With Chinese President Xi Jinping’s political authority unmatched, his sense of mission to restore what he believes is China’s natural position as a great power drives the nation’s foreign policy. When China was weak, it was subordinated to others. Now China is strong, and wants others to fall in line, at least on the issues involving what it regards as core national interests.

In The Dragon Roars Back, Suisheng Zhao weaves together complex events, processes, and players in an analysis of Chinese foreign policy transitions since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and Xi Jinping were and are transformational leaders who have charted unique courses of Chinese foreign policy in the quest for security, prosperity, and power.

In an interview conducted on February 15, 2023Suisheng Zhao discusses the key leaders who have shaped Chinese foreign policy with Sheena Chestnut Greitens.

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