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The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  385 ratings  ·  53 reviews
In The Third Revolution, eminent China scholar Elizabeth C. Economy provides an incisive look at the transformative changes underway in China today. Chinese leader Xi Jinping has unleashed a powerful set of political and economic reforms: the centralization of power under Xi, himself, the expansion of the Communist Party's role in Chinese political, social, and economic li ...more
Kindle Edition, 359 pages
Published April 4th 2018 by Oxford University Press
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The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State by Elizabeth C. Economy is an interesting book about China in recent years under Xi Jinping - focusing on a few areas of China study, and ending in policy advise for the United States. The book focuses on Chinese internal politics, the Internet, innovation, the economy, the Environment, and foreign policy. China's internal politics are certainly different from those in the West, and Economy criticizes China heavily for its human rights r ...more
Eren Buğlalılar
May 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: siyaset-bilimi
Useful to learn how the US establishment sees contemporary China and its claims. The "book" (or rather, the US Secretary of State policy paper proposal) has this familiar American diplomatic style and makes it very obvious that it was carefully crafted to form an anti-China and pro-West opinion in the reader's mind. Its underlying capitalist and imperialistic assumptions such as the countries' need to adopt inegalitarian policies if they want to promote "motivation, productivity and creativity o ...more
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Over the past two decades, we have had a number of books on the meteoric rise of China, its economic miracle and what it portends for the world. There are books on the US as a declining power and China as the new emerging power to displace it. There are others on China’s technological leap, its focus on innovation and invention and how China plans to be the pre-eminent leader in the key areas of artificial intelligence, quantum computing, super computers, self-driving cars etc.. Yet other ones t ...more
Horace Derwent
May 24, 2020 marked it as to-read

Sherry Zhuge
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics

Born and raised in China, I came to the U.S. in 2015 as a study abroad student and have been living in U.S. for almost 5 years now. In the past few years, I've seen more and more unfriendly comments and opinions in Newspapers and on TV regarding China's development and behaviors home and abroad. Luckily, I didn't experience any discrimination personally. But it strikes me that a lot of conclusions and viewpoints were based on misunderstandings of the people and the Chinese society. So this book
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Her writing is dry, but if you want to know everything you need to know about China under Xi, this is your source.

Economy's Third Revolution is an excellent attempt to try to describe Xi Jinping's China. The book covers a wide range of the changes the country has experienced since 2012, focusing on the political and economic systems of the country while also touching on related topics, like the military, the internet and foreign affairs. Economy is a clear writer though her prose was sometimes
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Overall, a well written and comprehensive overview of Xi Jinping’s tenure so far and the road ahead, but unlikely to contain any earth shattering revelations for those who have been watching Xi since his ascendancy in late 2012.
A notable strength of the book is the comprehensive approach, covering areas as diverse as the environment to China’s exercise of sharp power, with a variety of cases to illustrate the overall points. A notable defect is a lack of concentration on economic reform, which
Andrew Carr
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At a recent lunch with a senior policymaker, I remarked that I didn't see how anyone could be 'surprised' by the rise of China. It is extraordinarily big and has been 'rising' for 40 years by this point. The official pushed back - what was happening under Xi was very different, and this was the challenge they were grappling with.

In 'The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State' Elizabeth Economy offers an impressive view of China from 10'000 feet which helps to explain the officia
Shinabhat Maneerin
While Jonathan's 'China's Vision of Victory' greatly raises awareness of China's intention and rise toward global domination, providing detailed explanations of China's motives and potentials and emphasises that the international community, particularly the United States, should act to preserve the international rule-based order, Elizabeth's 'The Third Revolution' not only points out the challenges of China's grand strategy and possibilities for the international community, especially the United ...more
This is a book with a large reputation. Is it wholly deserved? I think perhaps not. It is a subjective appraisal of the policies of China under Xi Jinping and represents the American case against China. As an example of American thinking on China, it stands out. To an uncertain European observer, it is not a shining example of why the US might prevail over the course of this century. The reader is left asking two questions. What is the 'Third Revolution'? And what is the case against China?

The m
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The author, Elizabeth Economy, provides an in-depth look at the bio of Chinese President Xi Jingping along with his change in the direction of the country to a more centrally-controlled economy and society—what she calls the Third Revolution.

The First Revolution was by Chinese President Mao Zedong with his central planning and poor economic performance and societal ills. The Second Revolution was started by President Deng Xiaoping in 1978 with his more market-oriented economic approach that con
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it
The era of Xi Jinping, which began at the end of 2012, has been identified by the leader’s Chinese dream as it was in the past. Unlike his immediate predecessors, the new Chinese leader has pursued more comprehensive and oppressive strategy to achieve this ultimate objective. Senior China policy expert Elizabeth Economy calls this transformation as China’s “third revolution” and attempts to outline the general framework of Xi’s vision—and its contradictions in the political, economic, and social ...more
Rob Hocking
Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the second book that I've read about Xi Jinping, the first being "CEO China: The Rise of Xi Jinping". I found this to be far more readable than the first one, and far more clear in its thesis.

The title of the book is a reference to China's period of reform and opening up under Deng Xiaoping after the death of Mao - a period sometimes referred to as "China's Second Revolution". Deng Xiaoping famously said, “Hide your strength, bide your time" and took a non-aggressive approach to foreign
Kelly Wright
Aug 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Standard exposition, nothing new

One of hundreds of books that explain the current US-China state of affairs. No insight into what motivates Xi, no examination of the ‘core socialist values’ that he follows, or any revelations other than the standard narratives found daily in the media. Disappointing for that reason, the book is nevertheless well-researched for its content and overall well-written.
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: china, economics, politics
Economy's thesis is that China is currently undergoing a "Third Revolution" under the Chinese Communist Part (which lends its names to the title of the book), the other 2 are the periods under Mao; and the "Reform and Opening Up" under Deng.

The book gives a decent summary of the various policies that have been initiated under the "Third Revolution" and she has talked to a wide array of sources. It was good to see Economy provide Chinese characters for Chinese sources and terms - something that o
Jesse Morrow
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 2013 Xi Jinping became the first leader of China that was not hand picked by Deng Xiaoping since Mao Zedong died in 1976. The previous two, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao had made themselves caretakers of Deng's "second revolution" that was a return to collective leadership and a liberalization of the Chinese economy through the "socialist market."

In 2018, the CCP removed the term limits on the Presidency. Xi Jinping Thought is enshrined in the Constitution. Xi stated "China has stood up, grown r
Mikko Arevuo
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: china
An excellent book by Elizabeth Economy, Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies at the Council of Foreign Relations. Her book provides an up to date analysis of Xi Jinping’s transformative changes taking place in China: centralisation of power, expansion of CPC’s role in all aspects of society, and Xi’s political, economic, and foreign policy priorities.
Reading the book from a lens of an economist, I found her explanation of the role of the state owned enterprises (SOEs) excellent. Her lucid
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Economy's book is a great source that provides information, insight, and analysis of a People's Republic of China that is currently going through another definitive period of development - the Third Revolution - under the "core leader" Xi Jinping. The only criticism I can field towards the book is that at times it detaches itself too much from Xi's position in the entirety of what it discusses, which is puzzling given that the title and the subtitle points the reader in the direction that one sh ...more
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Useful and practical summary of basic facts from the US point of view with quiet vigorous fact finding or everything. However, the focus of the book quickly shifts away from Xi and sometimes just scratches the surface.
Still worth a read if you are interested in China and able to discern the US-centric point of view.

Major takeaways:

a) central planning and subsidies lead to major ineffectivnes
b) you do not want Chinese model of internet anywhere on this planet
c) BRI has it´s important weaknesses
Scott Holstad
For a person of the author's status, granted a bit too easily for reasons I've never ascertained, this strikes me as both late to the party and disappointing in its scholarship and analysis. Certainly, her thesis could play out entirely as described, but there are far too many unknown variables for me to feel she should relish in her confidence so readily. Overrated author, overrated book, granted title of Expert Supreme a little too cavalierly, in my opinion. I think there are many other contem ...more
Melissa Johns
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: china
I really enjoyed this! This book goes into the weeds of major issues China faces domestically as a rising power on the international stage as well as the challenges the international community faces as China reshapes norms to obtain advantage. I appreciated the insights and details. If you're watching China, I really recommend this!
*Note: The ONLY critique I have is with the Audible narration - I found myself cringing at mispronounced Chinese names and phrases. I love that the author included th
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An eloquent defense of a measured approach to the complexities of a changing China at a time where a cacophony of pundits are calling for extreme measures. The exquisitely named Economy gives a good snapshot of how Xi Jinping is changing the Chinese economy and society, for good and for bad. Her assessment is accessible for the novice, but focuses on some trends that long-time China watchers will appreciate. Strong recommend.
Robert Gebhardt
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, econ, china
I'm very glad this book was written. For the important person he is in this world, I'm amazed at how little there is written about Xi out there, and I'm often amazed at how little news agencies seem to know about China and Xi in general. I don't think there's anything earth shattering here, but it should probably be a go-to for anyone who needs a solid foundation for understanding more or less what's happening.

Daniel Lambert
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very strong book with impeccable facts and statistics. It’s a bottom to top look at China under Xi and what the US and world should clue into and expect when dealing with China. Also Economy offers a lot of good recommendations in the end that ride the perfect line between Hawkishness and Passivity on how to deal with Xi’s China. My only complaint is the level of detail into people and places can be confusing without some deep baseline knowledge into Chinese geography and politics.
B. Cheng
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: china, library-audio, asia
This is an excellent survey of the goals & challenges Xi Jinping has for China as he leads the country. It isn't new enough to address his change to president for life and how important & drastic that move was. It also doesn't tell you who Xi is, but if you're looking for an overview of where China is at today, this is a good read. ...more
Aug 08, 2019 rated it liked it
China is not becoming more open, but more closed. China is no longer willing to accept a non-global role. President Xi Jinping is the strongest leader since Mao.

This book was an eye-opening view of what drives modern China and what we can expect going forward. One can only hope that we are prepared for the tedious challenges that the inevitable Chinese ascent will entail.
Jon Lapinski
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a pretty critical look at Xi and China in general. A little dry, but so is the subject matter so I wasn't expecting a page turner. It seems well researched and author is not afraid to actually make suggestions for US policy. It is a timely read with the current 'trade war' and Trump somewhat reversing Obama's pivot to Asia.
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very interesting look at the current political and economic environment in China. The writing is a bit dry and technical (and definitely somewhat biased towards the US perspective - not surprising since it is associated with the Council on Foreign Relations). However, I definitely broadened my understanding of the current Chinese government, and what makes Xi different from his predecessors.
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is great for understanding Chinese national interest from the perspective of the West and the United States. It provides a great foundational understanding for people involved in global investment, international governance and policy, and anyone interested in individual liberties and human rights.
Chad Gagnon
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up; wide breadth, low depth. If you are familiar with current Sino-American relations, you probably already know a good chunk of this book. Great as an all encompassing foundation, however.
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