September 01, 2020

Local Interests, Chinese Ambitions, and an Intelligent American Response

By Emily Jin

Review of Daniel Markey, China’s Western Horizon: Beijing and the New Geopolitics of Eurasia (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020).

In his book China’s Western Horizon: Beijing and the New Geopolitics of Eurasia, Daniel S. Markey, a distinguished senior research professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), examines China’s relations with continental Eurasia via case studies on Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and Iran, which are mired by domestic complexities and difficult relationships between these states and their regional adversaries. China’s Western Horizon is rooted in Markey’s academic and professional pedigree. Markey served as part of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff from 2003 to 2007. His years of academic research and instruction along with his experience as a practitioner shaping and implementing US foreign policy substantiate the book’s arguments with deep knowledge and analytical rigor.

Markey’s principal contribution to the dialogue on China’s growing influence is his emphasis on the often-overlooked role that China’s immediate neighbors have in shaping Beijing’s actions and ambitions. He begins the book with a question and a tentative answer: will China’s growing presence in Eurasia (encompassing the Middle East, South Asia, and Central Asia) prove to be stabilizing or destabilizing for the region? Based on Beijing’s pattern of behavior toward its neighbors, Markey asserts that China’s involvement is more likely to exacerbate existing geopolitical and political-economic fissures than to ease them.

Read the full article from the SAIS Review of International Affairs.

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