Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-n6p7q Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-02-29T12:03:56.182Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

1 - Continuities in China’s Pacific Asian Centrality

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 August 2023

Brantly Womack
Affiliation:
University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Wang Gungwu
Affiliation:
National University of Singapore
Wu Yu-Shan
Affiliation:
Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
Qin Yaqing
Affiliation:
China Foreign Affairs University
Evelyn Goh
Affiliation:
Australian National University
Get access

Summary

Given China’s position in Pacific Asia, defining its regional centrality might seem a simple task. But centralities grander than merely geographical have been alleged and contested. Currently some maintain that China is the central kingdom because of its power. But it was conquered by the Mongols and the Manchus, and its present centrality is due more to its economic mass and connectivity than to its military. Others claim that hierarchy is natural to Asian culture, and China is the apex. But neighbors were often cynical about China’s moral stature, and China’s soft power is now at a low ebb. I argue that China was the center of regional attention in the premodern era, and that it has returned to center stage since 2008. The three basic reasons for China’s original centrality and its return were situational: presence, population, and production. The salience of all three disappeared with Western imperialism’s global presence, the devaluation of mere demography, and industrial production. Traditional and current centrality created asymmetric relationships between China and its neighbors, but the regional situations differ fundamentally.

Type
Chapter
Information
Recentering Pacific Asia
Regional China and World Order
, pp. 23 - 44
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×