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  • Published: 7 November 2024
  • ISBN: 9781405966085
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

The Taiwan Story

How a Small Island Will Dictate the Global Future




In this urgent book, we learn why a small island in the East China Sea will be central to the world’s future

An urgent, indispensable guide to why Taiwan matters – for China, the West and everyone’s future.

When the bloody Chinese Civil War concluded in 1949, two Chinas were born. Mao’s Communists won and took China’s mainland; Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists fled to Taiwan island. Since then, China and Taiwan have drifted into being separate political and cultural entities.

Taiwan is now a flourishing democracy and an economic success story: just one of its companies produces over 90 per cent of the semiconductors that power the world’s economy. It is a free and vibrant society. For the United States and the West, the island is a bastion of freedom against China’s assertive presence in the region. And yet China, increasingly bellicose under Xi Jinping, insists Taiwan is part of its territory and must be returned to it. Should China blockade the island and mount an invasion, it would set off a chain reaction that would pitch it against the US – escalating a regional war into a global one. Taiwan is thus a geopolitical powder keg.

The Taiwan Story helps us understand how and why we’ve arrived at this dangerous moment in history. With unparalleled access to Taiwan’s political leaders and a deep understanding of the island’s history and culture, Professor Kerry Brown provides a new reading of Taiwan, its twenty-three million people, and how they navigate being caught in this frightening geopolitical standoff. This is the essential book delving into Taiwan’s unique story, buried beneath the headlines, told in an accessible, expert and urgent way.

  • Published: 7 November 2024
  • ISBN: 9781405966085
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

About the author

Kerry Brown

Kerry Brown is Professor of Chinese Politics and Director of the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, and Associate Fellow on the Asia Programme at Chatham House, London. He served in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1998 to 2005, and is the author of over ten books, the most recent being The New Emperors: Power and the Princelings in Modern China.

Praise for The Taiwan Story

A thorough and nuanced analysis of Taiwan’s history, present and potential future

Michael Booth, author of The Almost Nearly Perfect People

If you want to understand the twenty-first century, you need to understand Taiwan. And if you want to understand Taiwan, you need to read this book. A compelling synthesis of the issue by an expert in the field

Elliot Ackerman, author of The Fifth Act: America’s End in Afghanistan

Kerry Brown’s The Taiwan Story is a factual, thoughtful and very well-written account of Taiwan at a crucial time not just for the Taiwanese, but for all of us. The book’s subtitle – How a Small Island Will Dictate the Global Future – could not be more apposite. The book explains, with great clarity, both why and how

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former Foreign Secretary

Kerry Brown is one of our most perceptive and accurate foreign observers of China

John Simpson

Brown is constantly interesting, always thoughtful, and refreshingly wise and knowing about China. He is also very readable

Martin Jacques, author of When China Rules the World