This is a selection of Books that Members have enjoyed. Some are quite focused and others more general. In either case, they have added to the China knowledge of the Members who recommended them. Further recommendations are always welcome so that they can be added to this selection.
by David Brophy
A better way to think about foreign influence and the nation’s future When he visited Australia in 2014, Chinese president Xi Jinping said there was an ‘ocean of goodwill’ between our country and his. Since then that ocean has shown dramatic signs of freezing over. Australia is in the grip of a China Panic. How did we get here and what’s the way out?
We hear, weekly, alarming stories of Chinese influence, interference or even espionage – in politics, on campus, in the media, in community organisations and elsewhere. The United States now sees China as a strategic rival, and pressure on Australia to ‘get tough on China’ will only intensify.
While the xenophobic right hovers in the wings, some of the loudest voices decrying Chinese subversion come, unexpectedly, from the left. Aligning themselves with hawkish think tanks, they call for new security laws, increased scrutiny of Chinese Australians and, if necessary, military force – a prescription for a sharp rightward turn in Australian politics.
In this insightful critique, David Brophy offers a progressive alternative. Instead of punitive measures that restrict rights and stoke suspicion of minorities – moves that would only make Australia more like China – we need democratic solutions that strengthen Australian institutions and embrace, not alienate, Chinese Australians. Above all, we need forms of international solidarity that don’t reduce human rights to a mere bargaining chip.
‘China Panic is essential reading.’ —Linda Jaivin, author of The Shortest History of China
Publisher : La Trobe University Press (1 Jun 2021)
by Rowan Callick
Who is running China? Where does real power lie? In Party Time, Rowan Callick goes behind the scenes of reveal the workings of the county's political elite. This is a vivid, ground-breaking book about the world's most powerful institutions- the Chinese Communist Party.
Nearly a century after its underground beginnings in a Shanghai schoolroom, the party today exerts remarkable control. Business deals require party approval. University courses reflect party doctrine. Party families amass incredible wealth while other enterprises are squeezed out.
The party itself has over 80 million members, who range from lowly functionaries to unapproachable princelings. Why and how do people join the party? Who are its up-and-coming leaders, how are they educated and what visions do they have for China's future?
Callick show that this is a pivotal time for the party. Far from mellowing, the new leadership is as focused as ever on strengthening its role and silencing dissent. But how prepared is it for the challenges it now faces, and what will its success or failure mean for China and the world?
'Party Time is a remarkable portrait of China today. Rowan Callick writes with a twofold strength- 1) the outstanding quality of his information drawn mostly from the source- the Chinese people themselves (officials and dissenters, millionaires and paupers, artists, students, country people, urbanites, old and young) - and 2) a rare ability not to draw conclusions, but to raise the questions that truly matter, with a subtle mixture of clear-sightedness, awe and human compassion.' - Simon Leys
by Tim Clissold
In the 21st century, the world has tilted eastwards in its orbit; China grows confident while the West seems mired in doubt. Having lived and worked in China for more than two decades, Tim Clissold explains the secrets that Westerners can use to navigate through its cultural and political maze.
Picking up where he left off in the international best-seller Mr. China, Chinese Rules chronicles his most recent exploits, with assorted Chinese bureaucrats, factory owners, and local characters building a climate change business in China. Of course, all does not go as planned as he finds himself caught between the world's largest carbon emitter and the world's richest man. Clissold offers entertaining and enlightening anecdotes of the absurdities, gaffes, and mysteries he encountered along the way.
Sprinkled amid surreal scenes of cultural confusion and near misses are smart myth-busting insights and practical lessons Westerns can use to succeed in China. Exploring key episodes in that nation's long political, military, and cultural history, Clissold outlines five Chinese Rules, which anyone can deploy in on-the-ground situations with modern Chinese counterparts. These Chinese rules will enable foreigners not only to cooperate with China but also to compete with it on its own terms.
Publisher: Harper (November 4, 2014)
by Tim Clissold
Mr. China tells the rollicking story of a young man who goes to China with the misguided notion that he will help bring the Chinese into the modern world, only to be schooled by the most resourceful and creative operators he would ever meet. Part memoir, part parable, Mr. China is one man's coming-of-age story where he learns to respect and admire the nation he sought to conquer.
by Stephen FitzGerald
Stephen FitzGerald began his career as a diplomat, became an academic, was China adviser to Gough Whitlam, and from 1973 to 1976 was Australia's first ambassador to the People's Republic of China. In 1980 he established the first private consultancy for Australian business and government in China. He is currently a board member of the independent public policy initiative, China Matters, and an honorary fellow at the China Studies Centre at Sydney University.
Modern Australia was in part defined by its early embrace of China—a turning from the White Australia Policy of the 1950s to the country's acceptance of Asian immigration and engagement with regional neighbours.
saw the far-sighted establishment of an embassy in Beijing in the 1970s by Gough Whitlam, headed by Stephen FitzGerald. Here, FitzGerald's story as diplomat, China scholar, adviser to Gough Whitlam, first ambassador to China under prime ministers Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser, is interwoven with the wider one of this dramatic moment in Australia's history. Comrade Ambassador also highlights the challenge Australia faces in managing itself into an Asian future.
by Xiaotong Fei (Author), Gary G. Hamilton (Introduction), Wang Zheng (Introduction), Gary G. Hamilton (Epilogue), Wang Zheng (Epilogue)
This classic text by Fei Xiaotong, China's finest social scientist, was first published in 1947 and is Fei's chief theoretical statement about the distinctive characteristics of Chinese society. Written in Chinese from a Chinese point of view for a Chinese audience, From the Soil describes the contrasting organizational principles of Chinese and Western societies, thereby conveying the essential features of both. Fei shows how these unique features reflect and are reflected in the moral and ethical characters of people in these societies. This profound, challenging book is both succinct and accessible. In its first complete English-language edition, it is likely to have a wide impact on Western social theorists.
Gary G. Hamilton and Wang Zheng's translation captures Fei's jargonless, straightforward style of writing. Their introduction describes Fei's education and career as a sociologist, the fate of his writings on and off the Mainland, and the sociological significance of his analysis. The translators' epilogue highlights the social reforms for China that Fei drew from his analysis and advocated in a companion text written in the same period.
Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition, A translation of Fei Xiaotong’s Xiangtu Zhongguo (August 28, 1992)
by Linda Jaivin
A pacy history of China that can be read in an afternoon, but will transform your perspective for a lifetime.
From kung-fu to tofu, tea to trade routes, sages to silk, China has influenced cuisine, commerce, military strategy, aesthetics and philosophy across the world for thousands of years.
Chinese history is sprawling and gloriously messy. It is full of heroes who are also villains, prosperous ages and violent rebellions, cultural vibrancy and censorious impulses, rebels, loyalists, dissidents and wits. The story of women in China, from the earliest warriors to twentieth-century suffragettes, is rarely told. And historical spectres of corruption and disunity, which have brought down many a mighty ruling house, continue to haunt the People’s Republic today.
Modern China is seen variously as an economic powerhouse, an icon of urbanisation, a propaganda state or an aggressive superpower seeking world domination. Linda Jaivin distils a vast history into a short, readable account that tells you what you need to know, from China’s philosophical origins to its political system, to the COVID-19 pandemic and where the PRC is likely to lead the world.
Publisher : Black Inc. (4 May 2021)
by Henry Kissinger
In 1971 Henry Kissinger took the historic step of reopening relations between China and the West, and since then has been more intimately connected with the country at the highest level than any other western figure.
This book distils his unique experience, examining China's history from the classical era to the present day, describing the essence of its millennia-old approach to diplomacy, strategy and negotiation, and reflecting on these attitudes for our own uncertain future.
A new postscript for this edition examines the argument that China and the West are inevitably heading for confrontation, and outlines a strategy of cooperation and coevolution instead.
'The most famous living practitioner of international statecraft . . . On China is part grand historical tour, part riveting memoir and part analysis.' Philip Sherwell, Sunday Telegraph 'An epic and, in some places, surprisingly moving book on China . . . human reality is very much present in his warts-and-all portraits of Mao and Zhou.' Simon Schama, Financial Times 'Fascinating, shrewd . . . informed by Kissinger's intimate first-hand knowledge of several generations of Chinese leaders.' Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times 'An elegant and erudite insight into the new world superpower.' Rana Mitter, Observer 'Absorbing . . . part reminiscence, part reflection, part history, and part intuitive exploration.' Jonathan Spence, New York Review of Books
Publisher : Penguin Books; 1st edition (May 17, 2011)
Penguin Books; Illustrated edition (April 24, 2012)
by Kishore Mahbubani
China and America are world powers without serious rivals. They eye each other warily across the Pacific; they communicate poorly; there seems little natural empathy. A massive geopolitical contest has begun.
America prizes freedom; China values freedom from chaos.
America values strategic decisiveness; China values patience. America is becoming society of lasting inequality; China a meritocracy. America has abandoned multilateralism; China welcomes it.
Kishore Mahbubani, a diplomat and scholar with unrivalled access to policymakers in Beijing and Washington, has written the definitive guide to the deep fault lines in the relationship, a clear-eyed assessment of the risk of any confrontation, and a bracingly honest appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses, and superpower eccentricities, of the US and China.
Publisher: Public Affairs, 1st Edition in Mar. 31st. 2020
by Jim McGregor
It is well known that with a population of 1.3 billion people, China's market is moving quickly toward surpassing those of North America and Europe combined. Companies from the United States and around the globe are flocking there to buy, sell, manufacture, and create new products. But as former Wall Street Journal China bureau chief turned successful corporate executive James McGregor explains, business in China is conducted with a lot of subterfuge -- nothing is as it seems and nothing about doing business in China is easy.
Destined to become the bible for business people in China, One Billion Customers shows how to navigate the often treacherous waters of Chinese deal-making. Brilliantly written by an author who has lived in China for nearly two decades, the book reveals indispensable, street-smart strategies, tactics, and lessons for succeeding in the world's fastest growing consumer market.
Foreign companies rightly fear that Chinese partners, customers, or suppliers will steal their technology or trade secrets or simply pick their pockets. Testy relations between China's Communist leaders and the United States and other democracies can trap foreign companies in a political crossfire. McGregor has seen or experienced it all, and now he shares his insights into how China really works.
One Billion Customers maximizes the expansive knowledge of a respected journalist, well-known businessman, and ultimate China insider, offering compelling narratives of personalities, business deals, and lessons learned -- from Morgan Stanley's creation of a joint-venture Chinese investment bank to the pleasure dome of a smuggler whose $6 billion operation demonstrates how corruption greases the wheels of Chinese commerce. With nearly 100 strategies for conducting business in China, this unprecedented account combines practical lessons with the story of China's remarkable rise to power
Publisher: 1st published in 2005
Free Press; Reprint edition (October 11, 2005)
by Richard McGregor
The Party is Financial Times reporter Richard McGregor’s eye-opening investigation into China’s Communist Party, and the integral role it has played in the country’s rise as a global superpower and rival to the United States. Many books have examined China’s economic rise, human rights record, turbulent history, and relations with the U.S.; none until now, however, have tackled the issue central to understanding all of these issues: how the ruling communist government works. The Party delves deeply into China’s secretive political machine.
Publisher: Harper; 1st edition (June 8, 2010)
Harper Perennial; Illustrated edition (July 31, 2012)
by GE Morrison
George Ernest "Chinese" Morrison (4 February 1862 – 30 May 1920) was an Australian journalist, political adviser to and representative of the government of the Republic of China during the First World War and owner of the then largest Asiatic library ever assembled.
In 1894, he undertook a journey from Shanghai to Rangoon, which resulted in the book, An Australian in China. After its publication in 1895, Morrison became the Peking correspondent for the London Times and reported the Boxer Rebellion, and the growing chaos leading to the fall of the Manchu dynasty in 1911. He died in 1920.
Describing a journey across China to Burma, this vivid and precise account follows Australian-born foreign correspondent George Morrison on his travels beginning in 1894. Dressed in Chinese garb and engaging guides and servants as needed, Morrison traveled by riverboat, sedan chair, mule, pony, and, mostly, on foot. A gripping adventure tale, this recollection offers an early foreign description of the Chinese interior.
In the book Morrison confessed that his 'lively sympathy and gratitude' had begun as the 'strong racial antipathy to the Chinese common to my countrymen'. He wrote ironically of the missionaries and with concern about the opium problem. The book retains some value as a clear-eyed though culture-bound account of provincial China in the 1890s.
Publisher: 1stpublished in 1895;
Earnshaw Books; 1st edition (August 1, 2010) (Kindle Edition)
By Hank Paulsen
About Book: Hank Paulson has dealt with China unlike any other foreigner. As head of Goldman Sachs, Paulson had a pivotal role in opening up China to private enterprise. Then, as Treasury secretary, he created the Strategic Economic Dialogue with what is now the world's second-largest economy. He negotiated with China on needed economic reforms, while safeguarding the teetering U.S. financial system. Over his career, Paulson has worked with scores of top Chinese leaders, including Xi Jinping, China's most powerful man in decades.
In Dealing with China, Paulson draws on his unprecedented access to modern China's political and business elite, including its three most recent heads of state, to answer several key questions:
How did China become an economic superpower so quickly? How does business really get done there? What are the best ways for Western business and political leaders to work with, compete with, and benefit from China? How can the U.S. negotiate with and influence China given its authoritarian rule, its massive environmental concerns, and its huge population's unrelenting demands for economic growth and security?
Written in the same anecdote-rich, page-turning style as Paulson's bestselling memoir, On the Brink, Dealing with China is certain to become the classic and definitive examination of how to engage China's leaders as they build their economic superpower.
Publisher : Published April 14th 2015 by Twelve (first published January 28th 2014)
by Cyril Pearl
The biography of George Ernest Morrison, long known as Morrison of Peking. Taken (often verbatim) from his extensive diaries and other materials, the book covers Chinese history from just before the Boxer Rebellion to the end of the First World War.
Publisher: 1st Published in January 1, 1967
Imprint / Angus & Robertson; New edition (January 1, 1991)
by Geoff Raby
Disruption has blown the old world apart. The rise of China, Trump's America First policies, division within Europe and successful defiance by authoritarian states are affecting the shape of the emerging new order.
Human rights, rule of law, free media and longstanding global institutions all seem set to be weakened. Autocracies are exercising greater control over world affairs.
Australia will need to engage heightened levels of diplomacy to forge relations with countries of opposing principles. It will need to be agile in pursuing a realistic foreign policy agenda. China's Grand Strategy and Australia's Future in the New Global Order contains answers for how Australia must position itself for this possibly dystopian future.
Publisher: MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY PUB (3 November 2020)
By Michael Smith
Through first-person accounts of life on the ground and interviews with friends as well as key players in Chinese society right up to the country's richest man, The Last Correspondent explores what China's rise to become the world's newest superpower means for Australia and the rest of the world.
Publisher: Ultimo Press; Trade Paperback edition (26 April 2021)
By Peter Thompson and Robert Macklin
This biography tells the story of George Morrison, an Australian journalist who reported on China for the London Times during the era of the Boxer Rebellion. This is both the personal story of an intrepid journalist who became a national hero and the broader story of the emergence of China onto the world stage.
Morrison's involvement in the behind-the-scenes power struggles and his role as advisor to the fledgling government are covered in detail.
Publisher: Allen & Unwin (May 1, 2005)