Voices about the book:
Matthias Messmer and Hsin-Mei Chuang have written a book that is as enthralling as it is important. Most books about the rise of China tend to focus on the major cities of the eastern coast. Messmer and Chuang invite the reader to explore all of China's borderlands--not only her complex coastline and the contested waters between her and her maritime neighbors, but also her land border. From the geopolitical hotspot that is the Korean frontier, along the Russian-Chinese faultline, through Mongolia, Xinjiang and Tibet, the reader is treated to a marvelous combination of history, travel writing and gripping photography. Most of this was terra incognita to me. China at its Limits takes you there. It is more than just a book; it is an exploration of forgotten places. When they are suddenly in the news, as some of them surely will be soon, you will be thankful that you read it. -- Niall Ferguson, Senior Fellow, the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and Author of War of the World and Civilization.
A very timely and interesting book which will both help and provoke much discussion. [The book] is beautifully done. -- Lord Chris Patten, Last British Governor of Hong Kong and Author of East and West.
A richly illustrated travelogue that retells the historical drama of China’s border relations and is both informed by historical sources and conversant with contemporary political controversies. -- Elizabeth A. Wishnick, Professor of Political Science, Montclair State University, and Senior Research Scholar, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University.
Chuang and Messmer have used photographs evocatively to present the history of the borders between China and her neighbours. Both China and her neighbours will be forced to take stock of the past and search for a way to deal with China’s rising global influence. I believe these photographs and the accompanying text will make a definitive contribution to shaping the dialogue that will come. -- Liu Heung Shing, Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer and the founder of Shanghai Center of Photography.
A marvelous, well-written, thoughtful and knowledgeable combination of history and personal observations of China's borderlands enhanced by photographs. This book offers much to be learned--even by those of us who think we know China. -- Warren I. Cohen, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, Senior Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and author of America’s Response to China.