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“Sober and well-informed. . . . A careful and compelling examination of the U.S.-Chinese relationship from a number of angles.”—Financial TimesThere may be no denying China's growing economic strength, but its impact on the global balance of power remains hotly contested. Political scientist Aaron L. Friedberg argues that our nation's leaders are failing to act expeditiously enough to counter China's growing strength. He explains how the United States and China define their goals and reveals the strategies each ...
“Sober and well-informed. . . . A careful and compelling examination of the U.S.-Chinese relationship from a number of angles.”—Financial TimesThere may be no denying China's growing economic strength, but its impact on the global balance of power remains hotly contested. Political scientist Aaron L. Friedberg argues that our nation's leaders are failing to act expeditiously enough to counter China's growing strength. He explains how the United States and China define their goals and reveals the strategies each is now employing to achieve its ends. Friedberg demonstrates in this provocative book that the ultimate aim of Chinese policymakers is to "win without fighting," displacing the United States as the leading power in Asia while avoiding direct confrontation. The United States, on the other hand, sends misleading signals about our commitments and resolve, putting us at risk for a war that might otherwise have been avoided. A much-needed wake-up call to U.S. leaders and policymakers, A Contest for Supremacy is a compelling interpretation of a rivalry that will go far to determine the shape of the twenty-first century.
….[Friedberg] has relentlessly exposed the intellectual and strategic weaknesses and errors of the prevailing mindset in Washington. For this, in fact, he deserves great credit.”— John R. Bolton
A stern, carefully worded warning about why the United States should be more wary of China's meteoric rise.
Friedberg (Politics and International Affairs/Princeton Univ.;In the Shadow of the Garrison State, 2000, etc.) is a forward thinker versed in the "fast-changing politics of post–Cold War Asia," and he sets forth his argument, amplified from an essay he wrote forCommentary,that a growing Sino-American rivalry is forthcoming and inevitable. China's economic strength in terms of opening markets has historically been encouraged by the West, and a stable, cooperative exchange of commercial interests has kept the U.S. and China on amicable footing since President Nixon and Henry Kissinger opened the diplomatic door in the early '70s. The U.S. policy over the past 60 years has passed through phases of containment, alignment and the current uneasy mix of the two, "congagement," which has been severely challenged since Tiananmen Square and China's lobbing of dummy missile warheads into the Taiwan Straight during Taiwan's first democratic presidential election of 1996. With its newfound economic muscle, China willmost likelyfollow the historic precedent of previous hegemons in the throes of intense expansion—e.g., Britain, Germany, Japan—and seek to dominate "its neighbors, its regions, and, if it can, the world." In a meticulously organized study that often repeats and summarizes its assertions in the fashion of a tutorial, Friedberg lays out the various ongoing arguments for containment or alignment, as well as what he extrapolates Chinese intentions to be—avoid confrontation, build comprehensive national power and advance incrementally. On the other hand, he writes, China isdue for a similar bubble burst recently visited on other expanding nations, and he offers numerous intriguing scenarios.
An important cry to heed: China's peaceful rise cannot disguise its aim to become "world number one."
Introduction A Contest for Supremacy 1
1 Means of Ascent 9
2 Roots of Rivalry 36
3 From Containment to Alignment 58
4 "Congagement" 88
5 "The Propensity of Things" 120
6 "Hide Our Capabilities and Bide Our Time" 142
7 "To Win without Fighting" 156
8 The Balance of Influence 182
9 The Balance of Power 215
10 Alternative Strategies 245
11 Can America Keep Its Balance? 264
Appendix Sources and Methods 285
Posted October 15, 2011
Helps with a better sense of underlying feelings of key business and political/military (often the same) players in the Asian markets. Great to have the history behind their point-of-view.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 5, 2012
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