He accepts that china has a distinct han culture characterized by a belief in an orderly moral hierarchy flowing from nature through the state society and family to the individual but he denies that this culture is eternally fixed essentially benevolent or inherently superior or that it can speak for chinas other ethnic groups. Chinese natives rarely attempt to explain their country to outsiders everything they know is china and everyone they know is chinese china is so all absorbing that the idea of helping foreigners understand its customs traditions and history seems pointless. During the han dynasty territory of china was extended to most of the china proper and to areas far west now the dominant ethnic group in modern china the essential reference to china its history and culture facts on file 1999 662 pp roberts j a g. Territory ethnicity culture and history zhaoguang ge michael gibbs hill isbn 9780674737143 ge zhaoguang an eminent historian of traditional china and a public intellectual takes on fundamental questions that shape the domestic and international politics of the worlds most populous country and its second largest economy. This insiders account teases out nuances of chinas encounter with the contemporary world using its past to explain its present and to provide insight into paths the nation might follow as the current century unfolds
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