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Review of "China: Engage!" Vince Cable's new book

October 16, 2020 2:00 AM
By Merlene Emerson in Libdem Voice

China: Engage! book coverHe has done it again. Sir Vince Cable has seemingly effortlessly published yet another book. This is at least his 6th, following Globalisation and Global Governance (2000), The Storm (2009), Free Radical (2010), After the Storm (2015) and the novel Open Arms (2018). Despite its shorter length at around 99 pages, it is packed full with well researched facts and figures, insightful analysis, and is reflective of the mind of an ex economist and academic.

The title China: Engage! Avoid the New Cold War, makes clear his dovish view where it concerns the cold (and possible hot) war involving China. This stance is not ideologically driven but grounded on global evidence seen through the eyes of a senior statesmen and former Business Secretary in the UK Government (2010-2015).

The chapters are constructed in digestible chunks covering China's economic rise, reasons for deteriorating relations with the US, alignment of the other nations and the more serious tech war. I say serious as we all know that now in our 4th industrial revolution whoever comes out on top in the IT/AI race will be the one that rules the waves.

I write this serving my 14 day quarantine in a designated facility in Singapore and if not for access to wifi, I would be climbing the walls. But instead I have just been watching Irina von Wiese speak on Brexit at the European Liberal Forum and am about to log into the Covid19 Anti Racism webinar hosted by the Chinese Welfare Trust charity. Sadly anti-China sentiment has resulted in a sharp rise in hate crime against the Chinese diaspora communities in the UK and around the world.

But I digress, back to the book.

It is published in paper back at £6.99 but is also available free on Kindle.

Here are extracts from a couple of reviews on Amazon.

Sir Vince states that through the deft use of "soft-power" Western economic powers need to learn, adapt and influence China through the lens of mutual trust and cooperation and not feel fearful or distrustful of China and its expansionist economic ambitions. Sir Vince states that through mutual respect and understanding we can avoid conflict and engage with China for the benefit of all of humanity. Kaleem

Thanks in part, but not solely, to Donald Trump, the West is taking an increasingly antagonistic line with China, which seems potentially to lead us all back into a frightening new Cold War, in which we're at the mercy of a nuclear conflict. Vince Cable argues that we must engage with China and stop this happening. Paul

And to which I have added mine:

A 'must read' for China watchers and policy makers

A timely publication on how UK should respond to the phenomenon of a rising China confronting sabre rattling by the US. In bite sized chapters the author recounts China's evolution from a socialist industrial economy into a successful consumer and service based one. It is indeed the US's fear of being overtaken in the tech war that has led to the new cold war. Meanwhile different countries have lined up to take sides (the Lone Ranger and his Posse). But must we follow suit?

With the keen analysis of an economist coupled with the experience of a seasoned politician Vince Cable is able to shed light on the road ahead.