Rod Dreher

The philosopher A.C. Grayling reviews Martin Jacques’ new book “When China Rules The World.” Jacques believes that the West will decline relative to China’s rise, and China will bring forth a different kind of modernity onto the world stage. Grayling is skeptical of this, and suggests that China is living out a 21st-century version of a 19th-century power rise. Given that the Communist Party cannot sustain the nation’s current growth rate indefinitely, Grayling worries over the internal instability that will follow when the Chinese economy cools, as it must. In short, he is less worried about the rise of Chinese power and influence than Jacques is. But Grayling is not entirely sure he’s correct. Excerpt:

But even if Jacques is right about China as a future world-changing superpower, perhaps even as THE world superpower, the next and final question is: will that be a good thing, if it does not also start caring about human rights, civil liberties such as personal autonomy and free speech, and the rule of law? Since the answer that any rational person must give is No, it follows that if Jacques is right, we had all better sit up and take twice the notice.

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