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Author Michael Schuman Explains How Chinese History Affects Present-Day Policy

While some Western governments may look at China’s rise with anxiety and some with awe, many Chinese see their country’s growing prominence on the global stage as a return to a natural state of affairs. In his insightful historical survey Superpower Interrupted: The Chinese History of the World, journalist and author Michael Schuman examines how the Chinese view their past and their place in the world—and how that affects their present policies and ambitions.

In a lunch talk at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club moderated by FCC President Keith Richburg, Schuman said that his own experience of learning history had inspired the book.

“We are, I think, all in part shaped by our history and, more importantly, how we learn our history and how we perceive our history, or in some cases, misperceive our history,” said Schuman. 

“This creates a certain worldview — how we see ourselves, how we see other countries, and how we see that they fit into the greater world — and my sense of what’s going on now as we seem to be heading unfortunately into a new period of superpower competition, is that you can see these different worldviews playing a role in this unfolding and unfortunate competition.”

Watch the full event below:

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