Blaming China


Blaming China

It Might Feel Good but It Won't Fix America’s Economy

Benjamin Shobert

232 pages
1 index


September 2018


$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

September 2018


$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

September 2018


$29.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

American society is angrier, more fragmented, and more polarized than at any time since the Civil War. We harbor deep insecurities about our economic future, our place in the world, our response to terrorism, and our deeply dysfunctional government. Over the next several years, Benjamin Shobert says, these four insecurities will be perverted and projected onto China in an attempt to shift blame for errors entirely of our own making. These misdirections will be satisfying in the short term but will eventually destabilize the global world that businesses, consumers, and governments have taken for granted for the last forty years and will usher in an age of geopolitical uncertainty characterized by regional conflict and increasing economic dislocation.

Shobert, a senior associate at the National Bureau of Asian Research, explores how America’s attitudes toward China have changed and how our economic anxieties and political dysfunction have laid the foundation for turning our collective frustrations away from acknowledging the consequences of our own poor decisions. Shobert argues that unless we address these problems, a disastrous chapter in American life is right around the corner, one in which Americans will decide that conflict with China is the only sensible option. After framing how the American public thinks about China, Shobert offers two alternative paths forward. He proposes steps that businesses, governments, and individuals can take to potentially stop and reverse America’s path to a dystopian future.

Author Bio

Benjamin Shobert is the founder and managing director of Rubicon Strategy Group, a strategy consulting service focused on market access, government affairs, and regulatory analysis work in China and across Southeast Asia. He is also a senior associate at the National Bureau of Asian Research, a Washington DC think tank. He is a regular columnist for Forbes and has appeared on CNBC Asia’s Morning Squawk Box, CCTV, CNN, and ABC World News. His writing has been featured on CNBC and in China Business Review, Fortune Magazine (China), Harvard Asia Quarterly, Slate, Yale University’s China Hands Magazine, and other publications. 


“It’s one of the oldest temptations in politics: to divert attention from internal problems by directing blame and anger at a foreign foe. Benjamin Shobert does a very good job of explaining why this impulse can be so dangerous in today’s U.S.–China relations and how each country can sensibly address its own real problems without imagining that the other is the cause.”—James Fallows, national correspondent for the Atlantic and author of China Airborne: The Test of China’s Future

“China is now primary creditor, foreign market, source of goods, and strategic factor in every sphere of American influence. In short, the United States is now one-half of the most important bilateral relationship in the world today. Meanwhile, the average American’s understanding of China remains outdated and outmoded. . . . Blaming China is essential reading right now. We must not miss out on the vast commercial opportunities offered by the rise of modern China.”—Mitch Presnick, founder and former chairman and CEO of Super 8 Hotels (China)

“This book couldn’t be more timely or more needed. Shobert does a brilliant job of helping us remember what an absolute good China’s peaceful rise represents for globalization as a whole. By doing so, he injects a big dollop of realism and sensibility into a debate that’s spiraled out of control across a Washington that’s more eager to scapegoat China for America’s structural problems than address them directly. I have been desperately waiting for this book.”—Thomas P. M. Barnett, author of the New York Times’ bestseller Great Powers: America and the World after Bush

“Shobert articulates an argument rarely heard in Western media. His perspective provides welcome balance to the increasingly one-sided narrative on China in U.S. politics.”—Ann Lee, author of Will China’s Economy Collapse? 

“Shobert offers a critically needed antidote to the pall hanging over the U.S.–China relationship and pessimism about America’s future. He expertly marshals a wide array of evidence derived from direct experience, extended contemplation, and a deep sense of responsibility. He argues that effectively addressing America’s challenges, including its anxieties about China, requires pursuing a smart and clear-eyed strategy of engagement with China while also getting America’s own political and economic house in order. China and non-China specialists alike should read this book.”—Scott Kennedy, deputy director, Freeman Chair in China Studies, and director of the Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

Table of Contents

1. Afraid of China? Maybe You Should Be    
2. The Dragon Slayer’s China    
3. The Panda Hugger’s China    
4. Colliding Worldviews    
5. America’s Economic Insecurity    
6. Insecurity over Our Place in the World    
7. The Amorphous Threat of Terrorism    
8. America’s Dysfunctional Political System    
9. When War Is a Rational Choice    
10. Two Paths Forward    

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