From fear and anxiety, to celebration, China's rise has provoked a variety of responses across the world. In light of this phenomenon, how are our understandings of China produced?
From West to East, Mobo Gao interrogates knowledge production; rejecting the supposed objectivity of empirical statistics and challenging the assumption of a dichotomy between the Western liberal democracy and Chinese authoritarianism. By examining issues such as the Chinese Neo-Enlightenment and neoliberalism, national interest vested in Western scholarship, representations of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, and the South China Sea, the book asks: how is contemporary China constructed?
By dissecting the political agenda and conceptual framework of commentators on China, Gao provocatively urges those not only on the Right, but also on the Left, to be self-critical of their views on Chinese politics, economics and history.
Mobo Gao is Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Adelaide and the author of Constructing China (Pluto, 2018), The Battle for China's Past (Pluto, 2008).
Introduction 1. Scholarship, National Interest and Conceptual Paradigm 2. China, What China? 3. Chinese? Who are the Chinese? 4. Intellectual Poverty of the Chinese Neo-Enlightenment 5. The Coordinated Efforts in Constructing China 6. Why is the Cultural Revolution Cultural? 7. Why Is the Cultural Revolution Revolutionary?: the Legacies 8. Clashing Views of the Great Leap Forward 9. National Interest and Transnational Interest: Political and Intellectual Elite in the West 10. Geopolitics and National Interest I: China's Foreign Policy and Domestic Politics 11. Geopolitics and National Interest II: The South China Sea Disputes Bibliography