Asian Waters: The Struggle over the South China Sea and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion

Humphrey Hawksley. Overlook, $29.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4683-1478-6
Hawksley (Democracy Kills), a BBC journalist who worked and lived in Asia for decades, provides a clear introduction to the subject of Chinese efforts to expand the country’s sovereignty into the islands of the South China Sea. The book is based primarily on secondary sources, the author’s observations and analysis, and interviews with key leaders in the region. The first part of the book explores China’s perspective; Hawksley says that China sees itself as a dominant global power, humiliated by Western colonialism generally and the Opium Wars specifically, whose recent moves are merely reasserting the position it held over thousands of years. Parts two to four consider the experience of China’s neighbors: India, which Hawksley argues has been “dwarfed economically and encircled” by China; the Philippines, which he thinks likely to cozy up to China; and Japan, China’s biggest potential rival for dominance in the region. This is a solid overview, but one place where it falls short is the lack of discussion of U.S. policy regarding Chinese expansion and the relative military capabilities of the two nations. Despite this shortcoming, this volume is informative and thought-provoking and will be of interest to anyone interested in Asia, contemporary affairs, national security issues, and foreign policy. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/28/2018
Release date: 06/05/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4683-1479-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-9773-1746-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-9773-6746-4
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-4197-4243-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-9786-8438-6
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