Reaching for the heavens - China's expanding ambitions now include sending men to the moon as well as rapid expansion of military capacity on earth. And all the while its economy continues to grow at a rate far outpacing the economies of western nations.

With increasing confidence, China's leaders have now stepped to the center of the world stage and for many people in China that is exactly where they should be, given the country's history and civilisation. 

Does that necessarily mean that we are entering a new era of Chinese exceptionalism or even dominance?

Professor Zhang Weiwei, served as a translator for one of the key architects of China's transformation, Deng Xiaoping.
He is now an international scholar arguing a case for China as the world's exceptional civilisation. In his latest book, The China Wave: the Rise of a Civilizational State, he offers a robust rebuttal of critics, especially in the West, who keep emphasising China's shortcomings.

Professor Zhang Weiwei talks to Al Jazeera's Teymoor Nabili about the 'China model' and explains where China is going.

"If China had applied this so-called today's liberal electoral democracy we would have a peasant government. It would be very nationalist, they would launch war against Taiwan or Japan. The current leadership... is cautious and moderate in its foreign policy, which is in China's interest, and which is actually also good for the western interests."


Talk to Al Jazeera airs each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0430; Sunday: 0830, 1930; Monday 1430.

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Source: Al Jazeera