• Hardcover: 512 pages
• Publisher: The Penguin Press (May 17, 2011)
Drawing on forty years of intimate acquaintance with the country and its leaders, Henry Kissinger reflects on how China’s past relations with the outside world illuminate its twenty-first century trajectory.
In On China, Henry Kissinger turns for the first time at book length to the country he has known intimately for decades and whose modern relations with the West he helped shape. Drawing on historical records as well as on his conversations with Chinese leaders over the past forty years, Kissinger examines how China has approached diplomacy, strategy, and negotiation throughout its history and reflects on the consequences for the global balance of power in the twenty-first-century.
As Kissinger underscores, the unique conditions under which China developed continue to shape its policies and attitudes toward the outside world. For centuries, China rarely encountered other societies of comparable size and sophistication. China was the “Middle Kingdom,” treating the peoples on its periphery as vassal states. At the same time, Chinese statesmen-facing threats of invasion from without and the contests of competing factions within-developed a canon of strategic thought that prized the virtues of subtlety, patience, and indirection over feats of martial prowess.
On China examines key episodes in Chinese foreign policy, with a particular emphasis on the decades since the rise of Mao Zedong, and the often fraught but crucial relationship between Beijing and Washington. Kissinger illuminates the inner workings of Chinese diplomacy during such pivotal events as the initial encounters between China and modern European powers, the formation and breakdown of the Sino-Soviet alliance, the Korean War, Richard Nixon’s historic trip to Beijing, and the Tiananmen Square events of 1989. Kissinger brings to life the two towering figures of the People’s Republic of China, Mao and Deng Xiaoping, revealing how their divergent visions have shaped China’s modern destiny.
The book traces the evolution of Sino-American relations over the past sixty years, following their dramatic course from estrangement to strategic partnership to economic interdependence, and toward an uncertain future. With a final chapter on the ascendant superpower’s twenty-first century global role, On China provides a sweeping historical perspective on Chinese foreign affairs from one of the premier statesmen of the twentieth century.
Henry Kissinger served as National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and has advised many other American presidents on foreign policy. He received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Medal of Liberty, among other awards. He is the author of numerous books and articles on foreign policy and diplomacy, and is currently chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm.
Henry’s Tour Stops
Wednesday, May 11th: Man of La Book
Thursday, May 12th: Mark’s China Blog
Tuesday, May 17th: Inside-Out China
Wednesday, May 18th: Lisa Graas
Sunday, May 22nd: Rhapsody In Books
Wednesday, May 25th: Pacific Rim Shots
Thursday, May 26th: Asia Unbound
Monday, May 30th: Hidden Harmonies China Blog
Tuesday, May 31st: Wordsmithonia
Wednesday, June 1st: Lit and Life
Thursday, June 2nd: ChinaGeeks
Thursday, June 9th: Marathon Pundit
Friday, June 10th: Rundpinne
Monday, June 13th: booker rising
Friday, June 17th: Divided We Stand United We Fall