Tai Ming Cheung and Thomas G. Mahnken (Eds.). 2018. The Gathering Pacific Storm

Date01 December 2019
Published date01 December 2019
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Book Review 329
simply an expansion into a limitless space, could the current Japanese leadership
justify territorial expansion, gain widespread support from the Japanese society, and
reinforce nationalism? This is perhaps where classical geopolitics could contribute
a more critical voice.
In sum, the book is a valuable addition to the literature on international political
theory albeit with its own serious shortcomings. On the one hand, the Japanese
standpoint provides a much-needed non-Western take on a widely used concept in
the field. On the other hand, this poses inherent bias and risks an over-generous and
over-optimistic interpretation of Japanese geopolitics, both its conceptualization
and application. Nonetheless, for anyone interested in the social construction of the
modern state, modernity, and world order, the book provides a well-grounded
theoretical foundation for such inquiry.
Hong Kong Nguyen https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7680-1344
Hong Kong Nguyen
Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Beppu, Japan
Email: Htn2107@caa.columbia.edu/Tohong19@apu.ac.jp
Tai Ming Cheung and Thomas G. Mahnken (Eds.). 2018. The Gathering
Pacific Storm: Emerging US-China Strategic Competition in Defense
Technological and Industrial Development. Amherst, New York:
Cambria Press. 275 pp. ISBN: 978-1-604-97945-9
DOI: 10.1177/2347797019889281
The intensification of US-China competition in the context of China’s rapid rise,
on the one hand, and the gradual erosion of US’s unprecedented unipolar
dominance in the global distribution of material capabilities, on the other hand,
have become one of the most prominent and widely discussed issues of the
contemporary international politics. Different assessments of the causes, nature
and consequences of the growing US-China rivalry have ranged from anticipating
inevitable military clash to predicting some form of peaceful coexistence or even
cooperation between the two powers. However, not many have lifted the veil on
the inside of the US-China strategic competition. The Gathering Pacific Storm,
edited by Tai Ming Cheung and Thomas G. Mahnken, does exactly that—it
uncovers the core of intensifying strategic competition between China and the
US. It shows what exactly is happening between the two countries in the defence
technological realm, how far China has advanced in terms of its defence
technologies and whether it can challenge the US.
After the concise introduction that briefly reviews the origins of the US-China
defence technological competition and summarizes the content of the book,

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