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A nation must think before it acts.
In Haunted by Chaos, Sulmaan Wasif Khan brings a historian’s sensibility to a pressing contemporary question: What drives China’s foreign policy? The book examines the arc of Chinese grand strategy since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 by comparing the strategies pursued by each of China’s top leaders—Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, and Xi Jinping. This approach leads Khan to uncover a “commonality of purpose and power” that brought continuity and consistency to Chinese grand strategy despite the nation’s economic and social transformations over the past seven decades. Not even the end of the Cold War has pushed China’s leaders to abandon this consistency. “Of all the great powers,” Khan writes, “China is perhaps the one that has seen the fewest changes in its basic philosophy of international relations between the Cold War and post-Cold War eras.”