Beijing presents a clear and gathering threat to Washington, but not for the reasons you think. China's challenge to the West stems from its transformative brand of capitalism and an entirely different conception of the international community. Taking us on a whirlwind tour of China in the world, from dictators in Africa to oligarchs in Southeast Asia to South American strongmen, Halper demonstrates that Chinas illiberal vision is rapidly replacing that of the so-called Washington Consensus.
Instead of promoting democracy through economic aid, as does the West, China offers no-strings-attached gifts and loans, a policy designed to build a new Beijing Consensus. The autonomy China offers, together with the appeal of its illiberal capitalism, have become the dual engines for the diffusion of power away from the West. The Beijing Consensus is the one book to read to understand this new Great Game in all its complexity.
This disturbing review of China's growing role around the world explains, among other things, why China's rulers see maintenance of high economic growth as necessary for the survival of their regime and how this influences their relations with other nations (including rogue pariah regimes).
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An excellently argued book that is very informative and accessible to anyone even mildly interested in world affairs. Disturbing, but hopeful and constructive. I highly recommend this book to all the US haters and doomsayers who think the US hegemony is the greatest evil of our global system today. It could always be worse...
Robert Blumenfeld is a good reader, though a strange choice for this type of book, I thought. I can imagine him better reading a 19th century adventure novel or something more British or Victorian, but I got used to him eventually and it was fine.
A great beginner's title for those interested in China's approach to international relations today, especially given the opaque and often paradoxical nature of this fascinating and challenging state.
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