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Publisher's Summary

According to even the most conservative estimates, China will overtake the United States as the world's largest economy by 2027 and will ascend to the position of world economic leader by 2050. But the full repercussions of China's ascendancy - for itself and the rest of the globe - have been surprisingly little explained or understood.

In this far-reaching and original investigation, Martin Jacques offers provocative answers to some of the most pressing questions about China's growing place on the world stage. Martin Jacques reveals, by elaborating on three historical truths, how China will seek to shape the world in its own image. The Chinese have a rich and long history as a civilization-state. Under the tributary system, outlying states paid tribute to the Middle Kingdom. Ninety-four percent of the population still believes they are one race - "Han Chinese." The strong sense of superiority rooted in China's history promises to resurface in 21st century China and in the process strengthen and further unify the country.

A culturally self-confident Asian giant with a billion-plus population, China will likely resist globalization as we know it. This exceptionalism will have powerful ramifications for the rest of the world and the United States in particular. As China is already emerging as the new center of the East Asian economy, the mantle of economic and, therefore, cultural relevance will in our lifetimes begin to pass from Manhattan and Paris to cities like Beijing and Shanghai. It is the American relationship with and attitude toward China, Jacques argues, that will determine whether the 21st century will be relatively peaceful or fraught with tension, instability, and danger.

When China Rules the World is the first book to fully conceive of and explain the upheaval that China's ascendance will cause and the realigned global power structure it will create.

©2009 Martin Jacques (P)2009 Gildan Media Corp

Critic Reviews

"A convincing economic, political and cultural analysis of waning Western dominance and the rise of China and a new paradigm of modernity. Jacques takes the pulse of the nation poised to become, by virtue of its scale and staggering rate of growth, the biggest market in the world...As comprehensive as it is compelling, this brilliant audiobook is crucial listening for anyone interested in understanding where the we are and where we are going." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Lucid explanation of global economic trends

Jacques' book's lucid prose and textbook explanations of global economic trends is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the rise of East Asia. Jacques focuses on China as he analyzes the rise of East Asia and the competing modernities of the 21st century.

Scott Peterson's narration is sped up and edited, which compresses the content for a faster listen. I enjoyed this. What I did not enjoy, however, is that Peterson made ZERO EFFORT to PRONOUNCE CHINESE, making most words unrecognizable. It would have taken Peterson maybe an extra hour of work to learn the fundamentals of pronunciation as Simon Vance did for his narration of Lost on Planet China. Peteron's lazy, ambiguous pronunciation will be extremely frustrating for anyone with even a cursory knowledge of China.

5 stars for solid content. 2 stars for sub-par narration and lazy pronunciation.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent, Even Handed

I doubt I could be as even handed as this book. It really made me stop to consider the inevitability of China's rise to the top and how our acceptance of this or not will well determine our fate as Americans. Falling to second is never pleasant but it will happen and sooner than we think.

Will it be a soft landing or hard fall? Depends on whether can accept what is going to happen with grace.

Painful but very, very well expressed. I highly recommend this book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 01011000
  • Los Angeles, CA U.S.A.
  • 03-02-10

Its gets better

This book is way too long and would have benefited greatly from the eye of an editor. First, they could have removed all references to the word "inconceivable" which would have reduced the length of the book by a good 10%. Removing duplicate sentences could have reduced it by a further 35%. Elimiating the inane anecdotes would have cut a further 15%. It would still have been a bit a long winded.

However for those willing to sit through the 16.5 hours, it is quite illuminating and in the 2nd half, things do start to come together in a compelling way.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Find another narrator, please!

The narrators, voice, accent, rhythm, and miss pronunciations of words was quite irritating. I often wanted to turn them off or switch to another narrator. The book was well written and had a lot of great information theories history etc. I enjoyed the
book but not the narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    out of 5 stars

Good!

Extensive research done - excellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Les
  • Folsom, CA, USA
  • 01-19-10

Disappointing

This is an interesting topic, but the story is not told in an interesting or lively way. The author uses a lot of dubious statistics such as the GDP of China and India in the 18th and 19th century. These are both hard to take seriously and dull. Also, the cultural analysis about China, the US and Japan sound cliched and uninteresting.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

This is the propaganda book from Chinese Government

Being a Chinese myself, I am very doubtful on the content

At the beginning, I thought that some mistakes on information was due to lacking historical understanding on China as the author is a westerner.

However, later on, I suddenly notice that those mistaken information was what is actually being the same as what the Chinese government is telling its people.

This book quoted that China is not democratic due to its cultural nature. However, omitted the amount of effort the government has done to stop democracy happened.

The book also quoted that China can move to a more democratic trend, quoting the limit on Presidency to two terms only. HOWEVER, that no longer valid now. Xi is removing that limit for himself now.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Comprehensive and Gracefully Written

Martin Jacques manages to make a scholarly work not just readable but thoroughly enjoyable. Highly recommended as an introduction to modern China.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

CHINA

Even though Martin Jacques’ book, When China Rules the World, has some interesting details, it fails to convince one that China will rule the world. The provocative title drives the bus but it does not reach its destination. His overview of the geo-political and Realpolitik relationships of the east and west are enlightening. But, world control is a myth that causes war and destroys “the best and brightest” of cultures that believe in it.

Never the less, what is happening in China is remarkable. China’s transition from Maoist communism to capitalist communism is like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly; i.e. China has wings but it still lives in a world constrained by its environment.

Jacques’ book exposes some of the cultural biases of China that are not widely known. His suggestion that discrimination is as prevalent in China as it is in the United States is reprehensible and disgustingly familiar. Globalization is real; however, human nature is immutable. All mankind travels on the same space ship, earth. At the very least, China is proving that our environment is fragile and natural resources are finite.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Audiobook

Great audiobook! It tells in every aspect one can imagine how the global geopolitc power is shifting from the west to the east, specially to China and how that affects the western way of life.

It is a required book to understand the current situation of the planet and many major discussions like climate, technology, entrepreneurship and specially, Democracy

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Loukas Christodoulou
  • 05-06-17

Good book, terrible narrator.

A book-length essay, arguing a very strong thesis. Undermined unfortunately by the robotic and bored narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Russell
  • 09-08-10

Very disappointing

Thank goodness for audio books as I would not have read past the first chapter of this book. I was expecting the author to look at current events and the power shift in the world today but instead I got a turgid one sided history lesson which looked like it had been written by the Chinese elite. It seemed to suggest that because China once great in the past its destined to be great again. Its packed with figures and dates and a lot of other useless information that only academics could need. The author loads so much praise upon the Chinese that im amazed he is not a citizen, the only negative point the author could find to mention about the Chinese was that they are slighty racist. I doubt you will gain any real joy from reading this book and it certainly will not tell you anything about Chinas future, it will though inform you some of its past.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jim
  • 04-28-17

Narrator cannot pronounce Chinese

The book can get a bit repetitive and is spoiled by terrible pronounciation of Chinese (and some English) words.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chelin
  • 05-06-16

Excellent book, shame narrator mispronounced

An excellent book. Unfortunately the narrator mispronounced most words in Chinese, a big disappointment for an audiobook about China, and something that could easily be remedied. He said 'king' dynasty, for "Qing" dynasty throughout the audiobook! Unforgivable.