CHINESE CULTURE, WESTERN CULTURE by Tai P. and Wah-Won Ng Ng

CHINESE CULTURE, WESTERN CULTURE

How Cross-Cultural Views of History, Philosophy and Human Relationships Will Change Modern Global Society
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A fresh view of China's emergence as a global economic force from two writers with extensive personal background in the East and West, who take a careful historical approach to claims as to how the interaction among Chinese and Western cultures will bring a new dynamic approach to world trade.

Like many who have studied China’s growing influence in the West, these authors assert that the nation’s economic growth will change the world dramatically. This ambitious survey shows how distinct definitions of self, nation and empire have emerged and changed in the East and West throughout the centuries, drawing upon an extensive body of scholarship. Although Tai P. Ng holds a doctorate in geophysics, neither author specializes in academic China studies. However, each has an extensive background in both parts of the world. This may be why their refreshing approach eschews headline-grabbing predictions about inevitable conflict between China and Western nations, while also avoiding claims that either culture holds superior values. Neither China nor the West is portrayed as exotic or dangerous. Instead, this is a fascinating account of how past similarities and differences between the East and West provide the groundwork for a new culture that will reshape our lives in the future. The authors reveal that business and world trade are hardly new to the Chinese tradition even while contemporary interaction with the West brings a new dynamic to conventional trade. Academic readers may find this survey lacking in theoretical context and overly broad in summarizing significant historical events. But the authors’ careful research and personal experiences lend authority to their claims, providing an excellent introduction to China’s past and present that breaks down many common preconceptions. The sometimes pedantic tone could put off a novice reader, but the careful explication of central values in the East and West will reward those who want to understand why basic Western assumptions about the world differ from those in China and how global economics may evolve in the future. Moreover, a non-judgmental approach to both cultures makes this an important contribution to the body of literature about China written for the layperson.

An excellent resource for those who live and work at a place where Chinese and Western viewpoints coincide.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-595-41846-6
Page count: 376pp
Program: Kirkus Indie
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