China's extensive history casts a long shadow over its present handling of business, science, and economy. As chaotic and rapidly changing as China's economic and business scene may seem, it is deeply anchored in past traditions and their perceived lessons and marks. Understanding this past is vital because it sheds light on what we see today and, perhaps more importantly, may provide essential clues regarding China's future course: the scope and level of its aspirations and the policies and strategies that are likely to be adopted to get it there.
Three periods stand out as key milestones in China's rich and long history:
The Imperial period, which lasted intermittently for more than two millennia
The partially overlapping ...