The Coming Decline of the Chinese Empire

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The Coming Decline of the Chinese Empire

By Victor Louis
Times Books, 1979
198 pp. $12.50

A Soviet journalist, long known for his KGB connections, paints a picture of a consistently expansionist, exploitive China sitting on the backs of its repressed minorities and itching to conquer the Soviet Far East, Siberia and Central Asia. As Harrison Salisbury points out in a useful introduction, the alarming point about this book is that Louis seems to be trying to lay a foundation for a Soviet preemptive strike against China. Although the book may be intended more as part of a war of nerves against China and the U.S., it can also be read as an extraordinary reflection of the depth of Russia's fears about China, fears that we would do well not to underestimate.

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