This is a discussion about many aspects of Chinese society by three noted sociologists.
The authors' motivation is that many sociological concepts are based on Western modern nations and therefore may be inadequate to analyze Chinese society.
One of the major issues is that although China was able to establish a unified dynasty more than 2,000 years ago, why was it behind when it came to modernization?
The authors seek a clue to the process of formulating national identity. While I cannot assess the validity of the argument, I feel the authors raise crucial questions.
They also point out that despite China's emergence as a big economy and exacerbated bilateral relations, Japanese people know next to nothing about Chinese history and society.