Enter the dragon – Ian Buruma
Some hot topics come and go: the End of History; Imperial Overstretch; Europe as Venus, the US as Mars. And some keep coming back, sometimes after long pauses. The Rise of China is back, with a vengeance, in the papers, on television, in magazines, conferences, seminars, and so on. It is as though people have suddenly woken up to the fact that China is a major power again, and it may be that both the benefits and perils of this phenomenon are being exaggerated. This tends to happen whenever the west feels challenged by a non-western people. It may also be that western fears are not exaggerated, but simply misplaced. For the past several hundred years, China has been either a “sleeping dragon” or on the rise. Many people might prefer the sleeping mode. Either way, the Chinese dragon is seen as a fearsome beast that has excited the greed, envy, terror and fascination of many generations of Europeans and Americans.