Summary of China Goes Global

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David Shambaugh’s marvelous exploration – one of The Economist best books of 2013 – sets the context for China’s foreign and domestic policies and provides an informed perspective on China’s tortured history. With China’s increasing prominence, policy makers and scholars need this kind of deeper understanding. Shambaugh, who is the director of the China Policy Program at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, believes that conventional wisdom about China’s emergence as a global power may exaggerate its standing. China could be doomed to be a “partial power” because it focuses so narrowly on its own interests. China’s global impact militarily, commercially and culturally has been quite limited. For more surprises, getAbstract recommends this book to anyone seeking insight into China’s policies, including decision makers, executives, investors, diplomats and students.

About the Author

Political science and international affairs professor David Shambaugh directs the China Policy Program in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.



Bird’s Eye View of China

Due to China’s increasing prominence in global affairs, policy makers and scholars need a trustworthy overview of China and its global impact. “As Napoleon prophetically predicted, China’s awakening is now shaking the world.” Conventional wisdom acknowledges China as the second-most powerful nation after the US and views its emergence as a global power as the most important international affairs event in recent decades. But is China really a superpower? This popular perception is an exaggeration; China is not as influential as analysts believe.


China always claimed to be a superior civilization. Other nations and territories had to adapt to it – and never vice versa. However, placing themselves on a pedestal in this way isolated the Chinese. Imperial China had many separate “ritual” departments to manage its relationships with the outside world. China’s refusal to pander to foreign powers reached a breaking point. Foreigners used brute force to enter China, subjugating it to 150 years of humiliation and exploitation – Mao Zedong called it “semicolonialism” – ending in 1945.

In December 1978, China’s Communist Party (CCP...

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