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Books on EU and Asia of interest to our readers 


uk

Book Reviews - INGLORIOUS EMPIRE by Shashi Tharoor

By Fraser Cameron

5 April 2017

Theresa May’s first overseas trip was to India hoping to start the process of an UK-Indian FTA. But she and the Brexiteers who are calling for ‘Empire 2’ should read this well written, detailed account of British rule in India to try and understand what India really thinks about the UK. Playing on the UK’s alleged benevolent colonial role in India is unlikely to win friends. With a mass of detail and statistics, Shashi Tharoor, a former senior UN official and foreign affairs minister for Congress, demolishes the still-widespread view in the UK that British rule brought numerous benefits to the sub-continent.

The India that the British gradually conquered in the middle of the 18th century was responsible for 23% of global GDP. When the British departed in unseemly haste 200 years later this percentage had dropped to just over 3%. The British industrial revolution was built on the back of India’s thriving manufacturing, especially shipbuilding and textiles. India’s booming textile sector was destroyed by imposing punitive tariffs so that ‘the dark satanic mills’ in England could profit. The forced de-industrialisation of India meant that millions had to resort to subsistence agriculture thus worsening rural poverty.

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knowing China

Book Review: Knowing China, Frank N Pieke, Cambridge University Press

By Fraser Cameron, Director

27 December 2016

Given the enormous implications of China’s rise for the global system this is a timely review of the political system of contemporary China. Taking into account recent research Professor Pieke has produced a highly readable account of how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has managed to transform itself and China.

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蓝红

Book Review:The Politics of EU-China Economic Relations

By Rui Yan

26 December 2016

Written by two specialists with long experience of EU-China relations, this new volume examines how each actor has coped with the global economic crisis and argues that the promising potential for EU-China cooperation is being repeatedly undermined by political obstacles and a failure to implement reforms in China.There is unlikely to be much progress unless China becomes a genuine market economy and cuts down the massive subsidies for its state owned enterprises.The authors are doubtful, however, that the leadership in Beijing will be able to achieve their goals.

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