Just as in the 13th century, China remains poorly known and widely misunderstood. Most people, politicians included, cannot name any Chinese political leaders other than President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, but have no problems in reeling off the names of half a dozen US political figures.
If you want books that are critical of China or which paint China as a threat, then there are plenty of these around. This is not one of them. But nor is this collection of insights and analysis a paean for China. Instead this book seeks to explore the issues in more depth, with more balance, and at times correcting the imbalance which has crept into popular media coverage of China.
These analysis notes won't add to your knowledge of Chinese political leaders but they will help you develop a more informed perspective on the important issues in the China relationship.