Turning to Face the East: How Britain can Prosper in the Asian Century

by Liam Byrne | 07.06.13 | in: Economics, Foreign policy, Philosophy

Liam’s new book on the rise of China and how Britain can respond to, and thrive in, the Asian Century.

You can purchase a copy of the book here.



The global crash has dramatically changed the world’s balance of power. America, once the world’s hyper-power, is in retreat and mired in debt. Europe confronts a similar fate and with weaker animal spirits for help. But China’s rise seems unstoppable. The Asian century, long predicted, is arriving 20 years faster than expected.

But Britain isn’t ready. Since the loss of empire, our trade and security have been bound up with our neighbours across the wide Atlantic and the narrow channel. Worse, the globalisation of the last 20 years has left us feeling introspective and insecure and in little mood for a new and determined push overseas.

Yet now is not the time for a failure of nerve. Our success in the century ahead may depend on our success in Asia. Britain now confronts a choice. To muddle through and get by with old allies or fast forward and resolve to prosper in the Asian century.


Praise for the book:

“With the world moving East there are few better guides to the challenges we face.”

Lord Mandleson

“An excellent account, by a frontline politician, of how Britain needs to change to succeed as an innovation nation in a world in which China plays an increasing role. It deserves to be widely read.”

Lord Sainsbury, Chancellor, Cambridge University

“What a wake-up call! We really are at five-to-midnight as our country deals with Asia’s century. Turning to Face the East sets out the ‘how did we get here’ and then the ‘what can we do about it’ and leaves hanging in the air the conclusion that every reader must reach about what will happen to us if we do nothing.”

Lord Digby Jones

“In the space of a generation China has risen from isolation and poverty to become a global power, but one we have no easy framework within which to understand. Liam Byrne’s wide ranging study, grounded in his own experience as a politician, asks how fit for purpose UK policy is towards this major complex power, and finds it wanting. This book is a wake-up call for policy makers, business people, academics – anyone who needs to think and engage with China. And these days, as his book vividly shows, that means pretty much everyone.”

Kerry Brown, Former Head of Asia Programme, Chatham House

“Liam Byrne’s book is a thoughtful and wide-ranging reflection on one of the most crucial economic issues facing Britain today. It will stimulate an important and much-needed debate on our future in an era of growing Chinese power.”

Rana Mitter, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China, University of Oxford


Related Posts

A new agenda for inclusive growth

A simple truth is now clear in economics. Policymakers and politicians know how to globalise, but we do not know how to make globalisation work for the majority of voters. And today we see the consequences of this in referenda and elections around the world. Inequality in advanced countries is fuelling huge political instability. Since […]

Read more

Infographics from my Dragons speech – 24 May 2016

  Here are the three headlines from my research which I published today alongside the launch of my new book Dragons: Ten Entrepreneurs Who Built Britain       Tweet Share 0 +1 LinkedIn 0

Read more

Byrne wins bid for 3,000 jobs at Washwood Heath – 23 February 2016

Liam briefs the media at the Washwood Heath site. Byrne wins bid for 3,000 jobs at Washwood Heath   MPs have demanded that High-Speed 2 change its plans for the old LDV Alstom site in Washwood Heath to allow 3000 jobs to be created – 10 times more than the original plan.   The “instruction […]

Read more

Stay up to date with Liam's work

  • Latest Tweets

  • Copyright Liam Byrne MP 2017