Though I enjoy reading current affairs books, it had not occurred to me that I should write one myself. But after the suggestion came up multiple times from different friends and colleagues, I was finally convinced to embark on the journey. Thank you to everyone who encouraged me to put my ideas in writing.

The book wouldn’t have been possible without the countless hours of conversations I had with friends, acquaintances, students, and colleagues during my time in China. I particularly want to thank Gareth Chang, Erh-Cheng Hwa, Michael Pettis, Shi Zulin, Gerard Debenedetto, Joanna Wang, Min Shao, Hu Xuehao, Xinqiao Ping, Li Jing, Simon Zhang, Wu Peng, Jimmy Hexter, and Joyce Man for all their insights, time, and generous hospitality. ...

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