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A Contest for Supremacy

China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia

Aaron L. Friedberg (Author, Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School)


An explosive examination of the fast-escalating Sino-American struggle for geopolitical predominance.

There may be no denying China's growing economic strength, but its impact on the global balance of power remains hotly contested. Political scientist Aaron L. Friedberg argues that our nation's leaders are failing to act expeditiously enough to counter China's growing strength. He explains how the United States and China define their goals and reveals the strategies each is now employing to achieve its ends. Friedberg demonstrates in this provocative book that the ultimate aim of Chinese policymakers is to "win without fighting," displacing the United States as the leading power in Asia while avoiding direct confrontation. The United States, on the other hand, sends misleading signals about our commitments and resolve, putting us at risk for a war that might otherwise have been avoided. A much-needed wake-up call to U.S. leaders and policymakers, A Contest for Supremacy is a compelling interpretation of a rivalry that will go far to determine the shape of the twenty-first century.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • August 2011
  • ISBN 978-0-393-06828-3
  • 6.5 × 9.6 in / 384 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverA Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia


Endorsements & Reviews

“A stern, carefully worded warning about why the United States should be more wary of China’s meteoric rise…. In a meticulously organized study…Friedberg lays out the various ongoing arguments for containment or alignment, as well as what he extrapolates Chinese intentions to be…. An important cry to heed: China’s peaceful rise cannot disguise its aim to become ‘world number one.’” — Kirkus

“…Friedberg’s alarm soundings have authority. China’s new wealth allows it to apply ‘soft power’ in East Asia and elsewhere, its deployment of modern technology has counteracted American influence in the region, and its economy continues to thrive even as America bogs down in two wars. Friedberg’s responses…help keep this important issue front and center.” — Alan Moores, Booklist

“His book is tough-minded and sometimes pessimistic but there is nothing hysterical about it. On the contrary, it is sober and well-informed… A Contest for Supremacy offers a careful and compelling examination of the US-Chinese relationship from a number of angles.” — Financial Times

“[Friedberg’s] is the most thoughtful and informative of a stream of China-threat books that have come out since the mid-1990s.” — Andrew J. Nathan, Foreign Affairs

A Contest for Supremacy is a rigorous and comprehensive account of the state of U.S.-China strategic relations, and by far, the most thoughtful and serious book to date on the topic.” — Weekly Standard

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