Modernization, Chinese Perspectives
Holbrook, J. Britt
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For some observers, China illustrates that Western modernism—in the philosophic sense—is no longer the only viable route to modernization. As one commentator notes, modern is translated in Chinese by xiandai (current generation)—a term that lacks the connotations of the English term modernization (Li 2011). If “modernization with Chinese characteristics” is not merely a process that entails accepting, adopting, or imitating Enlightenment rationalism, what is modernization from the Chinese perspective? One response to this question would need to emphasize that, unlike almost all other developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, China has never been colonized (like India) or occupied (like Japan). Despite being attacked by Western powers and forced to cede parts of its territory, China has always retained an independent heartland.