Alternately comforting and threatening, the realization of China's entrance into the modern world increasingly qualifies the sensibilities of Anglo-European Nations. The thought is comforting to those who feel that the engagements made possible by virtue of a common ground are far more productive than the infrequent and one-sided contacts that, until recently perhaps, have done little to help and much to harm the Chinese people. And China's entrance into the family of nations is threatening to those who recognize the vast potentialities for economic and military growth possessed by an awakening China, and who, as well, sense that China's "enlightenment" may come at the expense of the West.
Often, as is particularly true of technological development, modernization seems to be an essentially mindless self-augmenting process that, while rational with respect to certain selected ends, is essentially uncontrollable, with largely indeterminate allied consequences. In the absence of conscious articulation, vaguer aspects of modernity are imported along with modernizing processes, and the long-term consequences of modernization for the members of the target culture are barely appreciated.