Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Books on China's Military Security

This is a list of books on China’s military security:
  • Chinese Air Power: Current Organisation and Aircraft of all Chinese Air Forces by Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov. This is the first book in English to present full details and colour photographs of the organisation, power, and aircraft of all China's air forces - now the third largest in the world. Maps, charts, colour photographs, and tables show the extent and pattern of organisation, communication and command, inform and identification, training patterns, distribution of naval and air force, aircraft, bomb and missile armament, and notes on bases and test establishments.
  • Fortifying China: The Struggle to Build a Modern Defense Economy by Cheung Tai Ming. Fortifying China explores the titanic struggle to turn China into an aspiring world-class military technological power. The defense economy is leveraging the country's vibrant civilian economy and gaining access to foreign sources of technology and know-how. Drawing on extensive Chinese-language sources, Tai Ming Cheung explains that this transformation has two key dimensions. The defense economy is being reengineered to break down bureaucratic barriers and reduce the role of the state, fostering a more competitive and entrepreneurial culture to facilitate the rapid diffusion and absorption of technology and knowledge. At the same time, the civilian and defense economies are being integrated to form a dual-use technological and industrial base. In Cheung's view, the Chinese authorities believe this strategy will play a key role in supporting long-term defense modernisation. For China's neighbours and the United States, understanding China's technological, industrial, and military capabilities is critical to the formulation of economic and security policies. Fortifying China provides crucial insight into the impact of China's dual-use technology strategy. Cheung's "systems of innovation" framework considers the structure, dynamics, and performance of the defense economy from a systems-level perspective.
  • A Military History of Modern China: From the Manchu Conquest to Tian'anmen Square by Peter Worthing. War and the military have played central roles in shaping modern Chinese history, as the consequences of war and defeat, in both internal and external conflicts, have largely determined the course of history in China, especially in the period since the rise of the Manchu dynasty in the 17th century. Understanding the military history of China is, therefore, essential to an understanding of the Chinese state that is now emerging as a 21st-century military and economic power. Organised chronologically, this book is divided into three sections designed to reveal the manner in which war and the military have influenced the course of Chinese history. The first section is on imperial China, and it underscores the importance of war in China by dealing with the Manchu conquest and military rule over China, the developing technology gap between China and the West, the devastating defeats at the hands of Western powers in the 19th century, and early attempts at military reform and modernisation. The second section explores Republican China era, tracing important military reforms that gave rise to a revolutionary movement, the overthrow of the monarchy, and attempts to establish a democratic republic. The third section focuses on People's Republic of China, and reveals the critical role of the military and warfare in the period after the Chinese Communist Party came to power. The book also includes a section on modern military reform, acquisition of military technology, and relations with Taiwan.
  • The Chinese Army Today: Tradition & Transformation for the 21st Century by Dennis J. Blasko. This comprehensive study of the modernization efforts of the Chinese military focuses on the ground forces. In 1999, the military modernization programme of the Chinese People's Liberation Army that had been underway for 20 years accelerated and achieved a focus not seen in the previous two decades. Based primarily on Chinese sources, this book details the changes and key developments implemented since 1999 and puts them in the context of the many traditions that still remain. First-hand observations and three decades of military experience enable the author to draw disparate threads from official Chinese statements, documents and media reports into an integrated whole. This volume defines what forces make up the People's Liberation Army and examines in detail ground force organization and structure, personnel policies, doctrine and training, new equipment entering the force, and missions routinely undertaken in support of society.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Here are recent additions to our collection of titles on Malaysia:
  • Malaysia's Foreign Policy, The First Fifty Years: Alignment, Neutralism, Islamism by Johan Saravanamuttu. This overall account of Malaysia's foreign policy 1957-2007 is based on groundbreaking study and interviews with major players over some years. It brings into focus some of the uncertainties and pressures from which the country's present international standing or diplomacy has emerged. Policy changes and uncertainties, the stamp of major personalities, policies of neighbouring countries and global powers, and the pressures of religious and economic change are discussed, with clarifying graphics and systematic referencing. With bibliographic, glossary, and index.
  • Privatization In Malaysia: Regulation, Rent-Seeking And Policy Failure by Jeff Tan. In recent years, privatisation has fallen out of favour in many countries because the underlying political factors have not been well understood. This book examines Malaysia's privatisation programme, focusing on how political constraints resulted in the failure of four major privatisations: the national sewerage company (IWK), Kuala Lumpur Light Rail Transit (LRT), national airline (MAS), and national car company (Proton). It considers why developing countries such as Malaysia might want to embark on privatisation, the factors that lead to policy failure, and what is needed to make it work. It shows clearly that political motives driving privatisation often dominate purely economic considerations, and thus it is necessary to analyse privatisation within the specific country context. It argues that failure in the Malaysian case was due to political considerations that compromised institutional design and regulatory enforcement, leading to problems associated with corruption. It concludes that privatisation does not necessarily improve incentives for efficiency or enhance the finance available for capital investment, and that successful privatisation depends on the state's institutional and political capacity to design and manage an appropriate set of subsidies.
  • I, Too, Am Malay by Zaid Ibrahim. 2010 English edition of the thoughtful 2009 Malay account of the life and ideas of Zaid Ibrahim (b. 1951), lawyer, former UMNO leader and briefly in 2008, Minister of Law. Part I discusses many aspects of his 23 years' involvement with UMNO and the hegemonistic trends which led to his sacking in December 2008. There are thoughtful insights into ongoing issues. Part II traces his career from its beginnings in a Kelantan kampong and shows how his commitment to Islam, the law and to human needs has developed. In Part III, many recent issues are explored, including the fate of the judges sacked in 1988, fascism, communism and liberty in the contemporary scene, the future of Malays and interesting comments on Malay and non-Malay leaders in Malaysia. With photographs.
  • Islamization and Activism in Malaysia by Julian Lee. Islamization and Activism in Malaysia examines aspects of the increasing political and social profile of Islam in Malaysia and describes how different kinds of activists in Malaysia have sought to protect fundamental liberties and to improve the state of democracy in Malaysia. In particular, focus is paid to activists who engage with electoral process, the law and the public sphere, and in particular, to movements that cut across or combine these realms of action. Spanning the period of the Prime Ministership of Abdullah Badawi, Julian C.H. Lee's grounded analysis examines the most important issues of that period including the freedom of religion case of Lina Joy, the Islamic state debate, and events surrounding the 8 March 2008 general elections.
  • Ethnic Relations and Nation Building: The Way Forward edited by Maya Khemlani David and James Mclellan. Most of these 13 papers by social scientists of different disciplines were given at the 2008 conference at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Based on research or experience in Malaysia, and also in Thailand and Myanmar, many problems of nation-building are addressed and also related to everyday situations and forward planning. The papers are grouped as dealing with: the search for National Identity, using work done in Malaysia; Ethnic Identity of Minorities, using work done in: Burma with Rohingya, Karen and Shan-related minorities; with Hill Tribes in North Thailand; with children of Bidayuh-Indian marriages in Sarawak; and with Malaysian Indians. The third section on National Integration explores several of Malaysia's areas of ethnic sensitivity and perceptions of otherness - including politeness (and or its opposite) in the Malaysian Parliament. Index.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Asian Nature and Ecology Titles from Selections 103

Selections 103, the latest issue of our catalogue of new titles has just been released.

These are a few of the titles on Asian nature and ecology from the catalogue:
  • A Selection of Plants for Greening of Waterways and Waterbodies in the Tropics by Jean W.H.Yong and Tan Puay Yok et al.. This book is the fruit of cooperative efforts by specialists concerned in different ways with plant life in the waterways of Singapore. Plants can of course add great beauty to running or still waters but they can also remove some of the pollutants, improve water quality, facilitate maintenance of water sites and adjacent land, and provide wildlife habitats and useful products. Informative data, with hundreds of colour photographs give information and guidance on plant selection and zonation, the types of water plants, and botanical usage data on some 250 plant species. With references and bibliography, glossary, botanical and general indexes.
  • The Ecology of Tropical East Asia by Richard Corlett. Tropical East Asia is home to one billion people and faces massive human impact from its rising population and rapid economic growth. It has already lost more than two-thirds of its forest cover and has the highest rates of deforestation and logging in the tropics. The relentless trade in wildlife products threatens all its large and many smaller vertebrates. Despite these problems, the region still supports an estimated 15-25% of global terrestrial biodiversity and is therefore a key area for conservation. Effective and efficient conservation action at the local and regional levels depends on an understanding of the ecological patterns and processes in the region, but information is currently scattered among a large number of elusive publications in several different languages. The Ecology of Tropical East Asia is the first book to describe the terrestrial ecology of the entire East Asian tropics and subtropics, from southern China to western Indonesia. It deals with plants, animals, and the ecosystems they inhabit, as well as the diverse threats to their survival and the options for conservation. This book provides the background knowledge of the region's ecology needed by both specialists and non-specialists to put their own work into a broader context. The accessible style, comprehensive coverage, and engaging illustrations make this advanced textbook an essential read for senior undergraduate and graduate level students studying the terrestrial ecology of the East Asian tropics, as well as an authoritative reference for professional ecologists, conservationists, and interested amateurs worldwide.
  • Photographic Guide to Snakes and other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand by Merel Cox, Peter Paul Van Dijk et al.. This is the 2010 edition of the 1988 photographic pocket guide to the snakes and other reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. Two hundred and twenty of the area's 325 known species of snakes, lizards, crocodiles and turtles are illustrated with colour photographs and information on size, identifying characteristics, distribution, attitude, habitat and scientific names. Advice on locating, identifying, recording and photographing specimens found, and thoughtful discussions of conservation and protection issues and of snakebite are part of the text. With glossary, reading list and index.
  • Natural History Drawings: The Complete William Farquhar Collection - Malay Peninsula 1803-1818 with essays by John Bastin and Kwa Chong Guan. For the first time ever, 477 drawings of the flora and fauna of the Malay Peninsula commissioned by William Farquhar when he was the British Resident and Commandant of Melaka from 1803 to 1818, are published in one volume. Covering a wide spectrum of species - comprising plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, invertebrates and fish - the evocative paintings were rendered in brilliant watercolour by Chinese artists who employed both Chinese and Western painting techniques. Authoritative essays by John Bastin and Kwa Chong Guan provide insight on the background of the drawings and of Farquhar himself. This volume is a colourful and fascinating record of the flora and fauna in the Malay Peninsula over a century ago, and is a must-read for anyone with a keen interest in the natural history of the region.
  • A Field Guide to Reptiles of South-East Asia by Indraneil Das. This impressively presented field guide gives scientific information on all the recorded reptiles of mainland Southeast Asia and the islands of Greater Sunda. Some 700 species are presented with colour illustrations and identification details. The full listings of 1000 species of crocodiles, turtles, lizards and snakes include local and scientific names, habitat, distribution, status and physical data for each species. With practical advice on snakebite, bibliography, glossary, Internet listings and index.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Select Books, the tourist destination!

Over the years, in addition to being acknowledged as a specialist on Asian books, Select Books has also acquired a modest reputation as a tourist destination in Singapore. Here are several reviews:
  • In the Things to Do in Singapore section of nileguide. Help to rate us there.

Monday, October 4, 2010

We are pleased to announce that we have been appointed by National Library Board, Singapore as the distributor for a number of their publications.

Here, we feature three of the titles:

Singapore: The First Ten Years of Independence 1965 to 1975. Covering the first 10 years of nation building, Singapore: The First Ten Years of Independence is a guide that focuses on the Republic of Singapore’s first Cabinet, the key ideas and the major personalities who helped shape a nation. Starting with the challenges that the Prime Minister and his Cabinet faced at the point of independence in 1965, the guide looks at the key transformations that took place in the nation’s security, economy and society over the decade that followed, at the same time casting an eye on the individual ministers who worked together to oversee these remarkable changes. The guide includes a resource list of speeches and newspaper articles from the period, as well as a selection of oral history interviews, audiovisual materials and further reading.

Aksara: The Pasage of Malay Scripts. The written form of the Malay language has gone through several phases of adoption and adaptation. This publication, in English and Malay, traces the evolution of the Malay scripts revealing the extensive interactions between the Malay community and other civilisations. The Indianisation period saw the Malays using and adapting Indian scripts. With the coming of Islam, the Malays adopted the Arabic script. Subsequently after the European conquest, romanised script was introduced.

Zheng He and Maritime Asia. Published as a companion to the Zheng He and Maritime Asia exhibition, Zheng He and Maritime Asia chronicles the development of China’s maritime history before the Ming dynasty, with its beginning in the Tang dynasty, through the Song and Yuan dynasties. Filled with colourful photographs and illustrations, the thread-bound book takes readers through the establishment of the Ming dynasty and Emperor Yongle’s ascent to the throne, as well as the birth of famed Chinese explorer Zheng He and his rise to Grand Eunuch. Accompanied by interesting details and little-known facts about the maritime trade, Zheng He and Maritime Asia offers a captivating insight into the building of the treasure fleet and ancient Chinese shipbuilding and navigation techniques, including the use of navigation chart and water compass.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Salted Fish

We posted recently about our appointment as the exclusive distributor in Singapore and Malaysia for The National Art Gallery, Singapore (TNAG)

Among serious publications about art, TNAG will also be embarking on an ambitious children’s book publications programme. Their first children’s book has just been published.

Salted Fish is the first title of the Dreaming Art Series, which celebrates the enduring legacy of Asian artists through the creation of new art in picture books. For each title, a writer and an artist/ illustrator work together to produce a story featuring an iconic work of art.

Featured artworks, beyond serving as inspiration, come to life through fresh new interpretation and response. The series aims to provide fun and engaging avenues of introducing art to children. With every book, we aim to reach out to new audiences and enrich their connection with Asian writing and visual arts.

In Salted Fish, Lynn visits the National Art Gallery for the first time with her favourite toy Cotton Bunny. Both of them notice a funny smell in one of the rooms, and it seems to be coming from one of the paintings! What will they find when they look more closely? Come along with Lynn and Cotton Bunny as they embark on an unforgettable journey!

In conjunction with the launch of the book, there will be a Children’s Book Party to be held at the Singapore Art Museum on Saturday, October 2, 2010.

The programme includes story-telling performances, interactive art activities and admission to the exhibition.

Admission fee: $35 for a child and an accompanying parent. Each additional adult pays $12. The admission includes a pre-autographed copy of Salted Fish as well as a colouring book based on the artworks of the pioneer artist Cheong Soo Pieng.

Children's Book Party: Salted Fish
Date: Saturday, 2 October 2010
Time: 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Venue: Singapore Art Museum, Glass Hall)
Suitable for Children ages 4-7.