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Imagining China in the New Silk Road: The Elephant and the World Jungle

  • Siu-Han ChanEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

China as a civilisation and great historical power has rather different ontological perspective, in comparison with Western superpowers. Metaphorically, China resembles largely the existence of an elephant in the jungle, while Western superpowers are closer to that of lions. Only if the political episteme of the West is reflected upon and the fundamental divergence between the worldviews of China and the West is taken into consideration, China’s agenda regarding the Belt and Road Initiative, and, in general, her ‘national’ orientations could be rendered intelligible. Instead of being of an expansionist project as Western hegemonic view often suggests, this paper argues reviving the historical Silk Road connection is primarily a self-referential cultural imperative for China. She is seeking to return to her cultural and historical self as a civilisation through the regeneration of the Chinese (regional) world order. When such an order is reinstated, China would be able to understand herself culturally and fulfil her civilisational mission in the modern era.

Notes

Acknowledgement

I would like to express my gratitude to Professor Hoi-Man Chan from the Department of Sociology, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He had read through the manuscript and provided valuable insights for its revision. I also like to thank the reviewers for their comments. All remaining mistakes and insufficiencies are mine.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.General Education OfficeUnited International CollegeZhuhaiChina

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