Thursday, December 2nd at 7pm
Peter Martin is Bloomberg’s defense policy and intelligence reporter in Washington, DC and author of “China’s Civilian Army: The Making of Wolf Warrior Diplomacy.” He was previously based in Beijing, where he wrote extensively on escalating tensions in the US-China relationship and reported from China’s border with North Korea and its far-western region of Xinjiang. His writing has been published by outlets including Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, the National Interest, and the Guardian. He holds degrees from the University of Oxford, Peking University and the London School of Economics.
For this presentation, Martin will discuss his book “China’s Civilian Army: The Making of Wolf Warrior Diplomacy” (Oxford University Press, 2021). This book charts China’s transformation from an isolated and impoverished communist state to a global superpower. In the early days of the People’s Republic, diplomats were highly-disciplined, committed communists who feared revealing any weakness to the threatening capitalist world. Remarkably, the model that revolutionary leader Zhou Enlai established continues to this day despite the massive changes the country has undergone in recent decades. Drawing for the first time on the memoirs of more than a hundred retired diplomats as well as author Peter Martin’s first-hand reporting as a journalist in Beijing, this groundbreaking book blends history with current events to tease out enduring lessons about the kind of power China is set to become.
The book has received high acclaims from both Martin’s journalist peers and policy-makers. For example, Kurt Campbell (White House coordinator for the Indo-Pacific and author of The Pivot), states that Martin’s book “sheds new light on the inner workings of Chinese foreign policy. Absolutely required reading for anyone who needs to deal with China or seeks to understand its rise.” Evan Osnos, staff writer at The New Yorker and winner of the National Book Award expresses that Martin’s book is “a penetrating portrait of China’s political psychology, based on rich, insider accounts that hardly any foreigners have accessed. Entertaining, learned, and immediately useful, this is nothing short of a how-to manual for understanding China’s strategy in the world.” Finally, David Ignatius, associate editor and columnist from The Washington Post, states that Martin’s fascinating and carefully researched study, “He describes how China’s foreign service evolved with the country from humble revolutionary beginnings—and became a voice for a new, rising China whose self-confidence sometimes borders on arrogance. Martin’s book explains how China learned to talk like a global superpower.”