Author：Maya X. Guo
Press：Foreign Languages Press
Like a rising sun. China's rapid development has attracted a great deal of attention over the past six decades. This has been seen as a major world event, although there have been both positive and negative responses from the international community. Some welcome China's development as a result of the Chinese people's creativity and untiring efforts, and believe that it can help to build a multipolar world and serve as a harbinger for a more inclusive human community. Others, however, hold the view that China's rise poses a threat to the present international order. There are even those who assert that China's growth will prove unsustainable, as it refuses to follow the Western development model.
I read Maya's book several months ago as soon as it was published, and I finished it in a single sitting. I deem it one of the most successful books yet published in detailing today's China. Though far from perfect, it provides convincing arguments about China's rise. The views expressed in the book are based not only on the 60 years and more of history of the PRC and its
remarkable achievements in the past three decades, but also on China's sorrowful modern history since 1840, its 2.000-year history as a united country, and its remarkable 5.000-year civilization.
Born and brought up in China. The author also has an overseas education. She is of an independent mind in comparing Western system with the Chinese model. The interviews reflect her close observation of today's China, and the serious thinking her observations have inspired. The 15 interviewees come from a range of different circles；their fields of expertise include politics, economics, society, the national condition, the history of CPC diplomacy, military strategy, management of state—owned property, healthcare, and private business. Most of them have studied in the United Sates, and some later taught at colleges in the United Sates, Hong Kong or Taiwan. All of them are keen on telling the rest of the world about the real China.
The topics of the interviews vary widely; from systems, theory; development, and reform, to quality of life, strategy, and diplomacy. What they have in common is that both Maya and the interviewees apply independence of thought and of judgment. Their perspectives and the opinions expressed are notably individual. Their arguments, combining both fact and theory, make clear the grounds for China’s confidence in its path, theory and system.
Although they share an optimistic view of China's development, the interviewees never try to avoid confronting problems. Based on China’s prevailing reality, and from an international and historical perspective, the scholars use empirical and comparative methods to explain the opportunities and challenges that China currently faces, and point out the practical significance and possible dangers that can be gleaned from the lessons of history. Such fact-based analyses and conclusions actually serve and defend the overall interests of the Chinese nation. The opinions expressed, though personal, show a love for the country. In line with the prevailing reality, the interviewees’ analyses of China's development during the past 60 years point China in the right direction-that is, learning from all human civilizations with an open mind, and taking a path that suits China instead of copying the Western model.
Today's China is highly open. Many Chinese people want to know what foreigners think of China, and people of other countries also like to hear Chinese ideas and how its people regard their country and the world, and What China’s rise means to the world. I think this series of books provides a different perspective. Its foreign language editions will certainly attract the interest of foreign readers.
China’s rise cannot be achieved in isolation from the rest of the world. It is a political, economic and cultural phenomenon of global and historical significance. During the process, it is necessary for China to communicate with other countries sincerely and in depth, and gain understanding, recognition and support from the rest of the world. I think, through such communications and exchanges of ideas, the rest of the world will learn more and more about China and deal with China in an appropriate way. At the same time China will also get to know itself and others better, and handle its external relationships with wisdom and good sense. I believe that China’s voice will become part of an international harmony which will sound a fresh symphony appropriate to this new era.