China and Her Neighbours

Asian Diplomacy from Ancient History to the Present

Michael Tai

China and Her Neighbours

Michael Tai

Distributed for Zed Books

216 pages | 6 x 9
Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9781786997760 Published October 2019 For sale in North and South America only
For centuries, China has been known as the Middle Kingdom. This name clearly indicates the country’s place as the powerhouse of the East, but it also serves as a reminder that China is surrounded by dozens of other countries that are intimately linked to its fate. At times, these neighbors have tried to encroach on China’s power, but in the past decades China has retaken its place as the undisputed cultural, economic, and political center of Asia. And that leaves countries across the continent facing an uncertain future. Does China’s rise threaten its neighbors? And what, ultimately, is its end goal? Nowhere are these questions more pressing than in the Pacific, where those who share maritime space with China are finding themselves directly in the path of the country’s expanding territorial claims.

In China and Her Neighbours, Michael Tai finds answers to these questions through an in-depth exploration of China’s past. He takes us through thousands of years of Chinese and Asian history, looking at China’s evolving relations with Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia specifically. Tai considers how in the past the Chinese state has handled its colonial powers, its territorial disputes, and its tensions with countries like Japan and the United States. As Tai shows, looking closer at how history has shaped the current regime’s views of regional integration and global governance can reveal much about its future ambitions on the continent.

While the disputes in the Pacific have attracted widespread attention, few works have considered the wider historical context of these tensions. This makes China and Her Neighbours an essential and distinctive perspective on one of the key confrontations of the twenty-first century.
Review Quotes
Marc Lanteigne, Massey University in Auckland
“An impressive historical and maritime strategic approach to Chinese history and peripheral relations, and how they have related to current events.”

 
Peter Nolan, Jesus College, University of Cambridge
“A book on how to deepen mutual understanding between the peoples of East Asia. A valuable contribution to the peaceful and harmonious evolution of East Asia.”

 
Christopher P. Henson, The Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding
“A history of what could have been a Chinese overseas empire had China ever intended to create one. The question of who can be trusted to deal equitably with other sovereign nations in our increasingly volatile times is one that can be asked again.”
 
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