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A Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia
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A Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  99 ratings  ·  12 reviews
There may be no denying China's growing economic strength, but its impact on the global balance of power remains hotly contested. Political scientist Aaron L. Friedberg argues that our nation's leaders are failing to act expeditiously enough to counter China's growing strength. He explains how the United States and China define their goals and reveals the strategies each i ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published August 15th 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company
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Very hawkish book on China policy. Correctly emphasizes 1) the lack of transparency from the Chinese government, 2) their ambitions in terms of military security and broader global influence.

However de-emphasizes the role of their economic strength, in contrast to Kissinger's On China, and the economic grand strategy of Paul Kennedy. Also over-emphasizes the government's control of internal affairs, ignoring their relative number of protests.

Although I recognize, and sometimes agree with, the au
Solid analysis of China-US relations and geostrategic policies, very well articulated. I have two main reservations:

1) too much of the author's hawkish opinion, that seems to me misplaced, simplistic, and sometimes just wrong (see end of review as to why).
2) longwinded in several places, with many repetitions.

Aaron Friedberg criticizes the current US government's policy of "enhanced engagement" with Beijing. However, he is never convincing when bringing the reasons for his hawkish stance. A lar
May 10, 2012 Mitchell rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: IR students
A well-reasoned but limited and dyadic approach - as the title suggests. The domestic concerns that constrain, restrain and continue to shape China for the future are not fully covered. Implications of the population size and the effects of the one-child policy, the environmental damage that has only further advanced since Mao's Great Leap Forward, nor the law of diminishing returns' effect on China's export economy were engaged in depth. Rather, American policy balancing between engagement and ...more
Andrew Latham
So far, so good. Basic offensive realist take on Sino-American relations, with a healthy emphasis on the importance of prudent statecraft thrown in for good measure.
Despite the common assertion that the level of economic codependency between the United States and China will inevitably exert a civilizing influence that will make real geopolitical conflict neither possible nor desirable, Dr. Friedberg argues that there is indeed a long-term strategic contest for hegemonic influence over East Asia, and this great power rivalry is likely to become more heated as China's influence grows. Sino-American tensions are not merely the result of misunderstandings or mi ...more
Friedberg's book is in many ways as much a strategic and geopolitical analysis of Sino-American relations as it is an ideological expose on the differing values between the two nations.
The central thesis of the book is treat China as an enemy and it will become an enemy, but Friedberg is not complacent, and argues for a balanced approach on matters such as Taiwan and The South China Sea.
Friedberg assesses the various approaches of US Administrations toward China, which is commonly termed "congag
This was a fantastic novel which brilliantly captures the complex and evolving relationship between China and the United States. Even for those who may consider themselves well versed in Sino-American relations I would encourage them to read this book to see things from a new perspective. The author does an excellent job of explaining the political relationship between China and the United States both historically, present, and possible futures both from China and the United States perspective.
Chaz P
AMAZING book - comprehensive review of Chinese and American strategic trajectory with exhaustive outcome scenarios. A must-read for any student, teacher, or practitioner of strategic studies or contemporary foreign affairs. Best if read after Kissinger's 'On China' (whose presentation of the history of US-China relations is unequaled) for background.

This is the book I wish I'd written on the subject.
Matthew Trevithick
This is an ok book, not great. There is no real novel information in here, and it concludes weakly. The news has been covering these themes for awhile, and also, like the author, doesn't land definitively (sadly) on whether China is good or bad - it's all in the middle, and can be read either way. But more likely than not, no big deal.
Historical overview of China's foreign policy since WW II. Next to that, the author shares his sometimes rather hawkish vision on how USA should react towards China's growing power. The reader gets a nice insight in the allies of both parties in SE Asia and their military means.
Chris Appel
Refreshing take on the "China issue" in American foreign policy. More pessimistic than your average Hegelian capitalist.
Really interesting account of the most crucial struggle that will decide our future.
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