The Peaceful History of Chinese ExpansionMarch 11, 2012
Earlier this week Stephen Walt had a guest post from Yuan-kang Wang on his blog taking issue with the ‘official version’ of historical China’s peaceful nature that feeds into the narrative of ‘peaceful rise’
As you might expect on a realist’s blog the message is not the uniqueness of Chinese history but how much it shares with the history of other states. Wang takes issue with three claims.
Myth 1: China did not expand when it was strong.
Myth 2: The Seven Voyages of Zheng He demonstrates the peaceful nature of Chinese power.
Myth 3: The Great Wall of China symbolizes a nation preoccupied with defense.
In each case he argues that the ‘official version’ leaves out the violent bits of the history. Well worth a read.