China as seen by Europeans | Eurek alert!


image: Cover of “China through the eyes of Europe: 800 years of cultural and intellectual commitment”
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Credit: World Scientific

Modern-day Europeans are always discovering China for the first time. But in fact, their relationship dates back centuries. Great European personalities, from Voltaire to Jung to Kristeva, have devoted time in their writings to trying to understand what China was and is, and what it should mean as a culture, a philosophical tradition and an entity. Politics. China as seen by Europeans: 800 years of cultural and intellectual commitment brings together for the first time the main writings of 16 key European personalities from Marco Polo’s time on their ideas and understanding of China.

“In my view,” said authors Kerry Brown and Chenger Deng, “European views on China remain shaped by contradictory habits of idealization or demonization. This book shows how these attitudes became entrenched and how they could be transformed and adopted in a much more complex global situation today.

China through European eyes is an invaluable collection for policymakers, those interested in international relations, and those with a general interest in world history, and in particular the role of China and Europe in the world. With a comprehensive introduction examining the background to European engagement with China, this book also contains explanations and notes on each of the selections, then suggested further reading. The value of this book is to put in one place the main thoughts and ideas of very influential Europeans on what China meant to them over a period of 800 years. It allows readers to step back and see for the first time the long-standing trends of this relationship, and how they remain important to this day.

This book will therefore also be essential for those interested in current affairs, including policy makers and business people. The relationship between Europe and China in terms of trade and people-to-people engagement and geopolitics is one of the most important of the current era. It has shaped human history for many centuries and continues to be important. This book gives a sense of perspective and allows us to better understand the deep background of how Chinese and Europeans look at each other, in the perpetual dialogue between “East and West”.

China as seen by Europeans: 800 years of cultural and intellectual commitment retails for US$88 / £75 (hardcover) and is also available in electronic format. To order or learn more about the book, visit


About the Author

Kerry Brown is Professor of Chinese Studies and Director of the Lau China Institute at King’s College London. He is Associate of the Asia-Pacific Program at Chatham House, London, Adjunct at the Australia New Zealand School of Government in Melbourne, and Co-Editor of Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, run by the German Institute for Global Affairs in Hamburg. He is president-elect of the Kent Archaeological Society.

About World Scientific Publishing Co.

World Scientific Publishing is a leading independent international publisher of books and journals for the academic, research and professional communities. World Scientific collaborates with prestigious organizations like the Nobel Foundation and US National Academies Press to bring high-quality academic and professional content to researchers and scholars around the world. The society publishes about 600 books and more than 140 journals in various fields every year. To learn more about World Scientific, please visit

For more information, contact WSPC Communications at

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