As a Cabinet minister attending meetings of the UK’s National Security Council, Oliver Letwin took a profound interest in our relationship with China. So much of the discussion of world events inevitably turns into a debate about the attitudes and intentions of Beijing. But the more Letwin became involved in such discussions, the clearer it became to him that there was an absence of any settled Western strategy for conducting a peaceful long-term relationship with China.
With China’s authoritarian market socialist regime becoming increasingly assertive, and with the authorities in Washington becoming progressively hostile towards the growth of Chinese power, the world is now in a much more precarious state than it was a decade ago, and the situation is only going to deteriorate. Recent repressive moves by China in Hong Kong and Chinese military activities in the South China Sea have only served to heighten tensions, exacerbated too by concerns in the West about China’s lack of transparency in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic and by increasing Western measures directed against Chinese companies such as Huawei.
China vs America traces the contours of history, both ancient and modern, to explain how China has emerged as a challenger to American power in the twenty-first century and the discomfort that this is causing in the West. This book is a powerful call to correct the collision course on which the great powers of the world are currently embarked before it is too late.
“It’s time we had a proper conversation about how we can live with China, and this is a book which starts that discussion, considering the world we are actually living in rather than the one we used to live in.”