In Waking Dragon, Joseph Kahn's book review of “When China Rules the World,” he quotes Martin Jacques, "China was the wealthiest, most unified and most technologically advanced civilization until well into the 18th century..." "It lost that position some 200 years ago as the industrial revolution got under way in Europe. Scholars once viewed China as having crippling social, cultural and political defects that underscored the superiority of the West. But given the speed and strength of China’s recent growth, those defects have begun to look more like anomalies. It is the West’s run of dominance, not China’s period of malaise, that could end up being the fluke..."
That "China will not just displace the United States as the major superpower. It will also marginalize the West in history and upend our core notions of what it means to be modern..." is particularly troubling considering recent events; from China's execution of a British citizen, the first execution of a European in more than 50 years; their 11 year sentence of activist Liu Xiaobo, one of China’s most prominent campaigners for democracy and human rights; their beefing up of internet censorship; to their growing international influence seen in Cambodia's deportation of Uighurs back to China and South Africa's barring of the Dalai Lama from a Peace Conference (see stories below):