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On China (2011)

de Henry Kissinger

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6621526,740 (3.94)16
"In this sweeping and insightful history, Henry Kissinger turns for the first time at book-length to a country he has known intimately for decades, and whose modern relations with the West he helped shape. Drawing on historical records as well as his conversations with Chinese leaders over the past forty years, Kissinger examines how China has approached diplomacy, strategy, and negotiation throughout its history, and reflects on the consequences for the global balance of power in the 21st century. Since no other country can claim a more powerful link to its ancient past and classical principles, any attempt to understand China's future world role must begin with an appreciation of its long history. For centuries, China rarely encountered other societies of comparable size and sophistication; it was the "Middle Kingdom," treating the peoples on its periphery as vassal states. At the same time, Chinese statesmen-facing threats of invasion from without, and the contests of competing factions within-developed a canon of strategic thought that prized the virtues of subtlety, patience, and indirection over feats of martial prowess. In 'On China', Kissinger examines key episodes in Chinese foreign policy from the classical era to the present day, with a particular emphasis on the decades since the rise of Mao Zedong. He illuminates the inner workings of Chinese diplomacy during such pivotal events as the initial encounters between China and modern European powers, the formation and breakdown of the Sino-Soviet alliance, the Korean War, Richard Nixon's historic trip to Beijing, and three crises in the Taiwan Straits. Drawing on his extensive personal experience with four generations of Chinese leaders, he brings to life towering figures such as Mao, Zhou Enlai, and Deng Xiaoping, revealing how their different visions have shaped China's modern destiny. With his singular vantage on U.S.-China relations, Kissinger traces the evolution of this fraught but crucial relationship over the past 60 years, following its dramatic course from estrangement to strategic partnership to economic interdependence, and toward an uncertain future. With a final chapter on the emerging superpower's 21st-century world role, 'On China' provides an intimate historical perspective on Chinese foreign affairs from one of the premier statesmen of the 20th century"--… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 15 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
"On China" is quite an interesting book. I would call it "America & China", which is what the book is all about really.

Henry Kissinger has taken a somewhat chronological approach. The first section goes back to 'the century of humiliation', and he explains how this has influenced the Chinese.

From there, there is a broad swathe until the time of Hu Jintao.
He has dedicated a large section of the book to the Mao/Zhou Enlai/Deng Xiaoping era, and I assume that this is because this is the time he was involved with China.

His writing on Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao are more cursory.

I do not think that he has explored geopolitics in its entirety, and this is fine because it would have complicated the narrative.

Along the way, you get some insights into how the Chinese negotiate and their approach to relationships and strategy. This is why I have given it a 5-star.

I am sure he has glossed over, and ignored his missteps and miscalculations insofar as China is concerned. ( )
  RajivC | Mar 22, 2021 |
Henry Kissinger architect van de hernieuwde diplomatieke banden tussen China en de vs in de jaren zeventig van de vorige eeuw onderzoekt in dit boek de geschiedenis van de Chinese diplomatie. Hij laat zien dat de unieke omstandigheden waaronder China zich in het verleden heeft ontwikkeld nog steeds van invloed zijn op het huidige beleid ten aanzien van de buitenwereld. Kissinger schetst de belangrijkste episoden in het Chinese buitenlandbeleid, van de eerste diplomatieke betrekkingen van het land met de buitenwereld tot de meest actuele ontwikkelingen in de eenentwintigste eeuw. Hij beschrijft onder andere de vroege Europees-Chinese contacten, de banden van China met de Sovjet-Unie en de latere verkilling tussen de twee landen, de opstelling van China in de Koreaanse oorlog, de ontmoeting tussen Mao Zedong en Richard Nixon in 1972 in Beijing, het Tiananmen-protest, de toetreding van China tot de wereldhandelsorganisatie wto en de huidige rol van supermacht China op het wereldtoneel. Kissinger baseert zich zowel op historische bronnen als op persoonlijke gesprekken met Chinese leiders. Een belangwekkend boek van een van de grootste staatsmannen van de twintigste eeuw. ( )
  nepalbert | May 5, 2020 |
Surprisingly readable and worthwhile summary by a guy who knows a lot. ( )
  richardSprague | Mar 22, 2020 |
Verwacht geen boek over China. Het is veeleer de geschiedenis van de Amerikaanse diplomatieke betrekkingen met China. Het is dus vanuit een diplomatisch standpunt geschreven. De schrijver wil duidelijk ook vandaag nog met dit boek op geen tenen trappen.

Het heeft dikwijls zelfs weg van vleierij van de CCP-leiders, Mao inbegrepen. Eigenlijk is het onbetamelijk hoe de CCP nergens de verantwoordelijkheid voor 80 miljoen doden sinds de oprichting van de Volksrepubliek onder de neus krijgt geschoven.

De uitspraken van de CCP-leiders in het boek zijn dikwijls verwaand en hoogmoedig. Vervang in hun opmerkingen de woorden 'China' en 'het Chinese volk' met CCP en je krijgt een heel ander en correcter beeld van waar het om draait.

Het probleem Taiwan dat regelmatig aan bod komt kan nu een aantal jaren nadat dit boek werd geschreven een heel ander beeld geven van de bedoelingen van de CCP. Ondertussen heeft Taiwan een democratisch verkozen regering en bewijst Hongkong hoe het 'één land twee systemen' werkt. De CCP heeft duidelijk niet de bedoeling de macht los te laten en democratie enige kans te geven. Integendeel, de bij de overname van Hongkong beginnende democratie wordt er op autoritaire wijze afgebroken.. ( )
  Rodemail | Nov 10, 2019 |
I got this from Overdrive because have read other books by this author and really enjoyed them. A very detailed and informative history of the State of China. Very insightful and interesting. Learned a lot about China I did not know before and writing style was very clear and easy to read. Really enjoyed this book. Highly recommend this book. ( )
  CrystalToller | Mar 5, 2019 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 15 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Kissinger chooses to ascribe huge insight to virtually everything Mao says.
adicionado por mercure | editarFinancial Times, Chris Patten (May 27, 2011)
 
Henry Kissinger will always remain a controversial historical figure. But this elegantly written and erudite book reminds us that on one of the biggest questions of the post-World War II world his judgment was right, and showed a long-term vision that few politicians of any country could match today. Unless, of course, Hillary Clinton is even now on a secret mission to Tehran.
adicionado por mercure | editarTaipei Times, Rana Mitter (May 22, 2011)
 
Henry Kissinger in China was always a gratingly and irritatingly smug presence, but Henry Kissinger "on China" is madly baffling.
adicionado por mercure | editarThe Guardian, Jasper Becker (May 21, 2011)
 
An epic and, in some places, surprisingly moving book (...) on China
adicionado por mercure | editarFinancial Times, Simon Schama (May 20, 2011)
 
Mr. Kissinger’s fascinating, shrewd and sometimes perverse new book, “On China,” not only addresses the central role he played in Nixon’s opening to China but also tries to show how the history of China, both ancient and more recent, has shaped its foreign policy and attitudes toward the West.

(...)

Lurking beneath Mr. Kissinger’s musings on Chinese history is a not-so-subtle subtext. This volume, much like his 1994 book, “Diplomacy,” is also a sly attempt by a controversial figure to burnish his legacy as Nixon’s national security adviser and secretary of state. It is a book that promotes Mr. Kissinger’s own brand of realpolitik thinking, and that in doing so often soft-pedals the human costs of Mao’s ruthless decades-long reign and questions the consequences of more recent American efforts to press human-rights issues with the Chinese.
adicionado por mercure | editarNew York Times, MICHIKO KAKUTANI (May 9, 2011)
 
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"In this sweeping and insightful history, Henry Kissinger turns for the first time at book-length to a country he has known intimately for decades, and whose modern relations with the West he helped shape. Drawing on historical records as well as his conversations with Chinese leaders over the past forty years, Kissinger examines how China has approached diplomacy, strategy, and negotiation throughout its history, and reflects on the consequences for the global balance of power in the 21st century. Since no other country can claim a more powerful link to its ancient past and classical principles, any attempt to understand China's future world role must begin with an appreciation of its long history. For centuries, China rarely encountered other societies of comparable size and sophistication; it was the "Middle Kingdom," treating the peoples on its periphery as vassal states. At the same time, Chinese statesmen-facing threats of invasion from without, and the contests of competing factions within-developed a canon of strategic thought that prized the virtues of subtlety, patience, and indirection over feats of martial prowess. In 'On China', Kissinger examines key episodes in Chinese foreign policy from the classical era to the present day, with a particular emphasis on the decades since the rise of Mao Zedong. He illuminates the inner workings of Chinese diplomacy during such pivotal events as the initial encounters between China and modern European powers, the formation and breakdown of the Sino-Soviet alliance, the Korean War, Richard Nixon's historic trip to Beijing, and three crises in the Taiwan Straits. Drawing on his extensive personal experience with four generations of Chinese leaders, he brings to life towering figures such as Mao, Zhou Enlai, and Deng Xiaoping, revealing how their different visions have shaped China's modern destiny. With his singular vantage on U.S.-China relations, Kissinger traces the evolution of this fraught but crucial relationship over the past 60 years, following its dramatic course from estrangement to strategic partnership to economic interdependence, and toward an uncertain future. With a final chapter on the emerging superpower's 21st-century world role, 'On China' provides an intimate historical perspective on Chinese foreign affairs from one of the premier statesmen of the 20th century"--

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