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Extensively revised and updated, this popular text conveys the drama of China's struggle to modernize against the backdrop of a proud and difficult history. Spanning the years from China's humiliating defeat in the Opium Wars to its triumphant hosting of the 2008 summer Olympics, the authors narrate the major developments of that journey: the breakdown of imperial China in the face of Japanese and Western encroachments; Sun-Yatsen and the founding of the Chinese republic; the early struggles between the ideologies and armies of Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong; China's bitter and costly war with Japan; the final shootout that sent Chiang to Taiwan and Mao to Beijing; the turbulent first decades of the People's Republic; and the dramatic shift to a globalizing economic strategy. This edition features all new analysis of issues facing China's leaders today, including environmental challenges, rural economic developments, corruption, the current economic climate, China's relations with its neighbors and the United States, the latest Tibet crisis, and the reelection of Hu Jintao. The authors have also incorporated some of the latest scholarship on Chinese historical events, making this the best and most up-to-date brief text on modern China currently available.