China 1978-2008

This book is a real-life document, a travel account based on "live recordings" of the China of 1978, of 2006, and 2008, and its development. When Sotiris Chatzigakis made his first journey to China, in 1978, there were the makings of the new era of Deng Xiaoping (1905-1977). His second journey was twenty-eight years later, in 2006, and his third journey, in 2008, completed a span of three decades. On his last two journeys he was accompanied by his son Michael, who took an active part in writing the present book. The main themes of the book are China’s escalating democracy; how China deals with political liberties and human rights; the geopolitical importance of Eurasia; China's leading role in the developing countries; the role of Confucianism; similarities and differences to rising economies; the growth of Shanghai and Guangzhou; and investment in education and technology. This is therefore not a traveller’s diary so much as the account of a temporal current towards the morrow. As Sotiris Chatzigakis notes, a central element in Chinese politics is a sense of purposiveness: "A feeling of purposiveness", he replied at once, looking at the view of Beijing. "Compared with China, America seems to be running on autopilot. China has purpose; America, if not the West as a whole, has reactions to ailments."

"Among the assets of Sotiris Chatzigakis, a politician of action but also a thinking citizen, is his wide and varied range of writings. It is no exaggeration to say that he stands in the tradition of those Greek politicians, few but illustrious, who have been conspicuous for their moral fibre in Parliament, as in education and letters. This book of his is a political testament transmitted through a full, informative and realistic picture of China."

(From George Souflias' Preface)

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