• Red Flags

  • Why Xi's China Is in Jeopardy
  • By: George Magnus
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (550 ratings)

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Red Flags

By: George Magnus
Narrated by: Derek Perkins
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Publisher's Summary

Will China rule the world, or will its dream turn into a nightmare? George Magnus, the trusted economic commentator on China, provides a penetrating account of the threats to China's continued rise.

Over the past four decades, China's remarkable transformation has garnered admiration but also sparked concern. Magnus draws on his intimate knowledge of this dynamic nation to uncover the origins of its ascent and show why the economic traps it faces at home and the political challenges it faces abroad pose a serious threat to its continued rise.

President Xi, possibly now leader for life, is determined to realize the Chinese dream of rejuvenating the nation and consigning to history the "century of humiliation". But Magnus warns that the Middle Kingdom's future rests on the willingness of its leader to embrace reform and open up, a philosophy that is at odds with his actions to date.

Engagingly weaving together economics, politics, and history, Red Flags is an authoritative and lucid account of the troubled times that lie ahead for a nation whose economic fortunes are closely intertwined with our own.

©2018 George Magnus (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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    3 out of 5 stars

A pessimistic vision with western liberal bias

The author, though he has a long history of engagement with China, lacks an understanding of the Chinese people. He has identified some real challenges that China will face as it continues to grow and develop. However, the solutions that he sees as viable are derived from his western liberal perspective. Liberalism wants to dominate the world and strives by all means to do so. This has become very clear with the weaponising if the US dollar. The liberal west also sees individual human rights as “inalienable”. But few Chinese believe that it is their best interest to make the world like themselves. They recognise that countries and peoples are different and somewhat unique because of their own histories. Many if not most of the Chinese people are apolitical, they simply trust their government to do what is right for them and that it will strive to improve their living standard. These are more important than individual human rights.
China will face the challenges the author brings out. And coping with those challenges will be harder with the liberal west’s disappointment and dissatisfaction with China’s failure to embrace their liberal ideology.
The reading of this Audible book was done professionally, giving the listener the feeling that it was truly the author conveying his own message to his readers.

16 people found this helpful

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A book to sober yourself up

Narration: 5 stars Derek Perkins is a master at the subtle voice inflection.

Structure: The book is well structured and easy to follow. Although the way the parts of the book are broken up are not perfectly corresponding to the actual chapters. Nevertheless there is no jumping "back and forth" each chapter is succinct, and well ordered.

Data/Research: Mr. Magnus (cool last name by the by) clearly shows his expertise in this new book. I never found myself asking out loud "Says who?" or "opinions are not facts!". As a regular contributor to the BBC, FT, NYT, WSJ and Bloomberg I expected nothing less.

8 people found this helpful

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AMERICA AND CHINA

George Magnus develops a cogent argument that illustrates differences between American and Chinese economic strengths and weaknesses.

Magnus develops his analysis by recalling the history of China. He recounts a country ruled by authoritarian Emperors, a nationalist dictator (Chiang Kai-shek) and communist revolutionaries (Mao and Deng Xiaoping). He then offers an analysis of the revisionist leader, President Xi Jinping.

One may conclude from Magnus’s book, there will always remain the potential for economic calamity with top down management. Magnus reflects on the history of China and infers it is unlikely to change. China’s growth and prosperity depends on a continuation of philosopher kings which have not sustained any country in the modern age. The next king may not be as far sighted or wise as the current king.

Top down management may have worked in ancient times, but world interconnectedness and interdependence require cooperation and competition for independent countries to grow and prosper.

5 people found this helpful

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A sober and thorough evaluation of China's economic challenges

Although maybe not the “peek behind the curtain of China's dystopian Shadowland” that I might have hoped for when I read the title, I did find this book enlightening (maybe more than exiting, as it was a little dry at times).

If you want a sober and thorough evaluation of China's economic challenges by someone who knows what he’s talking about, I do think this is it. George Magnus is a renowned economist and he doesn't come off as biased when writing about China and Xi Jinping. Sometimes I did feel he maybe went a bit easy on Xi and the CCP, but this could be out of the wish to be as neutral as possible.

3 people found this helpful

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An excellent overview of the state of China

This is well worth a listen for anyone interested in understanding China’s current political and economic policies. It includes a concise overview of China’s history.

3 people found this helpful

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Generically out of date-add Pinkers recent work.

Generally ignors Chinas bigest weakness demographics and also one of US perpetual strength demographics. I suspect China will simply melt away like the whiked whitch.

3 people found this helpful

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Great read!

This is a great over view of China's economy and future. the author is very thorough in his assessment and often compare China to different countries on different scales.

3 people found this helpful

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A good summary of the situation now

Comprehensive, accurate, and conform to the things I see in China now. Recommend to readers unfamiliar but interested in China to read this book.

2 people found this helpful

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Intresting

Perhaps China's star isn't destined to rise as high as everyone thinks. Maybe it will all come crashing down.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent. Highly recommended.

It is technical and deals with the economics of China and the West but all the terms are explained and the essence is easy to follow. It includes the reign of Donald Trump. It is an interesting perspective on the trade relations China has with the world. The perspective is not doom and gloom but a balanced view on the state of China's economy and its focus. What challenges does China face in trying to access the West's market opportunities while it adheres to the ruling party politics. How much does China need the West and how dies the West need China.

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  • Nicholas P.
  • 05-04-19

Neo liberal globalist narrative

Interesting but marred by neo liberal globalist thinking and outlook - very conventional in this respect

5 people found this helpful

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  • Laurent Souer
  • 10-31-21

Anti China nonsense

At first I was listening and thinking this guy doesn’t know what he is talking about; than he put nail in coffin when started talking about robots replacing all jobs and humans being low wage workers world over; this guy has no understanding of basic economics.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ken
  • 10-25-21

Engaging and interesting

a very well written book which is definitely good to have on in the background when doing some administrative work and learn about the world. one of my favourite things to do

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  • Miketawe
  • 07-03-20

Good Book about the future of China

Recommended well researched and we'll written good narration on the audiobook. Exposes the red flags on China's rise to superpower.

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  • without recourse
  • 11-07-19

guess we'll see

it's informative, thought provoking and well written.

very accessible, doesn't spell doom but presents the challenges ahead

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-28-21

Very accomplished but dry, unti the last third

If you love economics, and metrics, this book is for you. The author demonstrates extensive accomplishment in both the depth and breadth of his accounting of China’s modern progress, from Mao to Xi.
It’s not until the last one third of the book, around Chptr 53 or what the narrator calls Chptr 8, that a broader view is taken of Technology Trade and Foreign Policy. At this point, we leave behind what seemed a continuous recitation of numbers and metrics and see China more in perspective of the historic path of influence it is embarking on. Frankly, I found the first and third “thirds” of the book informative and engaging. The middle third was tough as all the economic metrics were meticulously categorised. Perhaps that was my failing, as there is no question that this book presents a masterful evaluation of China’s development encompassing all aspects of plans, goals, structures, successes and failures.
If your goal is to fully understand how China has got to where it is, and the path it is aiming for, this book is a must.
The qualification is, that a bed time read it clearly is not.

1 person found this helpful