Geography confers advantages and imposes restrictions on regions. Regional powers over the millennia, leverage the former and aim to overcome the latter to maximize their gains. Such behaviour has been more consistent than political or religious ideologies. This can be seen in turmoil in Pakistan despite religious homogeneity and the failure of the erstwhile USSR China Vietnam axis at the height of Cold War despite similar ideology and structures.
Likely emergence of China as a global power has placed its neighbours on the horns of dilemma, where some portray it as expansionist and hegemonistic power, others believe it to be an engine for economic rise. The challenge of managing China would require understanding its long term goals and likely means it would employ to achieve them. The process initiated by Deng Xiaoping has made China an economic giant which many believe is Communist only in name. Even while the Third Plenum of November 2013 seeks to strengthen the process, it also has recognized vulnerabilities in society, which have the potential of causing internal collapse.
The book aims to understand China's geographical advantages and restrictions along with its history and economic structure; the themes that emerge are important indicators to understand its Geo-Strategy. China's international behaviour of the last few decades not only validates these but also points to the means that China is employing to achieve its aim. Important lessons thus emerge for managing partnership with China.
Author: Akshaya Handa
Features: HB, Vij Books