Thursday, February 3, 2011

TED Talk - China's Rise

In this TED talk, author Martin Jacques attempts to explain China to a western audience. He tries to explain to us non-Chinese the implications of the future rise of this country to a position of global dominance. Please view Understanding the Rise of China on, then come back here to consider these questions.


  1. Goldman Sachs is a global investment banking and securities company. They do global economic forecasting. What did they predict would happen by the year 2050?

  2. BNP Paribas is the largest global banking group in the world. What is their latest prediction regarding the Chinese economy?

  3. What will happen for the first time in modern history?

  4. What do people in the West assume?

  5. Professor Jacques is going to give his western audience three building blocks for understanding China. What is his first point?

  6. Professor Jacques says that China gets its deepest sense of identity as a civilization. He gives us a few examples of some very old customs and values. Name three.

  7. Name two very important political values for the Chinese.

  8. What happened in Germany in 1990?

  9. What do the Chinese have that is very, very different from the rest of the world?

  10. How does Jacques explain the Chinese disrespect for Tibetan culture?

  11. Does Jacques call China a democracy?

  12. According to Jacques, how do we in the west view the state/government?

  13. Jacques says the Chinese state is extremely strong and ubiquitous. What does ubiquitous mean?

  14. Jacques says the Chinese civilization-state has been very big and very strong and ubiquitous for a long, long time. What examples does he offer us?

  15. Why does Jacques say that China is more cosmopolitan than the West? What forced them to be so?

  16. What does Jacques predict is going to happen more and more in the future?

  17. In the last sentence of this paragraph, Jacques says, "This, alas, is no longer true." What is no longer true?

  18. If you want to see the future, where does Jacques tell you to look?

  19. Why does Jacques say we westerners will have to learn about the rising civilizations like China and India?

  20. Do you think most Chinese have heard of Christopher Columbus?


  1. According to Goldman Sachs, the Chinese economy will be twice the size of the US economy by 2050. When did Goldman Sachs make this prediction?

  2. What is the population of China?

  3. What does "developing country" mean?

  4. What does "assumption" mean? (noun - assumption, verb - to assume)

  5. Professor Jacques says China is not a "nation state." Instead, what does he say it is?

  6. What does "civilization" mean?

  7. What was China doing while the Roman Empire was breaking apart?

  8. What happened in China in 1997?

  9. What do over 90% of Chinese believe?

  10. What does Jacques call "the cement that has held this country together?"

  11. What does Jacques mean when he says that the Chinese state enjoys more "legitimacy" than any government in the West?

  12. According to Jacques, how do the Chinese view the state?

  13. Jacques claims that the state is everywhere in China. What examples does he give?

  14. What are the three building blocks for westerners to understand the difference that is China?

  15. What does parochial mean? Why does Jacques call us westerners "parochial" and our attitudes toward China "ignorant?"

  16. What portion of the world's population lives in East Asia?

  17. Jacques says that the world will become _________ to us westerners. What adjective goes in the blank?

  18. What do you think of the megabus?

  19. What does Jacques say has been going on for 200 years?

  20. Do you think most North Americans have heard of Zheng He?