52 Quotes of Martin Jacques

” The fact that television and tourism have made the whole world accessible has created the illusion that we enjoy intimate knowledge of other places, when we barely scratch their surface. For the vast majority, the knowledge of Thailand or Sri Lanka acquired through tourism consists of little more than the whereabouts of the beach. “
” When I am back in old Blighty, I am surrounded by the old and familiar concerns: New Labour, Europe, the Middle East and the rest. If you live in Britain, you will know what I mean – except you won’t, because you will take it for granted that this is what the world is all about. “
” It is much easier to learn another language when you are young, enthusiastic and unembarrassed. “
” If the Age of Sport has been all champagne and roses hitherto, then expect our love affair with its newly-acquired prominence to become increasingly tainted by scandals about cheating. Sport is losing its shine and allure. “
” Never underestimate the ability of political leaders to misread history on a monumental scale. The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have both served to hasten western decline: they have both failed to achieve their objectives and in the process demonstrated an underlying western impotence. “
” In its heyday, the car was an expression of technical flair and design genius: the original Mini, the Beetle, the 2CV, and the Fiat 500 were all, in their various ways, inspired incarnations of functionality. “
” Without doubt, Malaysia is the great economic star of the Muslim world. “
” The World Cup is not just a great global sporting event, it is also inscribed with much deeper cultural and political importance. “
” In Formula One, the car can make a difference in a way that a driver cannot. Whereas Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna spent their early seasons in second-rate machinery, Hamilton walked into the equal best car on the grid. His first season none the less has, by any standards, been extraordinary. “
” The era when the United States was the dominant global power is steadily coming to an end, and it must find a way of acknowledging this and framing its ambitions and interests accordingly. Instead of claiming the right to continuing primacy in east Asia, for example, it should seek to share that primacy with China. “
” Ever since the Meiji restoration in 1868, Japan has turned its back on Asia in general and China in particular: its pattern of aggression from 1895 onwards and the colonies that resulted were among the consequences. “
” The cost to Tata of purchasing Land Rover and Jaguar may have been small, but its wider symbolic significance is enormous. “
” At the heart of globalisation is a new kind of intolerance in the West towards other cultures, traditions and values, less brutal than in the era of colonialism, but more comprehensive and totalitarian. “
” Our ascendancy of the past two centuries – first Europe and then the U.S. – has bred a western-centric mentality: the West is the fount of all wisdom. We think of ourselves as open-minded, but our sense of superiority has closed our minds. We never entertained the idea that China could surpass the U.S. “
” Globalisation has obliterated distance, not just physically but also, most dangerously, mentally. It creates the illusion of intimacy when, in fact, the mental distances have changed little. It has concertinaed the world without engendering the necessary respect, recognition and tolerance that must accompany it. “
” More than 90% of Chinese believe themselves to be Han. Of course, such a vast population is derived from countless different races, but because China has enjoyed such a long and continuous history as a polity, there has been thousands of years of mixing, melding and assimilation. “
” After its defeat in the Second World War, Japan, unlike Germany, failed to show true contrition or give a fulsome apology, though it showered its neighbours, including China, with generous economic assistance. Only in 1995 did it finally offer an apology, but this was of the most limited and formulaic kind. “
” In the aftermath of 9/11 and in the build-up to the invasion of Iraq, few questioned the idea that the United States was likely to be the extant superpower for several decades to come. Few anticipated how quickly the neoconservative project would run into the sands – or that China would rise so quickly. “
” It is not an accident that developing countries – virtually the whole of East Asia, for example – view the role of the state in a far more interventionist way than does the Anglo-Saxon world. Laissez-faire and free markets are the favoured means of the powerful and privileged. “
” The question is not whether Tibet should be independent but the extent of the autonomy that it is allowed. Tibet has been firmly ensconced as part of the Chinese empire since the Qing dynasty’s military intervention in Tibet in the early 18th century. “
” The two ethnic groups that remain fundamentally different from the Han Chinese – in terms of history, culture, language, religion and physical appearance – are the Uighurs and Tibetans. In these two groups, the Han Chinese come face to face with difference. “
” In 1975, the Americans suffered a spectacular military defeat at the hands of North Vietnam and the Vietcong, with U.S. helicopters seeking to rescue leading U.S. personnel from the tops of buildings as Vietnamese guerrillas closed in on the centre of Saigon. “
” There may be little practical difference between a Ford Mondeo and a BMW three series, but in terms of perceptions of who you are and what you are, then they are worlds apart. “
” The Chinese view the state, not just as an intimate member of the family… but as the head of the family. “
” We still insist, by and large, in thinking that we can understand China by simply drawing on Western experience, looking at it through Western eyes, using Western concepts. If you want to know why we unerringly seem to get China wrong… this is the reason. “
” Now, I know it’s a widespread assumption in the West that as countries modernize, they also westernize. This is an illusion. It’s an assumption that modernity is a product simply of competition, markets and technology. It is not. It is also shaped equally by history and culture. China is not like the West, and it will not become like the West. “
” Now, I know it’s a widespread assumption in the West that as countries modernize, they also westernize. This is an illusion. It’s an assumption that modernity is a product simply of competition, markets and technology. It is not. It is also shaped equally by history and culture. China is not like the West, and it will not become like the West. “
” Stuart Hall was an utterly unique figure. Although he arrived at the age of 19 from Jamaica and spent the rest of his life here, he never felt at home in Britain. This juxtaposition was a crucial source of his strength and originality. Because of his colour and origin, he saw the country differently – not as a native, but as an outsider. “
” It remains to be seen whether the more optimistic scenario for Sino-American relations can be realised. Much rests on the shoulders of the two leaders: Obama on this score has so far been disappointing; the early signs are that Xi is a highly confident leader who thinks big. “
” China is, indeed, in so many ways, not like the West. It is not even primarily a nation state but a civilisation state. Whereas the West has primarily been shaped by its experience of nation, China has been moulded by its sense of civilisation. “
” There are a host of ethnic minorities in China, but they often have a weak sense of identity and are relatively small in total number. History has taught the Han that other groups will and should ultimately be absorbed and assimilated as Han. There is a belief that the Han enjoy a superior and far more advanced culture. “
” China has existed within very roughly its present borders for over two millennia and for virtually the whole of that period saw itself as a ‘civilisation state.’ It was only when it was too weak to resist the western powers in the early 20th century that it finally acquiesced in an arrangement that was alien to it. “
” The Chinese state is constructed in an entirely different way from western states. Unlike European states, for over a millennium the Chinese state has not been obliged to compete for power with rivals such as the church, the aristocracy or merchants. “
” Marx and Engels are arguably history’s most famous couple. Such was the closeness of their collaboration that it is not always easy to recall which works bore both names, which just that of Marx, and which just Engels. “
” The world is fortunate – for the time being, at least – that it has an American president in Obama who is prepared to take a conciliatory and concessive attitude towards America’s decline and that it has a Chinese leadership which has been extremely cautious about expressing an opinion, let alone flexing its muscles. “
” Israel is the agent and surrogate of the United States and as such is treated entirely differently from every other country in the region. How can anyone expect Iran to accept that it is right for Israel to have nuclear weapons while itself being disallowed? “
” Every major power always seeks to justify its action on moral grounds. Such behaviour is almost as old as the hills. The west has been a particularly vigorous exponent of this credo; and there is no reason to believe that China, for example, will be any different. But behind the moral rhetoric invariably lies interest and ideology. “
” While the West has enjoyed overwhelming global power, its moral preachings have been legitimised, and in effect enforced, by that power. But as that power begins to ebb, then the morality of its actions will be the subject of growing scrutiny and challenge. “
” The election of the nationalist Chen Shui-bian as president in 2000 and his re-election in 2004 was a nadir in the relationship between Taiwan and the mainland. “
” Already 2008 has proved a tumultuous year in terms of global perceptions of China, and there are still 59 days to go until the Beijing Olympics. The tragedy of the Sichuan earthquake followed hard on the heels of the riots in Tibet and the demonstrations surrounding the Olympic torch relay. “
” If one wanted to find a modern symbol of personal freedom, the motor car is right there near the top of the list. But a car has come to mean much more than that. It has become a powerful statement about who you are and how much you earn. “
” One of the characteristics of New Labour – and Miliband is irredeemably of that species – is that, in the guise of a new liberal language, it has adopted the age-old default mode of British foreign policy, namely military intervention. “
” Just as the Japanese pioneered a new form of manufacturing – lean production and quite new standards of reliability – so Tata, too, is embracing new forms of manufacture in order to revolutionise the price to meet the consumer needs of a poor, developing country. “
” Western countries are thoroughly accustomed to being the centre of global attention, which they have come to regard as their natural birthright. Not so China. It was thwarted in its attempt to hold the 2000 Olympics, which, as a result of American-led pressure, was awarded to Sydney. “
” One of the unique features of China is that, notwithstanding the fact that it has a population of 1.3 billion, around 92% regard themselves as Han Chinese. This is quite different from the world’s other most populous countries, such as India, the U.S. and Indonesia, which are ethnically diverse. “
” Fundamental systemic crises are often associated with the decline of the dominant imperial power and its increasing inability to sustain the system over which it had previously presided. The profound instability of the interwar period owed much to Britain’s inability to maintain its role. “
” The move towards neoliberalism in Britain was intimately bound up with the embrace of the U.S. as the country to be aped and copied. “
” The American model was celebrated by Thatcherites and New Labour alike, California worshipped as the model of the future, ‘Anglo-Saxon’ embalmed as the fitting metaphor for the shared Anglo-American legacy, Europe denigrated and the rest of the world ignored. “
” 9/11 was a hugely overblown event that only assumed its overarching importance a) because it was done to the United States and b) because of the way the U.S. reacted. “
” The fact that the Bush administration, and those in Europe who have followed its 9/11-inspired agenda, somehow believe that the future of the world is being played out in the Middle East and Central Asia rather than East Asia has only served to accelerate China’s rise and the U.S.’s decline. “
” The more expensive and/or exclusive a sport, the whiter it tends to be: the fact almost has the force of a law. That is the main reason why the Rugby World Cup, the Pacific islands excepted, was so desperately white, the Springboks included. “
” The starting point for understanding the deterioration in the relationship between the U.S. and Russia lies in Washington rather than Moscow. After 1989, Russia was a defeated power. Despite the fine words and some limited gestures, the Americans have treated it like one. Their policy has been one of encirclement. “