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Does The 21st Century Belong To China?: The Munk Debate On China [Paperback]

Henry Kissinger
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 17 2011 The Munk Debates
Is China’s rise unstoppable? Powered by the human capital of 1.3 billion citizens, the latest technological advances, and a comparatively efficient system of state-directed capitalism, China seems poised to become the global superpower this century. But the Middle Kingdom also faces a series of challenges. From energy scarcity to environmental degradation to political unrest and growing global security burdens, a host of factors could derail China’s global ascent. In this edition of The Munk Debates — Canada’s premier international debate series — former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and CNN’s Fareed Zakaria square off against leading historian Niall Ferguson and world-renowned Chinese economist David Daokui Li to debate the biggest geopolitical issue of our time: Does the 21st century belong to China? Highly electrifying and thoroughly engrossing, the Munk Debate on China is the first formal public debate Dr. Kissinger has participated in on China’s future, and this volume includes exclusive interviews with Henry Kissinger and David Daokui Li.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for any China buff Sept. 12 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This good is a nice easy read full of great debate by four of the leading minds on international relations. Doesn't matter who's views you are reading, they all know what they are talking about. Great, quick read.
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It was an invigorating experience to read the views of four well informed persons with a direct knowledge of the issues and yet very respectful of each other's perspective. The only regret is that it is so short. Highly recommended to anyone with even a modest interest in the subject.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And the winner is... Nov. 27 2011
By Erez Davidi - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This debate was conducted in Canada sometime during 2011 as part of The Munk Debates. Since I've already read almost every book by Niall Ferguson (most recently Civilization: The West and the Rest) and On China by Henry Kissinger, I felt I was rather familiar with their views on China, and so, I was more interested in the views of David Li and Fareed Zakaria.

Very quickly I came to realize that this debate is not only about China, but also to a large extent on the fragile situation of the United States, which can determine whether China will dominate the 21st century. As was expected, Ferguson, who argued the pro, put the emphasis on the declining state of the U.S. economy and the growing economic power of the Chinese.

David Li (also arguing the pro), took the Chinese official view that says that we in the West are thinking in wrong terms. It's not a question of whether the 21st century will belong to China, because China is not interested in dominating the world. As a society shaped by Confucius, China is mainly interested in solving its domestic problems and is far less interested in intervening in other countries' businesses. In David Li's words, "it's just not in China's DNA". Thus, the entire notion of the debate is flawed in the first place.

Kissinger in my opinion was a lot less coherent than the rest of the debaters, mostly arguing that China will gain influence, however, it will not dominate the 21st century. The world will be more multi-polar.

Fareed Zakaria had the most convincing arguments, stating the fragile state of the Chinese political system, the growing inequality between the rich and the poor, the lack of freedom of speech, the real estate bubble, and the inefficient growth in China. Therefore, China's growth will be a lot less smooth than most people realize. However, in my opinion, Zakaria downplayed the severity of the U.S. economic situation and how it will affect the military and economic influence of the U.S.

To sum up, a lot of interesting insights can be gained from this debate, and it's highly recommended to people who are interested to know what these great thinkers have to say about where China is heading to.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why We Love to Read Aug. 11 2012
By berkeley69 - Published on
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Four profound thinkers discuss Sino-American and global issues in a thoroughly enjoyable manner in this book. The high level of thought is what makes this book so enjoyable.

Naturally, Niall Ferguson, Dr. Kissinger and Fareed Zakaria have written other books which plow the same ground. It would behoove the reader to read "On China" by Dr. Kissinger, the "Post American World" by Mr. Zakaria and "Empire" or "Colossus"by Mr. Ferguson to flesh out the points covered in this book - which is too short to fully explore all of the issues discussed.

As am aside, I am deeply saddened by the scandal affecting Mr. Zakaria. It does not undermine my deep respect for his intellect.
4.0 out of 5 stars ok July 15 2014
By RF - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good; however, expensive for what you get.
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