Niall Ferguson: China’s Got the Whole World in its Hands

Controversial historian Niall Ferguson, who co-coined the term Chimerica to describe the symbiotic relationship between China and the U.S., has produced a three-part series on China for Channel 4. The Telegraph interviews Ferguson about his views on China’s rise:

At his Harvard base last week, he discussed a resurgent Chinese nationalism that “is almost intimidating in its intensity” as the world undergoes a shift of financial and political power from West to East.

It was a strain that he first identified from the reaction of his own Chinese students to US coverage of the Tibet protests. “They were very hostile to the criticism of the Chinese government.

“The key insight for me is that rather than pro-democracy feelings increasing as China grows economically, it is a radical, shrill nationalism that is emerging.”

But it isn’t just the young. For the new three-part series, he also found among older Chinese a growing “Maostalgia”, a nostalgia for the era of Mao Tse-tung. In Western eyes, Chairman Mao is strongly associated with the chaos of the Cultural Revolution, but for many Chinese, he is the father of a modern, booming nation.

See a video of Ferguson discussing the concept of Chimerica:

March 11, 2012 10:42 PM
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