Dealing with China by Henry M. Paulson
  • Title: Dealing with China
  • Subtitle: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower
  • Author(s): Henry M. Paulson
  • Publisher: Twelve
  • Year: 2015-04-14
  • ISBN-10: 145550422X
  • ISBN-13: 9781455504220


“Dealing with China” by Henry M. Paulson is a fascinating and insightful exploration of the author’s personal experiences and observations while serving as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury from 2006 to 2009. With an emphasis on economic relations between China and the United States, Paulson provides an in-depth analysis of the challenges and opportunities presented by one of the world’s most powerful nations.

Paulson delves into various aspects of the complex U.S.-China relationship, including trade disputes, financial cooperation, environmental issues, and geopolitical tensions. Drawing from his extensive interactions with Chinese leaders, he offers readers a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of China’s political and economic systems, shedding light on the country’s rapid transformation and its ambitions on the global stage. With a balanced approach, Paulson maintains a critical perspective while acknowledging the mutual benefits that can be derived from a cooperative relationship between the two nations. “Dealing with China” is an essential read for anyone interested in understanding the dynamics of global economic and political affairs in the 21st century.

Book Review

In his book “Dealing with China,” former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Henry M. Paulson, delivers a captivating and deeply insightful account of his experiences navigating the intricate landscape of China’s economic and political dynamics. Drawing on his unique vantage point as a key player in the U.S.-China relationship, Paulson offers readers an extraordinary behind-the-scenes look at the trials and triumphs of engaging with one of the world’s most powerful nations.

One of the standout features of Paulson’s book is his ability to interweave personal anecdotes with incisive analysis. He skillfully recounts his interactions with Chinese leaders, such as then-President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, and Vice Premier Wang Qishan. These encounters shed light on the challenges and complexities faced when dealing with a nation poised to reshape the global order.

Throughout the book, Paulson emphasizes the importance of mutual understanding and cooperation between the United States and China. His efforts to forge strong relationships with Chinese officials, rooted in respect and a willingness to listen, provide invaluable lessons to those seeking to navigate this ever-evolving landscape. For instance, he highlights the significance of his relationship with Vice Premier Wang Qishan, a key figure in China’s economic policymaking, with whom he formed a bond based on trust and frank conversation. It is through anecdotes like these that Paulson illustrates the potential for constructive engagement despite ideological differences.

Furthermore, Paulson explores the complexities and challenges arising from economic interdependence between the two nations. He delves into issues such as trade disputes, currency valuation, intellectual property theft, and reform efforts on both sides. For instance, he discusses the negotiations during the 2008 financial crisis that led to China’s pivot towards greater domestic consumption and the reinforcement of its financial system. Paulson’s detailed accounts of these negotiations provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies involved in bridging economic disparities.

“Dealing with China” also tackles environmental challenges and their impact on the global stage. Paulson shares his involvement in climate change negotiations with Chinese officials and offers a nuanced perspective on China’s environmental progress, acknowledging both achievements and continued challenges. He emphasizes the importance of addressing environmental issues collaboratively, using examples such as his work with China to create a market-based approach to reduce pollution through the use of emissions trading schemes.

In this thought-provoking book, Paulson adeptly explores the nuances of geopolitics and the interplay of national interests, while also recognizing the mutual benefits underpinning a cooperative U.S.-China relationship. He portrays China as a multifaceted nation, capable of both cooperation and assertiveness, and urges the United States to approach China with a balanced perspective.

Overall, “Dealing with China” is an illuminating and essential read for anyone interested in the global dynamics of the 21st century. Paulson’s firsthand experiences, combined with his astute analysis and narrative style, provide invaluable insights into the complexities of engaging with China. By offering a balanced perspective and presenting possible paths forward, Paulson’s book serves as a vital resource for policymakers, business leaders, and individuals seeking to navigate the intricate U.S.-China relationship.

Word Count: 505

Target Audience

The book “Dealing with China” by Henry M. Paulson is targeted at a diverse audience interested in global economics, international relations, and the U.S.-China relationship. This book is recommended reading for the following audiences:

  • Policy Makers and Diplomats Paulson’s firsthand experiences and insights into the U.S.-China relationship provide valuable knowledge for policymakers and diplomats involved in shaping international economic policies. His nuanced approach to understanding China’s political and economic systems can help inform decision-making processes.

  • Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs “Dealing with China” offers valuable lessons for business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to navigate the complexities of the Chinese market. Paulson shares his experiences and strategies for building relationships and addressing challenges, providing valuable insights into successful business ventures and negotiations in China.

  • Scholars and Researchers in International Relations This book is recommended for scholars and researchers in the fields of international relations and global economics. Paulson’s analysis of the U.S.-China relationship, supported by personal anecdotes and observations, offers a rich resource for understanding the complexities and implications of the evolving global order.

  • Individuals Interested in Geopolitics “Dealing with China” provides a comprehensive examination of the geopolitical landscape and the interplay of national interests between China and the United States. Readers interested in understanding the broader dynamics of global power shifts will find this book to be an enlightening and thought-provoking read.

In conclusion, “Dealing with China” is recommended reading due to its comprehensive analysis, personal insights, and balanced perspective on the U.S.-China relationship. By catering to a wide range of readers, from policymakers to business leaders and scholars, this book offers valuable knowledge and understanding of the complex dynamics governing global economic and political affairs.