In the 18th century, China had no competition, and the Qianlong Emperor was not alone in his belief that China was too civilized and powerful to worry.
However, in less than a century, China would face defeat during the Opium Wars caused by England and France. The century that followed would devastate China until Deng Xiaoping’s rise to power after Mao died.
Other factors that weakened China during the 19th century, were the rebellions caused by converted Chinese Christians and Muslims that would cause more than 30 million deaths.
Now that China has recovered its power, it would be interesting to see if the Chinese have learned from the Qing Dynasty’s mistakes. America could also learn something from the British Empire’s arrogance and why the sun stopped shinning twenty-four hours a day on that empire.
I’m not going to hold my breath.
Return to the Danger of Arrogance – Part 4
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