In this book, Jacques gives us a picture of Chinas modernity that has its own distinct brand. According to him, China’s modernity is deeply rooted in its ancient culture and traditions which have greatly influenced its attitudes toward family, work, and politics. China’s beliefs in its culture and tradition have counterbalanced its path towards Westernization and may one day reverse the flow of Westernization. China may not have been democratic while pursuing its path to economic prosperity but it has shown increased self-confidence while projecting its political and cultural identity to the world.
Here Jacques says that the world is going through an era of ‘contested modernity’ where our assumptions of what is modernity are being tested. China like so many other countries is a ‘time-compression society’ where one finds several eras taking place at the same time. So Jacques feels that the assumption that China will follow the West and that it will become democratic is essentially wrong.
have succeeded in combining democracy with economic progress. For instance the U.S granted voting rights to women and minorities quite late. Jacques contention is that developing countries are likely to give equal importance if not more to such essentials as the ability of the government in delivering economic growth, limiting corruption, maintaining ethnic harmony and sustaining law and stability. Jacques believes that most Chinese will back their leaders even if they do not bring in democratic reforms, as long as the country continues to grow and become strong. He presents data that shows that most Chinese believe that the political climate has improved since 1989 and that 72% of China’s population is satisfied with the condition of the country.
Jacques makes some predictions in the book. He believes that Chinese companies, its stock exchanges and banks will be the biggest in the world.