Making Sense Of China [world Service]

Episodes

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01Making Sense Of China20121105

Martin Jacques gives a personal perspective and insights into the making of modern China.

01Understanding Contemporary China - The Documentary20121105

Martin Jacques presents a personal view on how best to understand contemporary China.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Martin Jacques presents a personal view on how best to understand the unique characteristics and apparent mysteries of contemporary China, its development and its possible future. In a new series of talks he sets out the building blocks for making sense of China today.

In this introductory talk, he argues that we cannot make sense of China by looking at it through a Western prism. China is not like a Western nation-state and never will be. Western nations are countries constituted on the basis of nation, China is a country constituted on the basis of a civilization. The consequences are profound and far-reaching.

Martin Jacques is the author of When China Rules the World.

(Illustration showing western brand names and Chinese cultural images. Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

02Making Sense Of China20121106

Martin Jacques gives a personal perspective and insights into the making of modern China.

02What Will China Be Like As A Superpower? - The Documentary20121106

In his second talk on understanding China, Martin Jacques examines the tributary system.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

In this second talk, he examines the tributary system, the historical China-centric network of international relations which involved other parts of East Asia accepting the principle of Chinese superiority in return for protection and access to the Chinese market, an arrangement distinct to European forms of colonialism. He asks whether a system of this kind is now re-emerging.

Martin Jacques is the author of When China Rules the World.

(Image: Members of a Chinese military honour guard. Credit: ANDY WONG/AFP/Getty Images)

03Making Sense Of China20121107
03Making Sense Of China20121107

Martin Jacques gives a personal perspective and insights into the making of modern China.

03Who Are The Chinese? - The Documentary20121107

In his third talk on understanding China, Martin Jacques explores the nature of race.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

In this third talk, he explores the nature of race in China. Over 90% of the Chinese population regard themselves as belonging to the same race, the Han. This is a stark contrast to the multi-racial composition of the world's other populous states. Chinese ethnic identity stems from a process of integration and of cultural identity. What defines the Chinese above all is a sense of cultural achievement. Martin Jacques argues that the Han identity has provided the glue which has held China together and has given the Chinese people an admirable confidence. But this strong sense of pride in who they are can also have a downside - a tendency to look down on others.

Martin Jacques is the author of When China Rules the World.

(Image: Chinese folk artists. Credit: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

04Understanding Contemporary China - The Documentary20121108

How can the undemocratic Chinese state enjoy authority in the eyes of its population?

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

In his final talk, he asks how the undemocratic Chinese state can enjoy legitimacy and authority in the eyes of its population. He argues that the Chinese state is held in such high esteem because it is seen as the embodiment, protector and guardian of Chinese civilization. The state is seen as an intimate, a member of the family indeed - in fact, the head of the family. It is a remarkable institution which will come to exercise interest and fascination outside China.

Martin Jacques is the author of When China Rules the World.

(Image: A display showing four generations of Chinese leaders. Credit: AP Photo/Andy Wong)

04 LASTMaking Sense Of China20121108
04 LASTMaking Sense Of China20121108

Martin Jacques gives a personal perspective and insights into the making of modern China.