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>Many Western people feel intimidated by China<|
Yes, behind their Orientalism lies a deep-seated fear that, barely 300 years ago, there was a civilization that was far more advanced than theirs in science and technology. Thus the need to exclude China in all things intellectual. During the 1950s, English textbooks still insisted that it was not the Chinese that invented printing, and when a few eventually admitted so, it was with the caveat that Chinese invention was limited to block printing, not movable type, which of course was another lie. Few Brits realize that their roses are probably Chinese hybrids cultivated thousands of years ago in ancient China. Even fewer mentioned the Chinese origin of fireworks, paper-making, the rudder, etc. In the US, as recently as the 1980s, Zhuang Zi was often mentioned when some TV personality quoted the case of a person dreaming he was a butterfly dreaming it was person, etc. By the year 2000, this quote was seldom accompanied by any attribution to the ancient Chinese sage. Again, it's not surprising: an old book called "Confucius Said It First" had hundreds of sayings that Westerners today imagined were their own original thoughts.
Sometimes it was more than just fear: some justification was needed to subjugate rich, ancient civilizations. Thus, Macaulay talked about how a single shelf of Western books in a good library were superior to the entire literature of India and Arabia. What insufferable ignorance, arrogance, and impudence!
Pattberg isn't the first European to note such Western behavior: there were perceptive thinkers from Leibniz to Joseph Needham who'd deplored the propaganda that'd often passed for "history" in the West. But more sadly, there are actually Chinese "intellectuals" - mostly those gone to study in the West - who didn't know this, and thus fell hook, line, and sinker to the concocted "history" of the propagandists.
But the times, they're a-changing.