China indeed is a very complex and big country which has vast geographical spread over 10 neighboring countries with close territorial contacts on land and at sea, a multi-ethnic population of 1.3B and a long history; although People Republic of China (PRC) only has 64 years of history. She is facing a lot of challenges both domestically (justice, high gini coefficient, corruptions, pollution, food safety, etc, etc) and externally ( in the areas of political institutions and human rights, territorial disputes and trade imbalances, energy and raw material sourcing, etc, etc). The world is closely watching how the two world super-powers (US and China) with totally different cultural beliefs will continue to co-ordinate going forward.
This book comprehensively reflects the author, Susan Shirk's personal experience and her general perception of the China's leadership from the 'West' point of view. It is remarkable that Shirk had the actual experience in China back to the early 1970's when American national security advisor Henry Kissinger arrived to arrange for President Nixon’s visit. She pointed out that although China looks like an economic powerhouse from the outside but its internal domestic problems also pose the greatest challenge to China’s leader that could derail its peaceful rise.
This book is very informative and it is ideal for those who are seeking to know more about the new China.