For three decades after Mao's death in 1976, China's leaders adopted a restrained approach to foreign policy. To facilitate the country's inexorable economic ascendance, and to prevent a backlash, they reassured the outside world of China's peaceful intentions. Then, as Susan Shirk shows, something changed. China went from fragile superpower to global heavyweight. Combining her decades of research and experience, Shirk, one of the world's most respected experts on Chinese politics, argues that we are now fully embroiled in a new cold war. As she shows, the shift toward confrontation began in the mid-2000s under the mild-mannered Hu Jintao. When Xi Jinping took power in 2012, he capitalized on widespread official corruption and open splits in the leadership to make the case for more concentrated power at the top. Those who implement Xi's directives compete to outdo one another, provoking an even greater global backlash and stoking jingoism within China on a scale not seen since the Cultural Revolution. Here is a devastatingly lucid portrait of China today. Understanding the domestic roots of China's actions will enable us to avoid the mistakes that could lead to war.