he references 'Chinese Cosmopolitanism: The History and Philosophy of an Idea' by Shuchen Xiang:
Historically, the Western encounter with difference has been catastrophic: the extermination and displacement of aboriginal populations, the transatlantic slave trade, and colonialism. China, however, took a different historical path. In Chinese Cosmopolitanism, Shuchen Xiang argues that the Chinese cultural tradition was, from its formative beginnings and throughout its imperial history, a cosmopolitan melting pot that synthesized the different cultures that came into its orbit. Unlike the West, which cast its collisions with different cultures in Manichean terms of the ontologically irreconcilable difference between civilization and barbarism, China was a dynamic identity created out of difference. The reasons for this, Xiang argues, are philosophical: Chinese philosophy has the conceptual resources for providing alternative ways to understand pluralism.
Xiang explains that “Chinese” identity is not what the West understands as a racial identity; it is not a group of people related by common descent or heredity but rather a hybrid of coalescing cultures. To use the Western discourse of race to frame the Chinese view of non-Chinese, she argues, is a category error. Xiang shows that China was both internally cosmopolitan, embracing distinct peoples into a common identity, and externally cosmopolitan, having knowledge of faraway lands without an ideological need to subjugate them. Contrasting the Chinese understanding of efficacy—described as “harmony”—with the Western understanding of order, she argues that the Chinese sought to gain influence over others by having them spontaneously accept the virtue of one’s position. These ideas from Chinese philosophy, she contends, offer a new way to understand today’s multipolar world and can make a valuable contribution to contemporary discussions in the critical philosophy of race.
As western global hegemony recedes and multipolarity advances along with the rise of China, politically and economically, I think it is important to try to understand the philosophical, cultural and political differences between the west and China which underpin their approaches to the rest of the world.
In the past China famously synthesised Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. For a couple of centuries it was the victim of western colonialism and capitalism. Its anti-imperialism took a Maoist form. Its unique blend of 'state capitalism' has made it an economic powerhouse.
Alistair Crooke, on here, and people like Jeremy Lent, have tried to contrast the Manichaean approach of the west with the Taoist seeking after 'harmony' approach of the Chinese.
I've not read it but this book may be an important part of increasing this understanding.
Of course, one should remain sceptical - but, in any case, I think it is helpful to try to see the state of the world from a non-western perspective.