problems facing the world. On the other hand, how to realize the high expecta tions of classical writers such as Arnold Toynbee and Bertrand Russell regarding China's potential spiritual contributions to the world is perhaps one of the toughest questions China will have to answer in the twentyfirst century. Alfred North Whitehead says that "Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them" (An Introduction to Mathematics [New York: Oxford University Press, 1958], p. 42). China's ongoing translation boom is such an operation. It advances China's civilization by taking in the best of human wisdom, thus galvanizing the Chinese and instilling vigor into Chinese society. In a rapidly globalizing world, this also helps to connect the Chinese and all other peoples more closely, because they read the same books. Yun Tang Yun Tang is an independent scholar and historian based in Washington, DC. Educated in China and Canada, he has published academic articles in Japanese, English, and Chinese on Toynbee's views on China, Tokugawa Japan, and China's international relations. His current research interests are China's social transition as well as its foreign policy. Yun Tang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Oct 1, 2011