John Lee: China's Selective, Deceitful History

Roundup: Talking About History

John Lee is the Michael Hintze fellow and adjunct associate professor at the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney and a non-resident senior scholar at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC.

For the past week, prominent voices in Australia have urged Washington to get used to the reality of China imminently reclaiming its long-held status as the most powerful Asian country in the region ahead of the US.

Many strategists such as Hugh White and former prime minister Paul Keating, who launched White's The China Choice, are asking whether established regional powers can sensibly adjust to the restoration of Chinese economic and military power.

It is a fair and timely question. But at least as important an inquiry is whether the Chinese Communist Party can itself adjust to China's rise. And one crucial first step is to accept that its selective and self-serving version of Chinese history is itself a barrier against a more co-operative and stable future for the region... ..

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