Book Review: China Attacks


by Chuck DeVore and Steven W. Mosher; 2nd edition (July 2001). 415 pages. . $19.95. ISBN:0741404303

Hegemony: The predominant influence of one state over others.

Chuck DeVore (a California National Guard officer and Republican politician) and Steve Mosher (director of the Claremont Institute's Asian Studies Center) present an interesting scenario for a mainland Chinese military attempt to take Taiwan using a combination of conventional, unconventional and innovative means (like hang-glider riding commandos, EMP weapons and cargo ships converted to fire support boats). The prose is reasonably Clancy-esque and lends itself for good "beach reading", with some plot twists requiring an open mind and those requiring a suspension of disbelief reasonably few.

The authors are part of a growing chorus of observers who think China sees itself as a threat and potential competitor to America, so their book is a warning thinly veiled as fiction. I received my review copy of Chuck DeVore's CHINA ATTACKS on 8 September 2001, in what might as well be considered a different world. Pre-War On Terrorism, many considered mainland China to be America's most credible adversary, but ten months later the Beijing threat has disappeared from the front pages. Meanwhile, Beijing quietly continues to prepare for the 21st century and bides her time.

I recently re-read CHINA ATTACKS while Russia was inking a $4 billion sale of Su-30MKK fighters, S300 PMU2 SAMs and eight Kilo class diesel subs to mainland China. Yet there are just as many current articles about societal stress fractures appearing in that communist country (which incidentally are a major subplot in the book). CHINA ATTACKS is a well-told piece of art imitating life: will the Asian dragon triumph in the Pacific before shattering under the weight of it's own flaws?rc=> Reviewer: Adam Geibel   

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