China and the World: Between Past and Future

Professor Yongjin Zhang, University of Bristol

When:  11 May 2011, 17:30 - 18:45
Where:  Seminar Room SRA06, School of East Asian Studies, 6/8 Shearwood Road, University of Sheffield.
Event type:  NICS Lecture


For better or for worse, rising China is the topic of the present political moment. Behind the hypes and hyperboles about the rise of China, however, are explicit and implicit suggestions about a fundamental shift of the relationship between China and the world (the West writ large). What is the nature of this fundamental shift? My presentation addresses this question through a series of reflections on China's historical encounters with the world. In so doing, it offers a number of critiques about such projections as 'back to the future', 'when China rules the world' and 'China orders the world'. It suggests that rather than returning to and reinventing its past, what China has been doing is an enviable attempt to invent its future.