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244 China Review International: Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1997©1997 by University ofHawai'i Press David Shambaugh, editor. Greater China: The Next Superpower. Oxford: Clarendon Paperbacks, 1995. ix, 310 pp. "Greater China" is now a common phrase in the press, and increasingly in academic discourse it is used as a new model for post-Cold War global politics. Greater China: The NextSuperpower.—the product ofa China Quarterly conference held in Hong Kong in January 1993—is an interesting book on fhis popular topic. Though there is often disagreement among scholars about the limits of Greater China, most ofthose represented in this volume see it in terms ofthe People's Republic of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Occasionally Macao, Singapore, and Overseas Chinese communities are also included. Since this conglomeration ofpeople and places bodes to be a major player in world economic, political, and strategic relations, the volume addresses how different groups use and criticize die "Greater China" concept. In "Introduction: The Emergence of'Greater China,'" editor David Shambaugh sets die volume up nicely by providing a concise summary of each of the chapters . He highlights how Greater China is part ofa post-Cold War reconfiguration of International Relations and contains various actors, dimensions, and processes. Most importantiy, he contrasts the problems ofde jure political reunification and the de facto growth of economic and cultural links. Thus, though formal and institutional relations between Taiwan and the PRC remain difficult, the informal integration ofthe two societies marches on. The first chapter, "The Concept of "Greater China": Themes, Variations and Reservations," by Harry Harding is exceUent in explaining the ambiguities of "Greater China." Though fhis term has been used over the past century to define China geographicaUy, the concept regained currency at the end of the 1970s when post-Mao economic reforms opened up China to foreign, usuaUy Hong Kong, investment and trade. This expanded to Taiwan once Taibei loosened travel, trade, and investment restrictions in the mid 1980s. Since dien, cultural and, increasingly, political links have been made. Harding divides die discourse of Greater China into three core concepts: economics , culture, and politics: Economically, Greater China involves the expanding commercial interactions among mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Culturally, it refers to the restoration ofpersonal, scientific, intellectual and artistic contacts among people of Chinese descent around the world. Politically, it refers to the possibility of the re-establishment of a single Chinese state, reuniting a political entity that was disintegrated by more than a century of foreign pressure and civil war. To a degree, the three themes are interrelated: a common cultural identity provides a catalyst for economic ties, and economic interdependence may lay the foundation for political unification, (p. 32) Reviews 245 Some see fhis to be a threat from an expansionist empire rather than an economic opportunity. But Harding states that such alarmist tendencies are overdrawn because they focus only on integrative aspects whUe not recognizing the centrifugal tendencies in Greater China. In some ways this begs the question ofwhether China, let alone Greater China, wül continue to exist at all. To put it another way, does fhe future lie in an increasingly centralized state or will fhe pressures ofmodernization pull China apart. Except for fhe first footnote of fhe volume, in Shambaugh 's article, there is no talk about what would happen ifChina itself falls apart upon the succession to Deng or some other crisis. And what will happen if the regionahsm ofGreater China actuaUy becomes fhe "Lesser China" ofSouthern China, leaving the balance of the mainland behind in its economic and political change? Each offhe foUowing chapters is weU researched and weU written. But most ofthem do not seem able to break free ofthe nation-state concept to look at Greater China as a new phenomenon in world politics. The cover Ulustration— showing a simple coUage ofphotographs ofDeng Xiaoping, Chris Patten, and Lee Teng-hui—speaks to fhe problems faced in die balance offhe book. Greater China is not so much about leaders who represent states but about the anonymous social and economic forces ofthe mUlions ofpeople who are pushing and puUing at the region. Shambaugh recognizes fhis in his introduction: "Ifone looks at Greater China...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 244-247
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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