Timothy Brook

China is one of the oldest states in the world. It achieved its approximate current borders with the Ascendancy of the Yuan dynasty in the 13th century, and despite the passing of one Imperial dynasty to the next, has maintained them for the eight centuries since.

China remained China through the Ming, the Qing, the Republic, the Occupation, and Communism. But despite the desires of some of the most powerful people in the Great State through the ages, China has never been alone in the world. It has had to contend with invaders as well as foreign traders and imperialists. Its rulers for the majority of the last eight centuries have not been Chinese. Yet a contemporary Chinese idea of a ‘fatherland’ that is, and always has been, completely and naturally Chinese persists. Brook argues that China, like everywhere, is the outcome of history, and like every state, rests on its capacities to conquer and suppress.

Call number: 327.51 B

Essay: Great State: China and the World