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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 Americas neo-cons and the religious right, but cannot name Chinese writers, thinkers, or journalists-what is the future they dream o for their country, or for the world? Because Chinas 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 Chinas 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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781586484842
ISBN-10: 1586484842
Format: Hardback
(210mm x 140mm x 18mm)
Pages: 176
Imprint: PublicAffairs,U.S.
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 2-Oct-2007
Country of Publication: United States

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » A brief view of China's emergence as a world player, politically as well as economically.In the dawning days of what is now called globalism, it was assumed that China would become like the West as it grew in wealth and power. That assumption was wrong, writes Leonard (Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century, 2005), executive director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, and those who hold to it today persist in error. Instead, China is charting its own course, even if some of its debates and even factions - the homegrown equivalents of the Neocons and the Greens, for instance - sound familiar to Westerners. One is the battle over what democracy means and whether it is right for China, with a sharp line drawn between the Old Right ("who like to talk about the withering of the state . . . [but who] have, in fact, been the biggest beneficiaries of one-party rule") and New Left ("a loose grouping of intellectuals that is increasingly capturing the public mood, and setting the tone for political debate"). Democracy is, Leonard writes, not unknown in China; experiments thrive in the countryside, and even Chongqing, one of China's foremost cities, has become a "living laboratory" for democratic and populist modes of governance. 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. Yet, for all this thinking and experimenting, the state shows no sign of withering away, and Chinese influence is felt in geopolitics far from the motherland - in Darfur, for instance - and closer to home, such as the repressive regime of Myanmar, backed by Beijing. The overarching lesson: that China will present to the world its own idea - "the Chinese model" - of what the new global order looks like, and the rest of the world will have to listen.Useful reading for students of contemporary politics and international affairs. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Mark Leonard

Mark Leonard is Executive Director of the Open Society Institute for Europe. He is formerly Director of Foreign Policy at the Centre for European Reform and the director of the Foreign Policy Centre. A regular commentator in the world's leading newspapers and journals, he lives in London

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