The enduring significance of history, culture, and perception in China’s contemporary scene is amplified by the articles in this issue of China Currents. David Blair writes about the role that historical memory plays in Chinese and U.S. strategic thinking. Arguing that China and the U.S. do not have fundamental contending interests, Blair warns against allowing vastly different lessons learned from history on the part of each side to provoke military tensions. Parama Sinha Palit argues that China is using new tools of soft power to open communication channels and promote a benign view of Chinese culture and Chinese policy initiatives. Michael Murphree discusses China’s efforts to leapfrog into a higher level of technology by setting technology standards, which, if successful, would disrupt the way technology becomes established in the global high-tech sector. Jing Betty Feng analyzes why the China dream of two big box U.S. retailers — The Home Depot and Best Buy — turned into a nightmare for the bottom line. Failure to understand the complexities of China’s retail environment was key to these failures, according to Feng. Based on his own trials and tribulations, John Israel writes about refusing to submit to censorship when attempting to publish one’s work in China. Each of these essays offers very different but important insights into the complexity of contemporary China.
1. Editor’s Note
2. The Clash of Historical Memory: The “Century of Humiliation” vs. the “Post-WWII Liberal World Order”