chinese culture or Chinese culture is more advanced. A South
Korean scholar said recently that in fact, they feel they have done better in protecting Confucius culture than China itself, but they don't
understand what the current so-called culture revival in China means.
I think China should send a message to the world that a revitalized China is not a China that returns back to the Han or Tang Dynasties over 1000
years ago, but a China that will participate in the global development as a national state, as equal as any other country. We should bare in mind that
although the East Asian system has been destroyed completely by the rise of western power, many western countries still use such idea to separate good
relations between China and other Asian countries. Therefore, Chinese people should remember no matter how strong China is, it is still equal to any
[edit on 1-7-2006 by kinglizard]