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Lecture Series: Rethinking China’s Place in Global History Comparatively
February 2016 @ 17:00 - 19:00
Special Guest Lecture:
Rethinking China’s Place in Global History Comparatively
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
5 p.m. (c.t.), KWZ 0.603
Prof. Dr. Kent Deng
The London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History
In 1803, Napoleon famously said in front of a world atlas where China was that ‘Here lies a sleeping giant (lion in other versions), let him sleep, for when he wakes up, he will shock the world’ (“Ici repose un géant endormi, laissez le dormir, car quand il s’éveillera, il étonnera le monde”).
Napoleon turned out to be right 200 years ago. China’s ‘miracle growth’ and development in the recent four decade has stunted the world. Most current observers have been very puzzled about where the energy and determination of such growth has come from. But if one takes a long-term and global view, China’s current growth and development become rather logical, if not entirely inevitable.
This talk will take the audience back to the very beginning of the formation of the Empire of China (which was at the same time the formation of one of the largest single economy in the world) and show what China managed to achieve in comparison with Europe historically. It argues that contemporary China merely reclaims its ‘rightful’ place in the world rather than invents a new one for itself. So, the rest of the world will have to get used to it.