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Fractured China
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  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: October 2021
  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online ISBN: 9781009047487
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Book description

Is China's rise a threat to international order? Fractured China shows that it depends on what one means by 'China', for China is not the monolithic, unitary actor that many assume. Forty years of state transformation – the fragmentation, decentralisation and internationalisation of party-state apparatuses – have profoundly changed how its foreign policy is made and implemented. Today, Chinese behaviour abroad is often not the product of a coherent grand strategy, but results from a sometimes-chaotic struggle for power and resources among contending politico-business interests, within a surprisingly permissive Chinese-style regulatory state. Presenting a path-breaking new analytical framework, Fractured China transforms the central debate in International Relations and provides new tools for scholars and policymakers seeking to understand and respond to twenty-first century rising powers. Drawing on extensive fieldwork in China and Southeast Asia, it includes three major case studies – the South China Sea, non-traditional security cooperation, and development financing–to demonstrate the framework's explanatory power.


‘This exemplary work provides fabulous analyses on China's behaviours in international security and financial engagements. It should be a must-read for anyone who wants to gain more insights into the inner workings of China's foreign policy making and the impacts on China's partners and rivals.'

Li Mingjiang - Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


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