Amid the flood of writings on how China's rise threatens the West, this breezily written work sensibly locates the main threat not in the military or the economic field, or (despite its subtitle) in a supposed Chinese strategy to dominate the world, but in the realm of values. Beijing's "market authoritarian model," as Halper calls it, looks increasingly attractive compared to the faltering liberal capitalist model. Even though no other authoritarian state has the organizational resources to model itself fully on China, many are emboldened to try their own homebrews of repression and state capitalism. Disagreeing with those who think that a search for respectability will lead China to scale back its relations with rogue states, Halper argues that Beijing is locked into such relationships due to its dependence on natural resources. Likewise, he doubts that China will democratize as it grows richer, because it is wealth that underwrites the regime's legitimacy. In Halper's telling, the real threat facing the West is the West's own failure to practice and promote its values.
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