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‘Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream Is a Threat to World Order’

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When thinking about China, one can easily adopt the words of Winston Churchill when he called Russia “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” China truly fits such a description. It heralds its ancient history while holding strongly to a current form of government that wished to eliminate that history. It claims to be the nation that embraces the technological advancements of the future, while simultaneously utilizing those advancements to maintain its historically tyrannical rule.

Steven Mosher has made the China “riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma” easier to grasp with his book, “Bully of Asia.” Mosher has a lifetime of study and experience with China; it started in the mid-1970s. He was actually invited by the Chinese regime in 1979 to be the first American social scientist to visit mainland China.

Tying the Past to the Present

His book provides in-depth analysis of the country’s history going back thousands of years. Mosher discusses the outcome of the Warring States era and how the Dynasties ebbed and flowed. One of the most eye-opening moments of Chinese history is the reign of Qin Shihuang, who was the first ruler of the Qin Dynasty in the third century B.C.

His brutal reign was absolute, even going so far as to try to “eradicate thought itself.” His imperial edict called for the removal of classical and philosophical works, the end of political and philosophical discussion, the end of private schools, and the burning of imperial archives, save his memoirs. Those who broke these rules were subjected to cruel punishments, none so cruel as the punishment suffered by 463 Confucian scholars.

Qin was surrounded by advisors known as Legalists who helped to create, as Mosher puts it, “the world’s first totalitarian state.” The comparisons between Qin and the Legalist program and Mao Zedong and the Communist Party are practically identical, and Mosher has no difficulty tying the two together.

Believing the ‘Hegemon’ Dream

The author identifies the idea of the Chinese “hegemon.” This is the crux of the book. The idea of the hegemon is the belief that China is destined

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