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China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Inc.: The Dynamics of a New Empireby Willem Van Kemenade
Synopses & Reviews
On the eve of June 30, Hong Kong was officially passed back to China. This event will mark what Willem van Kemenade sees as the start of an increasingly problematic — and even dangerous — reintegration of the old Chinese empire into a new world superpower. Since the early 1980s, investment money has been pouring into China from Hong Kong and trade has escalated at a rocket's pace. A few years later, the same pattern began between China and Taiwan. The combination of Hong Kong/Taiwan management, financial and export know-how with China's inexhaustible pool of cheap labor and land has enabled China in one decade to leap from an impoverished revolutionary state to a major international trading power. This economic boom, in conjunction with the violation of intellectual property rights, systematic tax fraud, and the corruption of the police force, has helped shape the "socialist market economy," China's third way — and a new mix of old-fashioned Soviet Communism and East Asian capitalism.
The formal addition of Hong Kong will add to this mixture the democratic structures set in place by the British. And, as China moves to reclaim Taiwan (the process has already begun), it will be incorporating a rival Chinese sub-nation with a fully election-based political system and a powerful independence movement. Can such a reunified China resist the "spiritual pollution" of democratic values, human rights, and political freedom? Will it become the first depoliticized "corporatist superpower"? What are the prospects that reunification will be peaceful?
Van Kemenade's portrait of the true internal power structures of the three Chinas provides our clearest look yet at the fastest-rising new empire in the world today.
The return of Hong Kong to China has enabled the country to change from an impoverished, revolutionary country to a major international trading power. Van Kemenade analyzes the power structures of the three Chinas, offering a clear and comprehensive view of the world's fastest-rising empire.
"A handbook for anyone trying to fathom China". — Orville Schell, The New York Times Book Review
On July 1, 1997, Great Britain officially returned Hong Kong to China after ninety-nine years of British rule. This event was the beginning of an increasingly problematic, dangerous reintegration of the old Chinese empire into a new world superpower. The combination of Hong Kong and Taiwan's management and financial expertise with China's geographic vastness and inexhaustible pool of cheap labor has, over the last ten years, enabled China to change from an impoverished, revolutionary country to a major international trading power. Can reunification really be successful — and peaceful? Willem van Kemenade analyzes the power structures of the three Chinas, offering the first clear and comprehensive view of the world's fastest-rising empire.
"Van Kemenade's experience in China and its neighbors is almost unrivaled. New readers can start here and experts will learn something". — Jonathan Mirsky, East Asia editor, The Times (London)
"No recent book matches China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Inc. in the depth of its reporting on the rise of a 'Greater China.'" — Lucian W. Pye, Ford Professor Emeritus, M.I.T.
About the Author
Willem van Kemenade was born in the Netherlands in 1943. He studied history at Nijmegen University and Chinese in Taiwan and at Leiden University. Since 1977 he has been a freelance journalist and correspondent in Beijing, Jakarta, Hong Kong, and Taiwan for the major Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. He currently lives in Beijing.
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