Begin by remembering who the author of this book is. Henry Kissinger, most familiar to Americans as Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State, is, even if we ignore Christopher Hitchens’ allegation that he is a “war criminal,” nonetheless a profoundly problematic character, especially on the subject of China.

For one thing, he is chairman of Kissinger Associates, an international political consulting firm based in New York City and counting among its clients some of the biggest American companies doing business in China. So the man clearly has a financial incentive to relate a version of Chinese affairs conducive to the interests of these companies — the very ones that have been offshoring American jobs and worsening America’s trade balance through their imports.

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