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What China Wants: Economist (2 Weeks ago)

发表于 9-7-2014 10:45:27 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
My comment: I will say: maybe it is enough to read first several paragraphs--and the very last paragraph--about George Macartney’s embassy to emperor Qianlong’s court. see
("a vast Empire, on which the sun never sets;" section 3 Embassy to China)

What China Wants. Economist, Aug 23, 2014 (under the heading “Essay”; cover story).
www.economist.com/news/essays/21 ... es-past-it-does-not


“Chinese leaders believe their own rhetoric about the islands of the East and South China Seas having always been part of their territory–a territory that, since the death of Mao, they have chosen to define as almost the empire’s maximum extent under the Qing dynasty, rather than its more modest earlier size [not Republican era, but earlier than Qing dynasty].

“China is not completely uncompromising. Along its land borders it has let some disputes fade away and offered a bit of give and take. But this is in part because the South and East China Seas are seen as more strategically important. A key part of this strategic importance is the possibility that, eventually, the question of Taiwan’s sovereignty will come to a head; it is in effect protecting its flanks in case of a future clash with America on the matter. The ever-volatile situation in North Korea could also create a flashpoint between the two states.

(1) "Matthew Boulton, James Watt's partner in the development of the steam engine and one of the 18th century’s greatest industrialists, was in no doubt about the importance of Britain’s first embassy to the court of the Chinese emperor. ‘I conceive,’ he wrote to James Cobb, secretary of the East India Company, ‘the present occasion to be the most favourable that ever occurred for the introduction of our manufactures into the most extensive market in the world.’”
(a) Matthew Boulton
(1728 – 1809)

* The English surnames Boulton/Bolton: “from any of the numerous places in northern England named Bolton, especially the one in Lancashire, from Old English boðl ‘dwelling’, ‘house’ (see Bold 2) + tun ‘enclosure,’ ‘settlement’”
(b) James Cobb (librettist)
(1756–1818; He entered in 1771 the secretary's office of the East India Company, in which he rose to the post of secretary)

(2) “The emperor accepted Macartney’s gifts, and quite liked some of them—a model of the Royal Sovereign, a first-rate man o’ war, seemed particularly to catch his fancy—but understood the whole transaction as one of tribute, not trade. The court saw a visit from the representatives of King George as something similar in kind to the opportunities the emperor’s Ministry of Rituals [or Ministry of Rites; 礼部] provided for envoys from Korea and Vietnam to express their respect and devotion to the Ruler of All Under Heaven. (Dealings with the less sophisticated foreigners from inner Asia were the responsibility of the Office of Barbarian Affairs 理藩院.) * **  China at that time did not reject the outside world, as Japan did. It was engaged with barbarians on all fronts. It just failed to see that they had very much to offer.”
(a) HMS Royal Sovereign
(may refer to: “HMS Royal Sovereign (1786) was a 100-gun first-rate launched in 1786. She was at the Battle of Trafalgar, renamed HMS Captain after being reduced to harbour service in 1825, and was broken up in 1841”)
(i) first-rate
(First rate was the designation used by the Royal Navy for its largest ships of the line)
(ii) man of war
(b) “catch his fancy”

fancy (n): “a liking formed by caprice rather than reason: INCLINATION <took a fancy to the mutt>"

(3) “In retrospect, a more active interest in extramural matters might have been advisable [for China]. China was unaware that an economic, technological and cultural revolution was taking place in Europe and being felt throughout the rest of the world. * * * The Chinese empire Macartney visited had been (a few periods of collapse and invasion notwithstanding) the planet’s most populous political entity and richest economy for most of two millennia. In the following two centuries all of that would be reversed.”

extramural (adj): “existing or functioning outside or beyond the walls, boundaries, or precincts of an organized unit (as a school or hospital)”

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 楼主| 发表于 9-7-2014 10:45:42 | 显示全部楼层

(4) “Still home to hundreds of millions mired in poverty, it is also a 21st-century nation of Norman Foster airports and shining solar farms.”

Norman Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank
(1935-; an English architect)
(5) “Thus China wants the current dispensation to stay the same—it wants the conditions that have helped it grow to endure—but at the same time it wants it turned into something else.”

dispensation (n): “a particular arrangement or provision especially of providence or nature”
(6) “Just as it was right for the emperor to occupy the apex of China’s hierarchy, so it was meet for China to sit atop the world’s.”

meet (adj): “precisely adapted to a particular situation, need, or circumstance :  very proper”

(7) “But for all the wealth and despite—or perhaps because of—his imperious dismissal, Macartney felt the state [China] was not as sempiternal as its rulers would have it.”
(a)  The Scottish and Irish surname Macartney is variant of McCartney.
(b) sempiternal (adj; from Latin sempiternus, from semper ever, always, from Latin adverb sem- one, same + per through — more at SAME, FOR [+ Latin adjective masculine  aeternus eternal]):
“of never-ending duration : ETERNAL”

(8) “The structural reasons for China’s subsequent decline and the empire’s demise have been much discussed. Some point to what Mark Elvin, a historian, calls ‘the high-level equilibrium trap’; the country ran well enough, with cheap labour and efficient administration, that supply and demand could be easily matched in a way that left no incentive to invest in technological improvement. Others note that Europe benefited from competition and trade between states, which drove its capacity for weaponry and its appetites for new markets. As Kenneth Pomeranz, an American historian, has argued, access to cheap commodities from the Americas was a factor in driving industrialisation in Britain and Europe that China did not enjoy. So was the good luck of having coal deposits close to Europe’s centres of industry; China’s coal and its factories were separated by thousands of kilometres, a problem that remains trying today.”
(a) Mark Elvin
((John) Mark (Dutton) Elvin is a professor emeritus of Chinese history at Australian National University [in Canberra])
(b) Kenneth Pomeranz
(1958- ; University Professor of History at the University of Chicago;  Ph.D. from Yale University in 1988, where he was a student of Jonathan Spence)
(c) “access to cheap commodities from the Americas was a factor in driving industrialisation in Britain”

Likely it alludes to cotton from the south of US (as opposed to earlier import from India).

(9) “It is also making forays into the use of soft power through a number of Confucius Institutes all over the world that try—in frequently ham-fisted ways—to show that China and its culture are benign.”
(a) ham-fisted (adj; First Known Use 1928): “HAM-HANDED”
(b) ham (n)

(10) “In July[, 2014] China led the establishment of the Shanghai-based New Development Bank, of which all the BRICS countries are members and which looks like a fledgling alternative to the World Bank, leading to talk of a ‘Chinese Bretton Woods.’”

Bretton Woods Conference
(at the Mount Washington Hotel, situated in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire)

Quote: “The main terms of this agreement were:
Formation of the IMF and the IBRD, which is today part of the World Bank.
Adjustably pegged foreign exchange market rate system”

(11) Japan “took on the role of regional power in Asia when China was laid low in the 19th century, and with which relations would always be most vexed.”

lay low (vt):
“1 : to bring or strike to earth : FELL
2 : :  to knock out of a fight or out of action <flu had laid him low>”
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