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  • Writer's pictureIan Murphy

A Review of 'Deceiving the Sky: Inside Communist China's Drive for Global Supremacy' by Bill Gertz

Book: Deceiving the Sky: Inside Communist China’s Drive for Global Supremacy

Author: Bill Gertz

Main topic: Assessing China’s ambitions for global supremacy.


Written by veteran national security journalist Bill Gertz, Deceiving the Sky delves into the complex and increasingly concerning issue of China's ambitions for global supremacy. The book argues that the West has been misled by the illusion of a benign China and through economic engagement has inadvertently empowered a dangerous rival.

Gertz takes a closer look at the internal workings of the Chinese Communist Party and the People's Liberation Army to expose their aggressive plans for regional and global dominance. Structured in a series of chapters tackling specific aspects of China's rise like deception, covert operations, and intellectual property theft, the book ultimately aims to sound the alarm and guide the United States towards a more strategic approach to countering emerging threats.


Gertz builds his case through a blend of declassified intelligence reports, expert analyses, and interviews with former US officials on China. He details China's military modernization efforts, emphasizing their advancements in space warfare, hypersonic missiles, and cyber espionage. Additionally, he sheds light on China's economic and political manipulation tactics, including debt-trap diplomacy, unfair trade practices, and influence operations targeting developing naCons through the Belt and Road Initiative. Gertz asserts that the CCP's ultimate goal is to supplant the United States as the world's sole superpower, reshaping the global order to its own authoritarian vision.


Deceiving the Sky offers a captivating and candid exposé of China's hidden agenda. Gertz's extensive experience as a national security journalist lends credibility to his arguments, and his analysis and sourcing further strengthens his claims. The book’s alarmist tone sparks critical thinking and reflection on the West's current China policy. However, some readers might find the lack of alternative perspectives limiting, as Gertz primarily presents a unidirectional view of China's motivations and capabilities. Additionally, the book's heavy reliance on classified information, while adding intrigue, also makes it difficult for independent verification of all claims.


Overall, Deceiving the Sky is a compelling and insightful read, offering a deep dive into China’s strategy of pursuing global supremacy. While it presents a unilateral perspective on China, this book serves as a

good counterweight to other works such as On China by Henry Kissinger and is a valuable contribution to understanding China from a different perspective.

Regardless of one’s existing views on China, Gertz’s research and reporting on China is worthy of serious consideration. While the book might not offer definitive answers, it effectively prompts critical discussion and introspection about the West's approach to China as a rising power. It is a must-read for anyone interested in current affairs, business leaders, and thought leaders on China. Understanding China from the perspective of Deceiving the Sky will help readers better understand how to navigate the geopolitical landscape of the 21st century.


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