“On China” by Henry Kissinger Book Review

Political science

Write a1.5 page review of Henry Kissinger’s book, On China. Paperback edition with a new afterword. Penguin 2012. Does Kissinger persuade you that the G-2 policy is the best answer for China and the United States and a feasible option? Why? 0.5-page paper for Presentation of the book (please do NOT attempt to read your […]

A Book review of “On China” by Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger’s book “On China,” published by The Penguin Press in 2011 in New York City, highlights various essential aspects of the bilateral relationship to the future of international relations. The book is differentiated from his previous writings by sweeping different accounts of the United States policies, thus touring forces for over 400 years seeking European diplomacy. Kissinger’s book describes the U.S-China relationship as long overdue while emphasizing on resounding impacts of Sino-American relations. However, the book is a guiding stone for illustrating the future of American diplomatic practices aimed at maintaining an essential relationship with Beijing. To achieve this, Kissinger highlights the existing differences, deterrence concepts, and perceived threats between the Chinese and Western policies, thus reaffirming his commitment to classical realist theories.

The imperative approach used by China and Asia is a skeptic due to their endless demonstration of impressive economic statistics depicting the dower shift from West to East, aiming to develop a strategic culture that uplifts Chinese foreign policies to global standards. Kissinger begins his writing by explaining and demonstrating some of the cultural and diplomatic factors which are purely from China. Similarly, the three opening chapters are based on the Chinese era of humiliation, which creates a pattern of prediction on the recent Beijing actions. Kissinger conveys China’s long history with pride by stating some of the exceptional qualities that led to civilization (10). Furthermore, Kissinger claims that the Chinese version of exceptionalism is far better than the American version because the Chinese government does not export its leadership ideas but lets others seek them (17). Therefore, the Chinese government is efficient in its foreign policies, thus making the G-2 policies less effective.

Sino strategies employed by the Chinese government differ significantly from western traditions, thus demonstrating the varying conception of deterrence, which promises an overwhelming retaliation. The kind of revenge used is highly represented in the realm of nuclear weapons, thus leading to the pursuit of preemptive and offensive deterrence, such as the deployment of PLA forces during the Korean War. Similarly, in explaining the classical realism used by China, Kissinger highlights China’s challenges, thus weighing the importance of political and domestic consideration by stating essential roles played by Chinese characters such as Zhou Enlai (241). However, controversy exists on the view of Kissinger about the most celebrated Chinese leader as he claims that Mao destroyed the existing traditional aspects of China, which encouraged modernization, while Deng courageously developed resilience and initiatives, which formed the basis which modernization develops (321). Therefore, Kissinger’s ability to express the mindset and circumstances of the general audience is remarkable, thus creating a conflict zone in establishing foreign policies by the Republican Party.

Presentation of the Book

The approach used by Kissinger in describing the existing international relation between china and other nations creates a moderate political atmosphere among countries, thus enhancing international relations. Similarly, such approaches are useful in negotiating peaceful treaties, such as one applied during the Vietnam War. However, Kissinger’s failures can be considered an upholding factor for Chinese democracy, thus creating a neoconservative perspective that maintains a friendly relationship with the United States. Therefore, the advocacy of realism attributes to the implementation of gloomy futures, which provide a solution to catastrophic concepts and activities such as the global power shift, thus creating an ideological barrier between the U.S and China. Additionally, Kissinger illustrates the difference between the two nations by differentiating the democratic methods employed by the two countries; America operates the libertarian form of democracy while china uses an authoritarian approach (529). However, despite the existing challenges, only political ideologies determine the existence of a cordial relationship between China and America. Therefore, the current relationship between the two countries determines the nature of the Sino-American relation, thus leading to the attainment of peace and stability.

Work Cited

Kissinger, Henry. On China. Penguin, 2012.

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Published On: 01-01-1970

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