The Lady From Nigerrnby William R. HawkinsrnThere once was a lady from NigerrnWho smiled as she rode on a tiger.rnThey returned from the ridernWith the lady insidernAnd the smile on the face of the tiger.rn—Ogden NashrnEast and West:rnChina, Power and the Future of Asiarnby Christopher PattenrnNew York: Times Books;rn304 pp., $25.00rnChristopher Patten warns at the startrnthat his engagingly written book isrnnot a memoir. Though the core of itrndeals with the author’s tenure as thernBritish Empire’s final governor of HongrnKong (1992-1997), Patten employs anrnimpressionistic and anecdotal approachrnthat is better suited to interpreting historyrnthan merely to recording it. hi this hernperforms a valuable service. Toward thernend of tlie book, however, as he attemptsrnto peer into the future. Patten strays fi-omrnthe path of experience into the theoreticalrnworld of political economy in waysrnthat seem to contradict the strongestrnparts of his earlier argument.rnThe emergence of a more active Chinarnin world affairs troubles ChristopherrnPatten.rnChinese society bears many of thernhallmarks of early-twentieth-centuryrnfascism…. The military is veryrnpowerfiil; the tentacles of the Partyrn(a clan of interconnected family interests,rnnot an ideological movement)rnentwines every aspect ofrnWilliam R. Hawkins is a senior researchrnanalyst on the staff of RepresentativernDuncan Hunter (R-CA). The viewsrnexpressed are his own.rncommercial life; nationalism andrnxenophobia have replaced moralrnzeal; the state is supreme.rnPeking (which Patten uses in preferencernto Beijing “because there is a word in thernEnglish language for China’s capital”)rnhas shown an increased assertiveness byrnits rapid military build-up and its threatsrnagainst its neighbors. “China is rapidlyrnbecoming a threat to world peace,” hernwarns, “as well as an affront to our civilizedrnconscience and an unfair competitorrnin global markets.” Patten advises thernWest tornstop cosseting China; use access tornour markets as a carrot for good behaviorrnand a stick for bad; standrnunequivocally by Taiwan; keep uprnour military strength in the region;rnencourage Asian countries to keeprnup their own guard; speak out forrnthe oppressed of China and workrnfor freedom there; press China inrnevery international forum to improvernits behavior; refuse Chinarn”face” until China improves its behavior.rnPatten’s is less a policy of “containment”rnthan it is one of “disengagement”:rnThe West should not contribute to China’srnrise until the “inevitable” tide of liberalismrntransforms Peking into a capitalrn-i that can be trusted. Though he does notrnI believe Ceorge Kennan’s admonitionrn•2. “to have as little to do with China as poskrnsible” is as practicable as it was 50 yearsrnago, nevertheless, “Kennan’s argumentsrncast at least a shadow of wisdom over currentrnfixations.” In the near term, Pattenrnis not scared “witless” by the People’s Republicrnof China because it still lags wellrnbehind the West, while, in the long run,rnhe is optimistic: “China is at an end of anrne r a . . . . What more does the CommunistrnParty have to offer than cynicism andrndecadence?” The problem is — as alwaysrn—maneuvering successfully fromrnthe near term to the long run. It has becomernfashionable to predict that Chinarnwill become a liberal democracy in 15rnor 20 years. The same, however, couldrnhave been said of Nazi Cermany inrn1938, and the prediction would havernfilmed out to have been right; but Germanyrncame to democracy by way of warrnand subjugation.rnGerman democracy is not the productrn)ANUARY 1999/29rnrnrn