A book I may need to read, and one from which orion would benefit:
"...But the authors were right to lead with 50 pages itemizing in grizzly detail Chinese human rights abuses -- for the profound reason that after reading those first 50 pages, the reader will be impassioned to resist Chinese domination not only on behalf of American interests, but also for the sake of humanity.
Today, many people think America is in decline and mentally acquiesce to the thought that the rise of China is inevitable. Those 50 pages will stiffen your resolve to be part of the struggle to never let such a malignancy spread to the rest of the world -- let alone to America...
In an astounding narrative, Decker and Triplett have refuted the growing authoritarian temptation expressed for too many elite people around the world by Thomas Friedman, the senior New York Times foreign-policy columnist who wrote recently: "One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century."
The authors do not mention Friedman. In those first 50 pages, they focus their compelling narrative on a strictly factual expose of the moral horror being brought down on the Chinese people by their ever-more-powerful Chinese leadership.
The authors carefully delineate the reversal in the last decade of the previous modest Chinese movement toward rule of law and a small hint at decency. It had been the hope of everyone from Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger onward that as China came into the world and embraced capitalism it would become "a modern, progressive society that (would) eventually bring the communist state in line with the rest of the civilized world." That was the moral foundation for "engaging" with China. It was also a convenient rationalization for trying to make a fortune in the vast Chinese market.
But, grimly, the authors explicate the sad fact that the engagement was a false dawn. In the last decade, it has gotten worse and worse as the Chinese leadership has now consolidated its power. Oligarchic "princelings"-- the 200 to 300 descendants of the founders of the Communist Party -- have gained a stranglehold on both the business and government of China. They are using the incomprehensibly vast power that comes with that total control to buy off the business class, exploit the working class and peasants, and prepare China to replace America as the world's dominant nation.
Once you have read the first searing 50 pages of this book, the hope that China is becoming a "decent," liberal society is no longer morally available to you. I mention Friedman because of his claim that Chinese leaders are a "reasonably enlightened group of people." The authors' narrative shows Friedman's words to be not merely fatuous, but uniquely immoral."