China has achieved significant internal socioeconomic progress and has become a key player on the international stage after several decades of open-door and reform policy. Looking beyond China's transformation, this book focuses on the theme of governance which is widely regarded as the next most critical element to ensure that China's growth remains sustainable. Today, China is confronted with a host of pressing challenges that call for urgent attention. These include the need to rebalance and restructure the economy (on the economic front), the widening income gaps, the poor integration of migrant populations in the urban areas, insufficient public housing and healthcare coverage (on the social front), the seeming lack of political reforms (on the political front) and the degree of environmental degradation (on the environmental front). In the foreign policy arena, China is likewise under pressure to do more to address global concerns but yet at the same time has to be careful not to be seen as overly aggressive.
The next steps that China takes would have a great deal to do with governance, in terms of how it tackles or fails to address the myriad of challenges, both domestic and foreign. This book, with 57 short chapters in total, is based on up-to-date scholarly research written in a readable and concise style. Besides China, it also includes coverage of Japan, Korea and cross-strait relations. Non-specialists, in particular, should find this volume accessible and useful in keeping up with fast-changing developments in East Asia.