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In The Third Revolution, eminent China scholar Elizabeth C. Economy provides an incisive look at the transformative changes underway in China today. Chinese leader Xi Jinping has unleashed a powerful set of political and economic reforms: the centralization of power under Xi, himself, the expansion of the Communist Party's role in Chinese political, social, and economic li In The Third Revolution, eminent China scholar Elizabeth C. Economy provides an incisive look at the transformative changes underway in China today. Chinese leader Xi Jinping has unleashed a powerful set of political and economic reforms: the centralization of power under Xi, himself, the expansion of the Communist Party's role in Chinese political, social, and economic life, and the construction of a virtual wall of regulations to control more closely the exchange of ideas and capital between China and the outside world. Beyond its borders, Beijing has recast itself as a great power, seeking to reclaim its past glory and to create a system of international norms that better serves its more ambitious geostrategic objectives. In so doing, the Chinese leadership is reversing the trends toward greater political and economic opening, as well as the low-profile foreign policy, that had been put in motion by Deng Xiaoping's "Second Revolution" thirty years earlier. Through a wide-ranging exploration of Xi Jinping's top political, economic and foreign policy priorities-fighting corruption, managing the Internet, reforming the state-owned enterprise sector, improving the country's innovation capacity, enhancing air quality, and elevating China's presence on the global stage-Economy identifies the tensions, shortcomings, and successes of Xi's reform efforts over the course of his first five years in office. She also assesses their implications for the rest of the world, and provides recommendations for how the United States and others should navigate their relationship with this vast nation in the coming years.


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In The Third Revolution, eminent China scholar Elizabeth C. Economy provides an incisive look at the transformative changes underway in China today. Chinese leader Xi Jinping has unleashed a powerful set of political and economic reforms: the centralization of power under Xi, himself, the expansion of the Communist Party's role in Chinese political, social, and economic li In The Third Revolution, eminent China scholar Elizabeth C. Economy provides an incisive look at the transformative changes underway in China today. Chinese leader Xi Jinping has unleashed a powerful set of political and economic reforms: the centralization of power under Xi, himself, the expansion of the Communist Party's role in Chinese political, social, and economic life, and the construction of a virtual wall of regulations to control more closely the exchange of ideas and capital between China and the outside world. Beyond its borders, Beijing has recast itself as a great power, seeking to reclaim its past glory and to create a system of international norms that better serves its more ambitious geostrategic objectives. In so doing, the Chinese leadership is reversing the trends toward greater political and economic opening, as well as the low-profile foreign policy, that had been put in motion by Deng Xiaoping's "Second Revolution" thirty years earlier. Through a wide-ranging exploration of Xi Jinping's top political, economic and foreign policy priorities-fighting corruption, managing the Internet, reforming the state-owned enterprise sector, improving the country's innovation capacity, enhancing air quality, and elevating China's presence on the global stage-Economy identifies the tensions, shortcomings, and successes of Xi's reform efforts over the course of his first five years in office. She also assesses their implications for the rest of the world, and provides recommendations for how the United States and others should navigate their relationship with this vast nation in the coming years.

30 review for The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State by Elizabeth C. Economy is an interesting book about China in recent years under Xi Jinping - focusing on a few areas of China study, and ending in policy advise for the United States. The book focuses on Chinese internal politics, the Internet, innovation, the economy, the Environment, and foreign policy. China's internal politics are certainly different from those in the West, and Economy criticizes China heavily for its human rights r The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State by Elizabeth C. Economy is an interesting book about China in recent years under Xi Jinping - focusing on a few areas of China study, and ending in policy advise for the United States. The book focuses on Chinese internal politics, the Internet, innovation, the economy, the Environment, and foreign policy. China's internal politics are certainly different from those in the West, and Economy criticizes China heavily for its human rights record, looking at the detention of dissidents, and Party control over the media. Economy also looks at the expanding field of governance in this section. China is critical and wary of foreign NGO's and their political agenda (not wholly unfounded), and has taken steps to curb foreign influence in internal politics. China has also instituted a wide range of reforms targeting corruption, tax evasion, and the attitudes of party bureaucrats and officials. Some reforms Economy sees as positive; the rule of law is expanding, a court system has been set up in recent years that is not fully subordinate to the party, but to the Chinese constitution. Chinese efforts to reduce corruption have targeted both "Big Fish and Small Minnows" in its quest to end corruption in the party - a huge source of social discontent. Economy is largely skeptical of gains in the positive changes in recent years, criticizing corruption efforts as political crackdown, and bemoaning CCP oversight over multinational companies trying to operate in China. On the Internet front, this section covers China's construction of its Great Firewall - a term used to describe China's increasingly sophisticated control over its internet realm. Activism in China often comes in the form of popular bloggers, videos, and chat rooms where people collectively complain, shame, and post scathing photos of wrongdoings. China sometimes utilizes these areas to crack down on real issues, but oftentimes will instead close down discussion. China is closely partnered with Internet companies in the country, as requirements to operate specify CCP oversight of internet policies. Therefore, China can easily monitor discussion, shut down dissent, and arrest those responsible for speaking out of turn. As with many initiatives in China, massive improvements have been made to internet speed, cost and technological prowess, but freedom of speech is closely controlled by the Party. The innovation section charts the meteoric rise of business in China. One of China's main goals of this decade is to increase the ease of doing business in China, and to encourage the growth of high tech industries and services. This has been largely successful in many ways. Chinese phones, infrastructure development and consumer goods were once known for their poor quality, but are increasingly catching up, and in some cases overtaking, Western and Japanese competitors. China's focus on innovation has seen the easing of bureaucratic restrictions on small businesses, government support for numerous initiatives, and a focus on increasing the quantity and quality of independent think tanks and Universities. Economy notes, however, that while China is succeeding in its innovation drive, their is little invention at hand. China is not usually the source of new inventions, and this is due to the restrictive government policies in place on education. Universities need to teach certain courses, textbooks are censored for content critical of state initiatives, and businesses and think tanks are closely monitored and controlled by oversight bodies. All of this discourages individual and critical thinking, and discourages new ideas and concepts. In the economy, Economy notes the massive rise in income levels in China, as well as the huge decrease in numbers of those living under the poverty line. China is prioritizing a shift away from primary and secondary industries, moving into high tech production and services, as well as trying to build a strong consumer market. China's ambition is to see its currency, the Renminbi, become a choice currency for global reserves. This requires China to liberalize its trading policies, and continue to promote ease of business, tax reform, and financial stability and oversight. These are all initiatives that are in the works, but with that particular Chinese policy flair of state oversight, cautious exploration of reform, and top down control. Even so, China has been largely successful in moving forward on its economic objectives, boosting domestic income, increasing its standing in global economic metrics, and improving the quality of lives, businesses and consumption. However, numerous negative externalizes are present. Corruption, of course, is one of them. The environment, however, is the big one. The Environment in China is in dire straits in many ways. Particulate matter in the atmosphere is extreme, rivers are polluted to the point of being untouchable, and smog and pollution are common in all major Chinese cities. This is because China continues to be heavily reliant on coal as a source of energy, due to its lack of oil reserves. Shale exists, but usually in arid areas, meaning water has to be brought in from afar - and of course this sector is not clean itself. China is beginning to embrace environmental technology and policy to counter these issue - considered by domestic Chinese citizens to be one of the biggest issues they face. This public unrest over environmental concerns means the party is taking it seriously. Policies have been put in place to increase the accuracy and stringency of EIA (environmental impact assessments). Inspectors are being hired in droves to ensure compliance from Chinese manufacturers. And of course, massive amounts of money are being poured on to update Chinese power infrastructure away from coal, and toward natural gas and renewables. Although China remains polluted, particulate levels in the atmosphere have dropped by a significant percentage. Hurdles do remain, however. Corruption, ignoring policy, and cheating all remain huge issues for the CCP to tackle in terms of environmental compliance. In foreign policy, Economy discusses China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the conflicting viewpoints on China's ambitions. Some say China seeks to upend the global order to shape the world in its own image, and some say China just seeks regional stability and the ability to develop both its own state, and those of its regional neighbours. Both sides probably have a point. China is increasingly assertive. It has built a naval base in Djibouti, and rumors abound of potential bases in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Cambodia. The BRI seeks to expand China's market reach into Central Asia, ensure market accessibility in its neighbours, and protect its supply lines from potential blockades. The BRI is often seen as a signal for shifting geopolitical control - moving from the US, to a multipolar world. This is further compounded by China's creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and China's growing influence in global institutions like the World Bank, IMF, and Asian Development Bank (ADB). China is increasingly assertive in its own backyard as well - its movements in the South China Sea to militarize its claims and deny access to competitors and threats, is a massive step away from China's old Peaceful Rise motto. This has rightly put both neighbours and competitors on edge, and blunted China's ability to engage in soft power politics. China seemingly seeks to export its political model elsewhere - for example, thousands of African government workers are trained in Chinese schools every year. China has also opened Confucius Institutes across the globe, seeking to expand cultural connections and improve its image. Economy argues China needs to improve its image by cleaning up its domestic political situation - becoming more open, allowing freedom of expression, and building positive relations with its neighbours. Economy's book is interesting, if a bit blunted. Economy often offers information by stating that "..some people in China express that..." without attributions, or even sourcing. This makes it difficult to determine whether information is being withheld for the safety of the source, or if the source has been flubbed up a bit. Clearly Economy does not agree wholly with the Chinese development model, and cautions the US to check its rise by allying with Asian partners (India, Vietnam, Australia etc.), constraining Chinese assertiveness, encouraging liberal economic and social ideals, and so on. While these are good points, and often offered concisely, the lack of sourcing on facts detracts from the authority of the recommendations. Further, I believe the book is often bent on a negative track to fit into the bias. Oftentimes, successes are overlooked or downplayed (fighting corruption hurts businesses is a point in this book?). Even so, these two criticisms are slight. The policy perspective is excellent here, and Economy's voice is authoritative on the subject. This book was interesting, and a good read for China watchers and those looking for perspective on China's modern politics.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Eren Buğlalılar

    Useful to learn how the US establishment sees contemporary China and its claims. The "book" (or rather, the US Secretary of State policy paper proposal) has this familiar American diplomatic style and makes it very obvious that it was carefully crafted to form an anti-China and pro-West opinion in the reader's mind. Its underlying capitalist and imperialistic assumptions such as the countries' need to adopt inegalitarian policies if they want to promote "motivation, productivity and creativity o Useful to learn how the US establishment sees contemporary China and its claims. The "book" (or rather, the US Secretary of State policy paper proposal) has this familiar American diplomatic style and makes it very obvious that it was carefully crafted to form an anti-China and pro-West opinion in the reader's mind. Its underlying capitalist and imperialistic assumptions such as the countries' need to adopt inegalitarian policies if they want to promote "motivation, productivity and creativity of farmers, workers" (p. 102) and the US' right to intervene in North Korean nuclear program gave me nausea. This way of reasoning is the enemy of all the peoples of the globe.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Raghu

    Over the past two decades, we have had a number of books on the meteoric rise of China, its economic miracle and what it portends for the world. There are books on the US as a declining power and China as the new emerging power to displace it. There are others on China’s technological leap, its focus on innovation and invention and how China plans to be the pre-eminent leader in the key areas of artificial intelligence, quantum computing, super computers, self-driving cars etc.. Yet other ones t Over the past two decades, we have had a number of books on the meteoric rise of China, its economic miracle and what it portends for the world. There are books on the US as a declining power and China as the new emerging power to displace it. There are others on China’s technological leap, its focus on innovation and invention and how China plans to be the pre-eminent leader in the key areas of artificial intelligence, quantum computing, super computers, self-driving cars etc.. Yet other ones talk about how a lead in these technologies will make China the top military superpower, leading to a China-centered world. However, not everyone buys into this future. Scholars like Graham Allison speculate about whether China and the US could be drawn into war as a result of the challenge of an emerging power against a status-quo power. He terms this conundrum the ‘Thucydides trap’, in honor of the 5th century (BCE) Athenian General who formulated this question. Other scholars like Minxin Pei and David Shambaugh are also somewhat underwhelmed and show the many weaknesses of China and paint a different scenario. They feel that it is possible that China’s leaders may fight shy of making the many drastic and sustained changes necessary to realize this rosy future. Instead, the totalitarian system could opt for stability of the regime and its survival,` which could result in continued stagnation, leading to eventual regime collapse. Or alternatively, the regime may survive as an authoritarian military power, oppressing its people and projecting an aggressive posture outside. This book by Elizabeth Economy also belongs in the somewhat skeptical group of analysts on the question of China’s unimpeded rise. The author is not a cheerleader of those who proclaim that we are already living in a world that ‘belongs’ to China. Not that she discounts the stunning economic growth of China over the past three decades or the position of power that China holds in world affairs at present. The author raises questions as to whether the rise is sustainable and lasting, going forward. The reason for this is that China, in its headlong rush towards development and modernization in the past forty years, has not paid enough attention to their negative fall-outs on the social, environmental, cultural, and political aspects of society. The thesis of the book is that the current reign of Xi Jinping is the ‘Third Revolution’, following the ones by Mao Ze Dong and Deng Xiao Bing. Xi believes that China has ’arrived’ on the world stage now and that it is time that she reclaimed her purported historic pre-eminent position in the world, a sort of rejuvenetion of the Chinese nation and its people. This would be accomplished through a set of strategies externally and a set of policies internally. On the strategic side, China would offer the grandiose plan of the Belt and Road Initiave which would link Europe, Africa, the Middle-east and the near Asia through a land-based as well as a Maritime Silk road. This would enable Chinese goods, services, culture and influence to spread across Europe, Asia and Africa. It will also export Chinese labor and environmental practices through this investment. China would also actively seek to shape global norms and institutions and export its political values through a growing media presence and Confucian cultural institutes. Militarily, China would assertively pursue its foreign policy by reclaiming its ‘lost’ regions, as we have seen in its actions in the South China sea and the Senkakou isles in the Pacific. It goes without saying that annexation of Taiwan would have to be part of this vision. Internally, China would endeavour to become the leading nation in innovation, invention and in emerging technologies such as AI, Quantum computing, self-driving automobiles etc. Grand as this vision is, the way Xi is going about it raises serious misgivings on scholars like the author. Xi’s internal strategy is to centralize more authority in the state with special emphasis on his personal oversight as leader. There are more regulations and restrictions now on exchanging ideas and information with the West, on access to the internet within China, on the role of NGOs and other civil society organizations. The Communist party is again at the vanguard of all activity and there is renewed emphasis on the importance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The internet has been replaced with ChinaNet that prohibits access to the open internet. Repression is unleashed on political enemies of Xi through the use of the ‘anti-corruption’ campaign. At least a million Uighur Muslims have been herded into Gulags in Xinjiang in a re-education campaign, reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution. While China wants free access to the world markets, Xi continues to restrict access to its market by foreign companies. From all accounts, it looks as though Xi is rolling back the practice of ‘collective leadership’ that has taken root in the post-Mao era and replacing it with his personal undisputed leadership as in Maoist times. Scholars and even laymen, brought up in a market-economy in open-societies could easily see glaring contradictions in this approach. How can innovation in hi-tech flourish in an atmosphere of constraints, restrictions and lack of exchange of ideas between working scholars across the world? How can an economy blossom in a communist state under large, public-sector enterprises at the vanguard? Aren’t they well-known to be short on creativity, energy and dynamism and long on wastefulness, lethargy and stagnation? How can a society and state correct its excesses without the power of oversight from civil society? Finally, is it not a terrible blow to aspiring youth, artists and scientists if the state replaces the Internet with a China-specific intranet? Economy discusses all the above questions in great detail and provides policy suggestions for how the US must engage China in future. However, she does not advocate aggressive containment of China. Instead, she suggests a ‘detente’-like engagement. This is something that seems like a contradiction to what she herself argues in the earlier chapters. The book does give the impression that she believes that China, under Xi Jinping, is acting to reset the global economic, geo-political and military order away from a US-centric one to a more China-centric one. Ideologically, China is also trying to wean the world away from a democratic, liberal order. If this is so, then isn’t it in the US interests to seriously challenge it instead of pursuing accommodation? Why allow China to have it both ways - that of taking advantage of open societies and its liberalism and access to its markets and IP, but at the same time letting it close itself off when it comes to the world’s access to its markets and society? Shouldn’t China be called to account when it comes to respecting intellectual property rights? Possibly, the author has no other option but to suggest ‘detente’ because of possible widespread destabilization across the world due to the deep mutual dependency of trade between the superpowers. (The book was written before the current tariff war). Nuclear weapons on both sides is also an obvious reason. There has been much hand-wringing in the US about China getting ahead in innovation and leap-frogging the US in the key fields of AI and Quantum Computing. One is reminded of similar alarms about Japan in the 1980s. The author has some key observations on this subject. She says that Innovation, as understood in the US, is science-based research that delivers a new product to the world that might even create a whole new industry. On the other hand, Invention is the type of breakthrough idea that revolutionizes a product line or industry which requires IPR protection, a long timeframe for investment, an appetite for risk and a willingness to fail. Applying these definitions, the author says that Invention is not yet well developed in China. Whereas on the innovation side, China has been successful in taking Western IPR and bringing products to markets where the West is reluctant to go, such as Africa. She quotes Daniel Breznitz, professor at Georgia Tech, as saying that Chinese technology companies shine by developing quickly enough to remain at the cusp of the global technology frontier without actually advancing the frontier itself. Facts on the ground bear it out as well because China’s patents have been mostly on incremental improvements to previous innovative work of others, by making something work faster, better or cheaper. China’s strategy to close the innovation gap is to spend on talent, infrastructure, R&D and on others’ technology. Taken as a whole, what the author says about China on innovation and invention is largely true of other emerging economies like India and Brazil as well, even though these countries do not have the deep pockets of China. Seen in this light, it is difficult to conclude that China could steal a big march over the US in the near term in frontier areas like AI or Quantum Computing. Putting all this together, I find it hard to see Xi Jinping’s reign as a revolution. At the moment, it does not seem much different from the Maoist-era doctrine of pervasive state control with the Party at the center of power, led by one supreme leader. It can only be called a revolution if it accomplishes Xi’s dream of making China the pre-eminent power in the world - a sort of Middle kingdom of the 21st century. The book does not touch much upon China’s demographic crisis due to its one-child policy or the prognosis that China will grow old long before it becomes rich. Nor does it talk much about the mounting debt and slowing of economic growth. This book is well researched and thought provoking. However, we have had books foretelling the implosion of China due to its internal contradictions for nearly fifteen years now. China, however, seems to be marching on without even visible hiccups, leave alone any upheavals. But then, we saw the USSR and Eastern Europe implode without so much as even a flicker of a signal. It would be fascinating to watch what happens in China and wait to see which set of analysts are right about its future.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    Her writing is dry, but if you want to know everything you need to know about China under Xi, this is your source. Economy's Third Revolution is an excellent attempt to try to describe Xi Jinping's China. The book covers a wide range of the changes the country has experienced since 2012, focusing on the political and economic systems of the country while also touching on related topics, like the military, the internet and foreign affairs. Economy is a clear writer though her prose was sometimes Her writing is dry, but if you want to know everything you need to know about China under Xi, this is your source. Economy's Third Revolution is an excellent attempt to try to describe Xi Jinping's China. The book covers a wide range of the changes the country has experienced since 2012, focusing on the political and economic systems of the country while also touching on related topics, like the military, the internet and foreign affairs. Economy is a clear writer though her prose was sometimes too dry for my taste, leaving me a little bored at times by the narrative-less factiness of the whole enterprise. Still, for a political scientist, she qualifies as a good writer, not talking down to the reader while also not dumbing anything down. If you want to know everything you need to know about China's current political situation, this is the book where you should start. One other complaint, beside the dry prose, is that, if you already know a great deal about China, if you're a 中国通 who has passed out drunk on the streets of Beijing reading Jonathan Spence and eating 烧烤, you might not find this book very illuminating. A lot of the material Economy offers can be found discussed in newspaper articles. This is not her fault, it is just something you might want to keep in mind if you read every article about China in the New York Times, as many of her readers, no doubt, do. What Economy does which is a real service is pull together a lot of well-known facts into a single source. She begins the first steps to connect those dots, but she does not go far. This might seem like a criticism, but it is not really. Political scientists get into trouble when they try to connect the dots...when they make predictions. Since they believe themselves to really be a science, many often times try to predict things, as a scientist should. Economy avoids this mistake and just offers lots of observations. She is an astute observer, and the one prediction she hints at at the end of the book, that there is a real possibility of China and the US having a trade war, appears to be coming to fruition.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    Overall, a well written and comprehensive overview of Xi Jinping’s tenure so far and the road ahead, but unlikely to contain any earth shattering revelations for those who have been watching Xi since his ascendancy in late 2012. A notable strength of the book is the comprehensive approach, covering areas as diverse as the environment to China’s exercise of sharp power, with a variety of cases to illustrate the overall points. A notable defect is a lack of concentration on economic reform, which Overall, a well written and comprehensive overview of Xi Jinping’s tenure so far and the road ahead, but unlikely to contain any earth shattering revelations for those who have been watching Xi since his ascendancy in late 2012. A notable strength of the book is the comprehensive approach, covering areas as diverse as the environment to China’s exercise of sharp power, with a variety of cases to illustrate the overall points. A notable defect is a lack of concentration on economic reform, which could be the key factor that will ultimately demark Xi from any of his predecessors, however, this is covered in comparatively smaller detail. Overall, worth reading if one is unfamiliar with Xi Jinping’s tenure, as the book is an excellent primer and very comprehensive, though not perhaps as satisfying for the more keen and experienced China watchers. However, ably done overall and very comprehensive.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Carr

    At a recent lunch with a senior policymaker, I remarked that I didn't see how anyone could be 'surprised' by the rise of China. It is extraordinarily big and has been 'rising' for 40 years by this point. The official pushed back - what was happening under Xi was very different, and this was the challenge they were grappling with. In 'The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State' Elizabeth Economy offers an impressive view of China from 10'000 feet which helps to explain the officia At a recent lunch with a senior policymaker, I remarked that I didn't see how anyone could be 'surprised' by the rise of China. It is extraordinarily big and has been 'rising' for 40 years by this point. The official pushed back - what was happening under Xi was very different, and this was the challenge they were grappling with. In 'The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State' Elizabeth Economy offers an impressive view of China from 10'000 feet which helps to explain the official's concern. She argues that Xi Jinping's changes to China are as profound as those ushered in during the second revolution of Deng Xioping in the late 1970s. To do this, Economy focuses on Xi Jinping and his China Dream (Doubling GDP by 2020, a military able to 'fight and win wars', and meeting the social welfare needs of the people). This is then traced through six areas of priority for Xi: Restoring the ideological and political centrality of the CCP, cyberspace, State-Owned-Enterprises, Innovation, Air Quality, and Foreign Policy. Far from the usual 'the west is doomed' pessimism that litters the bookshops, Economy shows in detail just how many serious and substantial problems the Chinese government faces, and the importance for them, and all people that it makes serious progress in solving its challenges. There's a care and diligence to this work. Economy goes as far as the sources will allow her, without pushing the case, and the narrative of the chapters often shifts focus in line with the available source material, rather than trying to patch over the gaps with suppositions. It is both broad and deep, while a quick 250 pages. A credit to both the author and the publisher (As an aside, OUP has been putting out an increasing stream of excellent and accessible books in this vein recently). I still have some caution about the significance of the change we have witnessed in the last few years - to what degree it is simply the realisation of the broad systemic shifts of decades ago now realised, as against specific and deliberate changes in attitudes is a distinction impossible to perfectly clarify. Such an antagonistic turn without those same resources behind them would not be nearly so meaningful. A different leader, a different China would still present many of the same concerns. Yet clearly, something important has changed. For those wanting a well researched, smart and sober analysis of how China and its government see their many many internal challenges and perhaps begin to identify a few insights about how we can respond to the 'new' Chines state, this is a valuable read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shinabhat Maneerin

    While Jonathan's 'China's Vision of Victory' greatly raises awareness of China's intention and rise toward global domination, providing detailed explanations of China's motives and potentials and emphasises that the international community, particularly the United States, should act to preserve the international rule-based order, Elizabeth's 'The Third Revolution' not only points out the challenges of China's grand strategy and possibilities for the international community, especially the United While Jonathan's 'China's Vision of Victory' greatly raises awareness of China's intention and rise toward global domination, providing detailed explanations of China's motives and potentials and emphasises that the international community, particularly the United States, should act to preserve the international rule-based order, Elizabeth's 'The Third Revolution' not only points out the challenges of China's grand strategy and possibilities for the international community, especially the United States to constructively engage with China, including proposing reasonable responsive measures in necessary circumstances, which would lead to the peaceful coexistence of the two rival power, thus avoiding the 'Thucydides Trap'. The two book from the two brilliant authors are compatible complementary to each other, that they could be read altogether in any desirable order. I grabbed the translated version in Thai of the book, a compliment to the daring attempt to translate a book with such challenging topic, which contains enormous amount of information and specific glossaries. This book is by far one of the most comprehensive and compact work to understand contemporary China's foreign policy, a few such works could be found in Thai version nowadays despite such topic being critical to Thailand's and global politics. Therefore, I hold high regards to the translator(s). However, numerous spelling mistakes could be found in the Thai version of the book, I suggest Thai readers who might be interested in the book to be cautious and keep sharp eyes reading the Thai version, minus one star for that.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    This is a book with a large reputation. Is it wholly deserved? I think perhaps not. It is a subjective appraisal of the policies of China under Xi Jinping and represents the American case against China. As an example of American thinking on China, it stands out. To an uncertain European observer, it is not a shining example of why the US might prevail over the course of this century. The reader is left asking two questions. What is the 'Third Revolution'? And what is the case against China? The m This is a book with a large reputation. Is it wholly deserved? I think perhaps not. It is a subjective appraisal of the policies of China under Xi Jinping and represents the American case against China. As an example of American thinking on China, it stands out. To an uncertain European observer, it is not a shining example of why the US might prevail over the course of this century. The reader is left asking two questions. What is the 'Third Revolution'? And what is the case against China? The main thesis for the first question is that China has undergone three revolutions since 1949. The first - Mao's Revolution - sought to establish the state of China under the rule of the Communist Party. Tick that box. The second - Deng's Revolution - sought to craft China into a functioning economy and society under a centralised autocratic political framework. Tick that box. The third revolution - Xi's Revolution - seeks to establish the position of China in the world. This revolution is currently under way. As such, the hypothesis is correct and quite interesting. I find myself with great sympathy towards the argument. Had the book stopped there, it would have been very interesting. However, the book then goes on to suggest that Xi's Revolution is doomed. The case against China is that it is a corrupt society, that it operates a surveillance state, that it stumbles at innovation, and that the Chinese system creates inordinate amounts of pollution. It is worth looking at these charges one by one. It is hard to argue against the levels of corruption in China. They have to be accepted. However, the US is not without a degree of corruption also. Both societies offer levels of corruption to a greater and lesser degree. China tries to root out corruption whilst the US appears to be more tolerant towards it. The Chinese system is one in which mass surveillance is operated by the state. However, this happens to a lesser degree in the US, which, to a greater degree, farms out its mass surveillance to private corporations. From the perspective of the individual, privacy is compromised in both cases. On the third count, China is alleged to be a laggard in innovation. It is hard to gauge this claim because the evidence is both scant and flimsy. There are some areas in which China is a world leader - such as high speed rail technology - which call into question this conclusion. The allegation may have some merit, but it really depends upon where you place China in the innovation chain. At the manufacturing end, the claim is far fetched. At the blue sky end, it might have some merit. Finally, China has produced large amounts of pollution and environmental degradation. But the, at this stage in their development, so have American and European societies. The jury is out on this matter because the Chinese story has yet to fully unfold. However, China has embraced the cause of climate mitigation more readily than the US, and we could wonder if the outcomes would be broadly comparable at broadly comparable states of development? Looking at the case as a whole, it seems to me that that it can be summed up as China not being America. The author needs to do better than this. I found the argument rather unconvincing. The whole point of Xi's Revolution is that it represents development with Chinese characteristics. That last point is the important one. Looking at the breadth of Chinese history, current developments readily fit into an established dynastic pattern. In many regards the developmental path is not too dissimilar to that of the Ming Dynasty - a mercantilist commercial policy allied to a tributary foreign policy. The book is written by an American academic in an American academic style. It is dry and humourless, rather unengaging and really hard to read. The book itself is quite bloated. It would have made a really good article, which makes the work about 200 words too long. It is not an enjoyable read. This is definitely a book for work, and it is hard work reading it. It does contain the germ of a good idea, but you really struggle with it after that. I would recommend that anyone other than the really dedicated limits themselves to the first, seventh, and eighth chapters only. In between is unengaging prejudice dressed as fluff.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Vance

    The author, Elizabeth Economy, provides an in-depth look at the bio of Chinese President Xi Jingping along with his change in the direction of the country to a more centrally-controlled economy and society—what she calls the Third Revolution. The First Revolution was by Chinese President Mao Zedong with his central planning and poor economic performance and societal ills. The Second Revolution was started by President Deng Xiaoping in 1978 with his more market-oriented economic approach that con The author, Elizabeth Economy, provides an in-depth look at the bio of Chinese President Xi Jingping along with his change in the direction of the country to a more centrally-controlled economy and society—what she calls the Third Revolution. The First Revolution was by Chinese President Mao Zedong with his central planning and poor economic performance and societal ills. The Second Revolution was started by President Deng Xiaoping in 1978 with his more market-oriented economic approach that contributed to vast economic gains and innovation in China, making solid gains on the global stage. The current Third Revolution has the potential to take China in the wrong direction as the Chinese Communist Party gains power economically and politically. This has led to less freedom of speech by the media and individuals. There is also a populist movement whereby a China First mentality is at the forefront. The author takes a look at different approaches to how the US could deal with China. This is on military and economy bases. Ultimately, diplomacy is important between the two largest superpowers in the world while pressuring China to liberalize trade and their economy. But this should not come at the expense of Americans through tariffs but rather through engagements with their trading partners like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and similar measures. I give this book 5 stars as it provides a great look at the history, insight in outlook, and possible policies to the Chinese political and economic situation. Check it out at this pivotal time in world history.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tolga

    The era of Xi Jinping, which began at the end of 2012, has been identified by the leader’s Chinese dream as it was in the past. Unlike his immediate predecessors, the new Chinese leader has pursued more comprehensive and oppressive strategy to achieve this ultimate objective. Senior China policy expert Elizabeth Economy calls this transformation as China’s “third revolution” and attempts to outline the general framework of Xi’s vision—and its contradictions in the political, economic, and social The era of Xi Jinping, which began at the end of 2012, has been identified by the leader’s Chinese dream as it was in the past. Unlike his immediate predecessors, the new Chinese leader has pursued more comprehensive and oppressive strategy to achieve this ultimate objective. Senior China policy expert Elizabeth Economy calls this transformation as China’s “third revolution” and attempts to outline the general framework of Xi’s vision—and its contradictions in the political, economic, and social trajectories of China. Merely I'd like to point out that there is a mismatch between the book title and its main argument. If I were the author, I would choose a more original and consistent title like "Chinese Dream 3.0"

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rob Hocking

    This is the second book that I've read about Xi Jinping, the first being "CEO China: The Rise of Xi Jinping". I found this to be far more readable than the first one, and far more clear in its thesis. The title of the book is a reference to China's period of reform and opening up under Deng Xiaoping after the death of Mao - a period sometimes referred to as "China's Second Revolution". Deng Xiaoping famously said, “Hide your strength, bide your time" and took a non-aggressive approach to foreign This is the second book that I've read about Xi Jinping, the first being "CEO China: The Rise of Xi Jinping". I found this to be far more readable than the first one, and far more clear in its thesis. The title of the book is a reference to China's period of reform and opening up under Deng Xiaoping after the death of Mao - a period sometimes referred to as "China's Second Revolution". Deng Xiaoping famously said, “Hide your strength, bide your time" and took a non-aggressive approach to foreign policy. The author argues that while the Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao largely followed Deng Xiaoping's mantra, China under Xi Jinping is done biding its time - a "Third Revolution" has begun. Xi Jinping's goal, according to this book, is to realize the "Chinese Dream", and here it makes sense to refer back to another book I reviewed recently - "Twilight in the Heavenly Kingdom" - which pointed out near the end that because Britain helped the Qing dynasty defeat the Taiping rebels in the 1860s and in doing so delayed the fall of the Qing by 50 years, when the Qing finally did fall China was so far behind the rest of the world that catching up seemed "all but impossible until recently". This is precisely Xi Jinping's "Chinese Dream" - to complete the process of "catching up" begun with the fall of the Qing Dynasty and in doing so to restore China to its rightful position as a dominant world power. Xi Jinping feels that China has grown strong enough that Deng Xiaoping's cautious approach is no longer necessary - with the result that China has become increasingly assertive and aggressive since Xi took over in 2012. Xi Jinping is widely considered to be the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao, and it's also widely known that China has been more aggressive in recent years (e.g. the famous artificial islands in the south China sea). But I didn't understand the full extent of the personality cult around Xi until reading this book. Consider this paragraph: In late October 2016, at the Fifth Plenum of the 18th Party Congress, the most notable announcement was that, moving forward, Xi Jinping would be recognized as the core of the Communist Party. The enshirement of "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" at the 19th Party Congress one year later further enhanced Xi's standing by granting his ideas the same status as those of Mao in the party constitution. The book talks at length about Xi's personality cult, China's new aggressiveness towards its neighbours, and the increasing sophistication of the CCP's control of the Chinese internet. There were some details in here I was not aware of, but none of it was particularly surprising. The most shocking chapter to me was the one on the environment. I had heard - I don't remember exactly where - that China was starting to do something about its environmental problems and had become a world leader in Green Energy. However, the book says that China is solving its pollution problems - at least in part - simply by moving its most polluting factories to the poor western part of the country (Xinjiang, home to a Muslim minority and a virtual police state- see e.g. https://www.economist.com/briefing/20...) or to nearby poor countries. "The Chinese leadership demonstrates little interest in considering the impact of its development on air quality outside its borders. As it looks to clean the air to meet the demands of the middle class, it is also encouraging firms - often the most polluting enterprises including coal-fired plants - to base production out of the country. Hebei Province plans to move 20 million tons of steel, 30 million tons of cement, as well as significant glass production outside of the country by 2023. It already has inked an agreement to export roughly 11 percent of its annual steel output to a new plant in South Africa. And large Chinese-funded cement plants have been flooding into Tajikistan, increasing Tajik production fivefold between 2013 and 2015. An investigation by the online environmental site China Dialogue and the CEE Bankwatch Network, moreover, revealed that Chinese banks and companies are supporting at least seventy-nine coal-fired generation projects outside the country with a total capacity of more than 52 gigawatts. This exceeds the 46 gigawatts of planned closures in the United States by 2020. Energy giant Huaneng has announced significant expansion plans for coal plants in South and Southeast Asia, Russia, and Eastern Europe. Importantly, China does not apply the same stringent standards for efficiency on its overseas plants that it does at home. In Kenya, a consortium of Kenyan, South African, and Chinese energy firms is planning to build a large coal-fired power plant fifteen miles north of a UNESCO world heritage site. It is estimated that the new plant will be the country's largest source of pollution. Thus, as China's leaders seek to ensure that wealthy coastal provinces and municipalities rein in their coal production and consumption to improve air quality, the are enabling the development of new coal capacity in both the western part of China and abroad. These types of structural shifts suggest that Beijing's commitment is, in the first instance, to reduce air pollution in the wealthy areas, while relegating many of the poorer interior provinces, as well as other developing countries, to decades more of worsening air quality." Of course, it is possible that the CCP is doing this while also pursuing Green Energy in a serious way.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Wright

    Standard exposition, nothing new One of hundreds of books that explain the current US-China state of affairs. No insight into what motivates Xi, no examination of the ‘core socialist values’ that he follows, or any revelations other than the standard narratives found daily in the media. Disappointing for that reason, the book is nevertheless well-researched for its content and overall well-written.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sherry Zhuge

    Born and raised in China, I came to the U.S. in 2015 as a study abroad student and have been living in U.S. for almost 5 years now. In the past few years, I've seen more and more unfriendly comments and opinions in Newspapers and on TV regarding China's development and behaviors home and abroad. Luckily, I didn't experience any discrimination personally. But it strikes me that a lot of conclusions and viewpoints were based on misunderstandings of the people and the Chinese society. So this book Born and raised in China, I came to the U.S. in 2015 as a study abroad student and have been living in U.S. for almost 5 years now. In the past few years, I've seen more and more unfriendly comments and opinions in Newspapers and on TV regarding China's development and behaviors home and abroad. Luckily, I didn't experience any discrimination personally. But it strikes me that a lot of conclusions and viewpoints were based on misunderstandings of the people and the Chinese society. So this book attracts me naturally because I would love to know how scholars, especially those that have expertise in Asia studies, think about China. The author is a senior fellow and director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a distinguished visiting fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. Overall, this book is very objective. 60-70% of it lists facts, describes the summarize the trajectory of Chinese development regarding Economy, Politics as well as Environment and Human Rights issues. I have to admit that I was unaware of most of the regulations and policies mentioned in the book even though I lived through them. For me, those reform and plans are either too long, spanning over 5 years and even decades, for me to notice in my everyday life, or changing too fast for me as a student to fully understand. And this book really helps me to recall my memories of a lot of significant events in the past decade or so and thus enables me to have a more systematic way of interpreting the government's actions and plans. As I dig deeper into some of the cases mentioned through searching other reports and covers from various sources, I realized that I know little about what have happened not because I was too young then but because there was no news available in China to reveal the truths. Cases like the Tianjin warehouse explosion and the illegal detention of human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng was reported but not in an honest and transparent way. The government is to blame for undermining our rights to know the truth. And the government or the party is trying to protect those of senior positions in the party that were involved in the illegal transactions. The other thing that I noticed and that I think should be improved was that even though the author provides an objective narrative of what the government and the party have done, she didn't provide the whole picture of how the other participants of those events reacted. She did talk about some individuals who spoke out against the party and the government as public figures, such as Pan Shiyi, Chai Jing, and Han Han. But she forgot how the internet has empowered young people to express their hopes and opinions. "ME TOO" in China has been very popular, I've seen more and more articles online talking about how woman should stand out to ask for their rights. The most recent event is the death of the COVID-19 Whistleblower, Li WenLiang. Even a lot of articles in Wechat and Weibo have been forbidden, people ask for a thorough and complete investigation of the case in a peaceful and rational way with persistence. And now the investigation is ongoing, and everyone is waiting for a response from the government and the party. What I am trying to say is that a lot of people online didn’t understand that the party, the government, and the people can be different groups and can hold different opinions. And they also simply conclude that everyone in the party and in the government is corrupted and with no interest in the welfare of the people. They should ask their Chinese friend how they think about human rights, equality, and etc, and I can assure you that we are not any less concerned about those universal values than any other country does. It's just we are still fighting for a more democratic way to express ourselves. We don’t want unrest, and political conflict because they can drag down the economy and people's living standards. And as a Finance major student, I am most interested in Chap 4, the not-so-new normal. This chapter revolves around SOEs, the state-owned-enterprise. It's a curse and also an antidote. It supports China's long term economic goals to gain competitive advantages in major industries but it can also hinder market efficiency and squeeze out mid-small business. There are corruption and rent-seeking associated with those too big to fails and yet they are the ones that represents the advanced and strong technology power of the country. There have been 2 rounds of SOE reforms and they were, according to the author, not successful. The most recent round started in 2015, coupled with new bankruptcy and debt default reforms. It opted to reform through M&A and partial privatization, leading to even stronger monitoring from the communist party in the new SOEs. Enterprises are allowed to go bankrupt, but the mid-small business is more vulnerable to crisis as they can't get money easily, not from the credit market and not from banks that favors the SOEs who are backed by their mother government. The last chapter talks about what the U.S. should do with China's rising power and ambition. She pointed out that President Trump's current inconsistent foreign policy does no good to the US-China relationship and will undermine US reputation as a leader in various international issues around human rights, regional security, and economic development. I rate this book as 4 stars because it offers people an objective view of China's development in the last few decades. What I don't like about this book is that it didn’t cover the rising power of the middle class, who are educated, open-minded and want to use their ways to change the society. The role of the people is missing and thus the book can't provide people with a whole picture of the country. (less)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    Economy's thesis is that China is currently undergoing a "Third Revolution" under the Chinese Communist Part (which lends its names to the title of the book), the other 2 are the periods under Mao; and the "Reform and Opening Up" under Deng. The book gives a decent summary of the various policies that have been initiated under the "Third Revolution" and she has talked to a wide array of sources. It was good to see Economy provide Chinese characters for Chinese sources and terms - something that o Economy's thesis is that China is currently undergoing a "Third Revolution" under the Chinese Communist Part (which lends its names to the title of the book), the other 2 are the periods under Mao; and the "Reform and Opening Up" under Deng. The book gives a decent summary of the various policies that have been initiated under the "Third Revolution" and she has talked to a wide array of sources. It was good to see Economy provide Chinese characters for Chinese sources and terms - something that other books should do more of. However, at times it was also frustrating that the sources were provided which are hard to corroborate independently - for example Chapter 4, footnote 143 is simply "Interview with Chinese SOE Head". However for me the greatest weakness is in the final analysis Economy fails to address one points that she brings up herself - that by China not allowing more market based mechanisms, it is accruing sub-optimal outcomes in the short term, but may allow it to achieve long-term objectives. Indeed this is more often presented in a negative light, often with a tinge neo-Liberal ideology, on p151 Economy in effect criticises the "reluctance on the part of the Chinese leadership to relax the reins of state control and allow the market to serve as a disciplining agent... The government is willing to tolerate a higher level of waste and inefficiency". It is an interesting time to argue for deregulation - indeed the much of the Western world seems to be going to other way with the market failure seen in financial crisis of 2008 generating a whole amount of waste. It also ignores the argument by other such as Mazzucato, that "market" is a fantasy and a construction by government, and that government intervention is required to build a market and demand for goods and also to drive innovation (for example, the US Space Program created the demand that drove innovation in computing technology). Arguably we need a large market to take the lead and generate demand that will make new technologies (for example, renewable energy and electric cars) - whether or not this is the case in China, I can't answer - but it would have been good to see Economy attempt some analysis of this, instead of just reaffirming the tired refrain that the market would solve all. This is a passable read - providing a decent summary of policies and events since 2012. However where it is lacking is in the analysis department.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Morrow

    In 2013 Xi Jinping became the first leader of China that was not hand picked by Deng Xiaoping since Mao Zedong died in 1976. The previous two, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao had made themselves caretakers of Deng's "second revolution" that was a return to collective leadership and a liberalization of the Chinese economy through the "socialist market." In 2018, the CCP removed the term limits on the Presidency. Xi Jinping Thought is enshrined in the Constitution. Xi stated "China has stood up, grown r In 2013 Xi Jinping became the first leader of China that was not hand picked by Deng Xiaoping since Mao Zedong died in 1976. The previous two, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao had made themselves caretakers of Deng's "second revolution" that was a return to collective leadership and a liberalization of the Chinese economy through the "socialist market." In 2018, the CCP removed the term limits on the Presidency. Xi Jinping Thought is enshrined in the Constitution. Xi stated "China has stood up, grown rich and now must become strong." Mao had declared at the founding of the Peoples Republic that China had stood up; Deng was once quoted as saying "to get rich is glorious." It is clear that Xi with his new power and new status intends to make himself the third great Communist leader and take China on that third step. Economy calls this the "Third Revolution." She documents the concentration of power in the hands of the state by Xi. Xi is centralizing party control of both the cadre and the internet. He is restrengthening the state owned sectors of the economy and attempting to create a culture of research and development Finally Economy covers how China is looking to use its economic might to project diplomatically, militarily and culturally. Economy's analysis is pretty good. I just find that the book tends to go on too long. Her May/June essay in Foreign Affairs handled much of the same material and was nearly as informative is a much smaller space. That said, her conclusions and prescriptions for the US in handling the China under Xi that is now growing strong is spot on. I'm not giving this book 5 stars but I still say it's a must read for those interested in the current stage of China-US relations.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mikko Arevuo

    An excellent book by Elizabeth Economy, Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies at the Council of Foreign Relations. Her book provides an up to date analysis of Xi Jinping’s transformative changes taking place in China: centralisation of power, expansion of CPC’s role in all aspects of society, and Xi’s political, economic, and foreign policy priorities. Reading the book from a lens of an economist, I found her explanation of the role of the state owned enterprises (SOEs) excellent. Her lucid An excellent book by Elizabeth Economy, Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies at the Council of Foreign Relations. Her book provides an up to date analysis of Xi Jinping’s transformative changes taking place in China: centralisation of power, expansion of CPC’s role in all aspects of society, and Xi’s political, economic, and foreign policy priorities. Reading the book from a lens of an economist, I found her explanation of the role of the state owned enterprises (SOEs) excellent. Her lucid discussion covered the political motivations and responsibilities of SEOs, such as employment provision, and their consequences such as low productivity levels and indebtedness. It is clear that SEOs are a drain on the country’s financial resources, but also the source of massive overproduction of basic raw materials such as steel. Another interesting discussion covered the Chinese conception of innovation that differs from the Western approach that is mainly preoccupied with the level of invention in the economy. The book also gives the reader an extensive analysis of China’s role in the world trade, climate change initiatives, and global political institutions. The author finishes the book with an insightful evaluation of possible US and other Western countries’ diplomatic and political responses to this vast nation in the coming years.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Yalin

    Economy's book is a great source that provides information, insight, and analysis of a People's Republic of China that is currently going through another definitive period of development - the Third Revolution - under the "core leader" Xi Jinping. The only criticism I can field towards the book is that at times it detaches itself too much from Xi's position in the entirety of what it discusses, which is puzzling given that the title and the subtitle points the reader in the direction that one sh Economy's book is a great source that provides information, insight, and analysis of a People's Republic of China that is currently going through another definitive period of development - the Third Revolution - under the "core leader" Xi Jinping. The only criticism I can field towards the book is that at times it detaches itself too much from Xi's position in the entirety of what it discusses, which is puzzling given that the title and the subtitle points the reader in the direction that one should expect the discussion to lead back to Xi. To be sure, what is discussed is Xi's China and the way it develops domestically and internationally, but in the way that this is discussed, one can't help but notice that Xi appears at times to be marginal to the topic. Overall, this book is a great read both for beginners and for those that are already involves in the field of contemporary China studies.

  18. 4 out of 5

    David

    Useful and practical summary of basic facts from the US point of view with quiet vigorous fact finding or everything. However, the focus of the book quickly shifts away from Xi and sometimes just scratches the surface. Still worth a read if you are interested in China and able to discern the US-centric point of view. Major takeaways: a) central planning and subsidies lead to major ineffectivnes b) you do not want Chinese model of internet anywhere on this planet c) BRI has it´s important weaknesses d Useful and practical summary of basic facts from the US point of view with quiet vigorous fact finding or everything. However, the focus of the book quickly shifts away from Xi and sometimes just scratches the surface. Still worth a read if you are interested in China and able to discern the US-centric point of view. Major takeaways: a) central planning and subsidies lead to major ineffectivnes b) you do not want Chinese model of internet anywhere on this planet c) BRI has it´s important weaknesses d) Chinese claim to leadership in vacuum after Trump´s America First has not materialised. China has not been able to really lead on a number of critical issues from refugee crisis, climate crisis, enforce it´s way of internet, fails in soft power and has still not been able to resolve North Korea situation.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Scott Holstad

    For a person of the author's status, granted a bit too easily for reasons I've never ascertained, this strikes me as both late to the party and disappointing in its scholarship and analysis. Certainly, her thesis could play out entirely as described, but there are far too many unknown variables for me to feel she should relish in her confidence so readily. Overrated author, overrated book, granted title of Expert Supreme a little too cavalierly, in my opinion. I think there are many other contem For a person of the author's status, granted a bit too easily for reasons I've never ascertained, this strikes me as both late to the party and disappointing in its scholarship and analysis. Certainly, her thesis could play out entirely as described, but there are far too many unknown variables for me to feel she should relish in her confidence so readily. Overrated author, overrated book, granted title of Expert Supreme a little too cavalierly, in my opinion. I think there are many other contemporary analysts who could be accorded that title with perhaps more justification. Frankly, I have come to find myself perpetually underwhelmed by this author's recent work, this one included.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Johns

    I really enjoyed this! This book goes into the weeds of major issues China faces domestically as a rising power on the international stage as well as the challenges the international community faces as China reshapes norms to obtain advantage. I appreciated the insights and details. If you're watching China, I really recommend this! *Note: The ONLY critique I have is with the Audible narration - I found myself cringing at mispronounced Chinese names and phrases. I love that the author included th I really enjoyed this! This book goes into the weeds of major issues China faces domestically as a rising power on the international stage as well as the challenges the international community faces as China reshapes norms to obtain advantage. I appreciated the insights and details. If you're watching China, I really recommend this! *Note: The ONLY critique I have is with the Audible narration - I found myself cringing at mispronounced Chinese names and phrases. I love that the author included the Chinese though! I just couldn't enjoy it enough. Recommend using a narrator familiar with Chinese (and its tones). Otherwise, the narrator did well.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Damon

    An eloquent defense of a measured approach to the complexities of a changing China at a time where a cacophony of pundits are calling for extreme measures. The exquisitely named Economy gives a good snapshot of how Xi Jinping is changing the Chinese economy and society, for good and for bad. Her assessment is accessible for the novice, but focuses on some trends that long-time China watchers will appreciate. Strong recommend.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robert Gebhardt

    I'm very glad this book was written. For the important person he is in this world, I'm amazed at how little there is written about Xi out there, and I'm often amazed at how little news agencies seem to know about China and Xi in general. I don't think there's anything earth shattering here, but it should probably be a go-to for anyone who needs a solid foundation for understanding more or less what's happening.

  23. 5 out of 5

    B. Cheng

    This is an excellent survey of the goals & challenges Xi Jinping has for China as he leads the country. It isn't new enough to address his change to president for life and how important & drastic that move was. It also doesn't tell you who Xi is, but if you're looking for an overview of where China is at today, this is a good read. This is an excellent survey of the goals & challenges Xi Jinping has for China as he leads the country. It isn't new enough to address his change to president for life and how important & drastic that move was. It also doesn't tell you who Xi is, but if you're looking for an overview of where China is at today, this is a good read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    China is not becoming more open, but more closed. China is no longer willing to accept a non-global role. President Xi Jinping is the strongest leader since Mao. This book was an eye-opening view of what drives modern China and what we can expect going forward. One can only hope that we are prepared for the tedious challenges that the inevitable Chinese ascent will entail.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jon Lapinski

    This book is a pretty critical look at Xi and China in general. A little dry, but so is the subject matter so I wasn't expecting a page turner. It seems well researched and author is not afraid to actually make suggestions for US policy. It is a timely read with the current 'trade war' and Trump somewhat reversing Obama's pivot to Asia.

  26. 4 out of 5

    B

    Very interesting look at the current political and economic environment in China. The writing is a bit dry and technical (and definitely somewhat biased towards the US perspective - not surprising since it is associated with the Council on Foreign Relations). However, I definitely broadened my understanding of the current Chinese government, and what makes Xi different from his predecessors.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This book is great for understanding Chinese national interest from the perspective of the West and the United States. It provides a great foundational understanding for people involved in global investment, international governance and policy, and anyone interested in individual liberties and human rights.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chad Gagnon

    3.5 rounded up; wide breadth, low depth. If you are familiar with current Sino-American relations, you probably already know a good chunk of this book. Great as an all encompassing foundation, however.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Will Robbins

    Elizabeth Economy's "The Third Revolution" is an interesting review of the current status of the Chinese state under Xi Jinping. She uses a multitude of examples and case studies to explain the current trends in Chinese foreign and domestic policy and offers a western view of their implications.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sebastian Naranjo

    Thorough and comprehensive, yet overcritical on China. If Chinese state media is criticized for being too pro-China, my criticism to Economy would be it is too pro-west, anti-China. This imbalance hinders worthy analysis.

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