Cover of Uneasy Partnerships by Edited by Thomas Fingar
Uneasy Partnerships
China’s Engagement with Japan, the Koreas, and Russia in the Era of Reform
Edited by Thomas Fingar

April 2017
248 pages.
from $27.95

Cloth ISBN: 9781503601413
Paper ISBN: 9781503601963

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Uneasy Partnerships presents the analysis and insights of practitioners and scholars who have shaped and examined China's interactions with key Northeast Asian partners. Using the same empirical approach employed in the companion volume, The New Great Game (Stanford, 2016), this new text analyzes the perceptions, priorities, and policies of China and its partners to explain why dyadic relationships evolved as they have during China's "rise."

Synthesizing insights from an array of research, Uneasy Partnerships traces how the relationships that formed between China and its partner states—Japan, the Koreas, and Russia—resulted from the interplay of competing and compatible objectives, as well as from the influence of third-country ties. These findings are used to identify patterns and trends and to develop a framework that can be used to illuminate and explain Beijing's engagement with the rest of the world.

About the authors

Thomas Fingar is Shorenstein Distinguished Fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. Previously, he served concurrently as the first Deputy Director for National Intelligence for Analysis and Chairman of the National Intelligence Council. He is the author of Reducing Uncertainty: Intelligence Analysis and National Security (Stanford, 2011) and editor of The New Great Game: China and South and Central Asia in the Era of Reform.

"Uneasy Partnerships is a masterful examination of China's complex interactions with its immediate neighbors. The volume provides a convincing case that China has pursued parallel goals of security and economic development for forty years, and, in the process, its interactions with neighboring countries have continually shifted with fluctuating Chinese concerns over what those countries might do for China as well as what they might do to China. The fine-grained strands of this complex story are woven into a compelling macro-level analysis of Northeast Asia that will be applauded by experts and generalists alike."

—T.J. Pempel, University of California, Berkeley

"Despite the focus on the South China Sea in recent years, this excellent volume makes clear that China's most important economic relations and most difficult security challenges lie in Northeast Asia. Rejecting the common approaches of applying grand theories to Asia or focusing solely on how Asia is responding to the rise of China, the nuanced analysis and empirical rigor in these chapters reveals the complex and multi-faceted nature of China's interactions with Japan, Russia, and the two Koreas. With insights from Western and Asian experts, this is one of the best volumes on China and Northeast Asia that has been published in recent years."

—Michael A. Glosny, Naval Postgraduate School, Department of National Security Affairs

"China's rising power in international affairs has wrought uncertain consequences in every region of the world, but none so much as northeast Asia, the arena of great power competition and conflict among Japan, Russia, the United States, and China for more than a century. This timely volume offers keen insights by a multi-national roster of contributors not simply into China's rise and the responses of the region's players to it, but also into their active pursuit of their own interests and goals by using China's rise to their own advantage in the region. Highly recommended."

—Alice Miller, Stanford University