Book Review: ‘Beijing Rules’ by Bethany Allen

A Critical Examination of the Rising Global Influence and How to Preserve Democracy"


Book Title: Beijing Rules: China’s Quest for Global Influence
Author: Bethany Allen
Publisher: John Murray
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 978-1529367805
Date Published: Aug. 3, 2023
Price: INR 599

Beijing Rules by Bethany Allen Book Cover

Book Review

Bethany Allen’s book, “Beijing Rules: China’s Quest for Global Influence,” serves as a riveting exposé of China’s relentless pursuit of global dominance over the past two decades and its astute cooptation of capitalism, a tool traditionally championed by Western leaders in the promotion of liberal democracy. As a renowned China reporter for Axios, Allen unveils how the Chinese Communist Party has successfully leveraged economic coercion to make companies and governments worldwide accept its terms and conditions, underscoring the gravity of the issue, as it directly impacted people’s health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beijing Rules” offers a comprehensive overview of China’s meddling in internal affairs, encompassing spying, censorship, deception, and repression. The book sheds light on China’s increasing global influence and the implications this carries. It’s a must-read for anyone seeking to comprehend China’s rise and why it holds significance on a worldwide scale. Allen’s in-depth investigative reporting serves as a clarion call to preserve the freedoms we often take for granted, highlighting the need for action.

Bethany Allen’s work has been highly praised, particularly for her insight into China’s transition from economic to hard power. Her meticulous examination of the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to expand its influence across the globe serves as a compelling narrative, tackling the regime’s intent and tactics in a rapidly changing world. “Beijing Rules” is a page-turner that chronicles the authoritarian regime’s dedication to controlling societies, coercing nations, rewriting history, and shaping global narratives, making it a crucial read for anyone seeking to understand the evolving landscape of international relations.

As China’s power grows, so does its willingness to use economic leverage for political purposes, coercing entities that stand in its way. Allen skillfully captures this transformation and its disruptive repercussions for individuals, businesses, institutions, and governments. Her profound analysis of Beijing’s strategy to establish global dominance, along with its covert infiltration of the American political system and international organizations like the World Health Organization, is both unsettling and enlightening. Her courage in delving into these matters in the face of powerful opposition is commendable, and “Beijing Rules” offers valuable insights into China’s covert strategies and how the West can respond effectively.

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Beijing Rules” by Allen explores China’s tactics to exploit Western vulnerabilities, such as linking market access to political compliance, deploying punitive tariffs, conducting disinformation campaigns, using private firms for global surveillance, and using vaccines as geopolitical bargaining chips. The book emphasizes the significance of protecting liberties and taking proactive measures to counterbalance China’s expanding influence, particularly in light of the worldwide pandemic and the threat of new conflicts. It is required reading for everyone concerned about the future of international relations.

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