What does China think? sounds like a major subject area which would require a huge volume to discuss. Leonard’s book in comparison is little more than a pamphlet which I managed to sit down and read cover-to-cover in a little over three hours during the Christmas period. I was first switched on to Leonard’s writing by former colleague Jonny Rosemont who recommended Why Europe Will Run The 21st Century.
Over at Danwei What does China think? was dismissed as ‘wonkish nonsense’ and being unable to ‘filter the official line’, but I think that this criticism misses the point of Leonard’s book, which seeks to explore some of the ideas and organisations that help shape China’s thinking.
I found that the book gave me (as a neophyte on all things Chinese) some questions to think about, which I hadn’t considered before and made me reconsider some of the west’s vision for the future. It was interesting that the Chinese devoted thought on how to manage the ‘decline of the West’.