chapter  4
12 Pages

A non-Eurocentric global history of Asia

ByJohn M. Hobson

When observing the rapid rise in interest amongWestern academics concerning the equally rapid rise of East-and South-Asia in general and China in particular, I am struck by a strong sense of déjà vu in two key regards. First, of course, the story seems to replicate in an all too familiar fashion that which unfolded in the 1980s concerning the ‘Japanese scare’, a story that was constructed in the United States as but the latest ‘Yellow Peril’ (Hobson 2006), given that this discourse stems back to the late nineteenth century (Hobson 2012: chs. 5 and 11). Thus the Chinese story of the 1980s ‘Japanese Peril Redux’ comprises the ever-burgeoning US trade deficits, US dependency on Yellow capital, the buying up of parts of America and, worse still, the possibility of both a future challenge to American hegemony and a present challenge to American identity based around the sanctity of the laissez-faire state and the sovereign individual.