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The Transpacific Experiment

How China and California Collaborate and Compete for Our Future

List Price: $27.00

ON SALE: August 13, 2019 | Hardcover | 6.0 x 9.0, 320 pages | ISBN 9781640092143
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“Sheehan cuts right to the heart of the relationship between Silicon Valley and China: the tangled history, the current tensions, and the uncertain future. The Transpacific Experiment is a must-read.” —Kai-Fu Lee, former president of Google China and founder of Sinovation Ventures

Tensions between the world’s superpowers are mounting in Washington, D.C., and Beijing. But between these hubs of high-level politics, an entirely new reality is emerging. Yet the People’s Republic of China and the state of California have built deep and interdependent socioeconomic exchanges that reverberate across the globe, and these interactions make California a microcosm of the most important international relationship of the twenty-first century.

In The Transpacific Experiment, journalist Matt Sheehan chronicles the real people who are making these connections. Sheehan tells the story of a Southern Californian mayor who believes a Chinese electric bus factory will save his town from meth labs and skinheads. He follows a celebrated Chinese AI researcher who leaves Google to challenge his former employer from behind the Great Firewall. Sheehan joins a tour bus of wealthy Chinese families shopping for homes in the Bay Area, revealing disgruntled neighbors and raising important questions about California’s own prejudices and perceptions of immigration and the American Dream.

Sheehan’s on-the-ground reporting reveals movie sets in the “Hollywood of China,” Chinese-funded housing projects in San Francisco, Chinese immigrants who support Donald Trump, and more. Each of these stories lays bare the new reality of twenty-first-century superpowers: the closer they get to one another, the more personal their frictions become.

MATT SHEEHAN is a non-resident fellow at The Paulson Institute’s think tank, MacroPolo. Sheehan grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and spent over five years living in mainland China. He is fluent in spoken and written Mandarin Chinese, and his writing has been published in Vice NewsForeign Policy, and The Atlantic. He is based in Oakland, California.

Praise

Praise for The Transpacific Experiment

“A revealing, refreshing dive into one of the most telling nexuses of the U.S.–China relationship. Sheehan’s colorful odyssey from college campuses to Beijing start-up land is a well-drawn portrait of how the two countries are forging our economic future.” —Te-Ping Chen, reporter for The Wall Street Journal

“Sheehan cuts right to the heart of the relationship between Silicon Valley and China: the tangled history, the current tensions, and the uncertain future. The Transpacific Experiment is a must-read.” —Kai-Fu Lee, former president of Google China and founder of Sinovation Ventures

“Nuanced, layered, and engaging, Matt Sheehan’s The Transpacific Experiment offers a fresh take on how China’s rise affects America, and how America affects China’s rise, through rich reporting in his home state of California, with a perspective gleaned from years of living and reporting in China.” —Mary Kay Magistad, former China correspondent for NPR and PRI’s The World, current host of the Whose Century Is It? podcast

“Timely reading in an era of looming trade wars and the decline of American economic supremacy.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A timely and important book. Matt Sheehan observes and navigates with skill the shifting currents of the relationship between California and China, the most important economic underpinning at times both uniting and dividing the United States and China. From Silicon Valley to Hollywood, from college campuses to real estate brokers to struggling industrial zones, Sheehan chronicles with aplomb the Chinese talent and capital that has arrived over the past decade and the questions growing within both nations about their relationship with each other, with California, as ever, at the frontier.” —Duncan Clark, author of Alibaba: The House that Jack Ma Built

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