This engaging book highlights 49 prevalent myths about China's past, present, and future and weighs their truth or fiction. Leading a thoughtful and entertaining tour, the authors debunk widespread "knowledge" about Chinese culture, society, politics, and economy. Their timely work offers an illuminating window on a rising power we often misunderstand.
Marte Kjaer Galtung is a China analyst at the Norwegian Defence Staff. She has previously worked on China with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; as a cultural attache at the Norwegian embassy in Beijing, and subsequently on the Norwegian government's China strategy. She is the author of China: People, History, Politics, and Culture. Stig Stenslie is head of the Asia Branch of the Norwegian Defence Staff. He has been visiting scholar at, among others, the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, National University in Singapore, and Columbia University in New York. He is the author of several books on contemporary China and the Middle East, most recently Regime Stability in Saudi Arabia: The Challenge of Succession and Stability and Change in the Modern Middle East.
Introduction Part I: The Party Myth 1: Communism Is Dead in China Myth 2: China Is Centrally Controlled Myth 3: The Leadership Is Deeply Divided Myth 4: The Communist Party Is a Monolith Myth 5: The Military Is Gaining Political Influence Myth 6: The Communist Regime Lacks Legitimacy Myth 7: The Falun Gong Is an Apolitical Movement Persecuted for Its Religious Beliefs Myth 8: The Chinese Media Is Merely a Mouthpiece of the Communist Party Part II: The People Myth 9: Chinese Culture Is Incompatible with Democracy Myth 10: Chinese Have No Manners Myth 11: Chinese People Are Not Altruistic Myth 12: The Individual Has No Value, Only the Collective Does Myth 13: All Chinese Are Only Children Myth 14: The Chinese People Are Homogeneous Myth 15: Communism Has Created Gender Equality in China Myth 16: The Chinese Are Atheists Myth 17: Shanghai Is More Liberal Than Beijing Part III: Business and the Economy Myth 18: "China Inc." Is Buying Up the World Myth 19: China Has the United States over a Barrel Myth 20: China's Economy Is Export Driven Myth 21: Chinese People Are Born Moneymakers Myth 22: Chinese Don't Take Risks Myth 23: The Chinese Are Just Copycats Myth 24: The State Hinders to Economic Development in China Myth 25: Unequal Distribution of Wealth Is a Source of Social and Political Unrest Myth 26: All Economic Development Is Happening in the Big Cities on the East Coast Part IV: China and the World Myth 27: The Chinese Are Racist Myth 28: The Communist Party Is Kindling Nationalism Myth 29: China Will Once Again Dominate East Asia Myth 30: China Is Colonizing Africa Myth 31: China Is an Environmental Baddie Myth 32: The Chinese Could Tame North Korea-if They Wanted To Myth 33: China Does Not Interfere in Other States' Internal Affairs Part V: The Past Myth 34: China's History Spans Five Millennia Myth 35: China Is Called the "Middle Kingdom" Because Chinese People Believe Their Country Is the Center of the World Myth 36: China Discovered the World in 1421 Myth 37: All Women Were Oppressed in Ancient China Myth 38: China Has No Warrior Culture Myth 39: Chinese History Goes in Circles Myth 40: Tibet Was a Shangri-la until the Chinese Came Myth 41: Mao Was a Monster Myth 42: The Chinese Do Not Care about Their Own Historical Heritage Part VI: The Future Myth 43: The Internet Will Topple the Communist Party Myth 44: The End of the Communist Regime Is Near Myth 45: The Chinese Are Masters of Long-Term Thinking Myth 46: The RMB Will Eclipse the Dollar as the World's Reserve Currency Myth 47: China Is a Military Threat Myth 48: Chinese Will Replace English as the World's Language Myth 49: The Twenty-First Century Belongs to China Notes on Transliteration Bibliography