China as Number One?

The Emerging Values of a Rising Power
Yang Zhong and Ronald F. Inglehart
Examining the contemporary rise in China’s political, economic, and military power through the opinions of its citizens
This title is open access and free to read on the web A free online version is forthcoming. This open access version made available by The Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies (LRCCS).


One of the most significant global events in the last forty years has been the rise of China— economically, technologically, politically, and militarily. The question on people's minds for decades has been whether China will replace the United States as a superpower in the near future. But for China, this power must be comprehensive — having strong economic and militant forces are only two pieces of the puzzle. China must also possess soft power, such as attractive ideologies, values, and culture.

China as Number One? explores China’s soft powers through the eyes of Chinese citizens. Utilizing data from the World Values Survey, the contributors to this collection explore the potential soft power of a rising China by examining its residents' social values. A comprehensive study of changes and continuities in the political and social values of Chinese citizens, the book examines findings in the context of evolutionary modernization theory and cross-national comparison.

Yang Zhong is Professor of Political Science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Ronald F. Inglehart was Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Michigan.

Praise / Awards

  • “This is a very timely study of changing political values in China based on the most recent wave of the World Values Survey in 2018. With Ronald F. Inglehart’s recent passing, it is a fitting tribute to him.”

    —Bruce J. Dickson, George Washington University
  • China as Number One? is firmly set in a prominent and influential theoretical frame of modernization theory, or evolutionary modernization theory, and makes important theoretical contributions to the ongoing debate on the relationship among economic development, cultural change, and democratization. The volume provides very rich contextual information and in-depth discussions about Chinese culture, politics, and society, which are not easily available in other works on China.”

    —Jie Chen, Southern University of Science and Technology and James Madison University
  • “This book examines the changes and continuities in mass political and cultural values in a rising/modernizing China using various waves of the World Value Surveys, and in the process addresses the important question of whether China can become the world’s leading nation from the perspective of soft power. The book will be of great interest to scholars of Chinese politics, political culture, and public opinion, as well as journalists and the general public.”

    —Haifeng Huang, University of California, Merced

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 248pp.
  • 36 figures, 64 tables.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2024
  • Forthcoming
  • 978-0-472-07635-2

  • $80.00 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 2024
  • Forthcoming
  • 978-0-472-05635-4

  • $29.95 U.S.

  • Open Access
  • 2024
  • Forthcoming
  • 978-0-472-90373-3

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  • Chinese political culture, Chinese social values, democracy, democratic values, authoritarianism, interpersonal trust, political trust, political development, modernization process, modernization theories, liberalism, materialist values, post-modern values, political support, regime support, political participation, religiosity, religious values, hard power, soft power