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The China Order: Centralia, World Empire and the Nature of Chinese Power

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What does the rise of China represent, and how should the international community respond? With a holistic rereading of Chinese longue durée history, Fei-Ling Wang provides a simple but powerful framework for understanding the nature of persistent and rising Chinese power and its implications for the current global order.

He argues that the Chinese ideation and tradition of political governance and world order—the China Order—is based on an imperial state of Confucian-Legalism as historically exemplified by the Qin-Han polity. Claiming a Mandate of Heaven to unify and govern the whole known world or (all under heaven), the China Order dominated Eastern Eurasia as a world empire for more than two millennia, until the late nineteenth century. Since 1949, the People’s Republic of China has been a reincarnated Qin-Han polity without the traditional China Order, finding itself stuck in the endless struggle against the current world order and the ever-changing Chinese society for its regime survival and security. Wang also offers new discoveries and assessments about the true golden eras of Chinese civilization, explains the great East-West divergence between China and Europe, and analyzes the China Dream that drives much of current Chinese foreign policy.

Table of Contents
Tables and Figures

The China Order
Arrangement of the Book

1. The Centralia: The Origin and the Basics

The Chinese Nomenclature: More than Just Semantics
China as a World: Ecogeography Shapes the Mind
The Chinese Peoples and the Chinese Multination
History and the Writing of History in China
The Precondition: The Pre-Qin China
The Glory and Peacefulness of the Warring States

2. The Qin-Han Polity and Chinese World Empire

Authoritarianism and Totalitarianism
The Qin Polity: The Chinese Totalitarianism
The Qin Tianxia: A World Empire Order
The Qin-Han Polity and the China Order
The Fused Confucianism-Legalism
The Consolidation and Expansion of the China Order
The Recurrence of the China Order and the Great East-West Divergence
The Evolution and Refinement of the China Order
From the Second Great Disunion to the Ultimate China Order
The Qing World Empire

3. The Forsaken Turn: The Song Era

The Song: An Uncommon Qin-Han Empire
Song’s Chinese World
Chanyuan Treaty: China’s Peace of Westphalia
Chanyuan System: A New World Order for Eastern Eurasia
Chanyuan System in the Chinese Mind
The Splendid Song: The Chinese World under the Chanyuan System
Song Era: The Peak of Ancient Chinese Civilization

4. The China Order: An Assessment

The China Order: The Characteristics
The China Order versus the Westphalia System
Ideal Governance for the Rulers at Exorbitant Expenses
Great Incompatibility and Long Stagnation
Deadly Sisyphus, Inescapable Inferno
Why the Stagnation: A Pausing Note on Monopoly

5. The Century of Humiliation and Progress

The Decay and Fading of the China Order
Westernization: The Way to Survive
The Unusual Fall of the Qing Empire
The ROC on the Chinese Mainland: An Era of Opportunities
Late-Qing and the Republican Eras: A Reassessment

6. Great Leap Backward

The ROC: A Tenacious but Transforming Authoritarianism
The Rise of the CCP
Mao and the Mandate of the People
Guns, Ruses, and Promises
The PRC: A New Qin-Han State
Post-Mao: The Qin-Han Polity Changes and Continues
Suboptimal Performance, Rich State, Strong Military

7. The China Struggle Between Tianxia and Westphalia

The Tianxia Mandate
Mao’s Global War for a New China Order
Rescued and Enriched by the Enemy
Opening and Hiding: To Survive the End of the Cold War
The China Dream: Rejuvenation and Global Governance

Epilogue: The Scenarios



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