David Martin Jones, Nicholas Khoo, and M.L.R. Smith wrote Asian Security and the Rise of China. David Martin Jones teaches in the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland, Australia. Nicholas Kooh is a senior lecturer in the Department of Politics at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Lastly, M.L.R. Smith lectures at King’s College as a professor of Strategic Theory in the Department of War Studies.

Asian Security and the Rise of China analyzes the political and economic dynamics at the end of the Cold War and offers a realist perspective on the frictions and dynamics of Sino-US relations. The rise of China creates conflict with existing consensus-based agreements and has led to other Asian states’ increasing dependence on the US to mitigate Chinese hegemony, showing the existence of a complex and destabilizing security dilemma.

The book tries its best to present diverse perspectives. For example, I learned about two different opinions regarding how much to fear the rise of China. Scholars like David Shambaugh and David Kang believed that Northeastern states viewed Chinese hegemony as stability (41) and would be more willing to accommodate China’s position because, “the critical development in post-Cold War era Asia has been convergence in national identities” (42). In contrast to fear deflation, realist scholar John Mearsheimer fears that the future of Northeast states would be bleak as China rises from the perspective of offensive realism in which states are competing power maximizers, at once fearful of each other and constantly looking for opportunities to gain power at the expense of others (43). Furthermore, the book includes poll results from northeast Asian states reflecting views of people from various social classes. The general result indicates an increase of fear for China’s rise as a threat to the stability of East Asian states and an inclination to the United States as the peace mediator.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand East Asian politics and how China’s growing power shapes America’s role in national security. It also involves human rights, democracy, and other important aspects of politics. I truly enjoyed the philosophical insights, empirical data and useful theories.


About the Author
Tina Ye is a student at Barstow High School in Kansas City, MO.