In the not-too-distant future, massive climate change has wracked the globe. China's rice-growing regions have been devastated by typhoons, while its western breadbasket is suffering from three years of drought. Riots threaten to tear the country apart. With the old-guard Chinese government paralyzed by the crisis, a young, charismatic party leader steps to the fore. His solution to the unrest is a time-tested one - conquest of China's neighbors and, after that, the world.
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CIA officer Mara Duncan is on assignment in bomb-torn Hanoi. Her task: get scientist Josh MacArthur and a seven-year-old witness to Chinese atrocities in Vietnam out of the country safely. They are pursued by a relentless Chinese monk turned commando who can call on the entire Chinese secret service in Vietnam for help. Their escape is further complicated when SEALs, who are helping Mara, gun down Vietnamese soldiers, making them wanted by both China and Vietnam.
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Under secret orders from the president, U.S. Army Major Zeus Murphy sabotages a Chinese invasion fleet on the eve of its assault against Vietnam. But Murphy and fellow officer Win Christian are trapped behind enemy lines after Christian's erratic behavior gives them away. Back in America, President Chester Greene fails to convince Congress or the Pentagon that the Chinese invasion of Vietnam is the first step in a plan to rule Asia - and eventually go to war with the United States.
As depression and drought wrack China, the country's new premier has launched a deadly war with Vietnam. The assault has left the world on the precipice of disaster.... U.S. Army Major Zeus Murphy disobeys his commander and plunges headlong into the conflict, leading the Vietnamese in a covert attack against the Chinese army massing on the border. If the gambit fails, China will roll over Vietnam - and Zeus will lose the only woman he has ever loved, kept prisoner in a secret base north of Hanoi