Institute for National Strategic Studies


This collection of articles was made possible through a process that began in March 1995, when the President of the Chinese Academy of Military Science hosted a delegation of the Atlantic Council of the United States in Beijing. Over 4 days, our delegation met with more than 50 Chinese strategic experts including Defense Minister General Chi Haotian. This unprecedented visit provided the opportunity to obtain 100 Chinese military books and professional military journals. One journal, China Military Science, published by the Academy of Military Science, is the source of most of the articles in this collection. The remaining articles are from the Liberation Army Daily newspaper and several books published by the Chinese military press. China Military Science features articles by authors with many different approaches to thinking about future warfare. In fact, the journal's editor told me in Beijing that he selects a variety of articles for each issue from many schools of thought. Interestingly, he even publishes several articles in each issue about the continuing relevance of ancient strategic theories. Most of this collection of articles about future warfare by senior Chinese military authors first appeared in 1994 to 1996. They were selected within certain strict Chinese rules that China places on foreign access to military publications. During four trips to the Academy of Military Science in Beijing, 10 Chinese senior military officers were interviewed regarding Chinese views of future warfare and queried about China's most insightful or most authoritative military authors for me to translate for the National Defense University Press. I explained that China's best professional military writing about the future ought to become better known in the United States where, by default, the perception exists that China lacks a vision of the nature of future warfare.

Early on, several Chinese military officers frankly told me that 15 or so of Chinas best military strategists never publish openly. For security reasons, no generals in China can openly publish about current military issues. However, there is greater latitude for Chinese military authors to speculate in China Military Science about the nature of future warfare. Because of Chinese limitations about publication of current military issues, I had no choice but to limit my selection of articles and authors to the subject of future warfare. However, this restriction proved to be serendipitous when I discovered a previously neglected community of Chinese military experts on the future. I was introduced to 30 authors who belong to organizations like the Society for the Study of Future Warfare and the Institute for Grand Strategy and who serve at the National Defense University, the Academy of Military Science, and other parts of the Peoples Liberation Army.

I have arranged the articles by subject:

Over the past decade, a small group of Western professors and government analysts has published a few books and many articles about Chinese views on defense strategy and military modernization. The sources for these publications are largely U.S. Government translations provided by the Foreign Broadcast Information Services Daily Report China and occasional interviews the authors have had in China with PLA officers and other defense experts. The following significant and recent studies provide extensive bibliographies for further reading :

Kenneth W. Allen, Glenn Krumel, Jonathan D. Pollack, Chinas Air Force Enters the 21st Century (Santa Monica, CA: The Rand Corporation, 1995).

Thomas J. Christensen, Useful Adversaries: Grand Strategy, Domestic Mobilization, and Sino-American Conflict, 1947-1958 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996).

Bates Gill and Taeho Kim, Chinas Arms Acquisitions from "broad:" Quest for "Superb and Secret Weapons" (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995).

Alastair Iain Johnston, Cultural Realism: Strategic Culture and Grand Strategy in Chinese History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995).

C. Dennison Lane, Mark Weisenbloom and Dimon Liu, eds., Chinese Military Modernization (London: Kegan Paul International, 1996).

"Special Issue: Chinas Military in Transition.," ed. David Shambaugh, The China Quarterly (June 1996).

Michael D. Swaine, The Role of the Chinese Military in National Security Policymaking (Santa Monica, CA: The Rand Corporation, 1996).

Robert Sutter with Peter Mitchener, Chinas Rising Military Power and Influence: Issues and Opinions for the U.S. (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, January 1996).

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