Strange Stories about China’s Rise – William A. Callahan

journal-icon-140x150Strange Stories about China’s Rise – William A. Callahan

Abstract: Edward N. Luttwak’s The Rise of China vs. The Logic of Strategy (Harvard University Press, December 2012) is a curious book. One would think that a book published by a senior associate at a powerful Washington think-tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, would see the US and the broader Western world as its audience. Although the book was commissioned in 2010 as a project for the Office of Net Assessment at the US Department of Defense, in the preface Luttwak assures us that his book is ‘not an adversarial investigation of an enemy power’, but is offered to his ‘friends in China’. (ix) Luttwak’s advice is simple and straightforward. He argues that China’s current strategy that pursues a simultaneous expansion of economic, military and diplomatic power is doomed to fail. Beijing’s three-fold ‘aggrandizement’ of power is already causing problems on the world stage, provoking a diverse set of countries to push back economically, militarily and diplomatically.