oppressive China, ready to join the global community and be normal, which is to say the same as us. This is the foundation of new orientalist discourse, a shift towards general equivalence that is structured by hierarchical difference and the West’s superior position and right to speak for the other Vukovich 12 [Daniel F. Associate Professor, University of Hong Kong, Visiting Professor UC-Santa Cruz, China and Orientalism: Western knowledge production and the P.R.C. Routledge: London, p. 1-8] In “Orientalism Now,” the concluding chapter of Edward Said’s 1978 book, we are left with the migration of orientalism from European empires and philology to the U.S. imperium and the dominance of social scientific discourse. This project begins where Said left off. It argues that there is a new, “Sinological” form of orientalism at work in the world, one that takes as its object an “Other ” that has since the 1970s occupied an increasingly central place within the world system and Western intellectual–political culture : the People’s Republic of China . As with Said’s formulation rooted in the Middle East and South Asia, Sinological-orientalism and its production of a textual “China” helps constitute the identity or “Self” of the West (what Balibar aptly calls the “Western- Christian-Democratic-Universalist identity ”) (“Difference” 30). The U.S.-West is what China is not, but which the latter will become. So, too, the new orientalism is part of a neo-colonial or imperialist project: not just the production of knowledge about an “area” but the would-be management and administration of the area for economic, political, and cultural–symbolic benefi t. But whereas orientalism in Said turned upon a posited, essential difference between Orient and Occident (as in Kipling’s famous verse: “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet”), the new form turns upon sameness or more specifically, upon China’s becoming sameness . China is seen as in a process of haltingly but inevitably becoming-the-same as “us”: open, liberal, modern, free . Put another way, “China” is understood as becoming generally equivalent to the West. What this reflects, in part, is the by now familiar resurgence of modernization rhetoric under the cover of “globalization” and the end-of-history thematic famously captured by Francis Fukuyama. But that, in turn, was triggered by the collapse of the former Soviet Union as well as by the fateful deployment of the market mechanism and the logic of capital within China . After a noble but brief interruption of the politics and discourse of modernization by Chinese Maoism and by the long decade of the 1960s and early 1970s, the former is back in charge not only of area studies but of global intellectual–political culture. When one recalls the Marxist cultural analysis of capital as such, namely as an historical force of abstraction that makes unlike things alike on the basis of some third thing called the value-form (their “exchange value” or “general equivalent”), the relationship between this orientalism and global capitalism appears in sharper relief. Sinological-
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