What Does China Think? by Mark Leonard

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We know everything and nothing about China. We know that China is changing so fast that the maps in Shanghai need to be redrawn every two weeks. We know that China has brought 300 million people from agricultural backwardness into modernity in just thirty years, and that its impact on the global economy is growing at unprecedented speed. We have an image of China as a dictatorship; a nationalist empire that threatens its neighbors and global peace.

But how many people know about the debates raging within China? What do we really know about the kind of society China wants to become? What ideas are motivating its citizens? We can name America's neo-cons and the religious right, but cannot name Chinese writers, thinkers, or journalists—what is the future they dream of for their country, or for the world? Because China's rise— like the fall of Rome or the British Raj—will echo down generations to come, these are the questions we increasingly need to ask. Mark Leonard asks us to forget everything we thought we knew about China and start again. He introduces us to the thinkers who are shaping China's wide open future and opens up a hidden world of intellectual debate that is driving a new Chinese revolution and changing the face of the world.


About Mark Leonard

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Mark Leonard founded the leading independent think tank The Foreign Policy Centre at the age of 24, under the patronage of the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and is now Executive Director of The European Council on Foreign Relations’. When he was only 23, Mark wrote the famous pamphlet, ‘Rebranding Britain’, coining the phrase ‘Cool Britannia’. He has written regular commentary for all the leading newspapers and magazines, has presented the BBC' Analysis programme, and has appeared as a commentator on CNN and on all of Britain's most prestigious news programmes (from Today and Newsnight to the Jimmy Young Programme and Start the Week). Mark was named by the Sunday Times as one of the 500 most influential powerful people in Britain. He is 31 years old.
Published April 29, 2008 by PublicAffairs. 178 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction

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As Leonard also notes, China harbors think tanks whose range and populace vastly dwarf anything in the West—a single Beijing institute, he writes, has more than 4,000 full-time researchers.

Mar 01 2008 | Read Full Review of What Does China Think?

Kirkus Reviews

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A brief view of China's emergence as a world player, politically as well as economically.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of What Does China Think?

The Guardian

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What Does China Think?, by Mark Leonard (164pp, Fourth Estate, £8.99) The Battle for China's Past: Mao & the Cultural Revolution, by Mobo Gao (270 pp, Pluto, £18.99) Forty years ago, it was easy enough to find out what China was thinking.

Apr 19 2008 | Read Full Review of What Does China Think?


Enough Chinese scholars have studied at Western universities that the culture of free-thinking academics is understood at Chinese universities.

Jul 18 2017 | Read Full Review of What Does China Think?

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