"When it comes to modernization, China can do two things at the same time," says Beat Schneider. What exactly does he mean? Prof. Schneider also mentions that the conception of "all under the heaven" is better for the whole world."
Schneider: I think that China wants cooperation, and in the old saying of the Confucian tradition of Tianxia.And under the heaven, I think different systems are possible. They can cooperate together. And so, I think the conception of all under the heaven is a better conception for the future of mankind.
Liu Xin: China has vowed to follow a unique Chinese path to modernization. Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the 20th CPC National Congress last October that we have put forward the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and proposed promoting national rejuvenation through a Chinese path to modernization. So, Professor Schneider, how do you understand this notion? And what are the implications for the world, the Chinese path to modernization?
Schneider: It is the very notion of modernization that I look into in my book. I explain that China can always do two things at the same time, while Westerners can only focus on one thing.
Liu Xin: So they can’t cook and listen to music at the same time?
Schneider: They can't! The Chinese have adopted Western modernization and capitalism, but they have not been "westernized," they have not changed everything in favor of capitalism and have remained true to themselves. How? Because of its great traditions and great culture dating back 5,000 years, from which China can benefit because it can make up a hybrid model.Hybrid because it benefits from the capabilities of the West, but it also follows its own path. This mixture of its own culture with a "made in the West" modernization provides vitality, and this vitality is a characteristic of China, which is strong thanks to this combination of culture and economy, so I think it is really a great strength.
Liu Xin: What are the implications for the world? What would it mean for people in Switzerland, the United States, Germany, Africa, in Latin America?
Schneider: I think that people in the South, in developing countries, are tired of U.S. and European imperialism and colonialism, and they see an alternative path to development in which the state plays a large role, and the economy can develop but not in the way it does in the West, and the people can benefit from it. I think Africa, Latin America, and Asian countries look to China because there is a new path of development that offers a guarantee. The guarantee is that China has developed like no other country. It has become a great power. I think the Chinese dream is really something different from the American dream. Because the American dream was the dream of a few individuals, in contrast, the Chinese dream is the dream of the entire people. That is why it is very attractive to African countries and countries in the Global South. That's really something else.