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China: Fragile Superpower: How China's Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise

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China: Fragile Superpower: How China's Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Once a sleeping giant, China today is the world's fastest growing economy--the leading manufacturer of cell phones, laptop computers, and digital cameras--a dramatic turn-around that alarms many Westerners. But in China: The Fragile Superpower, Susan L. Shirk opens up the black box of Chinese politics and finds that the real danger lies elsewhere--not in China's astonishing growth, but in the deep insecurity of its leaders. China's leaders face a troubling paradox: the more developed and prosperous the country becomes, the more insecure and threatened they feel.

Shirk, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for China, knows many of today's Chinese rulers personally and has studied them for three decades. She offers invaluable insight into how they think--and what they fear. In this revealing book, readers see the world through the eyes of men like President Hu Jintao and former President Jiang Zemin. We discover a fragile communist regime desperate to survive in a society turned upside down by miraculous economic growth and a stunning new openness to the greater world. Indeed, ever since the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square and the fall of communism in the Soviet Union, Chinese leaders have been haunted by the fear that their days in power are numbered. Theirs is a regime afraid of its own citizens, and this fear motivates many of their decisions when dealing with the U.S. and other foreign nations. In particular, the fervent nationalism of the Chinese people, combined with their passionate resentment of Japan and attachment to Taiwan, have made relations with these two regions a minefield. It is here, Shirk concludes, in the tangled interactions between Japan, Taiwan, China, and the United States, that the greatest danger lies.

Shirk argues that rising powers such as China tend to provoke wars in large part because other countries mishandle them. Unless we understand China's brittle internal politics and the fears that motivate its leaders, we face the very real possibility of avoidable conflict with China. This book provides that understanding.

Review:

"Susan L. Shirk starts out her revelatory book on China with a nightmare scenario. A Chinese SU-27 fighter and a Taiwanese F-16 collide over the Taiwan Strait. The incident spirals out of control when the Chinese do what they always do in a crisis: blame the other guy. Demonstrations erupt in Beijing. Protesters demand that the Communist Party confront Taiwan and the United States. 'When will China... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

About the Author

Susan L. Shirk, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for U.S. relations with China, is Director of the University of California's Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, and she is a professor at UC-San Diego's Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. A leading authority on China, she has been visiting that country since 1971, meeting with top Chinese officials, and has written numerous books and articles on this subject, including pieces that have appeared in The Washington Post, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal.

Table of Contents

1. Strong Abroad but Fragile at Home

2. China's Economic Miracle

3. Domestic Threats

4. The Echo Chamber of Nationalism: Media and the Internet

5. The Responsible Power

6. Japan: "When the Chinese People Get Angry, the Result is Always Big Trouble

7. Taiwan: A Question of Regime Survival

8. The United States: External Troubles Can Become Internal Troubles

9. China's Weakness, America's Danger

Acknowledgments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195306095
Subtitle:
How China's Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise
Author:
Shirk, Susan L
Author:
Shirk, Susan L.
Author:
Jones, Charles O.
Author:
null, Susan L.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Subject:
International Relations
Subject:
China
Subject:
Asia - China
Subject:
Nationalism
Subject:
International Relations - General
Subject:
Government - International
Subject:
Politics | Comparative Politics | China
Subject:
Presidents
Subject:
Executive power
Subject:
Nationalism -- China.
Subject:
China - Politics and government - 2002-
Subject:
Presidents -- United States.
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20070416
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
20 halftones
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
6.3 x 9.1 x 1.4 in 1.438 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Asia » China » Peoples Republic 1949 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » China

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