This is a Great Moment Given All of That Legacy

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This is a great moment given all of that legacy.

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<p>China&rsquo;s been modernizing throughout its history. When Chinese look backwards, they see moments in which there was traumatic historical change that put China, if not #1 on Earth, at least among the great civilizations. China&rsquo;s very notion of itself is that it is a middle kingdom. <i>Zhongguo</i>, the word in Chinese for China, itself means middle kingdom. That is a term that dates back at least 2500 to 3000 years. And China&rsquo;s unification, that is a single state governing all that is China, goes all the way back to the 3rd Century BCE. And that effort to unify the country back in the third century BC put China in the forefront of modernization back then. Chinese today, they don&rsquo;t know all the history, but they study when they&rsquo;re kids in school. They study about what they should be proud of. And, yes, the state helps organize it, most of the textbooks are very rote, but this feeling of identity is not rote. It is something that keeps coming back. When the Olympics takes place, the Chinese not only had a good Olympics, a great Olympics, it had a spectacular Olympics. And what did they do in the opening ceremony of those Olympics? Every episode that you saw there, right back to the drummers and the dancers and all of that, had historical references. And it was designed to dazzle you on television, which it did, and it was also designed to say to the people in China that, &quot;This is a great moment given all of that legacy. We&rsquo;re going back 2000 years and this is another great moment for us.&quot; The boom, therefore, has political, educational, social, historical, cultural factors that are incredibly important.</p>
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Robert Oxnam talks about China's deep sense of national identity and historical pride that make the boom a multidimensional transformation.