Covering China's history, political economy, culture, military issues, and the U. S.-China relationship, this book presents a fascinating and multifaceted look at a country which is likely to be a major factor in U. S. foreign policy in the twenty-first century. It includes more than 28 articles on China published in The National Interest since 1995. The first in a series of readers drawn from The National Interest, the volume brings together in one place the analysis and insight of some of the leading scholars and practitioners concerned with the Sino-American relationship.
"China has been and is a particularly difficult subject for Americans," observes Owen Harries in his introduction. This volume tackles the hard questions. Will successful market reforms lead to the emergence of a prosperous liberal democracy or simply extend the life span of an authoritarian regime? Contributors address (and disagree about) whether Chinese culture and society can adapt to the norms of the free market and the open society. They examine whether growing economic disparities between the developed coastal regions and a backward interior threaten to unleash uncontrollable social unrest. They also consider whether or not ethnic and religious tensions among China's minority groups contain the seeds for China's disintegration. Are the United States and China destined to clash?
Conclusions provided by the authors vary greatly. For some, China is a dangerous rival, a rapidly modernizing power with hegemonic ambitions to dominate East Asia. For others, China is a strategic partner and prospective ally. Contributors square off on issues of whether China's military poses a real threat or is a "paper tiger"; whether the future of Taiwan is to trigger a major war between Beijing and Washington or provide a model for peaceful accommodation of Chinese and American interests in the region; and whether containment or engagement is the sounder strategy for coping with a rising China.
The distinguished contributors to this volume include Zbigniew Brzezinski, Nicholas Eberstadt, John Fitzgerald, Bates Gill, Nathan Glazer, David Lampton, Michael O'Hanlon, Robert Ross, S. Enders Wimbush, Paul Wolfowitz, and Robert B. Zoellick.
With sections on history, political economy, culture, military issues, and the U. S.-China relationship, this book presents a fascinating and multifaceted overview of a country that is likely to be a major factor in U. S. foreign policy in the twenty-first century.
Owen Harries is editor emeritus of The National Interest, the leading realist journal of international affairs, which he founded and edited from 1985 to 2001. He is a senior fellow at the Center for Independent Studies in Sydney, Australia. He edited Liberty and Politics and America's Purpose: New Visions of U. S. Foreign Policy.