The book shows how the Chinese are now confident of their capacity to learn all they need from the developed world and are keen to know which parts of the past they would need to build a modern Chinese civilization. They are very conscious of the challenges coming from the United States, and are looking for ways and means to respond to a superpower that wants to preserve its dominant position in the international status quo.The book seeks to explain what China is doing and what its immediate and long-term interests are. It is not to defend or judge China. It does not employ theoretical frameworks that are not appropriate for describing Chinese conditions. It calls for understanding why history is particularly relevant to the Chinese state and most of its people. That way, we also see how the present and hopes for the future changes our perspectives of the past.