Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Asia and Pacific: China's Quest: The History of the Foreign Relations of the People's Republic of China

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Asia and Pacific: China's Quest: The History of the Foreign Relations of the People's Republic of China

Article excerpt

Recent Books: Asia and Pacific: China's Quest: The History of the Foreign Relations of the People's Republic of China BY JOHN W. GARVER. Oxford University Press, 2016, 888 pp.

China's Quest lives up to the definitive comprehensiveness suggested by its subtitle. This superb, lengthy volume knits together thick descriptions of events in China from 1949 until today into a clear, compelling narrative. In Garver's telling, all of China's modern leaders-from Mao Zedong, who was guided by his leftist vision, to Deng Xiaoping, who prioritized marketresponsive economic modernization, to Xi Jinping, the current president, who has played great-power politics and built a strongman persona-have steadfastly pursued what they believed to be China's interests. Each leader saw his country as facing a deep domestic crisis of legitimacy, and their respective foreign policies were primarily attempts to shore up that weakness. …

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