Understanding the Rise of China

Speaking at a Ted talk in London, Martin Jacques discusses reasons behind how China will change the world, why the west doesn’t understand China, and presents his three ‘building blocks’ on how we should go about trying to understand what China is. This is an interesting talk, and regardless of whether or not you agree with what Jacques says, it’s a topic that is fuel for any discussion among friends about China and the world.

Understanding The Rise Of China

To help you along with talking about this topic in Chinese, below are the main points from Jacques’ talk, created using the subtitles from the dotsub.com. They English is listed, followed by the Chinese keywords required for the sentence, and then the Chinese itself with Pinyin pronunciation. There are some great keywords here that you can use for all sorts of conversations about government and society, so even if you don’t want to talk about China they are still well worth reviewing.

You can watch the video in English first so you know what you are about to learn, or if you’d rather just practice some reading then skip down.

TED Salon: Martin Jacques – Understanding the rise of China

Watch the video on dotsub.com (remember to turn on Chinese subtitles on the video player)

Note: I’m not sure if dotsub.com is blocked in China, if so please let me know in the comments and we’ll find another source!

Main Arguments

China is going to change the world in two fundamental respects

方面(方面)

Pinyin: fāng miàn
English: aspect; respect

改變(改变)

Pinyin: gǎi biàn
English: change; transform

世界(世界)

Pinyin: shì jiè
English: the world

中國將會再兩個方面上改變這個世界

中国将会再两个方面上改变这个世界

zhōng guó jiāng huì zài liǎng gè fāng miàn shàng gǎi biàn zhè gè shì jiè

China is going to change the world in two fundamental respects

1. Never before in the modern era has the largest economy in the world been that of a developing country rather than a developed country

近代歷史(近代历史)

Pinyin: jìn dài lì shǐ
English: modern times

一向(一向)

Pinyin: yī xiàng
English: all along; the whole time

已開發國家(已开发国家)

Pinyin: yǐ kāi fā guó jiā
English: developed countries; 發達國家(发达国家 fā dá guó jiā) can also be used

發展中國家(发展中国家)

Pinyin: fā zhǎn zhōng guó jiā
English: developing countries

任何(任何)

Pinyin: rèn hé
English: any; whichever; whatever

經濟體(经济体)

Pinyin: jīng jì tǐ
English: economy

在近代歷史裡一向都是已開發國家而從沒有過任何一個發展中國家成為世界最大的經濟體。

在近代历史里一向都是已开发国家而从没有过任何一个发展中国家成为世界最大的经济体。

zài jìn dài lì shǐ lǐ yī xiàng dōu shì yǐ kāi fā guó jiā ér cóng méi yǒu guò rèn hé yī gè fā zhǎn zhōng guó jiā chéng wéi shì jiè zuì dà de jīng jì tǐ.

Never before in the modern era has the largest economy in the world been that of a developing country rather than a developed country

2. For the first time in the modern era, the dominant country in the world will be not from the west, and from very very different civilisational roots.

主導(主导)

Pinyin: zhŭ dǎo
English: to lead

秩序(秩序)

Pinyin: zhì xù
English: order; the peace

文明(文明)

Pinyin: wén míng
English: civilisation; civilised

也是在近代歷史的第一次,主導世界秩序的國家,不是在西方的國家,而是從一個很不一樣的文明來。

也是在近代历史的第一次,主导世界秩序的国家,不是在西方的国家,而是从一个很不一样的文明来。

yě shì zài jìn dài lì shǐ de dì yī cì, zhŭ dǎo shì jiè zhì xù de guó jiā, bú shì zài xī fāng de guó jiā, ér shì cóng yī gè hěn bú yī yàng de wén míng lái.
For the first time in the modern era, the dominant country in the world will be not from the west, and from very very different civilisational roots.

How do we make sense of China? How do we try and understand what China is?

解讀(解读)

Pinyin: jiě dú
English: decode; decipher

如何(如何)

Pinyin: rú hé
English: how

了解(了解)

Pinyin: liǎo jiě
English: understand

我們應該怎樣來解讀中國?我們應該如何去了解中國是什麼?

我们应该怎样来解读中国?我们应该如何去了解中国是什么?

wǒ men yīng gāi zěn yàng lái jiě dú zhōng guó? wǒ men yīng gāi rú hé qù liǎo jiě zhōng guó shì shén me?

How do we make sense of China? How do we try and understand what China is?

I want to offer you 3 building blocks for trying to understand what China is like.

提出(提出)

Pinyin: tí chū
English: to raise (points; ideas)

觀點(观点)

Pinyin: guān diǎn
English: point of view

現在我要給大家提出三個觀點試著來了解中國。

现在我要给大家提出三个观点试着来了解中国。

xiàn zài wǒ yào gěi dà jiā tí chū sān gè guān diǎn shì zhe lái liǎo jiě zhōng guó.

I want to offer you 3 building blocks for trying to understand what China is like.

1. The sense of what it is to be Chinese comes not from the last hundred years, not from the nation state period,which is what happened in the west, but from the period of the civilisation state. China is shaped by it’s sense of civilisation, it’s existence as a civilisation state, rather than as a nation state.

Civilisation

因素(因素)

Pinyin: yīn sù
English: factor

起源(起源)

Pinyin: qǐ yuán
English: origiin

民族國家(民族国家)

Pinyin: mín zú guó jiā
English: nation state; nationality 民族 country 國家

文明國家(文明国家)

Pinyin: wén míng guó jiā
English: civilisation state; civilised 文明 country 國家

定義(定义)

Pinyin:
English: definition

存在(存在)

Pinyin: dìng yì
English: to exist

讓中國人覺得自己是中國人的因素不是起源於一百年前民族國家的開始,這個跟西方的歷史不一樣,而是從兩千年前的,(中國)文明國家就開始了。中國是由一個文明定義的,國家是以文明國家的方式,而不是以民族國家存在的。

让中国人觉得自己是中国人的因素不是起源于一百年前民族国家的开始,这个跟西方的历史不一样,而是从两千年前的,(中国)文明国家就开始了。中国是由一个文明定义的,国家是以文明国家的方式,而不是以民族国家存在的。

ràng zhōng guó rén jué de zì jǐ shì zhōng guó rén de yīn sù bú shì qǐ yuán yú yī bǎi nián qián mín zú guó jiā de kāi shǐ, zhè gè gēn xī fāng de lì shǐ bú yī yàng, ér shì cóng liǎng qiān nián qián de, (zhōng guó) wén míng guó jiā jiù kāi shǐ le. zhōng guó shì yóu yī ge wén míng dìng yì de, guó jiā shì yǐ wén míng guó jiā de fāng shì, ér bú shì yǐ mín zú guó jiā cún zài de.

The sense of what it is to be Chinese comes not from the last hundred years, not from the nation state period,which is what happened in the west, but from the period of the civilisation state. China is shaped by it’s sense of civilisation, it’s existence as a civilisation state, rather than as a nation state.

a, The most important political value for the Chinese is unity, is the maintenance of  Chinese civilisation.

政治(政治)

Pinyin: zhèng zhì
English: politics; political

統一(统一)

Pinyin: tǒng yī
English: unity

維持(维持)

Pinyin: wéi chí
English: to maintain

政治上對中國最重要的價值是統一,是去維持中國文明。

政治上对中国最重要的价值是统一,是去维持中国文明。

zhèng zhì shàng duì zhōng guó zuì zhòng yào de jià zhí shì tǒng yī, shì qù wéi chí zhōng guó wén míng.

The most important political value for the Chinese is unity, is the maintenance of Chinese civilisation.

b, You can’t run a country like China, a civilisation state, on the basis of one civilisation, one system, it doesn’t work. One civilisation, many systems.

單一(单一)

Pinyin: dān yī
English: single; one

系統(系统)

Pinyin: xì tǒng
English: system

治理(治理)

Pinyin: zhì lǐ
English: to govern; to manage

行不通(行不通)

Pinyin: xíng bù tōng
English: unworkable; impractical

你不能用民族國家單一的系統來治理中國,一個文民國家,這是行不通的。單一文明,多個系統。

你不能用民族国家单一的系统来治理中国,一个文民国家,这是行不通的。单一文明,多个系统。

nǐ bù néng yòng mín zú guó jiā dān yī de xì tǒng lái zhì lǐ zhōng guó, yī ge wén míng guó jiā, zhè shì xíng bù tōng de. dān yī wén míng, duō gè xì tǒng.

2. A history of conquest, occupation, absorption, assimilation and so on, led to the process by which over time this notion of the Han emerged, of course nurtured by a growing and very powerful sense of cultural identity. Without the Han China could never have held together.

充滿(充满)

Pinyin: chōng mǎn
English: full of

佔領(占领)

Pinyin: zhàn lǐng
English: to occupy

併入(并入)

Pinyin: bìng rù
English: to merge into

同化(同化)

Pinyin: tóng huà
English: assimilation

過程(过程)

Pinyin: guò chéng
English: a process

導致(导致)

Pinyin: dǎo zhì
English: to lead to; to bring about

十分(十分)

Pinyin: shí fēn
English: completely

同感(同感)

Pinyin: tóng gǎn
English: an understading; a consensus

進一步(进一步)

Pinyin: jìn yī bù
English: to go a step forward; further

助長(助长)

Pinyin: zhù zhǎng
English: to encourage; to foster

分崩離析(分崩离析)

Pinyin: fēn bēng lí xī
English: to collapse and fall apart

歷史充滿了征服,佔領,併入,同化等等經年累月,這個的過程導致了漢族的產生,當然,另一方面,十分發達和有利的文化認同感,也進一步地助長了漢民族地發展。沒有了漢民族中國早就分崩離析了。

历史充满了征服,占领,并入,同化等等经年累月,这个的过程导致了汉族的产生,当然,另一方面,十分发达和有利的文化认同感,也进一步地助长了汉民族地发展。没有了汉民族中国早就分崩离析了。

lì shǐ chōng mǎn le zhēng fú, zhàn lǐng, bìng rù, tóng huà děng děng jīng nián lèi yuè, zhè gè de guò chéng dǎo zhì le hàn zú de chǎn shēng, dāng rán, lìng yī fāng miàn, shí fēn fā dá hé yǒu lì de wén huà rèn tóng gǎn, yě jìn yī bù de zhù zhǎng le hàn mín zú dì fā zhǎn. méi yǒu le hàn mín zú zhōng guó zǎo jiù fēn bēng lí xī le.

A history of conquest, occupation, absorption, assimilation and so on, led to the process by which over time this notion of the Han emerged, of course nurtured by a growing and very powerful sense of cultural identity. Without the Han China could never have held together.

3. The Relationship between the state and society in China, is very different than that in the west.

Guardian

社會(社会)

Pinyin: shè huì
English: society

關係(关系)

Pinyin: guān xì
English: relationship; to be related to

不同(不同)

Pinyin: bù tóng
English: different; not the same

國家和社會的關係和西方國家是很不同的。

国家和社会的关系和西方国家是很不同的。

guó jiā hé shè huì de guān xì hé xī fāng guó jiā shì hěn bù tóng de.

The Relationship between the state and society in China, is very different than that in the west.

The Chinese state enjoys more legitemacy and more authority, amongst the Chinese than is true for any western state. The reason for this is:

擁有(拥有)

Pinyin: yōng yǒu
English: to possess; to have

合法性(合法性)

Pinyin: hé fǎ xìng
English: legitimacy

權威(权威)

Pinyin: quán wēi
English: authority

原因(原因)

Pinyin: yuán yīn
English: reason; cause

中國這個國家在中國人民裡擁有更多的合法性和權威跟西方任何國家比起來都多了很多。這原因在於:

中国这个国家在中国人民里拥有更多的合法性和权威跟西方任何国家比起来都多了很多。这原因在于:

zhōng guó zhè gè guó jiā zài zhōng guó rén mín lǐ yōng yǒu gèng duō de hé fǎ xìng hé quán wēi gēn xī fāng rèn hé guó jiā bǐ qǐ lái dōu duō le hěn duō. zhè yuán yīn zài yú:

The Chinese state enjoys more legitemacy and more authority, amongst the Chinese than is true for any western state. The reason for this is:

a, The state in China is given a very special… enjoys a very special significance as the representative, the embodiment, and the guardian of Chinese civilisation, of the civilisation state.

賦予(赋予)

Pinyin: fù yŭ
English: to be given

地位(地位)

Pinyin: dì wèi
English: position; status

代表(代表)

Pinyin: dài biǎo
English: representative

化身(化身)

Pinyin: huà shēn
English: embodiment; incarnation

保衛者(保卫者)

Pinyin: bǎo wèi zhě
English: guardian

在中國,國家被賦予一個很特別的,享有一個很特別的地位,國家同時是中華文明的代表,中華文明的化身,是中華文明的保衛者。

在中国,国家被赋予一个很特别的,享有一个很特别的地位,国家同时是中华文明的代表,中华文明的化身,是中华文明的保卫者。

zài zhōng guó, guó jiā bèi fù yŭ yī ge hěn tè bié de, xiǎng yǒu yī ge hěn tè bié de dì wèi, guó jiā tóng shí shì zhōng huá wén míng de dài biǎo, zhōng huá wén míng de huà shēn, shì zhōng huá wén míng de bǎo wèi zhě.

The state in China is given a very special… enjoys a very special significance as the representative, the embodiment, and the guardian of Chinese civilisation, of the civilisation state.

b, In Europe, and North America, the states power is continually challenged, but for 1000 years the power of the Chinese state has not been challenged. The way in which power has been constructed in China is different from our experience in western history.

挑戰(挑战)

Pinyin: tiǎo zhàn
English: challenge

建構(建构)

Pinyin: jiàn gòu
English: to construct;

經驗(经验)

Pinyin: jīng yàn
English: experience

在歐洲,在北美洲,國家的權力不斷地受到挑戰,而1000年以來中國國家的地位從沒被挑戰過。在中國權力建構地方式和我們西方歷史得到的經驗是十分不同的。

在欧洲,在北美洲,国家的权力不断地受到挑战,而1000年以来中国国家的地位从没被挑战过。在中国权力建构地方式和我们西方历史得到的经验是十分不同的。

zài ōu zhōu, zài běi měi zhōu, guó jiā de quán lì bú duàn dì shòu dào tiǎo zhàn, ér 1000 nián yǐ lái zhōng guó guó jiā de dì wèi cóng méi bèi tiǎo zhàn guò. zài zhōng guó quán lì jiàn gòu de fāng shì hé wǒ men xī fāng lì shǐ dé dào de jīng yàn shì shí fēn bù tóng de.

In Europe, and North America, the states power is continually challenged, but for 1000 years the power of the Chinese state has not been challenged. The way in which power has been constructed in China is different from our experience in western history.

The Chinese have a very different view of the state. Whereas we tend to view it as an intruder, a stranger, cetainly an organ who’s powers need to be limited or defined and constrained. The Chinese don’t see the state like that at all, the Chinese view the state as the head of the family. It’s embeded in society in a different kind of way.

截然不同(截然不同)

Pinyin: jié rán bù tóng
English: to be completely different

侵入者(侵入者)

Pinyin: qīn rù zhě
English: an intruder

視(视)

Pinyin: shì
English: regard as; look at

組織(组织)

Pinyin: zŭ zhī
English: an organisation

侷限(局限)

Pinyin: jú xiàn
English: a limit

限制(限制)

Pinyin: xiàn zhì
English: a limit; to limit

扮演(扮演)

Pinyin:
English: play the part of…

家長(家长)

Pinyin: jiā zhǎng
English: head of the family

角色(角色)

Pinyin: jiǎo sè
English: a role

中國人和我們對國家的看法截然不同。我們視國家為侵入者,為外來的,而且這個組織的權力一定要被侷限,要被清楚定義,限制的。中國人並不這麼看他們的國家,在他們眼中的國家是扮演家長的角色。

中国人和我们对国家的看法截然不同。我们视国家为侵入者,为外来的,而且这个组织的权力一定要被局限,要被清楚定义,限制的。中国人并不这么看他们的国家,在他们眼中的国家是扮演家长的角色。

zhōng guó rén hé wǒ mén duì guó jiā de kàn fǎ jié rán bù tóng. wǒ mén shì guó jiā wéi qīn rù zhě, wéi wài lái de, ér qiě zhè ge zŭ zhī de quán lì yī dìng yào bèi jú xiàn, yào bèi qīng chŭ dìng yì, xiàn zhì de. zhōng guó rén bìng bú zhè me kàn tā men de guó jiā, zài tā men yǎn zhōng de guó jiā shì bàn yǎn jiā zhǎng de jiǎo sè.

The Chinese have a very different view of the state. Whereas we tend to view it as an intruder, a stranger, cetainly an organ who’s powers need to be limited or defined and constrained. The Chinese don’t see the state like that at all, the Chinese view the state as the head of the family. It’s embeded in society in a different kind of way.

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