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Ancient Chinese Thought, Modern Chinese Power

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Overview

The rise of China could be the most important political development of the twenty-first century. What will China look like in the future? What should it look like? And what will China's rise mean for the rest of world? This book, written by China's most influential foreign policy thinker, sets out a vision for the coming decades from China's point of view.

In the West, Yan Xuetong is often regarded as a hawkish policy advisor and enemy of liberal internationalists. But a very different picture emerges from this book, as Yan examines the lessons of ancient Chinese political thought for the future of China and the development of a "Beijing consensus" in international relations. Yan, it becomes clear, is neither a communist who believes that economic might is the key to national power, nor a neoconservative who believes that China should rely on military might to get its way. Rather, Yan argues, political leadership is the key to national power, and morality is an essential part of political leadership. Economic and military might are important components of national power, but they are secondary to political leaders who act in accordance with moral norms, and the same holds true in determining the hierarchy of the global order.

Providing new insights into the thinking of one of China's leading foreign policy figures, this book will be essential reading for anyone interested in China's rise or in international relations.

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Editorial Reviews

Asia Pacific Business Review
[I] found Dr. Henry A. Kissinger's comment that it is 'a fascinating study' very much to the point. . . . Given China's growing influence in the world right now, the work should no doubt have a wider readership than might appear the case prima facie. Princeton University Press should be congratulated on producing such a handsome volume. It can be highly recommended for library purchase in its hardback edition.
— Malcolm Warner
Australian Review of Public Affairs
[F]or those who welcome a China that is increasingly active at the global level, as well as for those who do not, it seems the time is right to thoroughly engage with the ideas and proposals of prominent Chinese thinkers today like Yan Xuetong. By putting his grand vision for a Chinese 'superpower modelled on humane authority' to the test before it becomes a possible political reality, we will have gained a greater appreciation of China's cultural heritage and, following that, a glimpse at its possible political future.
— Mark Chou
Asian Affairs
[T]his collection of essays, mostly by Beijing-based foreign affairs expert and academic Yan Xuetong and beautifully translated by Edmund Ryden, is thought-provoking and worth looking at.
— Kerry Brown
Political Studies Review
While parts of this nicely translated book might be too specific for the general reader, the volume provides stimulating insights not only into the rich world of ancient Chinese thought, but also into the way contemporary Chinese thinkers see the world today. In this respect, the excellent introduction by Daniel Bell and a long interview with Xuetong in the appendix are especially rewarding.
— Michael Rochlitz
Asia Pacific Business Review - Malcolm Warner
[I] found Dr. Henry A. Kissinger's comment that it is 'a fascinating study' very much to the point. . . . Given China's growing influence in the world right now, the work should no doubt have a wider readership than might appear the case prima facie. Princeton University Press should be congratulated on producing such a handsome volume. It can be highly recommended for library purchase in its hardback edition.
Australian Review of Public Affairs - Mark Chou
[F]or those who welcome a China that is increasingly active at the global level, as well as for those who do not, it seems the time is right to thoroughly engage with the ideas and proposals of prominent Chinese thinkers today like Yan Xuetong. By putting his grand vision for a Chinese 'superpower modelled on humane authority' to the test before it becomes a possible political reality, we will have gained a greater appreciation of China's cultural heritage and, following that, a glimpse at its possible political future.
Asian Affairs - Kerry Brown
[T]his collection of essays, mostly by Beijing-based foreign affairs expert and academic Yan Xuetong and beautifully translated by Edmund Ryden, is thought-provoking and worth looking at.
Political Studies Review - Michael Rochlitz
While parts of this nicely translated book might be too specific for the general reader, the volume provides stimulating insights not only into the rich world of ancient Chinese thought, but also into the way contemporary Chinese thinkers see the world today. In this respect, the excellent introduction by Daniel Bell and a long interview with Xuetong in the appendix are especially rewarding.
From the Publisher
"[I] found Dr. Henry A. Kissinger's comment that it is 'a fascinating study' very much to the point. . . . Given China's growing influence in the world right now, the work should no doubt have a wider readership than might appear the case prima facie. Princeton University Press should be congratulated on producing such a handsome volume. It can be highly recommended for library purchase in its hardback edition."—Malcolm Warner, Asia Pacific Business Review

"[F]or those who welcome a China that is increasingly active at the global level, as well as for those who do not, it seems the time is right to thoroughly engage with the ideas and proposals of prominent Chinese thinkers today like Yan Xuetong. By putting his grand vision for a Chinese 'superpower modelled on humane authority' to the test before it becomes a possible political reality, we will have gained a greater appreciation of China's cultural heritage and, following that, a glimpse at its possible political future."—Mark Chou, Australian Review of Public Affairs

"[T]his collection of essays, mostly by Beijing-based foreign affairs expert and academic Yan Xuetong and beautifully translated by Edmund Ryden, is thought-provoking and worth looking at."—Kerry Brown, Asian Affairs

"While parts of this nicely translated book might be too specific for the general reader, the volume provides stimulating insights not only into the rich world of ancient Chinese thought, but also into the way contemporary Chinese thinkers see the world today. In this respect, the excellent introduction by Daniel Bell and a long interview with Xuetong in the appendix are especially rewarding."—Michael Rochlitz, Political Studies Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691148267
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 4/3/2011
  • Series: Princeton-China Series
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 1,301,835
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Yan Xuetong is professor of political science and director of the Institute of International Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing. His many books include "The Rise of China and Its Strategy", "International Politics and China", and "American Hegemony and China's Security".

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
A Note on the Translation ix
Introduction by Daniel A. Bell 1

PART I: Ancient Chinese Thought, Modern Chinese Power
Chapter 1: A Comparative Study of Pre-Qin Interstate Political Philosophy byYan Xuetong 21
Chapter 2: Xunzi’s Interstate Political Philosophy and Its Message for Today by Yan Xuetong 70
Chapter 3: Hegemony in The Stratagems of the Warring States by Yan Xuetong and Huang Yuxing 107

PART II: Comments
Chapter 4: An Examination of the Research Theory of Pre-Qin Interstate Political Philosophy byYang Qianru 147
Chapter 5: The Two Poles of Confucianism: A Comparison of the Interstate Political Philosophies of Mencius and Xunzi by Xu Jin 161
Chapter 6: Political Hegemony in Ancient China: A Review of "Hegemony in The Stratagems of the Warring States" by Wang Rihua 181

PART III: Response to the Commentators
Chapter 7: Pre-Qin Philosophy and China’s Rise Today by Yan Xuetong 199
Appendix 1: The Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods and the Pre-Qin Masters by Xu Jin 223
Appendix 2: Yan Xuetong: A Realist Scholar Clinging to Scientific Prediction by Lu Xin 229
Appendix 3: Why Is There No Chinese School of International Relations Theory? By Yan Xuetong 252

Notes 261
Select Bibliography 283
Contributors 291
Index 293

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