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This past spring, the outbreak of SARS grabbed the attention of the world. The schizophrenic, paranoid way the Chinese government handled the outbreak perfectly illustrated the danger of a political system unaccountable to its citizens.In The New Chinese Empire, Ross Terrill assesses this government, and the central question it raises: Is the People's Republic of China, whose polity is a hybrid of Chinese tradition and Western Marxism, willing to become a modern nation-or does it insist on remaining an empire? Hanging in the balance are the prospect for freedom within China, the future of America's relations with China, and the security of China's neighbors.This enlightening book is a must-read for everyone doing business in China and all who have a stake in the future of the global world order.
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Ross Terrill is an associate in research at the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research at Harvard. He has written several books on China, including Mao: A Biography, which has been translated into seven languages, Madame Mao, and China in our Time. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.From Publishers Weekly:
Experienced China-watcher Terrill (Mao: A Biography) has viewed with a skeptical eye China's emergence as a major player in the international community. In this rather one-sided view of China's future, he implores the West not to pursue a policy of na‹ve engagement with the People's Republic, citing what he considers to be the dangerous state-centered legacy of the nation's dynastic past. Of principal concern to Terrill is China's continued territorial control over the culturally alien border regions of Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia. This imperial expansionism is driven in part by what Terrill identifies as an arrogant sense of entitlement in the minds of China's leaders, coupled with a military capability that he overstates to buttress his provocative conclusion: that China is a "misfit" in the international system and is what Terrill calls a "semiterrorist outfit." The author also argues that if malcontented minorities on China's periphery don't tear apart the Communist regime, then a faltering Chinese economy will. Communist repression limits what Terrill crudely describes as the "Chinese genius for business" and the people's "industriousness," and, he expects, will bring about a powerful backlash against the state. One symptom of the coming collapse identified by Terrill relates to a yawning gap in income among workers and the fact that 1% of Chinese owns 40% of the country's wealth. This is alarming, but hardly foreshadows the country's collapse when one considers the size of the economic gap in the U.S. Maps.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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