Global Thinkers Series: In Conversation with Wang Gungwu: Understanding the Sinic Civilization in World History

On August 19, the Berggruen China Center and Caixin Global hosted the second episode of the “Global Thinkers Series,” featuring Professor Wang Gungwu, a historian, sinologist, and University Professor at the National University of Singapore, for a dialogue entitled “Understanding Sinic Civilization in World History.”  More than 300 distinguished guests attended the online seminar. The first episode in the Global Thinkers Series featured Professor Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, who discussed “Global Pandemic and Crisis Management.”

During the hour and forty-five-minute long dialogue, Gungwu shared the thoughts behind his Eurasia Core theory. He also addressed key questions, including:

  • In what way has the Eurasian Core configured geopolitical postures today?
  • Who are the Chinese and what is China?
  • Did the Chinese migrants who went to Southeast Asia in the Qing Dynasty identify themselves as Chinese?
  • How do the Chinese “empires” in history differ from the Roman Empire or British Empire?
  • Samuel Huntington sounded the alarm on the clash of civilizations in the early 1990s. He viewed all future conflicts would result from the boundaries between different cultures and civilizations. But are there examples of how different civilizations have nurtured and inspired each other?
  • From the Eurasian core point of view, how did Afghanistan shape world history?