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As someone who has taken an interest in China since the mid-1980's, I have been disappointed how events have unfolded over the last couple of decades. In those early years, I developed my company's original strategy for doing business and making investments in China. We were very successful initially because we invested a lot of time and effort in understanding the liberalization process under Deng Zhao Ping and establishing relationships with the Chinese leadership. There was a lot of optimism in U.S. business and government circles that China would evolve to become more open economically and politically. Unfortunately, that has not happened.
In this book, Clyde Prestowitz documents the movement of China in the opposite direction over the last three decades and explains why it has become the greatest threat to the future of the United States and other nations committed to democratic and economic freedom. He recognizes that our entire business and government system needs to be significantly modified to cope with the challenges presented by China's authoritarian model. His recommendations suggest the scope and level of actions that should be taken. It is an ambitious agenda but one that is needed to preserve our way of life.
This book is an excellent educational tool for all- novices and experts alike on China-US affairs. Especially good is the complex history given that helps to explain how the USA and the world really have gotten to the place they are with China today The issues are very provocative and concerning. Mr. Prestowitz also gives excellent suggestions for the current administration and any future one in necessary steps to take to protect our nation and the free world. This book should be read by and in everyone's library. It is a wake up call!
The World Turned Upside Down reflects the wealth of information that Prestowitz accesses from his many contacts still in government - contacts originating from his days as a key trade negotiator. His new book also benefits from the extensive data and information sources developed over the years during his private career in the Pacific Rim. The result is a powerful conceptual context for China's aggressive and multi-pronged global strategy to effect technology transfer - designed to ensure growing national dominance in the economy of tomorrow. The shortcomings of US China policy are vividly explored. Prestowitz is a sobering and compelling must-read for C suites, senior policy makers and legislators wrestling with America's most sophisticated and capable strategic adversary.
Utterly convincing indictment of America’s decades’ long effort to deceive itself that bending over backward for China was justified not only because of the size of the Middle Kingdom’s market but because doing so would lead to a democratic China. Time to wake up.
In this most informative book, the author clearly lays out the reasons for the growing tensions between the Communist Party-led China and the United States. It explains how China developed a strategy to entice U.S. multinational corporations and Wall Street to help it build its economic, political, and military power at the expense of the standard of living of most Americans and our nation's comparative wealth and power.
The author has an encyclopedic knowledge of international trade and globalization, and uses it to shatter the illusions that have shaped our China engagement policies for over forty years. It is a Must Read as the author not only explains the problem but how we can still correct our course. - Patrick Mulloy
This is a extremely valuable book by an experienced and insightful observer. Clyde Prestowitz is well equipped to comment on a world where the outcomes from trade have not have not produced the mutual gains for the countries involved that were predicted by many economists. Prestowitz shows how trade can become and has become an important part of conflicts between developed nations. He shows clearly that this is what is happening today in the conflict between the U.S. and China.
Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2020
I’ve known Clyde Prestowitz since the 1980s when he was one of the leading voices urging the United States to get serious about creating a competitive response to Japan. That was just a warm-up for the debate we are having today about China, whose surging strength and ambition have caught many China-watchers by surprise
In his book entitled, “The World Turned Upside Down: America, China and The Struggle for Global Supremacy,” Prestowitz’s conclusions very much mirror my own. He writes:
“In order to meet the challenge posed by China, the United States must dedicate itself to maintaining the world’s most competitive economy. Like Germany and China with their Industry 4.0 and Made in China 2025 programs, America should launch a comprehensive American Rejuvenation Program dedicated to world leadership in all key technological, infrastructure and high-value-added fields.
“The program must be introduced as fundamental to long-term national security as a response to the greatest challenge to the United States have faced short of the Civil War. It must be designed and organized to be comprehensive and strongly coordinated within the U.S. government and between government, business, academic, labor and state and local government organizations.”
Prestowitz notes that there are precedents for such an effort. The National Defense Education Act became law in 1958 in response to the Soviet Union’s space ambitions, as evidenced by the Sputnik launch. My research has revealed another: the War Production Board in World War II was headed by Donald Nelson, a senior vice president at Sears Roebuck, then a major corporation. It harnessed civilian production capabilities to support the war effort. The private sector rallied behind a clear government priority.
I don’t want to ruin anyone’s appetite for the book, but here are just two of the other specific recommendations Prestowitz makes:
–Merge the National Economic Council and the National Security Council. Industrial, financial, technological and economic matters have emerged as crucial elements of national security.
–Merge the Departments of Commerce, Energy, and Transportation along with NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) into a new Department of Competitiveness.
It’s time for Americans to recognize that we need to reorganize our institutions enough to respond to the challenge that President Xi Jinping’s government is posing to us–and to the world.
Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2021
China has taken advantage of the open world trade system for the past several decades, through a variety of unfair trade practices such as forced technology transfer, currency manipulation and state subsidies. And China’ autocratic system of government poses a threat to Western democratic values.
In “The World Turned Upside Down: America, China, and the Struggle for Global Leadership” Prestowitz does a superb job of laying out the challenge the U.S. faces from China. He gives a concise review of the Chinese Communist Party’s history and practices. Unlike many books on the challenge China poses, he sets out a very doable plan for measures the U.S. must take to remain the world leader.
To counter China, the U.S. must do much more than simply levy retaliatory tariffs. Prestowitz argues we need to get our own house in order and nurture the industries of the future, and we need to work with our allies to have a common front, as well as the need to counter China’s unfair practices.
American naivete about China has gone on long enough. This isn't the first book exposing how China may well be even more dangerous a threat than the USSR was, but it is certainly welcome. I've done business with Clyde and he's a very knowledgeable man and a responsible commentator.
Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2021
Fascinating and deeply informed, this book presents a powerful case for the US to change its approach to China. Prestowitz discusses trade issues of the last few decades in fine detail and with great authority. He also places contemporary events in deep historical context, seeking to show how his policy recommendations cohere with an understanding of the long-term national trajectories of China and the US, and of the history of economics in general. I found particularly interesting the analysis of the success of mercantilism, and the criticism of free trade doctrine from Smith and Ricardo to the present day.