An invigorating book about the debates raging within China. We all know about the fast pace of change in this country. This book brings us the ideas being fought over in the country itself – from democracy to the idea of a ‘peaceful rise’. It challenges all of our assumptions about China.
We know everything and nothing about China. We know that China is changing so fast that the maps in Shanghai need to be rewritten every two weeks. We know that China has brought 300 million people from agricultural backwardness into modernity in just 30 years (something that took 200 years in Europe). China’s voracious appetite for resources is gobbling up 40% of the world’s cement., 40% of its coal, 30% of its steel, and 12% of its energy. It has become so integrated into the global economy that its prospects have immediate effects on our everyday lives: simultaneously doubling the cost of the London Olympics while halving the cost of our computers; keeping the US economy afloat but sinking the Italian footwear industry. We have an image of China as a dictatorship; a nationalist empire that threatens its neighbours 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 America’s Neo-Cons and the religious right, but cannot name Chinese writers, thinkers or journalists – what is the future they dream of for their country, or the world it is shaping? Because China’s 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 that are shaping China’s 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.
Reviews of What Does China Think?
- Praise for Mark Leonard:
- ‘One of the most important influences of British Foreign Policy.’ The BBC
- ‘The moderniser’s moderniser.’ The Times
- Praise for ‘Why Europe Will Run The 21st Century’:
- ‘Mark Leonard has done that rare thing; he has reshaped how we look at the world.’ Will Hutton, author of ‘The State We’re In’
- ‘Fluid and original, this is an important and enjoyable book for anyone who cares about the future of Europe.’ Robert Kagan
- ‘Not many books about the European Union are fun to read. This one is; and it tells the story of the EU better than any other I know.’ Robert Cooper, Sunday Times
- ‘Refreshing, lucid and exhilarating.’ Times Literary Supplement
- ‘This is a wonderful, fascinating, provocative book. Go out and buy it today.’ Philip Bobbit
- ‘Whether you agree with it or not, you cannot ignore this book.’ Joseph S. Nye, author of ‘Soft Power’