China and the West A Five-Hundred-Year History Publication date : June 10, 2015
Michel Cartier is a specialist in Far Eastern social history and demographics. He is a director of studies at the French School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) and the editor-in-chief of Aujourd’hui, la Chine.
This book reviews the history of Chinese-Western relations, which for the West have been characterised from the start by ambivalence and have swung between fascination and repulsion, attraction and fear. Beginning with the early Western explorers’ discovery of China, to the studies carried out by the Jesuits, followed by the era of colonial expansion, the fears raised by Maoism, and culminating in today’s European and U.S. business relocations to China — the new El Dorado — Western attitudes to China have continuously swung back and forth, depending on Western ambitions and China’s upheavals.
Michel Cartier points to the key role that internal factors linked to Chinese history have traditionally played in this on-going love-hate relationship.
He concludes with an assessment of China’s strengths and weaknesses in its relations to the rest of the world.
• Should we fear China? Michel Cartier answers this age-old question.
• A history of the fears and fascination elicited by the Middle Kingdom throughout the ages.
• An essential contribution for a better understanding of Western relations with China.
• A book that complements some recent works on China published by Editions Odile Jacob: La Montée en puissance de la Chine (E. Luttwak, 2012), La Voie chinoise (M. Aglietta, G. Bai, 2013), Que veut la Chine? (F. Godement, 2013).