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International Relations Government History

A Close-Up of China

Screenshot of the Atlantic magazine
Screenshot of the Atlantic magazine, map of China

The Atlantic and Patrick Chovanec have published an excellent region-by-region analysis of China with an interesting historical/socio-political angle.

Too often, Chovanec reminds us, China is seen, analyzed and treated as a monolithic entity, while the truth is much more interesting: “China is a mosaic of several distinct regions, each with its own resources, dynamics, and historical character.”

He divides China into Nine Nations and analyzes the historical character, make-up and challenges of each ‘nation’ in turn. They’ve added a snazzy map to the analysis too. I highly recommend reading the whole text though, it gives invaluable insight into the unique challenge China faces as a historically, ethnically and socially complex country with a massive population and a vast geography.

It’s a learning opportunity and one that proves that with China in particular, myths- both accidental and self-generated- have to be questioned in order to “understand the Nine Nations and the role each of them is playing in shaping China‚Äôs future.”

Amen to that.

And if you’re still hungry for more, remember to check out our Special Report on US-China relations.