Summary of The China Challenge

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The China Challenge book summary


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Princeton professor and former State Department official Thomas J. Christensen offers an insider’s analysis of what China’s rising power means for the United States, for the world at large and for China domestically. With the judgment of a diplomat and the rigor of an academic, Christensen provides a nuanced assessment of the challenges that China’s development and international ascent pose. He suggests strategies that the US can apply to influence China’s rise in the political, economic and national security arenas. getAbstract recommends this distinctive analysis to those in diplomacy, international development, investments, offshoring or any other endeavor in which China may be a factor.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why China’s ascent is unique among developing nations,
  • What challenges development poses for China, and
  • How the United States and other world powers can manage the risks that a more powerful China presents.

About the Author

Thomas J. Christensen was deputy assistant US secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific from 2006 through 2008. He is William P. Boswell Professor of World Politics and directs the China and the World Program at Princeton University. 



Making Progress

Meetings in Beijing in December 2006 brought together representatives of then US president George W. Bush and then Chinese president Hu Jintao, and launched the first Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) between the two powers. These meetings clarified the vectors influencing US-China relations and set the context for the US to take a continuing pragmatic approach. America encouraged China’s continued economic growth and offered to be of assistance.

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