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China Rising

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China Rising invites people to gauge the Rise of China and its effects particularly on the East Asian countries with a new lens. David Kang argues that China’s rise cannot be compared with western nations from the past and it certainly cannot be concluded that its rise would provoke instability in the region. Kang introduces that “identities are central to explaining source of stability and potential instability in East Asia.”
The author insists to look at China’s rise from the East Asian context by giving historical references and concluding that China was a dominating power responsible for peace in the region then; and is now as well. He asserts again and again that East Asian states do not fear china’s growth and do not work to balance its rise contrary to standard IR theories based on western experiences. This is mainly because of two bold reasons. For the first argument, David references to the hierarchical system prevalent in East Asia from 1300-1900 where the neighboring states looked over to China as a stable centroid. The second reason is that all the nations today are self-occupied in achieving economic growth and in their internal power issues.
The author works around the concept of identity which he shows is common in East Asian region and influences the stance of a particular country towards China. He defines identity vaguely as “set of unifying ideas that focus primarily on how a nation perceives the world around it…” This concept of identity as main factor in determining the regional relationship is explained over three main areas. Firstly at the territorial level, China enjoys its identity as the center of all diplomatic relations and therefore a powerful and strong China is deemed good for the region. Second, Chi...

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...ny history accounts, China became the center of its civilization from 200 BC onwards and considered itself as a mighty power. It is mentioned that Chinese forces did not progress further off the current boundary of China due to limited economic, administrative capacity which incurred greater burden on the empire. Zheng He’s naval fleet to Africa was later disbanded due to economic constraints rather than non-expansionary plans of the empire.
China Rising is a very effective book focused primarily on the power politics in East Asian region and suggests an improved way to study the effects of rising china. David keeps his readers interested throughout by simple use of language and occasional puns. The book also responds to many people who are apprehensive of China’s rising power and promotes that China’s identity and nature is such that it advocates a peaceful rise.
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