It is remarkable that we had to wait until 2012 to finally get a western scholar to truly understand the fundamental differences between China and western civilization, and why China’s modernization process is not parallel to ‘westernization’. The video lecture on youtube is located here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G1EyvRZmOs
1) The very notion of what it means to be a ‘nation’ or ‘state’ is totally different in China. This has been known to the Chinese for some time but there seems to be a complete lack of understanding in the west about this. The modern (western) definition of ‘state’ is a nation state, a set of contracts and laws between the ‘state/government’ and the ‘people’. In China, ‘nation’ is defined by culture and history, the Civilization State.
2) The relationship and perception of the state is vastly different in China. Rather than perceived as a necessary evil, a stranger, or something to be guarded against, the state is instead viewed as a parent; a guardian, protector, and vanguard of Chinese identity and culture.
3) China, unlike any other populous country, is highly homogeneous. 92+% of Chinese people identify themselves as one ethnic group: the Han. This is compared to India or the USA where the population is highly fragmented by multiculturalism. For instance, in the USA, even the dominant ‘white’ population is fragmented: Irish, Italian, WASP, etc.
4) The return of a form of tributary system through economic hegemony in Southeast Asia: most of the countries there have China as their top trading partner, and some even have their trade with China consist of more than half of their total foreign trade.
5) The current Chinese state is more Confucian than it is Communist.
It is a thumping video that really outlines what Chinese people have known about themselves and the world for years, and instead of being recognized for their point of view, they are dressed down as ‘ignorant’ or ‘brainwashed’ by the ‘propaganda machine’. Hopefully this will change how some of you look at the new paradigm for world order with China at its center in the coming decades.
Update: according to this Huffington post article (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/02/americans-faith-governmen_n_4530627.html?ir=Politics&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000010), most Americans are dissatisfied with their federal government, liking their state government slightly more, and like their local government the best. This is the exact opposite of the trend in China, where most people think the central government is doing a good job, with the least confidence in local governments.