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China: The Fragile Superpower

What kind of superpower will China become, cooperative or aggressive? Susan Shirk, a former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for China, has spent years thinking about this critical question. In China: The Fragile Superpower, she opens up the black box of Chinese domestic politics and reveals a fragile communist regime struggling to survive in a society turned upside down by economic growth and open markets. Shirk argues that the West's greatest danger is not China's economic or military strength but its internal fragility. She makes the case that it is usually rising powers that provoke wars, and unless Western states understand the fears that motivate Chinese leaders, they are likely to misread and mishandle China - and find themselves in an avoidable international conflict.
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About the Author

Susan L. Shirk, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for U.S. relations with China, is Director of the University of California's Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, and she is a professor at UC-San Diego's Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. A leading authority on China, she has been visiting that country since 1971, meeting with top Chinese officials, and has written numerous books and articles on this subject, including pieces that have appeared in The Washington Post, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal.


In her extremely convincing book, [Shirk] shows that there is another 'emotional' side which, driven by unresolved internal tensions, could still push China into a military confrontation. Geoff Dyer, Financial Times An eye-opener of a book, drawing on insider sources... Well researched and readable. Tribune Now more than ever we need a realistic approach for dealing with China's rising power. Susan Shirk has an insider's grasp of China's politics and a firm understanding of what makes its leaders tick. China: Fragile Superpower is an important and necessary book. Brent Scowcroft, former U.S. National Security Advisor Shirk deals a dose of realism, outlining how China's incredible economic progress has produced great internal problems, which have led to enormous political sensitivity in its leaders. Baroness Denise Kingsmill, Management Today Susan Shirk has written the definitive book at the right time. For those seeking an objective look at the new China, your search is over. The bonus is that Fragile Superpower is as fascinating as it is informative. A great accomplishment. Madeleine K. Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State

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