Cover image for Dragon strike
Dragon strike
Hawksley, Humphrey.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.

Physical Description:
xiv, 387 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
"Thomas Dunne Books."

Originally published: London : Pan, 1977.
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Dragon Strike brings to life our worst fears regarding China's role as a nuclear power, as well as the nightmare scenario that could result from the current turmoil in Asia. When an economically desperate China seizes the oil-rich South China Sea, it ignites a conflict with Vietnamese and Taiwanese forces. As U.S. and British naval task forces intervene, the Chinese strike first, sparking a battle that could signal the beginning of World War III. A stunning thriller that delivers rip-roaring action. Dragon Strike raises the bar for the techno-thriller another enviable notch.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The latest military technothriller draws its casus belli from headlines shouting about China's superpower aspirations and contentiousness over South China Sea oil fields. Beijing asserts its control of the oil fields by military force, leading to war with Vietnam and the Philippines. The U.S., Britain, France, and Japan join in against China, the Japanese going so far as to test their first nuclear weapon. The U.S. is constrained by trade interests with China, even though China is also waging economic warfare in the world stock market, as masterminded by the Chinese foreign minister, the only real character in the book. The prose is clunky, and the action lacks emotional impact, except for diehard fans of minutely detailed small-unit operations on land, at sea, and in the air. But the British coauthors' superior extrapolation of their vision of a future in which the U.S. is no longer the only superpower compensates for a great deal. Fascinating, and the index is genuine. --Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

Long on political detail and short on well-drawn characters, this debut thriller from a pair of British foreign correspondents posits a chilling nuclear standoff with China that remains compelling despite the lack of a conventional cast of characters. Conflict is sparked when the Chinese begin a series of preemptive strikes against the Vietnamese in the South China Sea, intent on taking several small islands to gain control of critical trade routes in the resource-rich region. At first the battle seems like a controllable local incident. But when the Chinese sink an American vessel attempting to rescue U.S. workers stranded on one of the islands as de facto political prisoners, tension escalates exponentially, driven by a series of border skirmishes between the Vietnamese and Chinese and an underground nuclear test conducted by Japan in response to the Chinese aggression. Rather than creating the usual cast of high-placed political characters to carry the story, the authors have chosen to make the representatives of the nations themselves the characters, via a relentless series of dispatches documenting in detail the various moves of China, America, Britain, France, India, Vietnam, Korea and Japan as nuclear war becomes imminent. Their device is a series of dense, detail-riddled reports that will appeal to CNN junkies. It's a tribute to both the power and plausibility of the plot that this "narrative" remains riveting despite the difficulties inherent in plowing through wire service-like prose, and this title seems likely to attract attention, especially in political circles. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In this timely novel, set in the year 2001, China attacks other Asian nations, hoping to deflect attention from internal woes while achieving some economic gains and retaking "traditional" territories lost in decades past. The United States, Great Britain, and France are soon drawn in, and the world stands on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe. The novel, which draws on the authors' extensive knowledge of Asia, acquired while working for the BBC and the Financial Times, is told as a future history and even includes an index. Despite some dry "briefings" and technical passages about world finances, this is a surprisingly fast, gripping, and all-too-plausible read that is particularly relevant considering our current relations with China. For larger collections.ÄRobert Conroy, Warren, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.