China's Search for Security by Andrew J. Nathan

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Despite its impressive size and population, economic vitality, and drive to upgrade its military capabilities, China remains a vulnerable nation surrounded by powerful rivals and potential foes. The key to understanding China’s foreign policy is to grasp these geostrategic challenges, which persist even as the country comes to dominate its neighbors. Andrew J. Nathan and Andrew Scobell analyze China’s security concerns on four fronts: at home, with its immediate neighbors, in surrounding regional systems, and in the world beyond Asia. By illuminating the issues driving Chinese policy, they offer new perspective on China’s rise and a strategy for balancing Chinese and American interests in Asia.

Though rooted in the present, Nathan and Scobell’s study makes ample use of the past, reaching back into history to contextualize the people and institutions shaping Chinese strategy. They examine Chinese views of the United States; explain why China is so concerned about Japan; and uncover China’s interests in such trouble spots as North Korea, Iran, and the Sudan. The authors probe recent troubles in Tibet and Xinjiang and establish links to forces beyond China’s borders. They consider the tactics deployed by both sides of mainland China and Taiwan’s complicated relationship, as Taiwan seeks to maintain autonomy while China tries to move toward unification, and they evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of China’s three main power resources—economic power, military power, and soft power. The book concludes with recommendations for the United States as it seeks to manage China’s rise. Chinese policymakers understand that the nation’s prosperity, stability, and security depend on cooperation with the U.S, and if handled wisely, relations between the two countries could produce mutually beneficial outcomes in Asia and throughout the world.

About Andrew J. Nathan

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Andrew J. Nathan is Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. His previous books include Chinese Democracy; The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress; The Tiananmen Papers; China's New Rulers; and How East Asians View Democracy. Andrew Scobell is senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. He is the author of China's Use of Military Force: Beyond the Great Wall and the Long March and editor of more than a dozen books on the Chinese military and Asian security.
Published September 18, 2012 by Columbia University Press. 434 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Fortunately, these insecurities seem to have produced a fairly unobjectionable Chinese “strategy of trying to stabilize its borders and reassure its neighbors.” The authors’ realist take on international affairs produces a lucid, readable, well-judged, rather dry analysis of China’s conce...

Jul 16 2012 | Read Full Review of China's Search for Security

The New York Review of Books

Pye, Foreign Affairs Published on the eve of the emergence of a new generation of leadership in China, this volume could not be more timely for China watchers.— Choice It gives an acute account of the men who will oversee [China’s] immediate political future—revealing some intriguing personal...

Oct 01 2003 | Read Full Review of China's Search for Security

The New York Review of Books

In 1955, when I began my graduate studies of China and its language, one of my fellow students at Columbia asked our professor, Nathaniel Pfeffer, whether the United States would ever recognize Beijing instead of Taipei as the capital of China.

Jan 10 2013 | Read Full Review of China's Search for Security

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