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READING LIST

MARCH 2016 ISSUE


Rise and Rise of the PLA
 
THE CHINA DREAM: GREAT POWER THINKING & STRATEGIC POSTURE IN THE POST-AMERICAN ERA First published in Mandarin in 2010, the book, ‘The China Dream’ by Colonel Liu Mingfu, a professor at China’s National Defense University, did not do well. However, when Chinese fifth generation leadership assumed office in November 2012, and President Xi Jinping spoke about the China Dream and the need for military reforms, the forgotten book attained instant glory. Within China, it ran into multiple reprints, and to cater to the need of the western readership, the English translation of the book by a small New York publisher in 2015 flew off the shelves.

What is the book about? This book argues the importance of hard or military power in the ultimate duel for supremacy between China and the United States for world leadership. Since the US is the military superpower, it would fight its definitive campaigns on its own turf before bowing out. This argument does not have many takers in China whose foreign policy is predicated on leveraging its economic prowess and being selective about its growing military capabilities. When Xi spoke about military reforms, which are far-reaching, they are meant to support China’s increasing global economic footprints rather than military showdowns.

However, given the Chinese tendency for expansionism, perhaps, a military confrontation with the US may become unavoidable. It certainly will not happen in the foreseeable future, not until the second half of this century. To reach that juncture with assurance, China would both need military capabilities and an aggressive mind-set. This is where this book would be profitable — to understand the evolving Peoples’ Liberation Army.

THE CHINA DREAM: GREAT POWER THINKING & STRATEGIC POSTURE IN THE POST-AMERICAN ERA
CN Times Books, USD 24.95 (also available on www.amazon.in in INR), Pg 245


— Liu Mingfu
 
 


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