Without indulging in Eurocentric thinking it is important to consider the larger integrating potential of the different culture zones in question. As China moves in a kind of vacuum where the US seems in decline, it is important to see that in principle at least the Occident had a far greater set of resources to produce world civilization: it was always a mixture of multiple cultures compared to sinocentric China. It generated Christian/Muslim cultural integrator religions. The modern transition has separate German, Dutch, English, French, Spanish (and the important but slightly different case of Northern Italy). While this rapidly generated a European community it is not a question of Europe. The modern transition is system induction of the eonic sequence and succeeds proximate antiquity with its Greek/Roman, Canaanite/Israelite, Persian Zoroastrian, Indo-Buddhism, and China. It acts not as a European but as a frontier effect with respect to a global system. The European modernity is thus a eonic effect. Thus China is a key component of the larger eonic series and generated a large diffusion zone. But it is inherently less likely to create a generalized oikoumene as against the one already in existence due to the modern transition. That said the Buddhist component is an equally effective legacy, perhaps.
Thus the eonic sequence, dispelling the illusion of Eurocentric civilization, jumped to the northwest sector of Eurasia, in a typical eonic Frontier effect. Thus the modern transition emerges at the old boundary to the Roman Empire.
All this said we can see that while it suffered the dangers of nationalism, there was a far larger degree of variety and difference in unity.
Let it be said that most of these occidental pluses are already in the past now, and further that the immense beauty of the modern transition (as of the ancient parallel versions from Greece to China) seems frittered away. As Kant predicted the world system finally spawned the United Nations, etc, etc…And the socialist emergence in parallel with that of democratic spawns the idea of an International. But that whole aspect so far has failed.
The Occident had many advantages, but it seems to have squandered them. Part of the problem is the emergence of imperialism, capitalism, Darwinism and social Darwinism, all contributing to the erosion of modern potential. The socialism/communist world moved into a void to become a new kind of integrator. But its failures have been beyond expectation. So it is not clear. In any case, the sinocentrism of the Chinese succession could undermine a considerable potential where modern transition has taken effect. But it is crippled by its wretched poor Marxist version of socialist transition. We might blame this on Bolshevism, Stalinism and move to exempt the Marxist legacy. But it seems that legacy is flawed. It needs a new version and upgrade. In any case we see that China, like India, etc, is part of the modern transition, and in theory secondarily a Chinese cultural phenomenon. That raises the question of Chinese language. There are efforts to seed Africa with Chinese. Again, a look at the eonic effect shows that the modern transition zones experimented with two or three ‘koines’, Spanish, French, and English, and by and large the English version, an ultra-simple near pidgin but with hidden potential rapidly globalized. Chinese has little hope of displacing that. None of these things are chance and we note that the modern transition rapidly spawned rich literatures to give substance to this globalization of pidgin integrator languages. These are not cultural feathers in one’s cap, but gifts of eonic evolution to languages of global integration. Thus we see it is not chance but an eonic effect to examine the rise of various modern literatures.
We could leave it there for the moment, offer a warning that the Chinese case can derail faster than did the American which is barely above barbarism, capitalist domination, and genocide. Note that the US has usurped the place of the modern transition, but doesn’t have the resources of culture to do that. They can avail themselves of the huge potential of the modern transition, but we can see that Russian and the US both are struggling with inevitable factors of cultural anemia.
So in the Chinese case, a great potential is there, but the current mix seems unlikely to move beyond its limits.
Considering the immense advantages of the European and American cases it is sad to see them dissipated so swiftly as the distance to the modern transition increases. China may try to fill that void, but the judgment arrives swiftly with a warning if they can’t handle a simple case like Tibet, and have totally botched a simple case like the Uighurs.
A solution could be a new and recast international instrument that the Marxist legacy tried to provide. But that legacy is crippled by the limits of its historical materialism, pseudo-science, and reductionist science.
These are strange remarks, but they have a key: the eonic effect with its strange quirks and insights. The Chinese have a great opportunity but it must be more than a locally grounded cultural imperialism.
Overall in all cases the case of capitalism needs a resolution, the factor of democracy must be mediated with a socialist boost. China is on the verge of slipping away into oblivion on these points. The US is not far behind and is itself failing on the democracy front.
China is already communist you say? Nothing of the kind. Stalinist Maoism was a hopeless case from the start and the question shows how global Marxists are going to lose their whole legacy if they …