China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; Chinese: 中华人民共和国; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó), is a country located in eastern Eurasia. Also a cultural region and ancient civilization, it is one of the world's oldest civilizations, with successive states and cultures dating back more than six thousand years. Due to the stalemate of the Chinese Civil War following the end of World War II, China split off into two separate countries: the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Republic of China (ROC), more commonly known as "Taiwan". The PRC administers and governs mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau, whereas the ROC only manages to control Taiwan and its surrounding islands. Each government claims that it is the only legitimate government of China and refuses to recognize the other. However, the PRC is recognized as the only official government of China by the United Nations and the overwhelming majority of the world's countries and is what most of the world's peoples refer to as "China".
- A neighbor with one billion people equipped with nuclear bombs and has expanded its military outlays by double digits for 17 years in a row, and it is unclear as to what this is being used for. It is beginning to be a considerable threat.
- The most striking cultural shifts in China over the last two decades or so has been the revival, both orchestrated and spontaneous, of tradition. The main trope for culture in the twentieth century, especially since 1949, has been anti-traditionalism. As far back as the May 4th movement in 1919, and before, whether it was the financial elite, the liberals, the Marxists, or anarchists they all agreed that China was poor and that one of the causes of that state of affairs was the backward traditional culture... We have witnessed a dramatic reevaluation of tradition in China, and also in other East Asian countries with a Confucian heritage such as Korea. This part of the world has witnessed rapid growth over the last three decades that has sharply reduced poverty and the region has remained at peace. So when people look around and ask what do all these countries have in common, one answer is their Confucian heritage. So whereas the previous narrative was that Confucianism undermined modernization and economic growth, now many argue that it actually helps... Chinese thinkers gave much thought to how to select able and virtuous political leaders, which abilities matter and which virtues matter? Chinese pondered about, and experimented with, mechanisms for selecting leaders. And that tradition continues on today. Over the last thirty years in China, the political leadership has been selected first and foremost through examinations, followed by evaluations of performance at lower levels of government. No one rises to the top without extensive experience at all levels. And that approach is quite similar in form to what we have seen throughout much of Chinese imperial history. I do think that the central political ideas articulated in Chinese culture ought to serve as the standard for evaluating political progress or regress in China. And I do think those values are different from the liberal ideas embraced... China has been thrust into this global role very quickly, perhaps far more quickly than anybody imagined, including the Chinese. The relative political and economic weight of China has increased so dramatically as to be disorienting to Chinese. When people talk about the achievements of China over the past thirty years the most commonly cited one is poverty reduction. About half a billion people were lifted out of poverty, in part due to energizing the people through market reforms. But that process was only possible because there were public officials overseeing the work and they were promoted based on their performance. Political meritocracy itself is a key to reducing poverty... But the other achievement of China is that it has not fought a war since 1979.
- If I were an Englishman, I should esteem the man who advised a war with China to be the greatest living enemy of my country. You would be beaten in the end, and perhaps a revolution in India would follow.
- Napoleon Bonaparte, reported as being from an 1817 conversation in The Mind of Napoleon, ed. and trans. J. Christopher Herold (1955), p. 249. Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989)
- A 'superpower' is a country that wields enough military, political and economic might to convince nations in all parts of the world to do things they otherwise wouldn't. Pundits have rushed to label China the next superpower, and so have many ordinary Americans... Little of China's dramatic economic growth is finding its way into the pockets of Chinese consumers; the byproduct of an economy driven by massive state-owned enterprises rather than private industry.
- The United States welcomes the emergence of a China that is peaceful and prosperous and that supports international institutions.
- There is a tendency in parts of Chinese thinking which says, 'We need not only to be an important power in the region, we need to dominate the region!'.
- The Chinese said of themselves several thousand years ago: 'China is a sea that salts all the waters that flow into it'. There's another Chinese saying about their country which is much more modern—it dates only from the fourth century. This is the saying: 'The tail of China is large and will not be wagged'. I like that one. The British democracy approves the principles of movable party heads and unwaggable national tails. It is due to the working of these important forces that I have the honor to be addressing you at this moment.
- Winston Churchill, address to a joint session of Congress, Washington, D.C. (17 January 1952); reported in Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897–1963, ed. Robert Rhodes James (1974), vol. 8, p. 8,326
- When our thousands of Chinese students abroad return home, you will see how China will transform itself.
- Deng Xiaoping, as quoted in Forbes, Vol. 176, Editions 7-13 (2005), p. 79
- The emperor hold upon the Chinamen may be strong, but the Chinaman's hold upon himself is stronger... The Chinaman will not long be willing to wear the cast off shoes of the negro, and, if he refuses, there will be trouble again. The negro worked and took his pay in religion and the lash. The Chinaman is a different article and will want the cash. He may, like the negro, accept Christianity, but, unlike the negro, he will not care to pay for it in labor. He had the Golden Rule in substance five hundred years before the coming of Christ, and has notions of justice that are not to be confused by any... Chinese children are in American schools in San Francisco. None of our children are in Chinese schools, and probably never will be, though in some things they might well teach us valuable lessons. Contact with these yellow children of the Celestial Empire would convince us that the points of human difference, great as they, upon first sight, seem, are as nothing compared with the points of human agreement. Such contact would remove mountains of prejudice... The Chinese in themselves have first rate recommendations. They are industrious, docile, cleanly, frugal. They are dexterous of hand, patient in toil, marvelously gifted in the power of imitation, and have but few wants.
- It is objected to the Chinaman that he is secretive and treacherous, and will not tell the truth when he thinks it for his interest to tell a lie. There may be truth in all this; it sounds very much like the account of man’s heart given in the creeds. If he will not tell the truth, except when it is for his interest to do so, let us make it for his interest to tell the truth. We can do it by applying to him the same principle of justice that we apply to ourselves. But I doubt if the Chinese are more untruthful than other people. At this point I have one certain test. Mankind are not held together by lies. Trust is the foundation of society. Where there is no truth, there can be no trust, and where there is no trust, there can be no society. Where there is society, there is trust, and where there is trust, there is something upon which it is supported. Now a people who have confided in each other for five thousand years; who have extended their empire in all directions until it embraces one-fifth of the population of the globe; who hold important commercial relations with all nations; who are now entering into treaty stipulations with ourselves, and with all the great European powers, cannot be a nation of cheats and liars, but must have some respect for veracity. The very existence of China for so long a period, and her progress in civilization, are proofs of her truthfulness
- No victory of arms, or tyranny of alien finance, can long suppress a nation so rich in resources and vitality. The invader will lose funds or patience before the loins of China will lose virility; within a century China will have absorbed and civilized her conquerors, and will have learned all the technique of what transiently bears the name of modern industry; roads and communications will give her unity, economy and thrift will give her funds, and a strong government will give her order and peace.
- They're not terribly imaginative. They’re not entrepreneurial. They don't innovate. That's why they're stealing our intellectual property.
- Carly Fiorina, as quoted in "Carly Fiorina Calls The Chinese Unimaginative Idea Thieves", by Lydia O'Connor, The Huffington Post (25 May 2015).
- The Chinese are less a nation than a fusion of peoples united by a common culture, and the history of China is the record of an expanding culture.
- Charles Patrick Fitzgerald, China: A Short Cultural History (1965).
- The problem for China is political. China is held together by money, not ideology. When there is an economic downturn and the money stops rolling in, not only will the banking system spasm, but the entire fabric of Chinese society will shudder. Loyalty in China is either bought or coerced. Without available money, only coercion remains. Business slowdowns can generally lead to instability because they lead to business failure and unemployment. In a country where poverty is endemic and unemployment widespread, the added pressure of an economic downturn will result in political instability.
- George Friedman, The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century (2009), p. 96, Doubleday
- China’s capacity to meet new demands for agricultural products has been assessed by analysts inside and outside China since the 1980s. Economists have anticipated that market forces would induce China to import grains and other land-intensive crops, but Chinese officials (motivated by food security and other concerns) have long resisted these forces and sought to maintain self-sufficiency. However, officials are now adjusting their strategies to accommodate their country’s growing reliance on agricultural imports.
- Fred Gale, James Hansen, and Michael Jewison, "China's Growing Demand for Agricultural Imports" (February 2015), United States Department of Agriculture.
- Bart Simpson: What happened to you, China? You used to be cool.
- Chinese delegate: Hey, China's still cool!
- Chinese people have no recourse to anything like an independent judiciary. The Communist Party decides if you’re guilty or innocent. The conviction rate stands in excess of 98 per cent. Torture and forced confessions are commonplace. Xi has lately embarked on a vicious campaign of harassment and intimidation of workers’ rights activists, ethnic and religious minorities, and feminists. Scores of human rights lawyers have been rounded up and jailed.
- So far, the world economy, particularly Australia and the United States, have benefited greatly from Chinese economic growth. This is likely to continue to be the case for some time... There is no real alternative to the United States as the global leader. China doesn't want the role. It would only divert its focus from its own development challenges. And to be frank, China would not be trusted by many countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific, to be the global leader... Authoritarian state capitalism, seen today in China and Russia. While both countries have introduced elements of a market economy, private companies there operate side-by-side and at a significant disadvantage to state owned entities favored by government regulators. This mixed economy is not paralleled on the political side. What is emerging is an increasingly authoritarian political system with decreasing space for civil society, free media, and dissent. This model is attractive to authoritarian leaders around the world who see it as way to maintain power while still growing their economies.
- We are also seeing a diffusion of power and competition at the nation state level. This competition comes not just from Russia and China, but also from emerging countries like Brazil, India, Indonesia, and the other ASEAN states. These states are also beginning to organize themselves into structures outside of and somewhat in competition... We must find a way to convince the SCO and BRICS institutions to see themselves not as competitors but as collaborators and partners with the rest of us. The role of China will be key in this effort. Neither China nor the United States can solve global challenges by themselves. And both China and the United States need progress in meeting these challenges if they are to achieve their own objectives for the development and economic well being of their people. A way must be found for the United States and China to work together with the rest of the international community to meet the global challenges we face.
- Asia now stands at the dawn a new history of civilization to create its own future, finally emerging from the long tunnel of 150 years of westernization and overcoming the ideological conflicts of the twentieth century. Having achieved advanced industrialization based on market economics in the latter half of the twentieth century, the region is now home to some 900 million people in the middle class and about 1.1 billion 'netizens' connected by the Internet. Within certain East Asian countries, civil society and democracy are flourishing. Now, China and the ASEAN nations are progressing on their own courses. East Asia is on the verge of birthing a new era marked by civil society and democracy.
- Stephan Haggard and Marcus Noland "2015 Joint Statement by Korean, Japanese and International Scholars: For East Asia's 'Freedom from the Past'" (20 August 2015), Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics.
- As a foreign literature it is studied also by the Coreans, the Japanese, and the Annamites; and it may therefore be quite appropriately called the Classic Literature of the Far East. The civilization of all these nations has been affected by its study, perhaps even in a higher degree than that of the nations of Europe has been by the literatures of Greece and Rome. Millions received from it, in the course of centuries, their mental training. The Chinese who created it have through it perpetuated their national character and imparted some of their idiosyncrasies of thought to their formerly illiterate neighbors.
- The Chinese are industrious, courageous, honest, and intelligent. They created the splendid ancient Chinese civilization, and today, they're firmly committed to the path of peaceful development and are making continuous progress in the modernization drive by carrying out the reform and opening up program.
- Jintao Hu, "President Bush and President Hu of People's Republic of China Participate in Arrival Ceremony " (20 April 2006), by J. Hu, Washington, D.C.: White House.
- The great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will definitely be accompanied by the thriving of Chinese culture.
- A review of our party's seventy-plus-year history elicits an important conclusion. Our party earned the people's support during the historical periods of revolution, construction and reform because it always represented the requirements for developing China's advanced productive forces, the orientation of China's advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. The party also earned popular support because it fought tirelessly to realize the fundamental interests of the country and the people by formulating a correct line, principles and policies. Today, humanity once again stands at the beginning of a new century and a new millennium. How our party can better effectuate the Three Represents under the new historical conditions is a major issue all Party comrades, especially high-ranking party cadres, must consider deeply... The Communist Party of China should represent the development trends of advanced productive forces, the orientations of an advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people of China.
- We want to learn from the west about science and technology and how to manage the economy, but this must be combined with specific conditions here. That's how we have made great progress in the last twenty years.
- This experience and the historical experiences gained by the Party since its founding can be summarized as follows: Our Party must always represent the requirements for developing China's advanced productive forces, the orientation of China's advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. These are the inexorable requirements for maintaining and developing socialism, and the logical conclusion our Party has reached through hard exploration and great praxis.
- Zemin Jiang, work report at the Communist Party of China Congress (8 November 2002), as quoted in Selected Works of Jiang Zemin, Eng. ed., FLP, Beijing, 2013, Vol. III, p. 519.
- The Chinese have always struck me as pretty cautious, even crafty, in managing their rise. It's true that they’re a lot more aggressive since 2009, but I don't see them suddenly becoming reckless. I always found that factoid that the PRC spends more on internal than external security to be indicative that CCP is, in fact, very insecure at the top. It's got to have an ideology with foreign enemies, otherwise the Chinese people might see the real enemy, the CCP's corruption, rejection of democracy and unwillingness to admit the horrors of Maoism.
- Robert E. Kelly, as quoted in "Does China ADIZ take focus off 'real enemy'?: To many experts, Beijing's foreign policy is a byproduct of domestic issues" (1 December 2013), by Max Fisher, The Washington Post.
- China believes it is the center of the universe. Look at its flag; one big star surrounded by satellite stars. Arrogant!
- China presents Vietnam with a very big problem. China is taking over Vietnam, from Cholon, where there are rich Chinese, to Haiphong. They are everywhere now with their product. My wife is from the North, people there resent China more than the South feared the Viet Cong. The Chinese are invaders, like any other foreigners, to fight. We must stop the Chinese. You know the dikes built on the Red River? If they break, what happens? A flood!
- Back in about 1753 it took a letter three days to go from New York City to Washington, and today you can go from here to China in less time than that... Man's scientific genius has been amazing.
- If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic [First Amendment]] privileges, because they hadn't committed themselves to that over there.
- When it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead.
- For years, Chinese intellectuals distinguished between words and actions. Western political ideas could be discussed in China as long as nobody tried to enact them... Sealing China off from western ideas poses some practical problems... Chinese leaders since Deng Xiaoping have adhered to a principle known as 'Hide your strength, bide your time'... No diplomatic relationship matters more to China's future than its dealings with the United States... For years, American military leaders worried that there was a growing risk of an accidental clash between China and the U.S., in part because Beijing protested U.S. policies by declining meetings between senior commanders... A decade ago, the Chinese Internet was alive with debate, confession, humor, and discovery. Month by month, it is becoming more sterilized and self-contained. To the degree that China's connection to the outside world matters, the digital links are deteriorating. Voice-over-Internet calls, viral videos, podcasts, the minor accessories of contemporary digital life, are less reachable abroad than they were a year ago. It's an astonishing thing to observe in a rising superpower. How many countries in 2015 have an Internet connection to the world that is worse than it was a year ago?
- Evan Osnos, "Born Red: How Xi Jinping, an unremarkable provincial administrator, became China’s most authoritarian leader since Mao." (6 April 2015), The New Yorker.
- China remains the world's largest manufacturer, with four trillion dollars in foreign-exchange reserves, a sum equivalent to the world’s fourth-largest economy... Last spring, China abolished registered-capital and other requirements for new companies, and in November it allowed foreign investors to trade shares directly on the Shanghai stock market for the first time... The risks to China's economy have rarely been more visible. The workforce is aging more quickly than in other countries, because of the one-child policy, and businesses are borrowing money more rapidly than they are earning it... The growth of demand for energy and raw materials has slowed, more houses and malls are empty, and nervous Chinese savers are sending money overseas, to protect it in the event of a crisis... To maintain economic growth, China is straining to promote innovation... After China had spent years investing in science and technology, the share of its economy devoted to research and development surpassed Europe's... The era of Xi Jinping has defied the assumption that China's fitful opening to the world is too critical and productive to stall.
- Evan Osnos, "Born Red: How Xi Jinping, an unremarkable provincial administrator, became China’s most authoritarian leader since Mao." (6 April 2015), The New Yorker.
- China as a society, a government, an economy and a culture is quite difficult for us to comprehend today. The changes are so rapid in cities like Beijing and Shanghai and the culture remarkably fluid... China is increasingly influential in the world and more and more people have hopes that China will be a leader... China has ended up playing a critical role in geopolitics more quickly than anybody had anticipated.
- The Chinese are rejecting western values and multiparty democracy... It seems very incongruous to be, on the one hand, so committed to fostering more competition and market-driven flexibility in the economy and, on the other hand, to be seeking more control in the political sphere, the media, and the Internet.
- Henry Paulson, Dealing with China, as quoted in "Born Red: How Xi Jinping, an unremarkable provincial administrator, became China’s most authoritarian leader since Mao." (6 April 2015), by Evan Osnos, The New Yorker
- We cannot, if we would, play the part of China, and be content to rot by inches in ignoble ease within our borders, taking no interest in what goes on beyond them, sunk in a scrambling commercialism; heedless of the higher life, the life of aspiration, of toil and risk, busying ourselves only with the wants of our bodies for the day, until suddenly we should find, beyond a shadow of question, what China has already found, that in this world the nation that has trained itself to a career of un-warlike and isolated ease is bound, in the end, to go down before other nations which have not lost the manly and adventurous qualities. If we are to be a really great people, we must strive in good faith to play a great part in the world.
- The typical Westerner wishes to be the cause of as many changes as possible in his environment; the typical Chinaman wishes to enjoy as much and as delicately as possible.
- Bertrand Russell, The Problem of China (1922), Ch. XII: The Chinese Character.
- The Chinese are a great nation, incapable of permanent suppression by foreigners. They will not consent to adopt our vices in order to acquire military strength; but they are willing to adopt our virtues in order to advance in wisdom. I think they are the only people in the world who quite genuinely believe that wisdom is more precious than rubies. That is why the West regards them as uncivilized.
- Bertrand Russell, The Problem of China (1922), Ch. XIII: Higher education in China.
- Some observers have already proclaimed that China will rule the world, This prospective is profoundly overstated and incorrect in my view... China has a long way to go before it becomes, if it ever becomes a true global power, and it will never rule the world.
- China is, in essence, a very narrow-minded, self-interested, realist state, seeking only to maximize its own national interests and power. It cares little for global governance and enforcing global standards of behavior, except its much-vaunted doctrine of noninterference in the internal affairs of countries. Its economic policies are mercantilist and its diplomacy is passive. China is also a lonely strategic power, with no allies and experiencing distrust and strained relationships with much of the world.
- China is a very contradictory country... China punches way below its weight, it is not, it is free-riding... It is not contributing... China is a lonely power... Who wants to seek political asylum in China? Nobody.
- David Shambaugh, "David Shambaugh - China Goes Global: The Partial Power" (April 2013), USC U.S.-China Institute, YouTube
- The Chinese people have only family and clan solidarity; they do not have national spirit...they are just a heap of loose sand...Other men are the carving knife and serving dish; we are the fish and the meat.
- Sun Yat-sen, China as a Heap of Loose Sand (1924)
- China is now suffering from poverty, not from unequal distribution of wealth. Where there are inequalities of wealth, the methods of Marx can, of course, be used; a class war can be advocated to destroy the inequalities. But in China, where industry is not yet developed, Marx's class war and dictatorship of the proletariat are impracticable.
- Sun Yat-sen, Capital and the State (1924)
- One of the greatest untold secrets of history is that the 'modern world' in which we live is a unique synthesis of Chinese and Western ingredients. Possibly more than half of the basic inventions and discoveries upon which the 'modern world' rests come from China. And yet few people know this. Why? The Chinese themselves are as ignorant of this fact as Westerners. From the seventeenth century onwards, the Chinese became increasingly dazzled by European technological expertise, having experienced a period of amnesia regarding their own achievements. When the Chinese were shown a mechanical clock by Jesuit missionaries, they were awestruck. They had forgotten that it was they who had invented mechanical clocks in the first place!
- Robert K. G. Temple - The Genius of China: 3,000 Years of Science, Discovery and Invention (1986).
- Arise! All those who don't want to be slaves! Let our flesh and blood forge our new Great Wall! As the Chinese nation has arrived at its most perilous time, every person is forced to expel their very last roar.
- I know the Chinese. I've made a lot of money with the Chinese. I understand the Chinese mind.
- The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
- No California gentleman or lady ever abuses or oppresses a Chinaman, under any circumstances, an explanation that seems to be much needed in the east. Only the scum of the population do it; they and their children. They, and, naturally and consistently, the policemen and politicians, likewise, for these are the dust-licking pimps and slaves of the scum, there as well as elsewhere in America.
- A disorderly Chinaman is rare, and a lazy one does not exist. So long as a Chinaman has strength to use his hands he needs no support from anybody; white men often complain of want of work, but a Chinaman offers no such complaint; he always manages to find something to do.
- I have seen Chinamen abused and maltreated in all the mean, cowardly ways possible to the invention of a degraded nature... I never saw a Chinaman righted in a court of justice for wrongs thus done to him.
- Mark Twain, as quoted in Mark Twain and the Three Rs: Race, Religion, Revolution and Related Matters (1973), by Maxwell Geismar, Indianapolis: Bobs-Merrill, p. 98.
- Chinese is the easiest language when it is learned at ease, dwelling on its spirit rather than on the individual expression. But for inquisitive questioners, this language provides vain pitfalls.
- Richard Wilhelm, Die Seele Chinas. Berlin, Hobbing, 1926
- The greatest contribution towards the whole of human race, made by China, to prevent its 1.3 billion people from hunger... There are some foreigners who have eaten their fill and have nothing better to do than point their fingers at our affairs. China does not, first, export revolution. Second, export poverty and hunger. Or third, cause unnecessary trouble for them. What else is there to say?
- Xi Jinping, in Mexico (11 February 2009), as quoted in "Chinese V-P blasts meddlesome foreigners" (14 February 2009), by Sim Chi Yin, Asia One News.
- Also quoted as There are some bored foreigners, with full stomachs, who have nothing better to do than point fingers at us. First, China doesn't export revolution. Second, China doesn't export hunger and poverty. Third, China doesn't come and cause you headaches. What more is there to be said?
- People who try to commit suicide — don't attempt to save them! . . . China is such a populous nation, it is not as if we cannot do without a few people.
- In front of a lot of princeling friends, I've said that, if the Communist Party can't take sufficient political reform in five or ten years, it could miss the chance entirely. As scholars, we always say it's better to have reform than revolution, but in Chinese history this cycle repeats itself. Mao said we have to get rid of the cycle, but right now we’re still in it. This is very worrying.
- Lifan Zhang, as quoted in "Born Red: How Xi Jinping, an unremarkable provincial administrator, became China’s most authoritarian leader since Mao." (6 April 2015), by Evan Osnos, The New Yorker