Sunday, February 17, 2019

Book Review: 'Asian Waters: The Coming Conflict over Sovereignty and Trade Routes in the Eastern Pacific' by Humphrey Hawksley

Asian Waters by Humphrey Hawksley
‘As Western democracies become more inward-looking, so China is reaching out to sell its message around the world’

Author and BBC foreign correspondent Humphrey Hawksley is a highly visible and influential source of information about international relations. His books include THE THIRD WORLD WAR, MAN ON ICE: RUSSIA VS USA IN ALASKA, DRAGON STRIKE, DEMOCRACY KILLS: WHAT’S SO GOOD ABOUT THE VOTE, RED SPIRIT, ABSOLUTE MEASURES, CEREMONY OF INNOCENCE, a series of Thrillers, and now ASIAN WATERS. He has written for the Guardian, The Times of London, Financial Times, International Herald-Tribune, and other publications.

As we stand watch on the growing tensions between Asia and the US – both North Korea and China – Humphrey takes the topic in hand and provides a detailed analysis of our relationship with China in particular but also with the entire global presence and future. He has had assignments in the western Pacific and has been afforded the right to observe first hand the signs and symptoms of China’s expansion and its threat to the US and global peace. 

The South China Sea touches the needs and the peoples and the governments of South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, gradually usurping the influence of the US in those friendly countries. The significance of this change or extension of influence is making an enormous impact on the relationship between China and the Asia Pacific region and in turn on the US. Humphrey deciphers the impact form all manner of sources he has interviewed or explored – Asian fishermen of the area, the secret planner s China’s victory, politicians in China and in the US as well as influential US military personnel directly related to the area,

The focus is the power struggle, becoming increasingly evident at the moment. Complete with pertinent maps of the areas involved, color photographs of the places and People Humphrey has observed and interviewed for this book, this is one of the more impressive, if unnerving books on the true tenuous lines of relationship between the US and China. Humphrey’s accessible approach to journalism and political insights and research coupled with his on sight observations and knowledge of history make this a book that is not only important to read for all citizens concerned about the future, but as a fine literary piece of work by a very informed man. 

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.