China’s peaceful rise over less than forty years has been little anticipated and profoundly misunderstood by the West. It has been crafted by Chinese leaders deeply educated in a uniquely rich thought culture. This remains largely unexplored in a West shaped by a form of intellectual apartheid.Chinese leaders are shaped by classics and historical experience that unites them with ancestors over several millennia. Each generation is part of a community that is both the largest in today’s global order and the most conscious of past and future continuity.The labelling of East Asian leaders as Communist or Capitalist is misguided. These are lazy and misleading Western abstractions that are easily manipulated by highly educated, bicultural and experienced Asian administrators, whose thought is holistic, fluid, intuitive and practical.Strategies matured over several millennia can be deployed to seduce and take control of the West’s gullible corporate and political leaders. Customs of courtesy and ritual behaviour grace the character of Asian counterparts and enable them to think freely and resourcefully about how best to manoeuvre to advantage.Western interests are further disadvantaged by the diversity, depth and unique character of the range of highly cultivated traditions of thought, including that derived from Confucian, Daoist, Change, Legalist and Strategic texts. None have the West’s dependence on belief in transcendent authority. All focus on the practical demands of organic life in family and community.Often committed to memory by the age of six, Chinese classics provide an almost infinite range of inspiration before life’s challenges. Yet, the certainties of Western thought derived from Greek classics and Abrahamic beliefs hinder their understanding. With China’s rise this disables Western leaders.For instance, Confucianism builds a powerful social and political ethos on the affections and ever changing relationships of the family. These make nonsense of the West’s “universal values” of equality, freedom and individualism, which are dysfunctional in a family environment.Daoism poses riddle after riddle in dispensing of most certainties and reassurances in human life, even as it introduces a depth of spiritual sensitivity about the challenges of life in a way that is nourishing, inspiring and resilience building.The Book of Changes, which presents as divination, in reality invites reflection on the central values and imperatives of human existence. It was designed several millennia ago around a type of mathematical, probabilistic formulation that 20th Century scientists have shown mirrors the structure used to explain human DNA.Legalism, both rival and complement to Confucianism, focuses on the practical and formal imperatives of large government. While often denigrated from Confucian perspectives, discreet practice of its severe authority has disciplined abuse and corruption in Confucian societies.Over a thousand strategic classics explore the practical essentials of winning, holding and expanding political power. They reinforce wisdom in other classics by emphasising needs like studying and understanding both oneself and one’s adversaries and winning victory by soft strategies that minimize destruction.The voluminous library of heath classics, marginalized by aggressive Western corporate health cultures, is re-emerging with the recognition of problems in Western processed food, synthetic drugs and invasive surgery.This traditional culture is all founded in classics that date back over two millennia. They have been tested, proven and refined over a long, eventful and continuously recorded history. No other power begins to rival this contemporary use of ancient classical language and wisdom and this deployment of continuous and ever enriching history in managing the dilemmas of “progress”.