Recently, in Closed Minds and Culturally Blind Missionary Zeal, I mentioned Henry Kissinger’s book On China and quoted from the Preface, “American exceptionalism is missionary. It holds that the United States has an obligation to spread its values to every part of the world. China’s exceptionalism is cultural. China does not proselytize (preach); it does not claim that its contemporary institutions are relevant (superior) outside China.”
What Kissinger meant was that China does not believe it has a right to force its cultural beliefs and political system and values on the world while America does believe it has that right.
What do you think? Do you feel the US has the right to preach to other cultures and pressure them to be like America?
I’m still reading “On China”, and it will be some time before I finish because I’m reading several magazines and another book at the same time while writing two Blogs and getting ready to launch my next book, which will see “My Splendid Concubine” and “Our Hart” combined as The Concubine Saga.
However, this post is about Henry Kissinger appearing on NPR’s Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan and Ted Koppel on June 8, 2011. The focus was on China although the program strayed from that topic a few times.
The program ran about a half hour so I am going to share a condensed version.
After an introduction, Neal Conan asked, “In the long run, do you think the Chinese Communist Party can survive the political pressures created by the country’s economic successes?”
Kissinger said he believed China’s political system would have to adapt, which several of China’s leaders have already mentioned as a necessity.
When Conan challenged this answer, Kissinger replied, “But there a new administration coming in and right now, it is in a very defensive mode.”
Continued on July 10, 2011 in Kissinger on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” – Part 2
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