In This Review

Beijing's Power and China's Borders: Twenty Neighbors in Asia
Beijing's Power and China's Borders: Twenty Neighbors in Asia
Edited by Bruce A. Elleman, Stephen Kotkin, and Clive Schofi
M.E. Sharpe, 2012, 371 pp
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The People’s Republic of China came into existence in 1949 burdened by territorial disputes with all but one of its neighbors -- a category that, by this book’s count, includes 19 countries and Taiwan, whose status is disputed. Today, 11 of the disputes remain at least partially unsettled, of which the most important are with India (over their land border) and with Vietnam and four other countries (over maritime borders). Each chapter in this useful book describes China’s relations with one of its neighbors; provides instructive maps; and analyzes the territories at stake, the history of negotiations, the relevant legal and strategic issues, and current economic and security relations. Even uncontested borders present daunting problems of control, and some of the settled boundaries have the potential to reemerge as problems in the future.