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Obama and China's Rise: An Insider's Account of America's Asia Strategy Hardcover – March 8, 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"This small gem of a book, written by a highly respected foreign policy practitioner, is filled to overflowing with insights into how policies are made and implemented. It should be required reading for all students of foreign affairs."―Stapleton Roy, Former U.S. ambassador to China, Indonesia, and Singapore

"Benefiting from his rich experience in Asian matters and particularly his service on President Obama's National Security Council, Ambassador Bader has produced a fascinating description of the complexity of daily decisionmaking required of the national security team, ranging from organizing agendas and follow-up for innumerable meetings by the president with heads of state to responding to crises such as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Anyone interested in foreign policy, particularly regarding Asia, will find this highly readable account fascinating."―Carla Hills, Hills and Company International Consultants, former U.S. Trade Representative

"An exemplary analysis of U.S. policy toward Asia during the early years of the Obama administration, Obama and China's Rise is also a seasoned policymaker's firsthand account of the way in which domestic political factors impinge on our relations with China, Japan, Korea, and other East Asian countries."―Michael Armacost, Chairman of the Asia Foundation, former U.S. ambassador to Japan

About the Author

Jeffrey A. Bader is a visiting scholar with the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution. He returned to Brookings after serving in the Obama administration as senior director for East Asian affairs on the National Security Council from January 2009 to April 2011. Before his appointment to the Obama administration, Bader was the first director of the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings, where he was also a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program. He brings profound expertise and over thirty years of experience in U.S. foreign policy and Asian security.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 171 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press; 1 edition (March 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815722427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815722427
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #901,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The main geostrategic challenge facing Asia--as well as the U.S. presence there--has been the extraordinary rise of China in the past decade. In Obama and China's Rise, Jeffrey Bader, a veteran diplomat of over 30 years, recounts his experiences working for Obama's presidential campaign and serving as the senior director for East Asian affairs on Obama's National Security Council from January 2009 to April 2011.

Bader starts off outlining the Obama administration's seven major goals in Asia: 1) rebalance U.S. global priorities with greater attention paid to Asia, 2) promote a stable relationship and closer cooperation with China on international issues, 3) work towards complete denuclearization in North Korea through bilateral or multilateral negotiations, 4) strengthen and participate in Asian regional institutions, 5) strengthen alliances and partnerships--especially with Japan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, and Australia, 6) maintain forward deployment of U.S. armed forces in the region, and 7) negotiate agreements to expand trade and exports to the region.

The Obama team was fully aware of the importance of maintaining a stable and functional relationship with China. From the 2008 campaign on, the administration was careful not to label China as the bogeyman of all America's ailments.

The book is organized around three phases of major U.S.-China interactions that occurred during Bader's tenure at the National Security Council. The first stage was to lay the groundwork for a stable and healthy bilateral relationship. On April 1, 2009, President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao announced the establishment of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), which would provide a platform for a dozen officials from each side to meet annually.
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By Hande Z on September 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Bader was the senior director for East Asian affairs in Obama's National Security Council. This book is an account of Obama's first three years handling of foreign affairs, principally in Asia. Obama became president when the geostrategic challenge for America was to find the best approach to countering China's rise. Bader first gave an account of the situations in the major Asian countries at the time - Japan, North Korea, Taiwan, and Tibet. The latter two have been the perennial issues that America and China could not resolve; not when China insists on its "one-China" policy, and its determined hold on Tibet. Early on in his presidency Obama realized that he had to restore relationships with Asian countries that the Bush presidency had neglected. The immediate high point in 2009 was meant to be Obama's visit to China in November but that was almost jeopardized by the Dalai Lama's planned visit to Washington in October. Cancelling that would have created fodder for critics who were watchful for signs of the American president kowtowing to the Chinese. In the end, the Dalai Lama was persuaded to withdraw his plans to meet Obama in October, and Obama made public statements about the importance of pushing for a culturally free Tibet.

North Korea presented sensitive problems with its nuclear weapons programme. Although it was economically and militarily weak, as well as politically isolated, it proved to be a factor that stood in the way of a warming of Sino-US relationship.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an educational piece by Jeffrey Bader that provides a brief recap of the diplomatic encounters between the US and China during President Barack Obama's first term. Bader's text provides a humble yet subjective account of the Obama Administration. The author is careful not to make assumptions about situations that he did not experience firsthand however, he portrays everything in a tone that seems to glorify the administration to a point beyond the ability to be criticized in any way. This book is filled with the outcome of events but does not give any insight as to the process by which the final decisions were made and why.
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