Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the Twenty-first Century
Orville Schell, John Delury
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Through a series of lively and absorbing portraits of iconic modern Chinese leaders and thinkers, two of today’s foremost specialists on China provide a panoramic narrative of this country’s rise to preeminence that is at once analytical and personal. How did a nation, after a long and painful period of dynastic decline, intellectual upheaval, foreign occupation, civil war, and revolution, manage to burst forth onto the world stage with such an impressive run of hyperdevelopment and wealth creation—culminating in the extraordinary dynamism of China today?
Wealth and Power answers this question by examining the lives of eleven influential officials, writers, activists, and leaders whose contributions helped create modern China. This fascinating survey begins in the lead-up to the first Opium War with Wei Yuan, the nineteenth-century scholar and reformer who was one of the first to urge China to borrow ideas from the West. It concludes in our time with human-rights advocate and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, an outspoken opponent of single-party rule. Along the way, we meet such titans of Chinese history as the Empress Dowager Cixi, public intellectuals Feng Guifen, Liang Qichao, and Chen Duxiu, Nationalist stalwarts Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek, and Communist Party leaders Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and Zhu Rongji.
The common goal that unites all of these disparate figures is their determined pursuit of fuqiang, “wealth and power.” This abiding quest for a restoration of national greatness in the face of a “century of humiliation” at the hands of the Great Powers came to define the modern Chinese character. It’s what drove both Mao and Deng to embark on root-and-branch transformations of Chinese society, first by means of Marxism-Leninism, then by authoritarian capitalism. And this determined quest remains the key to understanding many of China’s actions today.
By unwrapping the intellectual antecedents of today’s resurgent China, Orville Schell and John Delury supply much-needed insight into the country’s tortured progression from nineteenth-century decline to twenty-first-century boom. By looking backward into the past to understand forces at work for hundreds of years, they help us understand China today and the future that this singular country is helping shape for all of us.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
“Superb . . . beautifully written and neatly structured.”—Financial Times
“[An] engaging narrative of the intellectual and cultural origins of China’s modern rise.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Informative and insightful . . . a must-read for anyone with an interest in the world’s fastest-rising superpower.”—Slate
“It does a better job than most other books of answering a basic question the rest of the world naturally asks about China’s recent rise: What does China want?”—The Atlantic
“The portraits are beautifully written and bring to life not only their subjects but also the mood and intellectual debates of the times in which they lived.”—Foreign Affairs
“Excellent and erudite . . . [The authors] combine scholarly learning with a reportorial appreciation of colorful, revealing details.”—The National Interest
From the Hardcover edition.
obstinate.”94 Later Kissinger was moved to observe, “After a lifetime of titanic struggle to uproot Chinese society, there was not a little pathos in Mao’s resigned recognition of the stubborn imperviousness of Chinese culture.”95 Then there was also the bitter paradox of Mao having waged a lifetime of revolution against the rigid structures of traditional Chinese culture and society, only to end up running into new, no less rigid structures within his own Communist Party. As Kissinger put it,
1989. “We must not throw our plans into confusion. This was a deliberate action by the United States. Its purpose is to see China’s reaction.… If we plunge into confusion, it will have attained its initial aim. Hence the most important thing for us is to persist in our development and construction, and, at the same time, to speak out with a stronger voice.”56 Foreign Minister Qian Qichen agreed that the country was not yet far enough down the road to “wealth and power” to handle a direct
Yuan, 197. 47. Wei, quoted in China’s Response, 34. 48. Ibid. 49. Wei, quoted in De Bary, Sources of Chinese Tradition, 211. 50. Quoted in Xiong, “Interpreting American Democracy in the Late Qing,” 9. 51. Ibid. 52. Kuhn, Origins of the Modern Chinese State, 47. Chapter 3: Self-Strengthening 1. Macartney, An Embassy to China, ix. 2. Ibid., 39. 3. Hurd, The Arrow War. 4. Hevia, English Lessons, 48, 107. 5. Ibid., 89–90. 6. Wolseley, Narrative of the War with China, 226–27. 7.
Mandate of Heaven, 331–63. 48. See Evans, Deng, 306–8. 49. Yang, Deng, 261. 50. Ibid., 150. 51. Deng, August 21–23, 1980, Selected Works, 2:331. Chapter 13: Entering the World 1. For full press conference transcript see www.presidency.wasb.edu/wg/pod?=56229. 2. Gilley, Tiger on the Brink, 103. 3. Gao and He, Tie mian zaixiang, 218. 4. Ibid., 222–23. 5. Quoted in Gilley, Tiger, 144. 6. Ibid., 144. 7. Ibid., 101. 8. Kristof, “Shanghai’s Mayor Gains Credit as Pragmatist.” 9.
with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) later on.70 As Sun observed, the Russian Revolution had been “victorious because the entire party, assisted by the army, took part in the struggle. We must learn from Russia its methods, its organization [and] its way of training party members; only then can we hope for victory.”71 Besides party organization, Sun had another reason to heed Lenin’s new ideas.72 In his 1916 tract “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism,” Lenin had posited that the