The Contest of the Century: The New Era of Competition with China by Geoff Dye

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The United States of America and China – two undisputed behemoths heading for a collision course to assert their respective supremacy over the Planet. One a democratic colossus towering over the rest of the world and the other an emerging Titan with incredible potential and incredulously opaque policies.

Geoff Dyer, in his assiduously researched book, provides an impartial and logical insight on the political, economical and military ambitions being nursed by these two nations and the subtle as well as straight strategies being employed by both of them to outsmart and outwit the other. But will China’s burning desire to obfuscate the US’s ‘sphere of influence’ over the world in general, and Asia in particular succeed? Whether it be hoping to replace the dollar with the renminbi as the world’s reserve currency, or asserting control and dominion over the waters of one half of the Pacific, or interposing itself as a trading partner of choice in the world economy, thereby displacing the US, China seems to have an unquenchable thirst for world power.

But has this Asian dragon bitten more than what it is capable of chewing? With a none too enviable human rights history, opaque military strategies, a propensity to alienate allies by playing the ‘big brother/bully’ card, and scant regard to the environmental concerns racking the Planet, China needs to do a lot more if it has to curry the flavour of the ‘swing states’. Transparency and toleration of open speech might be a feasible way to kick start the process.

As this mighty face-off intensifies in magnitude and assumes unavoidable geopolitical ramifications, tiny pockets of geographic schisms are emerging as countries are forced to pick and ally between these two super powers. In the interest of world peace and harmony, the most preferred conclusion to this rivalry would be one reflecting co-operation, consensus and camaraderie

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