Time: 10.00 – 11.00 GMT UK / 18.00 – 19.00 CST China


CBBC Premium members are invited to join China, Bookmarked with Michael Schuman on Thursday 21 January.


This is the first session of China, Bookmarked, a new CBBC Premium member programme, where we’ll be speaking to authors about their China-related books.


In this session, we’ll be talking to Michael Schuman about his book Superpower Interrupted, The Chinese History of the World published last year.


We in the West routinely ask: 'What does China want?' The answer is quite simple: the superpower status it always had, but briefly lost. In this colourful, informative story filled with fascinating characters, epic battles, influential thinkers, and decisive moments, we come to understand how the Chinese view their own history and how its narrative is distinctly different from that of Western civilization. More important, we come to see how this unique Chinese history of the world shapes China's economic policy, attitude toward the United States and the rest of the world, relations with its neighbours, positions on democracy and human rights, and notions of good government. As the Chinese see it, for as far back as anyone can remember, China had the richest economy, the strongest military, and the most advanced philosophy, culture, and technology. The collision with the West knocked China's historical narrative off course for the first time, as its 5,000-year reign as an unrivalled superpower came to an ignominious end. Ever since, the Chinese have licked their wounds and fixated on returning their country to its former greatness, restoring the Chinese version of its place in the world as they had always known it. For the Chinese, the question was never if they could reclaim their former dominant position in the world, but when.


Michael Schuman is a journalist and author who has lived and worked in Asia since 1996. His new book, Superpower Interrupted: The Chinese History of the World, was released in June 2020 by publisher PublicAffairs. His earlier works are Confucius and the World He Created (Basic Books, 2015) and The Miracle: The Epic Story of Asia’s Quest for Wealth (HarperBusiness, 2009). Mr. Schuman is currently a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion and a contributor to The Atlantic, among other publications. Previously, he was a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and Time.


To purchase a copy of Michael’s book, please click here.