China'sThe Future Direction of China


By Andrew J. Nathan & Andrew Scobell
Columbia University Press, $32.95, 406 pages

China is a rising power in Asia. It is starting to throw its weight around in the international arena, trying to use what power it has and also attempting to build up power among other nations of the world. But what direction does China want to go? Where do the leaders of China see their country going? In this book, Andrew Nathan and Andrew Scobell examine the history of Chinese security and foreign policy from Mao through today. They look at the role that the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution and more have played in shaping Chinese foreign policy. Both agree that China is a growing power, but that it can barely focus power outside of its immediate area. They suggest China needs to first solve problems along its borders before projecting power like the United States. While Chinese foreign policy might seem opaque, it has a purpose and it is important to understand what that purpose is.

Both authors have done a good job of exploring the secretive world of Chinese politics, especially in foreign policy. They do an excellent job writing about the ins and outs and the many twists and turns that have happened. This is a good book for people who want to know more about this growing power in the East.

Reviewed by Kevin Winter

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