"China's Ascendancy by Sheng-Wei Wang is an extremely important book - a must read for a wide range of people whether they are governmental, military, business professionals, journalists, academics, or students. This book covers a wide range of contemporary issues and topics as well as covering historical and cultural contexts and perspectives. Very important are chapters addressing and countering the perception that China is a threat - this being referred to as 'China Threat Theory' from military, economic, cultural, and political perspectives. This book provides information which can lead to major understandings.
China is mentioned as a ubiquitous presence in the world news media. This alone is a change and significant changes can be threats. There is the threat of competition and China is one of the superpowers, but, the competition does not have to be in terms of win-lose as it is in sports - it can be that competition will surface best practices and products and the results can be win-win outcomes in which competitors achieve positive desired outcomes beneficial to all nations with recognition that we are in an age of international interdependency.
There are some sectors of the U.S., and other nations, who perceive China as a threat. However, China and the U.S. want world peace, continued economic development world-wide, as well as the development of governmental and business alliances and partnerships. The stronger the partnering relationships between China and the U.S., the greater the prospects of achieving continued success and prosperity, not just for the benefit of China and the U.S., but world-wide benefits."
-Dr. R. Mallory Starr
Director, Sequoia Presidential Yacht Group, LLC
President of U.S.-Asian Cultural Academy (UACA)
"Paradoxically, while the U.S. and other Western countries applauded China's economic growth and its transition to the market economy, they explicitly expressed concern about potentialities of a stronger and assertive China in the world. Even more ironically, in the eyes of Western analysts, China's ranking of economic size in the world economy has suddenly jumped from a backward country to second place, and could soon overtake America. As China is seen as increasingly strong, a new breed of the old 'Yellow Peril' myth-China Threat-has emerged.
Will an economically and militarily strong China pose a threat to the U.S. and the rest of the world? For what reasons did the Western politicians, academics, and mass media spread such allegations? What is China's role in the world and what are its foreign policy objectives? This is what Dr. Wang Sheng-Wei's book is dedicated to discuss.
As far as I know, the term 'China Threat' is not new. It can be dated to as early as 1990, when Murakimi Tomohide, an associate professor of Japan's Defense University, published an article, 'China - a Potential Threat,' in the Shokun August 1990 issue, in which the author depicted China as a potential enemy. It was probably the earliest version of the 'China Threat' fallacy, though it drew little attention then. Since 1992, however, along with China's economic booming, the allegation of a 'China Threat' has become prevalent in the U.S. and Japanese mass media. But Dr. Wang's book, I would say, is the first in the English literature to exclusively address this important issue.
Dr. Wang begins with the origin of Chinese history and culture in an attempt to prove that China has always been a country deeply committed to peace, harmony, and loving others as they love themselves, derived from Confucianism that still has a profound influence on today's Chinese political philosophy. Throughout thousands of years, China has never invaded foreign countries or seized their territories. Then the author refutes Japan's and America's 'China Threat' theory. From her brilliant analysis, we can come to the conclusion that the supporters of the 'China Threat' theory appear to be not only ignorant, but may have ulterior motives. First, they feel uneasy over the rise of China's economic power and international standing. By spreading this fallacy, they advocate containing China. Second, they try to sow discord between China and neighboring countries. Third, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. needs a new potential enemy. But in the globalization age, as all nations are connected with each other, the 'China Threat' fallacy can only reflect a totally ignorant prejudice and a legacy of the Cold War mentality.
Dr. Wang outlines China's rise over the last decade with piercing perceptivity and objectivity. As she correctly points out, although China has achieved spectacular economic success and become a world power, it is still a developing country, lagging behind Japan and the U.S. in many areas. (By the way, according to a recent World Bank report, China's economy may in fact be 40 percent smaller than current estimates). Dr. Wang asks why Chinese people, who work very hard for low wages, could be seen as a threat by some Americans. With sharp insight and solid facts, the author concludes that Americans should view China's ascendancy as an opportunity rather than a threat.
After reading the whole book, I can feel that Dr. Wang's primary goal is to accentuate the importance of U.S.-China relations in this volatile world. I highly recommend this book to everyone who lives in the U.S. I'm sure that readers will better understand Chinese history and culture, as well as the strategic opportunity and potential for improved U.S.-China relations."
-Dr. Jialin Zhang
Hoover Institution, Stanford University
"CHINA'S ASCENDANCY: A THOUGHT-PROVOKING BOOK
Having met Sheng-Wei Wang at the recently held conference on 'U.S.-China Relationship and Peaceful Reunification of China' in Los Angeles, it was with great interest when I embarked upon reading her book, China's Ascendancy.
This is an important book. Sheng-Wei Wang's deep concern and commitment for the future is evident throughout the pages. Employing thorough investigation and research, Ms.Wang works to establish the basis for a fruitful collaboration between China and the rest of the world, and especially, to bridge the gap between the United States and China.
In reference to the subtitle, 'What Every American Should Know about China,' I find the sections dealing with China's history, culture and economy particularly useful. Clearly, the author - herself deeply steeped in Chinese culture - sincerely wishes for non-Chinese to get a deeper grasp, respect and understanding for China. Excellent!
In analyzing the same aspects regarding the United States, the book has a problem concerning a crucial matter, namely the idea of the individual - a problem many Americans share today. Mainly a Hobbesian view of man is described; a dog-eat-dog world, survival of the fittest, competition, power and a drive for control, a view also reflected in the different people cited in the book, like Samuel Huntington, Zbigniew Brzesinski or Woodrow Wilson (promoter of KKK), to mention a few - all people committed to a geopolitical agenda, and all hostile to the key principles upon which the United States was founded.
The founding ideas as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution hold, that each citizen is born with certain inalienable rights, and that therefore the guiding intent in the governing of the nation, is to promote the General Welfare to secure those inalienable rights. These ideas were inherited from the greatest renaissance thinkers in Europe, like Plato, Cusa, Kepler , Leibniz and many others, and imported to the U.S. to create a republic free from oligarchism. The writings and speeches of great Americans like Benjamin Franklin, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Martin Luther King and Lyndon LaRouche show, that the purpose of the individual in striving for intellectual, emotional and moral excellence, is to serve: to serve the nation, the world and future generations.
Currently, the very soul of the United States is being fought for, the outcome of which will have profound consequences for the world at large, and very much so for the relationship between the United States and China. The drive for fascism in the U.S., fueled by the ongoing financial collapse, must be replaced by the idea embedded in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution, of promoting the General Welfare, and, in regards to foreign policy, will create the potential to establish a New Just World Economic Order, based on a new financial and monetary system, with the common principle being mutual development, and the guiding key principle, 'the advantage of the other,' as established in the exemplary Peace of Westphalia in 1648.
In conclusion: throughout, it was a delight to read China's Ascendancy. Many times in reading, I found myself wishing to be in the same room with the author to be able to discuss these crucial and all-important questions, which she is bringing to the fore. A very thought-provoking book."
Leni M. W. Rubinstein
Executive Intelligence Review