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The challenge of China

Volume 2, No 1: January - March, 2010

As Richard Rigby says in the lead essay in this fourth issue of EAFQ, the word 'challenge . . . carries a heavy burden of nuance'. It can convey a sense of threat. But challenges can also be an inspiration, an offer of hope. Challenges always pose questions - often difficult ones, as Rigby also suggests. And the notion of a challenge is two-sided: it is as much about the one who is on the receiving end of the challenge as about the one who is doing the challenging. This is an apt nuance in considering China’s present and future role in the world. The challenge of China is as much about how the rest of the world responds to the rise of China as about the massive tasks of economic and social development in China itself. In this volume we focus more explicitly on the latter question than on the former but the former question is what this collection of essays really seeks to illuminate.
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As Richard Rigby says in the lead essay in this fourth issue of EAFQ, the word 'challenge . . . carries a heavy burden of nuance'. It can convey a sense of threat. But challenges can also be an inspiration, an offer of hope. Challenges always pose questions - often difficult ones, as Rigby also suggests. And the notion of a challenge is two-sided: it is as much about the one who is on the receiving end of the challenge as about the one who is doing the challenging. This is an apt nuance in considering China’s present and future role in the world. The challenge of China is as much about how the rest of the world responds to the rise of China as about the massive tasks of economic and social development in China itself. In this volume we focus more explicitly on the latter question than on the former but the former question is what this collection of essays really seeks to illuminate.

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