China's Global Strategy

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Jenny Clegg, Pluto; £19.99

China's Global Strategy comes at a time when the country is being seen as a growing power. Talk of China and the US coming into conflict in a battle of economic supremacy is becoming widespread. In her book Jenny Clegg argues that China holds the key to building a more peaceful and equal world.

It begins with a useful critique of US imperialism and its impact on China. Clegg places the threats made to China in the early 1990s in the context of US imperialist ambitions globally and is scathing about US involvement in the Middle East.

It is interesting to read about the struggles for democracy in China and Clegg stresses that the leadership of these struggles is predominantly from the working class in the industrialised cities.

But her argument that China is a beacon of hope in a world of capitalist aggression is based on elevating China to a level it simply doesn't deserve.

Clegg characterises China's embrace of globalisation, not as strengthening a capitalist system, but as boosting the socialist system she insists is in place. She traces this back to the Chinese Revolution of 1949 which she believes to be a socialist revolution rather than the anti-imperialist struggle that it was.

It is on this assumption that Clegg bases China's Global Strategy, and while her anti-imperialism is formidable the book is mainly a defence of China's flawed economic system.