Denial, the first stage of grief according to Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, characterizes America’s responses to the rise of China. Rush Doshi’s account of China’s global strategy in The Long Game is a welcome draft of cold air. China’s strength, he notes more than once, rests on an economy 25% larger than America’s, adjusted for relative prices. Its command of transport and communications technologies allows it to “lock in its ties with Asian states” as well as others.

Doshi is now a Director for China at the National Security Council. Before that he directed the China Initiative at the Brookings Institution, where he advised Kurt Campbell, the Biden Administration’s policy chief for the Indo-Pacific region. Doshi’s standing in Washington ensures a wide audience for a book well worth reading on its own merits. From extensive study of Chinese government and semi-official documents, he has distilled what he believes to be a Chinese “grand strategy” to replace the American postwar world order with one of China’s design.

Doshi seeks an alternative to “those who advocate a counterproductive strategy of confrontation or an accommodationist one of grand bargains, each of which respectively discounts US domestic headwinds and China’s strategic ambitions.” “Both efforts,” he argues, “each backed by widely opposed parts of the policy

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