China (Chinese: 中国; pinyin: Zhōngguó), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's second-most populous country with a population exceeding 1.4 billion. China spans the equivalent of five time zones and borders fourteen countries by land, tied with Russia as having the most of any country in the world. With an area of nearly 9.6 million square kilometres (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the world's third largest country by total land area. The country consists of 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau). The national capital is Beijing, and the most populous city and largest financial center is Shanghai.
- China, despite many imperfections in its economic and political system, has been the most rapidly growing nation of the past three decades. Chinese poverty until Mao Zedong’s death had nothing to do with Chinese culture; it was due to the disastrous way Mao organized the economy and conducted politics. In the 1950s, he promoted the Great Leap Forward, a drastic industrialization policy that led to mass starvation and famine. In the 1960s, he propagated the Cultural Revolution, which led to the mass persecution of intellectuals and educated people—anyone whose party loyalty might be doubted. This again led to terror and a huge waste of the society’s talent and resources. In the same way, current Chinese growth has nothing to do with Chinese values or changes in Chinese culture; it results from a process of economic transformation unleashed by the reforms implemented by Deng Xiaoping and his allies, who, after Mao Zedong’s death, gradually abandoned socialist economic policies and institutions, first in agriculture and then in industry.
- Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (2012)
- A neighbor with one billion people equipped with nuclear bombs and has expanded its military outlays by double digits for 17 years in a row, and it is unclear as to what this is being used for. It is beginning to be a considerable threat.
- China’s everything. Nothing else matters. We don’t get China right, we don’t get anything right. This whole thing is very simple. China is where Nazi Germany was in 1929 to 1930. The Chinese, like the Germans, are the most rational people in the world, until they’re not. And they’re gonna flip like Germany in the '30s. You’re going to have a hypernationalist state, and once that happens, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle.
- The most striking cultural shifts in China over the last two decades or so has been the revival, both orchestrated and spontaneous, of tradition. The main trope for culture in the twentieth century, especially since 1949, has been anti-traditionalism. As far back as the May 4th movement in 1919, and before, whether it was the financial elite, the liberals, the Marxists, or anarchists they all agreed that China was poor and that one of the causes of that state of affairs was the backward traditional culture... We have witnessed a dramatic reevaluation of tradition in China, and also in other East Asian countries with a Confucian heritage such as Korea. This part of the world has witnessed rapid growth over the last three decades that has sharply reduced poverty and the region has remained at peace. So when people look around and ask what do all these countries have in common, one answer is their Confucian heritage. So whereas the previous narrative was that Confucianism undermined modernization and economic growth, now many argue that it actually helps... Chinese thinkers gave much thought to how to select able and virtuous political leaders, which abilities matter and which virtues matter? Chinese pondered about, and experimented with, mechanisms for selecting leaders. And that tradition continues on today.
- If I were an Englishman, I should esteem the man who advised a war with China to be the greatest living enemy of my country. You would be beaten in the end, and perhaps a revolution in India would follow.
- Napoleon Bonaparte, reported as being from an 1817 conversation in The Mind of Napoleon, ed. and trans. J. Christopher Herold (1955), p. 249. Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989)
- A 'superpower' is a country that wields enough military, political and economic might to convince nations in all parts of the world to do things they otherwise wouldn't. Pundits have rushed to label China the next superpower, and so have many ordinary Americans... Little of China's dramatic economic growth is finding its way into the pockets of Chinese consumers; the byproduct of an economy driven by massive state-owned enterprises rather than private industry.
- The United States welcomes the emergence of a China that is peaceful and prosperous and that supports international institutions.
- There is a tendency in parts of Chinese thinking which says: "We need not only to be an important power in the region, we need to dominate the region!".
- There is a hush over all Europe, nay, over all the world, broken only by the dull thud of Japanese bombs falling on Chinese cities, on Chinese Universities or near British and American ships. But then, China is a long way off, so why worry? The Chinese are fighting for what the founders of the American Constitution in their stately language called: “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” And they seem to be fighting very well. Many good judges think they are going to win. Anyhow, let’s wish them luck! Let’s give them a wave of encouragement – as your President did last week, when he gave notice about ending the commercial treaty. After all, the suffering Chinese are fighting our battle, the battle of democracy. They are defending the soil, the good earth, that has been theirs since the dawn of time against cruel and unprovoked aggression. Give them a cheer across the ocean – no one knows whose turn it may be next. If this habit of military dictatorships’ breaking into other people’s lands with bomb and shell and bullet, stealing the property and killing the proprietors, spreads too widely, we may none of us be able to think of summer holidays for quite a while.
- The Chinese said of themselves several thousand years ago: "China is a sea that salts all the waters that flow into it." There's another Chinese saying about their country which is much more modern—it dates only from the fourth century. This is the saying: "The tail of China is large and will not be wagged." I like that one. The British democracy approves the principles of movable party heads and unwaggable national tails. It is due to the working of these important forces that I have the honor to be addressing you at this moment.
- The People's Republic of China is still a Marxist, Leninist, Maoist nation. So, you know, communism is still involved there. They haven't figured their way out of that particularly ideological box yet and that's their misfortune.
- The emperor hold upon the Chinamen may be strong, but the Chinaman's hold upon himself is stronger... The Chinaman will not long be willing to wear the cast off shoes of the negro, and, if he refuses, there will be trouble again. The negro worked and took his pay in religion and the lash. The Chinaman is a different article and will want the cash. He may, like the negro, accept Christianity, but, unlike the negro, he will not care to pay for it in labor. He had the Golden Rule in substance five hundred years before the coming of Christ, and has notions of justice that are not to be confused by any... Chinese children are in American schools in San Francisco. None of our children are in Chinese schools, and probably never will be, though in some things they might well teach us valuable lessons. Contact with these yellow children of the Celestial Empire would convince us that the points of human difference, great as they, upon first sight, seem, are as nothing compared with the points of human agreement. Such contact would remove mountains of prejudice... The Chinese in themselves have first rate recommendations. They are industrious, docile, cleanly, frugal. They are dexterous of hand, patient in toil, marvelously gifted in the power of imitation, and have but few wants.
- It is objected to the Chinaman that he is secretive and treacherous, and will not tell the truth when he thinks it for his interest to tell a lie. There may be truth in all this; it sounds very much like the account of man’s heart given in the creeds. If he will not tell the truth, except when it is for his interest to do so, let us make it for his interest to tell the truth. We can do it by applying to him the same principle of justice that we apply to ourselves. But I doubt if the Chinese are more untruthful than other people. At this point I have one certain test. Mankind are not held together by lies. Trust is the foundation of society. Where there is no truth, there can be no trust, and where there is no trust, there can be no society. Where there is society, there is trust, and where there is trust, there is something upon which it is supported. Now a people who have confided in each other for five thousand years; who have extended their empire in all directions until it embraces one-fifth of the population of the globe; who hold important commercial relations with all nations; who are now entering into treaty stipulations with ourselves, and with all the great European powers, cannot be a nation of cheats and liars, but must have some respect for veracity. The very existence of China for so long a period, and her progress in civilization, are proofs of her truthfulness
- No victory of arms, or tyranny of alien finance, can long suppress a nation so rich in resources and vitality. The invader will lose funds or patience before the loins of China will lose virility; within a century China will have absorbed and civilized her conquerors, and will have learned all the technique of what transiently bears the name of modern industry; roads and communications will give her unity, economy and thrift will give her funds, and a strong government will give her order and peace.
- As India is par excellence the land of metaphysics and religion, China is by like preeminence the home of humanistic, or non-theological, philosophy.
- The average Chinese is at once an animist, a Taoist, a Buddhist and a Confucianist.
- Even China's population of 1.4 billion would not be enough to fill all the empty apartments littered across the country.
- He Keng, as quoted in "Even China's 1.4 billion population can't fill all its vacant homes, former official says". Reuters. 23 September 2023.
- Most people with mental disorders in China never receive treatment. There is often a stigma attached to such ailments. Some think that people with psychiatric conditions are possessed by evil spirits. Many see mental disorders as a sign of weakness, and regard them as socially contagious: a relative of someone with a serious disorder may find it hard to marry. Families sometimes have their kin treated far away to hide the “shame” of their condition, or keep them hidden at home. Even many medical students worry that those working with psychiatric patients risk catching their disease, says Xu Ni of “It Gets Brighter”, a mental-health NGO in Beijing.
- They're not terribly imaginative. They’re not entrepreneurial. They don't innovate. That's why they're stealing our intellectual property.
- Carly Fiorina, as quoted in "Carly Fiorina Calls The Chinese Unimaginative Idea Thieves", by Lydia O'Connor, The Huffington Post (25 May 2015).
- The Chinese are less a nation than a fusion of peoples united by a common culture, and the history of China is the record of an expanding culture.
- Charles Patrick Fitzgerald, China: A Short Cultural History (1965).
- [Chinese development has its roots in the 1949 Chinese Revolution, carried out by the Chinese Communist Party headed by Mao Zedong, whereby it liberated itself from the imperialist system. This allowed it to develop for decades under a planned economy largely free of constraints from outside forces, establishing a strong agricultural and industrial economic base. This was followed by a shift in the post-Maoist reform period to a hybrid system of more limited state planning along with a much greater reliance on market relations (and a vast expansion of debt and speculation) under conditions—the globalization of the world market—that were particularly fortuitous to its “catching up.” Through trade wars and other pressures aimed at destabilizing China’s position in the world market, the United States is already seeking to challenge the bases of China’s growth in world trade. China, therefore, stands not so much for the successes of late capitalism but rather for its inherent limitations. The current Chinese model, moreover, carries within it many of the destructive tendencies of the system of capital accumulation. Ultimately, China’s future too depends on a return to the process of revolutionary transition, spurred by its own population.
- The problem for China is political. China is held together by money, not ideology. When there is an economic downturn and the money stops rolling in, not only will the banking system spasm, but the entire fabric of Chinese society will shudder. Loyalty in China is either bought or coerced. Without available money, only coercion remains. Business slowdowns can generally lead to instability because they lead to business failure and unemployment. In a country where poverty is endemic and unemployment widespread, the added pressure of an economic downturn will result in political instability.
- George Friedman, The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century (2009), p. 96, Doubleday
- But democracies also took root because they generally outperformed autocracies in raising living standards. Markets do not always require democracy in order to function: South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and China all developed successful economies under less than democratic conditions. The Cold War experience showed, though, that it is not easy to keep markets open and ideas constrained at the same time. And since markets proved more efficient than command economies in allocating resources and enhancing productivity, the resulting improvement in people s lives, in turn, strengthened democracies.
- John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History, pp. 265 (2006)
- China’s capacity to meet new demands for agricultural products has been assessed by analysts inside and outside China since the 1980s. Economists have anticipated that market forces would induce China to import grains and other land-intensive crops, but Chinese officials (motivated by food security and other concerns) have long resisted these forces and sought to maintain self-sufficiency. However, officials are now adjusting their strategies to accommodate their country’s growing reliance on agricultural imports.
- Fred Gale, James Hansen, and Michael Jewison, "China's Growing Demand for Agricultural Imports" (February 2015), United States Department of Agriculture.
- Bart Simpson: What happened to you, China? You used to be cool.
- Chinese delegate: Hey, China's still cool!
- Chinese people have no recourse to anything like an independent judiciary. The Communist Party decides if you’re guilty or innocent. The conviction rate stands in excess of 98 per cent. Torture and forced confessions are commonplace. Xi has lately embarked on a vicious campaign of harassment and intimidation of workers’ rights activists, ethnic and religious minorities, and feminists. Scores of human rights lawyers have been rounded up and jailed.
- The Chinese are emphatically not a religious people, though they are very superstitious. Belief in a God has come down from the remotest ages, but the old simple creed has been so overlaid by Buddhism as not to be discernible at the present day. Buddhism is now the dominant religion of China. It is closely bound up with the lives of the people, and is a never-failing refuge in sickness or worldly trouble. It is no longer the subtle doctrine which was originally presented to the people of India, but something much more clearly defined and appreciable by the plainest intellect. Buddha is the saviour of the people through righteousness alone, and Buddhist saints are popularly supposed to possess intercessory powers. Yet reverence is always wanting; and crowds will laugh and talk, and buy and sell sweetmeats, in a Buddhist temple, before the very eyes of the most sacred images. So long as divine intervention is not required, an ordinary Chinaman is content to neglect his divinities; but no sooner does sickness or financial trouble come upon the family, than he will hurry off to propitiate the gods.
He accomplishes this through the aid of the priests, who receive his offerings of money, and light candles or incense at the shrine of the deity to be invoked. Buddhist priests are not popular with the Chinese, who make fun of their shaven heads, and doubt the sincerity of their convictions as well as the purity of their lives. "No meat nor wine may enter here" is a legend inscribed at the gate of most Buddhist temples, the ordinary diet as served in the refectory being strictly vegetarian. A tipsy priest, however, is not an altogether unheard-of combination, and has provided more than one eminent artist with a subject of an interesting picture.
- Let us now pause to take stock of some of the results which have accrued from the operation and influence of Confucianism during such a long period, and over such swarming myriads of the human race. It is a commonplace in the present day to assert that the Chinese are hardworking, thrifty, and sober—the last-mentioned, by the way, in a land where drunkenness is not regarded as a crime. Shallow observers of the globe-trotter type, who have had their pockets picked by professional thieves in Hong-Kong, and even resident observers who have not much cultivated their powers of observation and comparison, will assert that honesty is a virtue denied to the Chinese; but those who have lived long in China and have more seriously devoted themselves to discover the truth, may one and all be said to be arrayed upon the other side. The amount of solid honesty to be met with in every class, except the professionally criminal class, is simply astonishing. That the word of the Chinese merchant is as good as his bond has long since become a household word, and so it is in other walks of life.
- Herbert Allen Giles, in The Civilization of China (1911), Chapter III : Religion and Superstition
- [N]early every political evil can be found on display in China: slavery, discrimination, religious persecution, xenophobia, tyranny, mass-political indoctrination, colonialism, cultural genocide, and so on. And yet, the outcry against these things in America and the West is a tiny fraction of what it was with regard to South Africa in the 1980s or Israel today. Why? Some of the political answers are pretty obvious — and have much merit. A few that come to mind: China is non-Western, and many of these sins are supposed to be unique to white Europeans; China is a victim (or “victim”) of colonialism, and so we shouldn’t judge it harshly; China is very powerful, and realpolitik dictates that we be diplomatic; and so on. But there’s another reason. As you may have noticed, I’ve become much more interested in evolutionary psychology of late, particularly the topic of coalitional instincts. The coalition instinct is the programming that helped us form strategic groups that advance our self-interest. We are a social species and cooperation is what helped us skyrocket to the top of the food chain.
- So far, the world economy, particularly Australia and the United States, have benefited greatly from Chinese economic growth. This is likely to continue to be the case for some time... There is no real alternative to the United States as the global leader. China doesn't want the role. It would only divert its focus from its own development challenges. And to be frank, China would not be trusted by many countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific, to be the global leader... Authoritarian state capitalism, seen today in China and Russia. While both countries have introduced elements of a market economy, private companies there operate side-by-side and at a significant disadvantage to state owned entities favored by government regulators. This mixed economy is not paralleled on the political side. What is emerging is an increasingly authoritarian political system with decreasing space for civil society, free media, and dissent. This model is attractive to authoritarian leaders around the world who see it as way to maintain power while still growing their economies.
- As a foreign literature it is studied also by the Coreans, the Japanese, and the Annamites; and it may therefore be quite appropriately called the Classic Literature of the Far East. The civilization of all these nations has been affected by its study, perhaps even in a higher degree than that of the nations of Europe has been by the literatures of Greece and Rome. Millions received from it, in the course of centuries, their mental training. The Chinese who created it have through it perpetuated their national character and imparted some of their idiosyncrasies of thought to their formerly illiterate neighbors.
- I did feel that I was going back to a place that I had never been.
- Maxine Hong Kingston on visiting China the first time, in Conversations with Maxine Hong Kingston edited by Paul Skenazy and Tera Martin (1998)
- The Chinese are industrious, courageous, honest, and intelligent. They created the splendid ancient Chinese civilization, and today, they're firmly committed to the path of peaceful development and are making continuous progress in the modernization drive by carrying out the reform and opening up program.
- Jintao Hu, "President Bush and President Hu of People's Republic of China Participate in Arrival Ceremony " (20 April 2006), by J. Hu, Washington, D.C.: White House.
- The great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will definitely be accompanied by the thriving of Chinese culture.
- When China sends its students to the United States, especially when it sends central bankers and planners to the United States to study (and be recruited), they are told by the U.S. “Do as we say, not as we have done.” The United States is not telling China... how to get rich in the way that it did, by protective tariffs, by creating its own money and by making other countries dependent on it. The United States does not want you to be independent and self-reliant. The United States wants China to let itself become dependent on U.S. finance in order to invest in its own industry... The neoliberal plan is not to make you independent, and not to help you grow except to the extent that your growth will be paid to US investors or used to finance U.S. military spending around the world to encircle you and trying to destabilize you in Sichuan to try to pry China apart. Look at what the United States has done in Russia, and at what the International Monetary Fund in Europe has done to Greece, Latvia and the Baltic states. It is a dress rehearsal for what U.S. diplomacy would like to do to you, if it can convince you to follow the neoliberal US economic policy of financialization and privatization. De-dollarization is the alternative to privatization and financialization.
- Michael Hudson, Note to China, (14 January 2020)
- The U.S.-China confrontation is not simply a national rivalry, but a conflict of economic and social systems.... From today’s U.S. vantage point... China and Russia are existential threats to the global expansion of financialized rentier wealth. Today’s Cold War 2.0 aims to deter China and potentially other counties from socializing their financial systems, land and natural resources, and keeping infrastructure utilities public to prevent their being monopolized in private hands to siphon off economic rents at the expense of productive investment in economic growth. The United States hoped that China might be as gullible as the Soviet Union and adopt neoliberal policy permitting its wealth to be privatized and turned into rent-extracting privileges, to be sold off to Americans.
- China, like Russia, has been reducing its dollar holdings as much as possible, just keeping enough to prevent the currency from being destabilized by the dollar inflows. China, Russia are buying gold instead of U.S. dollars as much as possible. China is trying to escape from buying Treasury securities. Why would any government want to buy Treasury securities yielding 0.1% when the dollars coming into China are trying to make loans or buying countries, making 15% profit or interest a year? Nobody would want that situation to continue. China doesn’t want it to continue. As long as it [China] is part of an international economy that is dollarized, it [China] is forced to take a loss, a sacrifice, year after year, subsidizing the U.S. economy. The only way that it can avoid that is to isolate itself from the U.S. dollar. No country until this time since 1945 has ever had the critical mass to be able to do it. That is the objective, the stated objective of Russia, China and their allies. Of course, they don’t want to buy treasury bills. That doesn’t mean that, yes, they found a wonderful investment making 0.1% a year and subsidizing the United States. That is not what China or any other country wants.
- Michael Hudson, China – a Sub-Imperial Ally of the West? (3 April 2022)
- China seems to have been very much similar to the West, both in the production of new religious movements and in attracting to them figures from the political left who were officially promoting the struggle against “superstition.” Reconstructions of “Chinese traditional culture” as “non-religious,” and of the rich Chinese religious pluralism as mere “folk religion” should be viewed as propaganda rather than history.
- Massimo Introvigne, "New Religious Movements in China: They Were Always There", Bitter Winter (June 27, 2020)
- China’s battle against poverty has benefited the largest number of people in human history. To sustain poverty reduction gains, China will focus more on achieving endogenous development in areas that have been lifted out of poverty and introduce vigorous measures to support rural revitalization. Our goal is to achieve common prosperity and high-quality development including through the rural revitalization strategy with a focus in five key areas: industry development, human capital, culture, ecological environment and local governance.”
- Ma Jiantang as quoted in [https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2022/04/01/lifting-800-million-people-out-of-poverty-new-report-looks-at-lessons-from-china-s-experience World Bank Press Release No. 2022/072/EAP, Lifting 800 Million People Out of Poverty – New Report Looks at Lessons from China’s Experience, April 1, 2022
- The Chinese have always struck me as pretty cautious, even crafty, in managing their rise. It's true that they’re a lot more aggressive since 2009, but I don't see them suddenly becoming reckless. I always found that factoid that the PRC spends more on internal than external security to be indicative that CCP is, in fact, very insecure at the top. It's got to have an ideology with foreign enemies, otherwise the Chinese people might see the real enemy, the CCP's corruption, rejection of democracy and unwillingness to admit the horrors of Maoism.
- Robert E. Kelly, as quoted in "Does China ADIZ take focus off 'real enemy'?: To many experts, Beijing's foreign policy is a byproduct of domestic issues" (1 December 2013), by Max Fisher, The Washington Post.
- The collapse of U.S. influence over Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom’s new alliances with China and Iran are painful emblems of the abject failure of the Neocon strategy of maintaining U.S. global hegemony with aggressive projections of military power. China has displaced the American Empire by deftly projecting, instead, economic power. Over the past decade, our country has spent trillions bombing roads, ports, bridges, and airports. China spent the equivalent building the same across the developing world.
- Contemporaneous with the age of Greek culture, while Rome was yet an infant city and the rest of Europe in a condition of barbarism, the Chinese were a civilised race. Many years before the Christian era they had evolved under the name of Taoism, a set of principles and a mystic teaching based on the writings of Laotzu, which formed a not altogether despicable substitute for a religion, while in Confucianism they enjoyed a sound philosophy. Under these influences the arts of peace gradually achieved the first place among the national ideas. The application of principles of reason to the relationships of daily life, the adjustment of differences by discussion, and the cultivation of respect for age and learning, became cardinal principles.
- Percy Howard Kent, "Chapter 1. The Old Conditions". The Passing of the Manchus. 1911. p. 2.
- China believes it is the center of the universe. Look at its flag; one big star surrounded by satellite stars. Arrogant!
- I hear from higher up that China seems to be succeeding on many fronts – engineering, commerce, hotels, agriculture - everything. In many ways, don’t we need to take them as a model example for us?
- Back in about 1753 it took a letter three days to go from New York City to Washington, and today you can go from here to China in less time than that... Man's scientific genius has been amazing.
- If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn't committed themselves to that over there.
- To understand the changes which now appear upon the Chinese mainland, one must understand the changes in Chinese character and culture over the past 50 years. China, up to 50 years ago, was completely non-homogenous, being compartmented into groups divided against each other. The war-making tendency was almost non-existent, as they still followed the tenets of the Confucian ideal of pacifist culture. At the turn of the century, under the regime of Chang Tso Lin, efforts toward greater homogeneity produced the start of a nationalist urge. This was further and more successfully developed under the leadership of Chiang Kai-Shek, but has been brought to its greatest fruition under the present regime to the point that it has now taken on the character of a united nationalism of increasingly dominant, aggressive tendencies. Through these past 50 years the Chinese people have thus become militarized in their concepts and in their ideals. They now constitute excellent soldiers, with competent staffs and commanders. This has produced a new and dominant power in Asia, which, for its own purposes, is allied with Soviet Russia but which in its own concepts and methods has become aggressively imperialistic, with a lust for expansion and increased power normal to this type of imperialism. There is little of the ideological concept either one way or another in the Chinese make-up. The standard of living is so low and the capital accumulation has been so thoroughly dissipated by war that the masses are desperate and eager to follow any leadership which seems to promise the alleviation of local stringencies. I have from the beginning believed that the Chinese Communists' support of the North Koreans was the dominant one. Their interests are, at present, parallel with those of the Soviet. But I believe that the aggressiveness recently displayed not only in Korea but also in Indo-China and Tibet and pointing potentially toward the South reflects predominantly the same lust for the expansion of power which has animated every would-be conqueror since the beginning of time.
- By contrast, classical China produced many great generals, fought many wars and conquered many peoples but did not elevate military values above civilian. (It helped, perhaps, that the scholars rather than the military wrote the histories.) Fighting was not held up as something admirable but rather as the result of a breakdown in order and propriety. There is no equivalent of the Iliad in Chinese literature and the heroes held up for the young to emulate were the great bureaucrats and wise rulers who maintained the peace. Early on Chinese thinkers such as Confucius and the great strategist Sunzi (also known in the transliteration Sun Tzu) stressed that the state’s authority rested on its virtue as well as on its ability to use force. And for Sunzi, the greatest general was the one who could win a war, through manoeuvre or trickery, without fighting a battle. Prestige in Chinese society came rather from being a scholar, poet or painter; and from the Tang dynasty onwards the examination system to enter the imperial civil service was the favoured path for fame and prestige. Successful generals were sometimes awarded a scholar’s rank and gown as a mark of particular favour where many European societies would have given military decorations to meritorious civilians. Societies’ values can change over time, of course. Swedish soldiers were once the terror of Europe when now we associate Sweden with the Nobel Peace Prize or international mediation.
- When it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead.
- China remains the world's largest manufacturer, with four trillion dollars in foreign-exchange reserves, a sum equivalent to the world’s fourth-largest economy... Last spring, China abolished registered-capital and other requirements for new companies, and in November it allowed foreign investors to trade shares directly on the Shanghai stock market for the first time... The risks to China's economy have rarely been more visible. The workforce is aging more quickly than in other countries, because of the one-child policy, and businesses are borrowing money more rapidly than they are earning it... The growth of demand for energy and raw materials has slowed, more houses and malls are empty, and nervous Chinese savers are sending money overseas, to protect it in the event of a crisis... To maintain economic growth, China is straining to promote innovation... After China had spent years investing in science and technology, the share of its economy devoted to research and development surpassed Europe's... The era of Xi Jinping has defied the assumption that China's fitful opening to the world is too critical and productive to stall.
- Evan Osnos, "Born Red: How Xi Jinping, an unremarkable provincial administrator, became China’s most authoritarian leader since Mao." (6 April 2015), The New Yorker.
- China as a society, a government, an economy and a culture is quite difficult for us to comprehend today. The changes are so rapid in cities like Beijing and Shanghai and the culture remarkably fluid... China is increasingly influential in the world and more and more people have hopes that China will be a leader... China has ended up playing a critical role in geopolitics more quickly than anybody had anticipated.
- The Chinese are rejecting western values and multiparty democracy... It seems very incongruous to be, on the one hand, so committed to fostering more competition and market-driven flexibility in the economy and, on the other hand, to be seeking more control in the political sphere, the media, and the Internet.
- Henry Paulson, Dealing with China, as quoted in "Born Red: How Xi Jinping, an unremarkable provincial administrator, became China’s most authoritarian leader since Mao." (6 April 2015), by Evan Osnos, The New Yorker
- We cannot, if we would, play the part of China, and be content to rot by inches in ignoble ease within our borders, taking no interest in what goes on beyond them, sunk in a scrambling commercialism; heedless of the higher life, the life of aspiration, of toil and risk, busying ourselves only with the wants of our bodies for the day, until suddenly we should find, beyond a shadow of question, what China has already found, that in this world the nation that has trained itself to a career of un-warlike and isolated ease is bound, in the end, to go down before other nations which have not lost the manly and adventurous qualities. If we are to be a really great people, we must strive in good faith to play a great part in the world.
- [W]hat is nationalism? And what nationalism is actually Western invention. Imperial China had no nationalism. Where do they get their ideas of nationalism? Well, they got their ideas of nationalism from the Japanese, which emerged as a national state in the 19. Well, where did the Japanese get their ideas about nationalism, which were then translated into Chinese? They got it from the Germans. So what they imported was a 19th-century version of social Darwinism in which race is of the fundamental basis of nationality and there are very – when you hear Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders talking about cultural pollution, when you talk about the natural affinity of all Chinese people wherever they are, you begin to worry that there is this submerged, and sometimes not even so, some racialist component.
- If you want to know what people are worried about look at what they spend their money on. If you’re afraid of burglars you buy a burglar alarm. What are the Chinese spending their money on? We’re told from Chinese figures they’re spending on the People’s Armed Police, the internal security force is about as big as they’re spending on the regular military. This whole great firewall of Chinese, this whole massive effort to control the internet, this effort to use modern information technology not to disseminate information, empowering individuals, but to make people think what you want them to think and to monitor their behavior so that you can isolate and suppress them. That’s because this is a regime which is fundamentally afraid of its own people. And it’s fundamentally hostile to them.
- The typical Westerner wishes to be the cause of as many changes as possible in his environment; the typical Chinaman wishes to enjoy as much and as delicately as possible.
- Bertrand Russell, The Problem of China (1922), Ch. XII: The Chinese Character.
- The Chinese are a great nation, incapable of permanent suppression by foreigners. They will not consent to adopt our vices in order to acquire military strength; but they are willing to adopt our virtues in order to advance in wisdom. I think they are the only people in the world who quite genuinely believe that wisdom is more precious than rubies. That is why the West regards them as uncivilized.
- Bertrand Russell, The Problem of China (1922), Ch. XIII: Higher education in China.
- Some observers have already proclaimed that China will rule the world, This prospective is profoundly overstated and incorrect in my view... China has a long way to go before it becomes, if it ever becomes a true global power, and it will never rule the world.
- China is, in essence, a very narrow-minded, self-interested, realist state, seeking only to maximize its own national interests and power. It cares little for global governance and enforcing global standards of behavior, except its much-vaunted doctrine of noninterference in the internal affairs of countries. Its economic policies are mercantilist and its diplomacy is passive. China is also a lonely strategic power, with no allies and experiencing distrust and strained relationships with much of the world.
- China is a very contradictory country... China punches way below its weight, it is not, it is free-riding... It is not contributing... China is a lonely power... Who wants to seek political asylum in China? Nobody.
- David Shambaugh, "David Shambaugh - China Goes Global: The Partial Power" (April 2013), USC U.S.-China Institute, YouTube
- The subsequent evolution of the Chinese state is one where bureaucratic recruitment and rule became ever more routinized, and this occurred at the expense of hereditary lineages. In western Europe, after the fall of Rome rulers pursued a policy of giving grants of land in exchange for military service. These grants tended to be one-way transactions. Over time this led to the creation of a category of members of society with substantial autonomy. The presence of this group would play a prominent role in the early development of medieval assemblies. In China things pushed in the opposite direction. With the perfection of an imperial examination system during the Tang and Song dynasties, Chinese rulers had at their disposal a means of bureaucratic recruitment that did not depend on societal networks outside of their control. Being a member of the elite now meant being part of the state itself.
- David Stasavage, The Decline and Rise of Democracy: A Global History from Antiquity to Today (2020), pp. 14-15
- The Chinese people have only family and clan solidarity; they do not have national spirit...they are just a heap of loose sand...Other men are the carving knife and serving dish; we are the fish and the meat.
- Sun Yat-sen, China as a Heap of Loose Sand (1924)
- China is now suffering from poverty, not from unequal distribution of wealth. Where there are inequalities of wealth, the methods of Marx can, of course, be used; a class war can be advocated to destroy the inequalities. But in China, where industry is not yet developed, Marx's class war and dictatorship of the proletariat are impracticable.
- Sun Yat-sen, Capital and the State (1924)
- This is a fight with a really different civilization and a different ideology, and the United States hasn’t had that before, it’s also striking that this is the first time that we will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian.
- Kiron Skinner, speaking about China, as quoted in "The worst justification for Trump’s battle with China? The ‘clash of civilizations’" (29 April 2019) Washington Post
- One of the greatest untold secrets of history is that the 'modern world' in which we live is a unique synthesis of Chinese and Western ingredients. Possibly more than half of the basic inventions and discoveries upon which the 'modern world' rests come from China. And yet few people know this. Why? The Chinese themselves are as ignorant of this fact as Westerners. From the seventeenth century onwards, the Chinese became increasingly dazzled by European technological expertise, having experienced a period of amnesia regarding their own achievements. When the Chinese were shown a mechanical clock by Jesuit missionaries, they were awestruck. They had forgotten that it was they who had invented mechanical clocks in the first place!
- Robert K. G. Temple - The Genius of China: 3,000 Years of Science, Discovery and Invention (1986).
- Arise! All those who don't want to be slaves! Let our flesh and blood forge our new Great Wall! As the Chinese nation has arrived at its most perilous time, every person is forced to expel their very last roar.
- [A]t a time when the crisis of the Coronavirus pandemic is developing rapidly. [...] The Chinese government currently appears “successful” in its response, but in the first weeks that the new coronavirus appeared, the government offered the denialism typical of restorationist capitalist bureaucracy, ignoring the warnings that could have reduced the number of deaths (including that of Li Wenliang, a doctor who warned about the epidemic and was consequently accused by the authorities of “spreading rumors” before he died from COVID-19). China is the most extreme example of authoritarianism around the world, with its tight bureaucratic control that prevents vital news from leaving Wuhan and other affected areas.
- Trotskyist Fraction – Fourth International, Coronavirus and the Healthcare Crisis: Our Lives Are Worth More than Their Profits! (March 14, 2020), Left Voice.
- I know the Chinese. I've made a lot of money with the Chinese. I understand the Chinese mind.
- The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
- We have a 500 billion dollar deficit, trade deficit with China. We're going to turn it around and we have the cards, don't forget, we're like the piggy bank that's being robbed. We have the cards, we have a lot of power with China. When China doesn't want to fix the problem in North Korea we say "Sorry folks, you've got to fix the problem." Because we can't continue to allow China to rape our country, and that's what they're doing. It's the greatest theft in the history of the world.
- No California gentleman or lady ever abuses or oppresses a Chinaman, under any circumstances, an explanation that seems to be much needed in the east. Only the scum of the population do it; they and their children. They, and, naturally and consistently, the policemen and politicians, likewise, for these are the dust-licking pimps and slaves of the scum, there as well as elsewhere in America.
- A disorderly Chinaman is rare, and a lazy one does not exist. So long as a Chinaman has strength to use his hands he needs no support from anybody; white men often complain of want of work, but a Chinaman offers no such complaint; he always manages to find something to do.
- I have seen Chinamen abused and maltreated in all the mean, cowardly ways possible to the invention of a degraded nature... I never saw a Chinaman righted in a court of justice for wrongs thus done to him.
- Mark Twain, as quoted in Mark Twain and the Three Rs: Race, Religion, Revolution and Related Matters (1973), by Maxwell Geismar, Indianapolis: Bobs-Merrill, p. 98.
- The United States and other democratic nations do so much business with China that there is a tendency to turn a blind eye towards the Communist Party's abysmal human rights record. The Chinese Communist Party's strategy of liberalizing its national economy while harshly rejecting democracy has become the model for modern dictatorships. Hu Jintao and his party control all media in China, between 250,000 and 300,000 Chinese citizens, including political dissidents, are incarcerated in "reeducation-through-labor" camps and the conviction rate in normal criminal trials in 99.7 percent. Less than 5 percent of trials include witnesses. Amnesty International has reported that children have been bussed to public executions as field trips.
- David Wallechinsky, Tyrants: The World's 20 Worst Living Dictators (2006), p. 2
- The world must understand that millions of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang are being sent to concentration camps and forced into labor.
- There is a strange symmetry to China’s twentieth century, and much of it is linked to the ideological Cold War. At the beginning of the century, China’s republican revolution was overtaken by Communism and conflict. And at the end of the century, Communism was overtaken by money and markets. In between lay a terrible time of destruction and reconstruction, of enthusiasm and cynicism, and of almost never-ending rivers of blood. What marks these Chinese revolutions most of all is their bloodthirst: according to a recent estimate, seventy-seven million Chinese died unnatural deaths as a result of warfare or political mass-murder between the 1920s and the 1980s, and the vast majority of them were killed by other Chinese.
- Odd Arne Westad, The Cold War: A Global History (2017)
- Chinese is the easiest language when it is learned at ease, dwelling on its spirit rather than on the individual expression. But for inquisitive questioners, this language provides vain pitfalls.
- Richard Wilhelm, Die Seele Chinas. Berlin, Hobbing, 1926
- Over the past 40 years, the number of people in China with incomes below $1.90 per day – the International Poverty Line as defined by the World Bank to track global extreme poverty– has fallen by close to 800 million. With this, China has contributed close to three-quarters of the global reduction in the number of people living in extreme poverty.
- The World Bank Press Release No. 2022/072/EAP, Lifting 800 Million People Out of Poverty – New Report Looks at Lessons from China’s Experience, April 1, 2022
- One of the things we're trying to do is view the China threat as not just a whole-of-government threat, but a whole-of-society threat on their end, and I think it's going to take a whole-of-society response by us.
- When our thousands of Chinese students abroad return home, you will see how China will transform itself.
- Deng Xiaoping, as quoted in Forbes, Vol. 176, Editions 7-13 (2005), p. 79
- People who try to commit suicide — don't attempt to save them! . . . China is such a populous nation, it is not as if we cannot do without a few people.
- Attributed to Mao Zedong by Wang Li, “历史将宣告我无罪” (History Will Pronounce Me Innocent), manuscript, Beijing, 1993, p. 7. This source is a privately printed collection of letters and documents concerning Wang Li's expulsion from the CCP. Cited in Mao's Last Revolution (2006) by Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals.
- This experience and the historical experiences gained by the Party since its founding can be summarized as follows: Our Party must always represent the requirements for developing China's advanced productive forces, the orientation of China's advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. These are the inexorable requirements for maintaining and developing socialism, and the logical conclusion our Party has reached through hard exploration and great praxis.
- Jiang Zemin, work report at the Communist Party of China Congress (8 November 2002), as quoted in Selected Works of Jiang Zemin, Eng. ed., FLP, Beijing, 2013, Vol. III, p. 519.
- A review of our party's seventy-plus-year history elicits an important conclusion. Our party earned the people's support during the historical periods of revolution, construction and reform because it always represented the requirements for developing China's advanced productive forces, the orientation of China's advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. The party also earned popular support because it fought tirelessly to realize the fundamental interests of the country and the people by formulating a correct line, principles and policies. Today, humanity once again stands at the beginning of a new century and a new millennium. How our party can better effectuate the Three Represents under the new historical conditions is a major issue all Party comrades, especially high-ranking party cadres, must consider deeply... The Communist Party of China should represent the development trends of advanced productive forces, the orientations of an advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people of China.
- We want to learn from the west about science and technology and how to manage the economy, but this must be combined with specific conditions here. That's how we have made great progress in the last twenty years.
- In front of a lot of princeling friends, I've said that, if the Communist Party can't take sufficient political reform in five or ten years, it could miss the chance entirely. As scholars, we always say it's better to have reform than revolution, but in Chinese history this cycle repeats itself. Mao said we have to get rid of the cycle, but right now we’re still in it. This is very worrying.
- Lifan Zhang, as quoted in "Born Red: How Xi Jinping, an unremarkable provincial administrator, became China’s most authoritarian leader since Mao." (6 April 2015), by Evan Osnos, The New Yorker