CHINA IN SPACE AND TIME

From the West, we tend to judge today’s China more by its economic presence and the impact of its material development on the rest of the world than by the internal needs in the development of its history; thus giving an overwhelming priority to the geopolitical perspective over the cultural one, which should have at least a comparable importance.

In fact, it is easy to see that China’s overall impact will depend to a large extent on how well it manages to fit this whole period and the foreseeable future into a historical framework for which it would like as little change as possible. A sense of continuity on a large scale is fundamental to Chinese culture, and in the long term it will always do its best to assimilate and make the origin of foreign influences undetectable. It has already achieved this to a large extent with Marxism and capitalism, which lose so much of their original meaning in translation that it is no longer known whether to call the Chinese system “market socialism” or “state capitalism”.

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