This chapter presents an overview of the main arguments and structure of the book. Beginning with the question of how one might think about a possible future Chinese hegemony in East Asia, it proposes to examine China’s past hegemony in the region. It summarizes four main arguments of the book: hierarchy in regional politics, Confucian expressive rationality in regional strategic interactions, the nature of the tribute system, and the strategic responses of China’s neighbors to Chinese hegemony. The chapter also outlines the book’s case selection criteria and methodology.
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