*Modern Chinese Warfare, 1795-1989*, by Bruce Elleman

I am delighted to have been reading this 2001 history, which is now one of my favorite books on China.  It is perhaps the best background I know for understanding current Chinese foreign policy, even though it does not focus on foreign policy per se.  Do you wish to understand why the 19th century was so traumatic for China?  How the Opium Wars and Taiping rebellion fit together?  Why Manchuria was once such a flash point for global affairs? (Has any region fallen out of the major news so dramatically?)  How is this for a good sentence?:

The 1929 Sino-Soviet conflict is perhaps China’s least studied and understood war.

I learned something from every page, you can buy the book here.

Elsewhere on the China front:

The flash reading of the Caixin China general manufacturing purchasing managers’ index dropped to 47 points in September, down from 47.3 in August, marking the worst performance for the sector in 78 months.

A reading above 50 indicates improving conditions while a reading below 50 signals deterioration. The index has now indicated contraction in the sector for seven consecutive months.

How quickly do services have to be expanding for the entire Chinese economy to be growing at anything close to six percent?


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