Big Dragon: China's Future

Big Dragon: China's Future

by Daniel Burstein, Arne De Keijzer, Arne De Keijzer

No country poses as significant a set of challenges to America's business and political agenda as China. A few years ago, political pundits naively envisioned China evolving into a liberal, democratic society with limitless potential for American companies. Now the pendulum has swung in the other direction—toward the prospect of a new cold war, with


No country poses as significant a set of challenges to America's business and political agenda as China. A few years ago, political pundits naively envisioned China evolving into a liberal, democratic society with limitless potential for American companies. Now the pendulum has swung in the other direction—toward the prospect of a new cold war, with uncertainty and fear evocative of the old "yellow peril" dominating the debate over China's emergence as a new world power.

In Big Dragon, Dan Burstein, the bestselling author of Yen!, joins with China specialist Arne de Keijzer to offer the first comprehensive look at China and its future in the new post-Deng Xiaoping era. Big Dragon offers a practical blueprint for business people, policy makers, and concerned citizens alike as they contemplate new strategies for dealing with China—a nation that will be either America's partner or its adversary in the global order of the future. Neither Pollyannaish nor hawkish, the authors have a powerful and perceptive grasp of the issues involved. They have been traveling to China, doing business in China, and writing about China since the early seventies. Big Dragon is based on their extensive research and firsthand encounters with Chinese leaders (including the late Deng Xiaoping), as well as the thinkers and entrepreneurs who are creating the new Chinese economic system.

Leading American companies such as Boeing, Motorola, General Electric, Westinghouse, General Motors, AT&T, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft see China as a critical market for their global growth strategies. Indeed, the China market is so large and growing so fast that no U.S. company can ignore it. As U.S. based companies compete with European, Japanese, and other Asian companies in the twenty-first century, their China strategies may well be a key factor determining their overall success or failure.

The authors articulate a fresh, intelligent, and innovative business and political strategy for the United States, rooted in realistic assessments of where China is coming from and where it is headed. Big Dragon is the most ambitious book yet to delve into China's future and introduce readers to the myriad ways in which American business, politics, and lifestyles will be affected by China's rise in the twenty-first century. It provides a hardheaded, realistic, and ultimately positive vision of how China's political landscape will change over the next twenty-five years—and how the United States can change with it.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Diametrically opposing U.S. critics of China who recommend a strategy of isolation and containment, the authors want America to expand its trade and investment with the country as well as to offer technical support and intergovernmental exchanges to foster economic interdependence. For a start, they suggest that President Clinton should visit Beijing. This policy of "dynamic engagement," they contend, will ultimately benefit both the U.S. and China, which they expect will become the world's largest economy and the biggest manufacturer in the decades ahead. Investment banker Burstein (Yen!) and De Keijzer, a consultant to U.S. firms doing business in China, argue that the People's Republicmuch more open and modernized now than in the 1970s, when it was in the throes of Mao's Cultural Revolutionhas made dramatic progress on many fronts by allowing greater freedom of expression, unshackling a centralized economy and holding contested elections for thousands of local posts. They emphatically dispute those who view China as expansionist and inherently adversarial toward America. Clear writing, along with the authors' admission of assumptions and biases, makes this polemic a noteworthy contribution to the China debate. (Mar.)
Willy Wo-Lap Lam
"Indespensable for anyone who wants to know where China will be moving in the early 21st century. The authors have combined solid research with bold projections about the economic and political development of a nation that is undergoing cataclysmic changes." -- Asia Editor, South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
Kirkus Reviews
A relentlessly upbeat forecast of China's future and the potential implications for the US. Private investment banker Burstein (Road Warriors, 1995, etc.) and de Keijzer, a business consultant involved in US-China business dealings, assess "the impact that China will have on the global balance of wealth and power in the twenty-first century" and are impressed. Their goal is to move discussion of the threats and opportunities China's growing economy will pose for American business in a more historically and culturally sensitive direction. Their motivation for this effort is straightforwardly reactive: A "new anti-China vogue" has infected American thinking and clouded judgments with groundless ideological biases. The excitement and optimism in the wake of Nixon's historic 1972 trip has been replaced by foreboding following the Tiananmen Square massacre, and hard-line perceptions of China have subsequently prevailed regarding issues as varied as human rights, Taiwan, and campaign finance. Burstein and de Keijzer argue that the government reaction to demonstrators in Tiananmen Square was not surprising given previous Chinese norms and that this incident shouldn't obscure the wide range of social and economic reforms that have taken place. We must stop trying to place China within preconceived Western notions and accept that it has a unique politico-economic system, what the authors term "the Confucian social market." By avoiding misconstrual of Chinese intentions—the authors predict, for example, that China will continue a long-term historical pattern of both flexing its muscles within Asia and refraining from projecting its force throughout the world in an effort to become aglobal power—we will be able to recognize and take advantage of the opportunities its development will produce and sustain a peaceful, mutually beneficial relationship with China. Despite a tendency by the authors to become cheerleaders for China, this is a reasoned survey of truly significant issues. (Author tour)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.54(w) x 9.57(h) x 1.25(d)

What People are saying about this

Douglas Lamont
Burnstein and de Keijzer offer an insider's view of what's really happening within the inner sanctum of China's leadership. That's data mining crucial to good international marketing research. (Global Trade Expert and Managing Director, Douglas Lamont & Assoc.)
David K.P. Li
"Big Dragon makes an important contribution to the debate on how America should react to the inevitable rise of China. Backed by a keen sense of history (reminding us that it was Chinese tea that American revolutionaries threw into Boston harbor), it outlines perceptive and thought-provoking views of China today and tomorrow." -- Chairman and Chief Executive, The Bank of East Asia, Ltd.
Carla A. Hills
"A fascinating glimpse into China's future and how the Big Dragon will shape the world in the 21st century. The authors offer compelling reasons for Americans of all persuasions to value a strong, constructive relationship between our two countries. -- Former United States Special Trade Representative
Irwin L. Kellner
"This book opens up a new dialogue concerning China and the role it is expected to play in the 21st century. A provocative challenge to conventional thinking about China, Big Dragon is must reading for anyone concerned about the future of U.S. business, the world economy, and global politics." -- President, Kellner Economic Advisors and Weller Distinguished Chair of Economics, Hofstra University
Robert L. Dilenschneider
"Big Dragon is must reading for anyone who cares about the future." -- the Dilenschneider Group

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