The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress: China's Search for Security

The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress: China's Search for Security

by Andrew J. Nathan, Robert S. Ross


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Today China is considered a threat by many in the United States and the rest of the world. But the authors argue that those who subscribe to this alarmist view are mistaking the Great Wall for a symbol of strength, and falling for the deception of the Empty Fortress. Despite its sheer size, economic vitality, and drive to upgrade its military forces, China remains a vulnerable power, crowded on all sides by powerful rivals and potential foes. As it has throughout its history, China faces immense security problems, and their sources are at and within China's own borders. China's foreign policy is calibrated to defend its territorial integrity against antagonists who are numerous, near, and strong. The authors trace the implications of this central point of China's relations with the United States, the Soviet Union and its successor states, and its regional rivals and partners. They address China's human-rights policy; its foreign economic policy; and its strategies in Taiwan, Tibet, and Hong Kong.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393317848
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 06/17/1998
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Andrew J. Nathan is professor of political science at Columbia University.

Robert S. Ross is professor of political science at Boston College and research associate at the John King Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, Harvard University.

Table of Contents

AbbreviationsIntroductionPart I. Interest and Identity in Chinese Foreign Policy1. What Drives Chinese Foreign Policy? 2. Who Runs Chinese Foreign Policy?Part II. Security Challenges and Strategies3. Life on the Hinge: China's Russia Policy Durgaing the Cold War and After4. Deciphering the U.S. Threat5. The Northeast Asia Regional System: Japan and the Two Koreas6. China's Other Neighbors: The Asia-Pacific7. China in the Fourth RingPart III. Holding Together: Territorial Integrity and Foreign Policy8. Problems of Stateness: Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan9. Taiwan's Democratic Transition and China's ResponsePart IV. Instruments of Power10. Dilemmas of Opening: Power and Vulnerability in the Global Economy11. Military Modernization: From People's War to Power Projection12. Soft Power and Human Rights in Chinese Foreign PolicyPart V. Conclusion13. Threat or Equilibrium? Notes Acknowledgments Index

Columbia University Press

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Michael Yahuda

A fresh and new approach and beyond doubt the best book available on China's foreign policy.

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The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress: China's Search for Security 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For all of you academics who maybe aren't PhD's in East Asian studies Nathan offers an exciting look into the power politics of China and its region. He explores the potential hotspots, including Tibet and Taiwan and he makes a compelling argument in describing the tendencies of Chinese leaders. However, it is a little too realist centered, it focuses on power and military strength and avoids other factors