How China Sees American Actions
The hawks and the reformers in China differ sharply about America’s intentions toward China’s neighbors. The hawks see every American action with the goal of encircling China and neutralizing its threat. In recent years, no move was seen as more important than President Obama’s November 2012 visit to Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), and a reciprocal visit by Myanmar leaders to America the following spring. Indeed, Myanmar has become a centerpiece in the competition between America and China in Asia. As the New York Times noted earlier that year, “With the United States reasserting itself in Asia, and an emboldened China projecting military and economic power as never before, each side is doing whatever it can to gain the favor of economically struggling, strategically placed Myanmar.”
China’s Seven American Fears
America’s war plan is to blockade China.
America supports plundering china’s maritime resources.
America may choke off China’s sea lines of communication.
America seeks China’s territorial dismemberment.
America may assist rebels inside China.
America may foment riots, civil war, or terrorism inside China.
America threatens aircraft carrier strikes.
The 5 False Assumptions Enabling China’s Hundred Year Plan To Overtake America
#1: ENGAGEMENT BRINGS COMPLETE COOPERATION
For four decades now, we believed that engagement with the Chinese would induce China to cooperate with the West on a wide range of policy problems. It hasn’t. Trade and technology were supposed to lead to a convergence of Chinese and Western views on questions of regional and global order. They haven’t. In short, China has failed to meet nearly all of our rosy expectations.
#2: CHINA IS ON THE ROAD TO DEMOCRACY
Chinese Political Candidates were allowed no public assemblies, no television ads, and no campaign posters. They were not allowed to criticize any policy implemented by the Communist Party, nor were they free to criticize their opponents on any issue. There would be no American-style debates over taxes or spending or the country’s future. The only thing a candidate could do was to compare his personal qualities to those of his opponent. Violations of these rules were treated as crimes.
#3: CHINA, THE FRAGILE FLOWER
Unfortunately, China policy experts like me were so wedded to the idea of the coming collapse of China that few of us believed these forecasts. While we worried about China’s woes, its economy more than doubled.
#4: CHINA WANTS TO BE- AND IS- JUST LIKE US
Whereas Americans tended to favor direct action, those of Chinese ethnic origin were found to favor the indirect over the direct, ambiguity and deception over clarity and transparency. Another conclusion was that Chinese literature and writings on strategy prized deception.
#5: CHINA’S HAWKS ARE WEAK
Hawks have been advising Chinese leaders, beginning with Mao Zedong, to avenge a century of humiliation and aspired to replace the United States as the economic, military, and political leader of the world by the year 2049 (the one hundredth anniversary of the Communist Revolution). This plan became known as the Hundred-Year Marathon. It is a plan that has been implemented by the Communist Party leadership from the beginning of its relationship with the United States. The goal is to avenge or wipe clean (xi xue) past foreign humiliations. Then China will set up a world order that will be fair to China, a world without American global supremacy, and revise the U.S.-dominated economic and geopolitical world order founded at Bretton Woods and San Francisco at the end of World War II. The hawks assess that China can only succeed in this project through deception, or at least by denial of any frightening plans.
The 9 Principal Elements Of The Chinese Hundred Year Marathon
1. Induce complacency to avoid alerting your opponent.
Chinese strategy holds that a powerful adversary, such as the United States today, should never be provoked prematurely. Instead, ones true intentions should be completely guarded until the ideal moment to strike arrives.
2. Manipulate your opponent’s advisers.
Chinese strategy emphasizes turning the opponents house in on itself by winning over influential advisers surrounding the opponents leadership apparatus. Such efforts have long been a hallmark of Chinas relations with the United States.
3. Be patient for decades or longer to achieve victory
During the Warring States period, decisive victories were never achieved quickly. Victory was sometimes achieved only after many decades of careful, calculated waiting. Today, Chinas leaders are more than happy to play the waiting game.
4. Steal your opponent’s ideas and technology for strategic purposes.
Hardly hindered by Western-style legal prohibitions and constitutional principles, China clearly endorses theft for strategic gain. Such theft provides a relatively easy, cost-effective means by which a weaker state can usurp power from a more powerful one.
5. Military might is not the critical factor for winning a long-term competition.
This partly explains why China has not devoted more resources to developing larger, more powerful military forces. Rather than relying on a brute accumulation of strength, Chinese strategy advocates targeting an enemy’s weak points and biding ones time.
6. Recognize that the hegemon will take extreme, even reckless action to retain its dominant position.
The rise and fall of hegemons was perhaps the defining feature of the Warring States period. Chinese strategy holds that a hegemon- the United States, in todays context- will not go quietly into the night as its power declines relative to others. Further, Chinese strategy holds that a hegemon will inevitably seek to eliminate all actual and potential challengers.
7. Never lose sight of shi
The concept of shi will be discussed in greater detail below. For now, suffice it to say that two elements of shi are critical components of Chinese strategy: deceiving others into doing your bidding for you, and waiting for the point of maximum opportunity to strike.
8. Establish and employ metrics for measuring your status relative to other potential challengers.
Chinese strategy places a high premium on assessing Chinas relative power, during peacetime and in the event of war, across a plethora of dimensions beyond just military considerations. The United States, by contrast, has never attempted to do this.
9. Always be vigilant to avoid being encircled or deceived by others.
In what could be characterized as a deeply ingrained sense of paranoia, Chinas leaders believe that because all other potential rivals are out to deceive them, China must respond with its own duplicity. In the brutal Warring States period, the ve, trusting leader was not just unsuccessful in battle; he was utterly destroyed. Perhaps the greatest Chinese strategic fear is that of being encircled. In the ancient Chinese board game of wei qi, it is imperative to avoid being encircled by your opponent- something that can be accomplished only by simultaneously deceiving your opponent and avoiding being deceived by him. Today, Chinas leaders operate on the belief that rival states are fundamentally out to encircle one another, the same objective as in wei qi.
Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2015
Annual Report to Congress
China’s leadership continues to officially support former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping’s dictum from the early-1990s that China should “observe calmly; secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our capabilities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; and never claim leadership.
On July 23, 2014, China conducted a non-destructive test of a missile designed to destroy satellites in low Earth orbit. China claimed this test was for a missile defense system. A previous destructive test of this system in 2007 created substantial space debris that continues to present a danger to the space systems of all nations, including China.
Air Show China 2014, reveal that China continues to develop and market a wide array of IADS systems designed to counter U.S. technology, tailoring the threats to attempts to deny “high-tech” operations across a wide range of capabilities.
Similarly, the acquisition and development of longer-range UAVs will increase China’s ability to conduct long-range reconnaissance and strike operations. China is advancing its development and employment of UAVs. Some estimates indicate China plans to produce upwards of 41,800 land- and sea-based unmanned systems, worth about $10.5 billion, between 2014 and 2023.
Developing cyber capabilities for warfare is consistent with authoritative PLA military writings, which identify information warfare as integral to achieving information superiority and an effective means for countering a stronger foe. These writings detail the effectiveness of information warfare and offensive cyber operations in conflicts and advocate targeting adversary C2 and logistics networks to affect their ability to operate during the early stages of conflict. They portray the enemy’s C2 system as “the heart of information collection, control, and application on the battlefield. It is also the nerve center of the entire battlefield.”
China is developing its own missile defense capability, going beyond the long-range SAMs that it has acquired from foreign suppliers that provide only a limited capability against ballistic missiles. China continues to develop a missile defense umbrella consisting of a kinetic energy intercept capability at exo-atmospheric altitudes, as well as intercepts of ballistic missiles and other aerospace vehicles within the upper atmosphere. China has tested a ground-based, midcourse interceptor, with the first test occurring in January 2010. Shortly after the test, China claimed that the test was defensive in nature and not directed at any country.
China seeks some high-tech components and certain major end items, particularly from Russia, that it has difficulty producing domestically. China is pursuing advanced Russian defense equipment such as the SA-X-21b (S-400) SAM system, Su-35 fighter aircraft, and a new joint-design and production program for diesel-electric submarines based on the Russian PETERSBURG/LADA-class.
Espionage Activities Supporting China’s Military Modernization. There continue to be instances of Chinese nationals located in the United States acting as procurement agents and intermediaries to obtain sensitive or export-restricted U.S. equipment and technologies with military applications. China uses its intelligence services and employs other illicit approaches that violate U.S. laws and export controls to obtain key national security and export-restricted technologies, controlled equipment, and other materials not readily obtainable through commercial means or academia.
What Is China’s World Order Goal in 2049?
It is time to start imagining that world. By 2050, China’s economy will be much larger than America’s- perhaps three times larger, according to some projections- and the world could then be a unipolar one, with China as the global leader. Other scenarios project China and the United States as dual superpowers, and still others predict a tripolar world of China, India, and the United States.
CHINESE VALUES WILL REPLACE AMERICAN VALUES
For China, personal rights in the American sense do not exist.
CHINA WILL “HARMONIZE” DISSENT ON THE INTERNET
One of China’s weapons in its war on free speech is censorship of the Internet.
CHINA WILL CONTINUE TO OPPOSE DEMOCRATIZATION
Chinese officials prefer a world with more autocracies and fewer democracies.
CHINA WILL FORM ALLIANCES WITH AMERICA’S ADVERSARIES
The hard truth is that China’s leaders see America as a rival in a global struggle- one that they plan on winning. That vision of our relationship explains why, time after time, China aids America’s enemies in an effort to chip away at American power, especially in America’s war on terrorism.
CHINA WILL EXPORT THE AIR-POCALYPSE
In January 2013, a “fetid smog” engulfed Beijing. Dubbed the “Air-pocalypse,” it lasted for several weeks, during which time residents and visitors “could smell, taste, and choke on” the pollution.
CHINA’S GROWTH STRATEGY ENTAILS SIGNIFICANT POLLUTION AND CONTAMINATION
To stay in power, China’s leadership knows it needs rapid growth. If we project the current impasse forward three decades, the effects are alarming.
The human cost of China’s air and water pollution can be seen firsthand in the number of “cancer villages” that have appeared near Chinese factories.
CHEATERS WIN- CHINA WILL UNLEASH THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
When it comes to trade and growth, America is losing to China, and the reason is simple: China cheats. It steals technology, promotes Chinese monopolies, and unfairly insulates its state-owned companies from foreign competition.
CHINA WILL INCREASINGLY UNDERMINE THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION
The United Nations is far from perfect, but it is the only political institution in the world with essentially universal membership. It is also the only forum in the world where any nation can come to all other nations to discuss and cooperate on issues such as health, labor, telecommunications, finance, security, and trade. This cooperative web supports our international political order, but its chief virtue- universal membership- may not survive in a world dominated by China.
CHINA WILL PROLIFERATE WEAPONS FOR PROFIT
For many years, China has sold missile technology to rogue states that develop weapons of mass destruction, act aggressively toward their neighbors, arm terrorists, and oppress their own people. Their clients have included Iran, Libya, and Syria. The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is an international export-control agreement designed to prevent states such as these from acquiring missile-related exports.
One clue supporting this Chinese recalculation came in 2010. It was a four-page secret briefing given to Chinese officials by a foreign affairs expert of the Central Committee. The briefing sought to answer the question “What is the most important foreign policy challenge our nation faces in the next decade?” According to the notes obtained by the U.S. government, the expert’s answer was, “How to manage the decline of the United States”. He discussed several tactics that could be used to achieve this goal. If accurate, his account implied that China’s surpassing America’s economy would occur within a decade.
“The KGB tells me you have a new supercomputer that can predict events in the year 2000,” Brezhnev says.
“Yes,” Nixon replies. “We have such a computer.”
“Well, Mr. President, could you tell me what the names of our Politburo members will be then?”
There is a long silence on Nixon’s end of the line.
“Ha ha!” Brezhnev exclaims to Nixon. “Your computer is not so sophisticated after all.”
“No, Mr. General Secretary,” Nixon replies, “it answers your questions, but I can’t read it.”
“Why not?” Brezhnev demands. “Because it is in Chinese.”