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The fate of a nation-state lies in character and spirit of her people Liu Yazhou’s China vision

Mao Zedong claims: History is created by the people. What a profound claim! Doubtlessly, in the rolling thunder of history, we hear the firm, solid footsteps of great leaders, as President Nixon asserts. Still, it is the people, and only the people, who are the real movers of world history, as Mao Zedong says. It is on the shoulder of the people, and only on the shoulder of the people, which a nation-state can stand. It is in the character and spirit of the people, and only in the character and spirit of the people, that the fate of a nation-state lies. No wonder, when the people stand, a nation-state stands. When the people crawl, the nation-state crawls. When the people display self-pity, a nation-state reflects that self-pity. When the people of the nation are “rusty,” the nation-state is rusty. And when a people is dying, a nation-state is vanishing. That much we learn from premodern and modern Chinese history, and that much we ought to learn from modern Chinese history, as we are told by Liu Yazhou, one of the most influential strategic thinkers in China today. The competition in the world today is not between nation-states, but between peoples; that much we learn from, and that much we ought to learn from pre-modern and modern Chinese history, as Liang QiChao and Liu insist.

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