Books: Doing laps with the Chinese ’emperor’, in Nikkei Asia

China UK

My first story in 2023 is for Nikkei Asia – about a new espionage novel by a former British secret service agent and journalist who takes a close look at China’s ambitions in Taiwan.

In two months, China will attack Taiwan. China’s president has decided on reunification by force. More than 150.000 troops are estimated to die in the initial assault. The quality of life for the survivors will deteriorate. China’s economy will stall. The global financial system will be shaken. The prices of commodities – especially crude oil – will increase on world markets. But a war of attrition will eventually subjugate the bandit province and if the West, the Americans or Japanese attempt to get involved, China will nuke Taipei.

Such is the plan of Chinese president Qin who much prefers swimming silent laps in his pool in Beijing to interacting with his subordinates and family. It is the only thing that keeps his tumor induced headache in check. Time to create a lasting legacy is short. Nothing less than war will do.

Emperor, John Fullerton’s meticulously constructed novel, is a gripping tale of that reads more like the racy espionage bestsellers of Olen Steinhauer  than the more literary tomes of John Le Carré, , but there is an eerie, urgent and brutally contemporary aspect to proceedings because Fullerton’s descriptions of Chinese president Qin’s ruthless moves to consolidate his power, and the consequences, could be lifted from the international media’s front pages. That is not altogether a surprise, as Fullerton worked a lifetime in journalism.

The 73-year-old British writer, intelligence officer and former journalist grew up in South Africa…..

Read the full story here…