“Stephen Roach: Disturbing Actions by China” is a new treatment of the old scenario. In 1984, Stephen R. Roach wrote “The Tripartite Strategies”, a book that discusses the three elements – power, opportunity, and commitment. Today, China has obviously neglected some of its important steps. It is obvious that it has a big possibility to achieve its objectives.
Stephen Roach: “Disappointing Actions by China” can be considered as a pre-emptive strike against the Chinese government policies of suppression, lies, and deceptions. The author has repeatedly exposed the illusory promises of prosperity, open-door policy, and the so-called miracle of economic reform package by the Chinese government. He has presented some of the realities that have been deliberately hidden by the Chinese authorities. The purpose of this book is to educate readers with this information in order to make better decisions in the future.
“Stephen R. Roach: disturbing actions by China to signal early stages of a new era” is the most accurate analysis to date regarding the current China-US dilemma. It presents the key issues and makes very useful recommendations regarding how to deal with China. The essence of this book is to help the reader cope up with the current China-US diplomatic confrontation by pointing out the critical juncture in which China is now facing.
This book is a very interesting read. It is written in a very simple and clear way. This is not a sensational writing style, but rather a very lucid exposition of the subject. The author does not try to create a romance in this book, but rather lays the facts down in simple language. One must take this book with a grain of salt, especially when dealing with first-world countries, but on the other hand, it is a very accurate portrayal of the current reality.
The author starts off with, “In November of 1990, the first Chinese soldiers crossed the border into North Korea. This created a military crisis since the US was not at peace with China, and their defeat of the Northern Koreans set the stage for the collapse of the US military posture in the region.” He goes on to explain that after this military incident, the United States was “prepared to wage war against any nation that would threaten us.”
However, things did not go as planned. The author then reveals how the Chinese government responded by “purging its political system.” He goes on to explain, “The first attempt at achard was met with massive suppression and blockades.” In other words, the first attempt at reform failed. This led to the current China situation we are in today.
“A year later, in August of 1991, the Chinese People’s Republic declared martial law. Martial law was intended to give the military a bulwark against domestic dissent. Martial law was immediately imposed on every city, and all civil organizations and firms were dissolved. All citizens were asked to report to the labor camps immediately, without any warning.” This may seem like overkill to some, but when you consider that the author of this book also claims that the first steps towards reform were met with the largest-scale suppression of civil disobedience in modern history, one can see how serious this problem was.
There are many different viewpoints on China. All have their pros and cons, and this book makes no judgments about that. What I am sure of, however, is that Mr. Roach is right about China’s behavior when he says, “If China was an independent country, it would be a great force for good in the world.” He makes a very good point about the world being so interconnected that nations that have strong values for human rights, freedom, and the rule of law will find their way to all of those who are willing to work toward a common cause through peaceful means. When you read this book, I would be very concerned if it were not also warning people to be very wary about the possible outcomes of a Chinese attack on the US, as this seems all too close to happening now.