How China derailed its peaceful rise to power

For decades, China’s rise to power came with the reassurance that this rise would be peaceful. Tragically, this direction has changed under the leadership of Xi Jinping, the current head of state of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), according to the 2022 book on Overreach: How China Derailed its Peaceful Rise. The author of this book, Susan L. Shirk, discusses these concerns. 

Dr. Shirk is a research professor at the University of California, San Diego, and Director Emeritus of the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC). She previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of the US in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs in the Clinton administration.

In Overreach, she documents how Xi has acquired more personal power than Mao Zedong, the founding leader of the PRC, by firing or imprisoning on corruption charges any Chinese leader who says things Xi doesn’t like. Xi’s program includes a substantial military buildup and strong-arm efforts in dealing with foreign countries and businesses. This combined with inappropriate and excessive China-bashing by US politicians contributes to unhealthy and potentially catastrophic competition between China and the US. 


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