Thursday, June 09, 2011
Review: Henry Kissinger's "On China"
The birth of China is an unrecorded event. "A special feature of China," the former secretary of state writes, "is that it has no beginning." China has survived wars, civil wars, reunifications, invasions, secessions, more reunifications, invasions, more secessions. But it comes back together, which is why the Chinese view Taiwan's quasi-independent status as a temporary aberration.
But China endured--its invaders were Sino-cized. The superior culture that the Chinese viewed themselves as possessing, the "Middle Kingdom," the center of the world, prevailed. American political scientist Lucian Pye, who was born in China to missionary parents, commented that China remains "a civilization pretending to be a nation-state."