By Bruce Cumings
Korea has persevered a "fractured, shattered 20th century," and this up-to-date variation brings Bruce Cumings's major historical past of the trendy period into the current. The small kingdom, overshadowed within the imperial period, filled opposed to nice powers throughout the chilly battle, and divided and decimated by way of the Korean conflict, has lately obvious the 1st genuine tricks of reunification. yet confident routine ahead are tempered by means of not easy steps backward. within the overdue Nineties South Korea survived its so much serious monetary obstacle because the Korean struggle, forcing a profitable restructuring of its political financial system. affliction via floods, droughts, and a famine that expense the lives of thousands of individuals, North Korea has been classified a part of an "axis of evil" by way of the George W. Bush management and has renewed its nuclear threats. On either side Korea turns out poised to proceed its fractured lifestyles on into the hot century, with capability ramifications for the remainder of the area.
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Additional info for Korea's Place in the Sun: A Modern History
Amongst Chinese there is the belief in the greatness and grandeur of China and its civilisation, which becomes an object of admiration in itself. 1 Above all there is the strong belief in the preservation of the unity of Chinese civilisation, and that culture and civilisation are inseparable from the centralised state that has ruled for millennia. In the context of these values the loss of Taiwan would be unthinkable and tantamount to betrayal, a feeling that often hinders discussion of the subject in Beijing.
Existing linguistic and cultural differences which previously may have been regarded as local variations are raised into major distinguishing characteristics and become the basis for a national mythology. Each individual act of intimidation becomes a component of the new mythology and a self-evident justiﬁcation of separation. It stimulates a strong search for a linguistic or cultural justiﬁcation for separation as an explanation for the persecution and it creates a new collective memory that becomes the basis of an emerging nationalism.
Power entirely divorced from morality would be inconceivable in the Chinese experience, though not unacceptable in Western realpolitik. For the Chinese power has been strongly associated with morality and Chinese national interests have been deﬁned not in terms of military power but in relation to political, economic and cultural status. 11 The stress upon the morality of action results in behaviour that differs from Western realism despite the similarities which might be apparent. Where Western realists would regard power as the ultimate security, China’s ﬁrst concern is to uphold governing principles and a moral regime as a more durable basis for security in a constantly changing world.