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Reviews 139 the chapter on the Yongzheng edicts themselves might more usefully have been placed at the beginning, rather than as the penultimate section. In combining institutional and social history, and in placing the development and, in at least some cases, the transformation ofthese social outcast groups as socially integrated members ofthe commoner population, Hansson has given us a valuable addition to the literature on late imperial Chinese culture and society. Kenneth J. Hammond New Mexico State University Kenneth J. Hammond is an assistantprofessor ofhistory, specializing in the cultural and intellectual history oflater imperial China. Stuart Harris and Gary Klintworth, editors. China as a Great Power: Myths, Realities and Challenges in the Asia-Pacific Region. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995. 382 pp. Hardcover $39.95, isbn 0-312-12106-7. In the last few years, the rise of China has again caught the attention and tested the imagination oftiiose who have an academic or professional concern with contemporary China. The result is a flourishing literature on the studies of China's growing power. The central questions that these studies have asked are simple and straightforward: is China becoming a great power? And in what sense is China a great power? The speculations about the impact of a strong China on the evolution of a post-Cold War international system and a globalized economy are, to say the least, intriguing.1 And the China-policy suggestions that have followed from these speculations are at best controversial.2 China as a Great Power, edited by Stuart Harris and Gary Klintworth, two noted Australian scholars ofinternational relations, is a timely contribution to the current discussions and controversies over the growing power of the People's Republic of China—but with a difference. First, it has a clear focus on the Asia-Pacific region, a region that is likely to be most significantiy affected by developments in China, and a region where Australia and the other "near and not so near neighbours" of China have vital interests. "There is a critical need," as Harris sugby nwersity ^^ "t0 put some balance into ourjudgements ofChina's future role and approach in the region" (p. 1). Second, it addresses die question of China's growing power largely from the Australian perspective, although it does include the views offour non-Australian contributors: Hu Angang from the Chinese Academy of ofHawai'i Press 140 China Review International: Vol. 5, No. 1, Spring 1998 Social Sciences in Beijing; Sha Zukang from the Foreign Ministry of China, You Ji from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and Kim Samuel from Columbia University in New York. This introduces some fresh air into the China debates currently dominated by American perspectives. Third, this is not a policyoriented study. The nineteen essays here, including an "Introduction" and a "Conclusion" by the editors, represent an ambitious collective attempt at "reading the Chinese tea leaves" to clarify the myths concerning China's growing power and what Beijing intends to do with that power. A comprehensive range ofissues have been investigated . Although a large body of the contributions (eight) are devoted to discussing China's bilateral relations in the region, from Sino-American relations to China and ASEAN, the book still manages to address a variety of topics ranging from "Tradition and Chinese Foreign Policy" by Rafe de Crespigny (chapter 3) to "China's Environmental Issues" by Hu Angang (chapter 17). You Ji's contribution on China's military modernization in the 1990s and David Goodman's on China's changing domestic political environment are exemplary efforts. What may be a surprise to many is that there is no separate chapter on Sino-Australian relations in particular, and on China's relations with the South Pacific in general. It is perhaps not surprising that a number of contributions challenge many basic assumptions about China as a great power, although they seem to share a consensus that China, particularly given its economic success, is assuming an increasingly significant political, economic, and strategic role in regional as well as global affairs. Samuel Kim argues forcefully that "China is a weak state pretending to be a.strong state" because it is "a repressive state propped up by...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 139-141
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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