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This chapter traces changing Chinese ideas of the “global” as expressed through successive ideas of the place of China in world order: Jiang Tingfu’s vision for postwar China in the Bretton Woods era, Mao Zedong’s idea of the Three Worlds, Deng Xiaoping’s notion of a more restrained Chinese influence, and the new embrace of the global by Xi Jinping in the twenty-first century. Today two major discourses seek to portray China as a foundational member of the global order: the idea of a “civilizational state” drawing on China’s longer historical trajectory, and the concept of China as a “postwar” state whose contribution to World War II sustains its claim to ownership of the post-1945 order. Beyond its variations, the Chinese discourse has constantly displayed a search for a narrative that defines China’s role in the global order not just as a matter of power, but of moral standing in an anarchic world.


Mitter, Rana. "The Chinese Global in the Long Postwar: Narratives of War, Civilization, and Infrastructure since 1945." Debating Worlds: Contested Narratives of Global Modernity and World Order. Ed. Daniel Deudney, G. John Ikenberry, and Karoline Postel-Vinay. Oxford University Press, 2023, 162-183.