WHO: Geoff Dyer
WHAT: THE CONTEST OF THE CENTURY: The New Era
of Competition with China—and How America Can Win
WHEN: Published by Knopf February 5, 2014
WHY: “Illuminating…Dyer’s lively prose, vivid reportage, and long experience reporting on the country really shine, making this one of the most lucid, readable, and insightful of the current rise-of-China studies.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“China and the US are increasingly at loggerheads…
and as Dyer notes, it’s likely to get more heated in years to come.
“’Beijing is starting to channel its inner great power,’ writes the author. In so doing, it is shifting from a reactive to a proactive international stance, seeking to shape the world according to its national interests. And in doing that—exercising, most recently, something like a Chinese version of the Monroe Doctrine—it is increasingly coming up against the US, which has long had a controlling interest in many parts of Asia.
“Australia, writes the author, has been tied to the US strategically for generations, but increasingly, its economy is dependent on trade with China; when dollars begin to trump diplomacy, Australia’s relations with the US are likely to loosen. Interestingly, writes Dyer, China is taking a page from long-forgotten American naval doctrine in developing a blue-water military force to expand and maintain its sphere. Whether this means that a military collision with America is inevitable depends, in a curious way, on whether the ruling Communist Party retains its power.
“Its ‘most vulnerable flank is from the nationalist, populist right,’ which is longing to assert Chinese power, and a ‘party that loudly claims the mantle of national salvation cannot afford to look weak in the face of perceived slights.’ Dyer counsels that instead of reacting with the usual China-bashing, with all its thinly veiled racially tinged codes, the US would do well to ‘roll out the red carpet for Chinese investments that do not have clear national security implications,’ becoming partners in a two-way economy rather than mere consumers.” —KIRKUS REVIEWS
“A thoughtful, insightful look at changing geopolitics.”
—Vanessa Bush, BOOKLIST
From the beginning of the book: To the list of industries now dominated by China, there is one surprising new entry: Miss World. Beauty contests were banned in China by Mao Zedong as one of the worst forms of Western decadence, but their bland internationalism appeals to modern China’s desire to be included.
Publicist for this title:
Erinn Hartman | 212-572-2345 | firstname.lastname@example.org