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The Coming Conflict with China Hardcover – February 25, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (February 25, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679454632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679454632
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,057,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Richard Bernstein and Ross H. Munro have pooled their extensive experience observing China to produce a shocking account of what they believe will be the "the major global rivalry in the first decades of the twenty-first century, the rivalry that will force other countries to take sides." The authors describe an inevitable conflict between an aggressive and expansionist China that sees itself as the rightful arbiter of power in Asia and a naive and unprepared United States that has already entered three wars in the last half century to prevent any single country's domination of Asia. In previously unpublished reports of Chinese news sources, Bernstein and Munro thoroughly document how the Chinese press portrays the United States as the "Enemy" in no uncertain terms.

Like Alastair Iain Johnston's superb study of Chinese military culture, Cultural Realism, Bernstein and Munro do not stoop to unfair characterization of the Chinese culture or the Chinese people. The grounds for their thesis--that the United States and China are on a collision course over strategic national goals--are well documented in their book. Their argument is particularly strong in its consideration of how China can use its economic influence to curb other nations such as Japan and South Korea. Certain to be the most controversial book published on the subject of Sino-American relations for some time, The Coming Conflict with China makes for a thrilling, troubling read.

From Library Journal

The alarming sound of this book's title rings the second coming of the Cold War. Bernstein and Munro, both seasoned journalists, predict an inevitable conflict with China, which has become the world's second most powerful nation since the Soviet Union's collapse. With detailed documentation and analysis of Chinese foreign and domestic policies as well as the Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1996, the authors argue that China is no longer a strategic friend of the United States but a formidable enemy. China's intention to play a more active role in Asian affairs is presented here as a threat to U.S. political and economic interests. The book raises important concerns about the direction of China's rapid development and America's lack of a clear and consistent policy toward Sino-American relations. Recommended for academic libraries.?Mark Meng, St. John's Univ. Lib., New York
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Needless to say, there is absolutely no evidence that this premise is true.
wenkai@earthlink.net
The fact that they use virtually no primary-source material or Chinese-language material not already translated adds to this perception.
James Schoonmaker
All in all, an excellent book which is well worth the read for anyone interested in American Foreign Policy or international relations.
sgeo@mediaone.net

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tim F. Martin on September 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
_The Coming Conflict with China_ by Richard Bernstein and Ross H. Munro is a relatively brief (at 221 pages) but thorough assessment of the possible threat of and (to a lesser extent) the possible solutions to an emerging China in the early years of the 21st century. While not condemning China in any manner I would describe as hateful or racist and indeed acknowledging that there is a distinct possibility China may one day grow more democratic and develop close ties to the United States in the future, the authors contended that American policy makers need to be aware of the real threat to American vital interests posed by the Chinese, the disparity between stated Chinese goals and actual Chinese policy, and the ineffectiveness if not downright naivety of past American policy dating from the late 1980s, when China and the United States no longer had the Soviet Union as a common enemy and thus no longer had much in the way of common ground on strategic issues. Chinese policy has changed markedly since then thanks to events beginning in the late 1980s, notably with the brutal crackdown of the Tiananmen Square student occupation in 1989 (the Chinese saw this and other actions as a real threat to their Communist Party), the consequences of Mikhail Gorbachev's political reforms (which the Chinese interpreted as diluting the Soviet Communist Party's power and leading to their ousting), and the 1991 Gulf War (a display of very advanced military technology and planning that stunned the Chinese, showing to them how far behind the Americans they were and technology they would have to begin to master in order to achieve territorial goals in the South China Sea and any possible future military actions against Taiwan).Read more ›
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 28, 1998
Format: Paperback
As my profession is that of a US Navy officer, I have more than a passing interest in foreign affairs. I spotted this book at the store, and in light of recent world events (i.e. the sentencing of Chinese democracy dissidents to years at hard labor for the Orwellian charge of 'spreading counterrevolutionary information' and the recent sale of missile technology to the Chinese govt) I bought it. It is a definite 'must-read' for anyone with an interest in this area. The authors show how greedy US businessmen, ex-government officials, and Chinese apologists are selling out both the American soldier and American consumer in the name of the quick buck. The authors use the Chinese government's own words to show the enmity held towards the United States, not by the Chinese citizen, but by the Communist ruling elite, intent on ruthlessly crushing any opposition. It is amazing to me that people will refuse to believe that China's leaders will not hesitate to crush a weakened neighbor when daily we see evidence of their complete disregard for the basic rights of their own citizens.
If the authors are as right as they appear to be, the scenes seem eerily reminiscent of Europe in the 1930's. The question is, are we going to continue to 'appease' China much like Chamberlain tried to 'appease' Hitler? Or, are we going to find the Churchillian courage to remain firm in the face of evil? This book makes for an excellent, thought-provoking read. I wish that I could make it required reading for every Western military officer and national legislator.
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39 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The authors claim that China is an aggressive country seeking hegemony and is going to dominate Asia. Their argument is based on the two biases: 1. ``what is good for America is good for the World", needless to say, it is as absurd as ``what is good for General Motor is good for America". 2. Stealthy change of concept.
The authors make the conclusion that China's promise that ``we will never seek hegemony" is suspicious by the following three ``good" reasons (page 53), ``One is that China is now beginning the passage into a new phase of its history what might be called an era of restored national greatness. Two, China is so big and so naturally powerful that it will tend to dominate its region even if it does not intend to do so as a matter of national policy. Three, and most important, China has pursued initiatives and framed strategic goals that belie its claims of modest Third World status."
The first two reasons have nothing to do with hegemony unless you substitute ``hegemony" by ``developing and modernization", but has China claimed that ``we will never seek developing and modernization"?
Examine the authors' argument we will see that almost all actions taken by China which are set to substantiate the last and the ``mostimportant" reason, turn out to be only normal actions of a ``normal" nation which ``has the sovereign right to determine its security needs and to build the armed forces required to meet those needs." The quoted words and sentences are the authors', see page 171, where the authors accuse that China denies Japan those rights. But the whole book is based on denying China such rights.
What is the authors' logic?
Read more ›
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