For centuries, China was confident in its role as the ‘Middle Kingdom’, the undisputed cultural, economic and political powerhouse of Asia. Today, with China once again a leading player on the world stage, countries across the continent are facing an uncertain future. Does China’s rise threaten its neighbours? And what, ultimately, is its end goal? Nowhere are these questions more pressing than in the Pacific, where China’s maritime neighbours find themselves directly in the path of the country’s expanding territorial claims.
In this rich historical exploration, Michael Tai finds answers to these and other questions through an in-depth exploration of China’s past. Spanning thousands of years of Chinese and Asian history, China and Her Neighbours looks at China’s evolving relations with Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia. While the disputes in the Pacific have attracted widespread attention, very few investigations have considered the wider historical context of these tensions.