The consensus about China among Western governments today is that it cannot be trusted. And as Andrew Small, leading China expert, explains in No Limits: The Inside Story of China's War with the West, there is ample evidence to indicate a "curtain is descending" around China. A collective rethink on the country is underway, accelerated in recent years after such "catalytic episodes" as 5G network integration, the Covid-19 pandemic and the emerging Sino-Russian partnership. Small (The China-Pakistan Axis), a senior transatlantic fellow with the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, shows how Western liberal democracies are belatedly grappling with the fact that China is no longer on the periphery of global affairs; rather, it is "changing the balance in the battle of ideas." Small makes the key point that this reassessment of China is not driven by "hostile know-nothings" who want the country to fail, but by those many politicians, thinkers and business leaders "invested in its success." Alarmingly, China's new aggressive turn is not just about economics or mundane politics, matters that are mostly negotiable, but about ideas. Small claims that China's "belligerence" during the pandemic in 2020 mutated from an "initial prickliness at a moment of political vulnerability... into a profoundly ideological campaign, a pushback against the entire democratic order."
Well-documented and rich in insights, No Limits makes accessible the critical issues of China's policy, while urging that Western institutions must strengthen and recommit to standing firm. --Peggy Kurkowski, book reviewer and copywriter in Denver