It is not an understatement to say that the immediate future of the world will hinge largely on how China evolves and interacts with the rest of the world, and in particular the United States. Many questions arise. How will China handle endemic corruption? What about relations with the United States and the Taiwan question? How viable is the “China model” of economic development? These questions underlie most of the articles in this edition of China Currents.
For decades, corruption has characterized China’s political system. Andy Wedeman adds to his impressive body of work on the subject with an essay analyzing Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaigns. Butler Cain shifts attention to Taiwan and demonstrates in detail how the island has been “remarkably effective” at navigating the international system despite its nebulous political status. At a time when western democracies are being challenged by authoritarian forces, China Currents Managing Editor Penelope Prime reviews three books that analyze the effectiveness of the “China model.” Jessica Teets offers ideas about how civil society organizations can help prevent decoupling of the U.S.-China relationship. Frank Neville also takes on the subject of U.S.-China relations, arguing that the United States must abandon the idea of containing China and jettison the notion, long held in many quarters, that economic development in China will inevitably lead to a more open, western-style political system. Paul Foster rounds out the issue with a fascinating look at what Chinese science fiction tells us about the link between ideology and a dystopian world view.