Negotiating Asymmetry: China's Place in Asia

$25.00 SGD $38.00 SGD

Edited by Anthony Reid and Zheng Yangwen

Though wary of China's rapid rise, her neighbours have considerable experience in dealing with unequal power without surrendering their autonomy. For its part, China has a long memory of unequal or "tributary" relations and a relatively brief and turbulent experience of working within the current useful fiction of "sovereign equality" in international relations. The emerging pattern will have to take account of the great discrepancy in economic and military power between the future China and her neighbours, and of how such an asymmetry can be managed peacefully.

Negotiating Asymmetry explores how the real or imagined norms governing past relations may shape China's future position in the region by considering how relationships have changed over the past two centuries. The volume argues that neither the "Chinese world order" of tribute relations nor the Westphalia model of sovereign equality ever operated effectively in Asia, but suggests that the past does offer strong indicators about the shape of a new order in Asia.


Anthony REID is Professor (Emeritus) at The Australian National University.

ZHENG Yangwen teaches Chinese history at the University of Manchester.


Publication Year: 2009
300 pages, 224mm x 147mm
ISBN: 978-9971-69-447-0, Paperback

NUS Press