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Red Chamber, World Dream

Actors, Audience, and Agendas in Chinese Foreign Policy and Beyond

Subjects: Asian Studies, Political Science
Paperback : 9780472054862, 234 pages, 6 figures, 3 tables, 6 x 9, March 2021
Hardcover : 9780472074860, 234 pages, 6 figures, 3 tables, 6 x 9, March 2021
Ebook : 9780472128877, 234 pages, 6 figures, 3 tables, 6 x 9, March 2021
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A new, interdisciplinary way of looking at Chinese foreign policy


Chinese president Xi Jinping is most famously associated with his “Chinese Dream” campaign, envisioning a great rejuvenation of the nation. Many observers, though, view China’s pursuit of this dream as alarming. They see a global power ready to abandon its low-profile diplomacy and eager to throw its weight around.
Red Chamber, World Dream represents an interdisciplinary effort of deciphering the Chinese Dream and its global impact. Jing Sun employs methods from political science and journalism and concepts from literature, sociology, psychology and drama studies, to offer a multilevel analysis of various actors’ roles in Chinese foreign policy making: the leaders, the bureaucrats, and its increasingly diversified public. This book rejects a simple dichotomy of an omnipotent, authoritarian state versus a suppressed society. Instead, it examines how Chinese foreign policy is constantly being forged and contested by interactions among its leaders, bureaucrats, and people. The competition for shaping China’s foreign policy also happens on multiple arenas: intraparty fighting, inter-ministerial feuding, social media, TV dramas and movies, among others. This book presents vast amounts of historical detail, many unearthed the first time in the English language. Meanwhile, it also examines China’s diplomatic responses to ongoing issues like the Covid-19 crisis. The result is a study multidisciplinary in nature, rich in historical nuance, and timely in contemporary significance.

Jing Sun is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Denver.

“Sun challenges the monolithic notion of China by opening the black box of Chinese foreign policy and provides a sophisticated picture on the dynamic evolution of PRC diplomacy. With a penetrating analysis of China’s foreign policy, this book makes important contributions to the growing literature on contemporary China.”
—Xiaoyu Pu, University of Nevada, Reno

- Xiaoyu Pu, University of Nevada, Reno

“Interesting and insightful. Red Chamber, World Dream creates a useful analytical framework for studying Chinese foreign policy, with focus on national leaders, bureaucrats, and societal forces such as public figures, the media, and masses. Scholars and students of foreign policy in general and Chinese foreign policy in particular will find this book very informative and helpful.”
—Zhiqun Zhu, Bucknell University

- Zhiqun Zhu, Bucknell University