The Coming Conflict with China

Richard Bernstein, Author, Ross H. Munro, With Knopf Publishing Group $25 (245p) ISBN 978-0-679-45463-2
The United States and China in the early 1990s became global rivals, an antagonism that will dominate the early decades of the 21st century, according to this farsighted, chilling report. The authors disclose internal Communist Party documents portraying the U.S. as China's archenemy and revealing Beijing's goal of becoming Asia's dominant power, partly by seizing control of the South China Sea, its islands and its oil-rich outcroppings almost as far south as Indonesia. They show that China's aggressive trade policy includes highly protectionist barriers, as well as the creation of numerous companies operating in the U.S.-indirect subsidiaries of the Chinese army, established for military technology transfer and backdoor access to financial markets. Blasting the Clinton administration for its inconsistent policy toward China, the authors unmask Beijing's intensive lobbying activities, which have led Washington to back down on almost every threat to take action against China for violations of international norms. Fueled by virulently aggrieved nationalism, the dictatorial People's Republic, which has sold nuclear weapons technology and missiles to Pakistan and Iran, is well on its way to becoming the world's second strongest military power, assert the authors, who put the size of China's military spending at 10 to 20 times official estimates. With a view to fostering a stable, more democratic China while protecting U.S. interests, they outline measures designed to reduce our trade deficit with China, to oppose human rights violations, to deluge the Chinese mainland with information. This hard-hitting critique sounds a wake-up call. Bernstein, New York Times book critic, formerly Time's Beijing bureau chief, wrote Dictatorship of Virtue, an analysis of multiculturalism. Munro, director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute's Asia Program in Philadelphia, was Beijing bureau chief for the Toronto Globe and Mail. 50,000 first printing. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/02/1997
Release date: 02/01/1997
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-679-77662-8
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