With more than one billion people, China represents both an ocean of economic opportunity and a frustrating backwater of continuing brutal political repression. What are the prospects for democratic evolution in a nation with one of the world's poorest human rights records? How have other nations responded to China since the recent, dramatic opening of its economic system-and how should they respond in the future? These are some of the most important questions confronting both the United States and the international community.
On democracy, human rights, and the move to integrate China into the international economy; on Mao Zedong's regime and the reform since his death; and on the Taiwan experiment and Hong Kong's reintegration with China, Nathan offers an accessible introduction to the intricate web of contemporary Chinese politics and China's changing place in the global system.