New China by Barry Sierer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Note: I received a free copy from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.
China is in the middle of political transition. The once in a decade changeover of power is taking place in Beijing and in the middle of a turbulent transition of power in China, it implodes. The compromise candidate put in place by the powerful business group faction of the Politburo decides to crack down on the protest happening in HongKong over the rising disparity between the rich and poor in China. A Chinese General with his own interpretation of right and wrong and what the country needs cracks down in the protest and does so brutally. In scenes reminiscent of the Tienanmen Square massacre people are butchered in broad daylight and every attempt to muzzle the media is made. But a tape of the massacre survives and thus begins a series of power plays and activities by various groups struggling to control China.
In a follow up bloody coup the entire top level leadership of the Politburo is exterminated with extreme prejudice and suddenly the situation takes a turn for the worse and makes it a free for all. With various international powers having various vested stakes in China it is a race suddenly it is a free for all for the different groups to have their own pliable group having the power in China. Britain has its own ambitions in wanting to bring an transition into China, the President of America is being blackmailed to get into the escalating conflict because of the vested business interests. The situation is tenuous and feels like a power keg. [End Spoiler Alert]
Who will benefit if China implodes? The complex Geo political constraints of the Asian sub continent make it difficult to predict. The Chinese have always marched to their own beat and have been insolent at times to the point of snubbing their noses at their neighbors or the Western Countries. What makes the plot even more plausible is the lack of transparency in China. Everything is controlled by the government or the party. The Media, the internet, the television.. you name it and they control it. Also China's human rights record is known. Enough said on that. China is irreplaceable in the current world economy and it wields its financial muscle without any prejudice. But the stability and the peace will be maintained as long as people don't dig deep. The moment you do so, it is a difficult game altogether and not a pretty sight.
Sierer deals with the complex equations and various players in the game very efficiently. The action is good and the complexities are very real and possible. New China is a look at the worst case scenario, it may not necessarily happen, but if it does, the implication are terrifying is not downright horrifying.