2: America's declining role

china's security analysts have been predicting u.s. decline for a long time. In fact, the idea that U.S. strength is weakening and that its policies will no longer be effective throughout the world is not new in the 1990s. Using internal Chinese documents, Professor Robert S. Ross has shown it was alleged in the early 1980s. For example, U.S. concessions in what formed the August 17, 1982, Communique between the United States and China were explained as due to U.S. "power decline." Another analyst at that time argued that U.S. "position of strength is declining" and U.S. policy will "lead to failure everywhere." (188)

According to official Chinese Marxism, a "capitalist" United States cannot avoid decline forever. Even in military strength and technology, including the development of the revolution in military affairs (RMA), areas where the United States currently is considered to hold the leading position, Chinese military experts claim that there are several reasons the United States is destined to fall behind other nations. This "inevitable" decline of the U.S. hegemon is a decisive feature of China's assessment of the future. Without U.S. decline, there will be no multipolar structure in which a rising power can seek protection. Without the fading away of U.S. military alliances with Europe and Japan, a rising power will have no new partners with which to align. Additionally, without U.S. decline, Chinese Marxism would be proven false.

Since 1991, some Chinese military authors have described specific U.S. military weaknesses and forecasted that after two decades the superpower status of the United States will end. This chapter, which cites the views of 70 authors, divides its survey of U.S. decline into three subjects:

This is the first of several chapters to deal with Chinese writings about the future implications of the RMA, which is also an important factor in the chapters about Comprehensive National Power (CNP), Japan, Russia, and future wars. PLA authors assert that the United States will do well in the RMA only in its initial period of a decade or so, then other nations like Russia and Japan will surpass America in developing future RMA-type forces. (189) Failure with the RMA will affect victory in future war, because "Non-RMA troops will not possess the qualifications for future high-technology warfare." (190)

The assessment of U.S. military decline is reinforced by Chinese civilian authors. As mentioned in chapter one, authoritative civilian analysts forecast a decline in America's diplomatic role in the 21st century, as multipolarity opens up the potential for new alignments and "partnerships," and Japan and Europe seek to improve their relations with China. According to the ancient statecraft of the Warring States era, a too-powerful hegemon could easily destroy a rising rival. However, a coalition or a series of "strategic partnerships" could save a rising power from such destruction if the hegemon were declining. Chinese authors claim, "Today the trend toward multipolarization in the world is quickening, which prevents the United States from achieving world dominance. In fact the United States is declining relatively in the world. The gap between insufficient power and overly lofty goals fundamentally frustrates its scheme to create a single-pole world." (191)

failure to implement the rma

Chinese authors define an RMA as they believe the United States does, emphasizing the potential invention of radical new forms of warfare, enhanced information warfare, networks of systems, and "digitized" combat forces. (192) However, while Chinese analysts acknowledge America's current leading position in the field, many also point to existing and future weaknesses, how they can be exploited, and why other countries will surpass the United States. For example, the scope of negative predictions about how the United States will implement an RMA varies little among five books published by PLA authors at the Academy of Military Science (AMS) in the last 4 years. (193) Their critiques of the United States range from technology issues to the ways in which U.S. military and government attitudes and philosophies will restrict and limit creativity, development, and implementation of the RMA. Several of the authors emphasize the greater potential of other countries, including China, in the area of innovation. Gao Chunxiang writes that U.S. weaknesses 

provide us with the train of thought in future information warfare on how to stay clear of the enemy's main force and strike at his weak points, avoid his strengths and attack his weaknesses, adopt his good points and avoid his shortcomings, use the indigenous to create the foreign, seek the cause to respond with a plan. . . . In future information warfare, if we only dare to blaze new trails there will be no need to be afraid of anyone. (194)

Other authors point out how long it will take the United States to realize fully the RMA. General Wang Pufeng estimates it will take until 2050 for all U.S. forces to be "digitized" and part of a "system of systems," because of the slow pace to date and U.S. interservice rivalry. (195)

According to Han Shengmin, the United States faces the following four major obstacles in "establishing a digitized battlefield:" (196)

Another important example of Chinese beliefs is America, Russia, and the Revolution in Military Affairs, by two officers at the AMS, who argue that the United States will at first be successfully innovative during the initial decade of the RMA but later will be surpassed by one (or more) vigorous nations. They explain that the United States will ultimately lose its status as a military superpower because it will fail to exploit the RMA for several reasons, including:

Wang Zhenxi, a Senior Adviser at the China Institute of International Strategic Studies (CIISS), provides additional insight into why, despite its advanced technology, other countries may surpass the U.S. in exploiting the RMA. He argues that not only could other nations put forward new technologies or doctrines before the United States, but that military factors are not the only ones affecting the outcome of the RMA. Instead, a variety of components, such as the factors that make up a country's CNP, also contributes to a country's ability to develop the RMA:

Counting on its technical superiority, the United States claims itself to be the forerunner in the military revolution and that it even has such a great lead of 30 to 50 years over other nations that no country can catch up and advance shoulder to shoulder with it before 2020. We say that military technology is an agent behind the military revolution, but not the only one.

Wang next employs the same definition of RMA used by Andrew W. Marshall and other American proponents:

It depends on the combined action of social, political, economic and scientific and technological factors for a military revolution to take place and proceed smoothly. . . . And in the military field it hinges on the joint innovation of the military technology, doctrines and organizational structure.

To the surprise of Westerners, Wang differs from Americans and does not expect the United States to be the world's leader in the RMA:

It is not necessarily the existing most technologically advanced country that will eventually achieve the best results in the military revolution. And it can not be ruled out that in the current military revolution certain countries may advance new military thoughts or doctrines, thus pinning down the technological supremacy the U.S. primarily expects to possess in the era of information. . . . If the social, political, economic, scientific and technological, and military thought factors are taken into account, then it is not absolutely limited to the United States as the only country that can wage a military revolution. (201)

Chinese analysts also use the most recent public review of United States defense strategy, the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), as the basis to suggest increasing military challenges the United States may not be prepared to face. First, there is the issue of homeland defense. Lu Dehong from the CIISS writes, "It is the first time since the end of the Cold War that the United States emphasizes that the U.S. homeland is not free from external threats." Second, Lu points out that the United States is making only a modest effort to exploit the RMA: "How to balance investment in the present versus the future was the fundamental contradiction facing the U.S. Department of Defense." The QDR examined three different strategic paths to solve this tough problem: the QDR chose a third path--to strike a balance between the present and the future "that embraces the RMA in an evolutionary way. . . . Continuing to exploit the RMA has been adopted as the general principle of U.S. military development of the QDR." (202)

The Chinese criticize the U.S. Army for already "being trapped in the blind alley of technology." A Liberation Army Daily article states, "The Army which the U.S. Army is engaged in is no more than the use of a nation's technology to transform the existing units as well as the existing weaponry and equipment of the Army, and the U.S. Army is already trapped in the blind alley of technology." The article warns, "If the United States goes on with the present practice, the military revolution it is engaged in will not be a thorough going one," and predicts "The United States will not exploit the RMA very well." (203)

According to some Chinese military authors, the United States already knows China can defeat it in 2020. General Pan Junfeng states that the United States will not have formed a full information warfare force until the middle of the 21st century. He explains three ways that in future wars American computers can be very vulnerable. "We can make the enemy's command centers not work by changing their data system. We can cause the enemy's headquarters to make incorrect judgments by sending disinformation. We can dominate the enemy's banking system and even its entire social order." General Pan states that the United States already realizes these three points and that on January 30, 1994, Defense News reported that in war games between the Chinese military and the U.S. Navy in the Pacific, at the U.S. Naval War College, the Chinese forces defeated U.S. forces. General Pan puts forward five suggestions for ways in which China can strengthen its development and implementation of the RMA:

future military weaknesses

Some Chinese authors have treated the question of America's future extensively as they analyze the future security environment, so it is important to know the baseline of how China assesses the United States today. In general, Chinese authors assert the following points about current U.S. military weakness:

Chinese books on the U.S. military are plentiful and largely descriptive. (205) Some Chinese military textbooks about the U.S. Armed Forces begin with a sentence that declares U.S. military technology is the best in the world, (206) but this apparent praise is misleading. The main point of all writings about U.S. forces is to emphasize their weak points and their vulnerability to defeat by China. Not one of the more than 200 books reviewed for this study admitted that the United States could defeat China by force in any scenario--but many techniques can supposedly defeat U.S. forces. (207) There are frequent references to China's "defeat" of U.S. forces in both Korea and Vietnam. The United States is said likely to fall behind others in the RMA. It is said that even Japan is developing better military technology than the United States in several areas and that the United States is "dependent" on Japan for military technology. (208)

The devaluing of U.S. military power is accompanied by frequent references in military books and the prestigious journal, China Military Science, to the importance of ancient Chinese statecraft, especially to the early centuries of Chinese history, when several warring states adroitly manipulated a balance of power until one state achieved primacy and assumed the name "China." Both the challenge of new military technology and the need to use traditional Chinese statecraft figure in this story of the founding of China; both are also often mentioned when Chinese authors address the 21st century.

In general, most Chinese analysts since 1991 have acknowledged that the United States is the "sole military superpower" and has the most technologically advanced army, navy and air force in the world. Somewhat humorously, one analyst writes, "In the last 20 years, people have turned pale at the mere mention of U.S. military strength." (209) However, they suggest that this characterization of narrow technological superiority would mean very little in a U.S. conflict with China. Chinese authors repeatedly emphasize that major, fatal weaknesses characterize the American Armed Forces. Almost all universally cite Chairman Mao's requirement that the dialectical aspect of Chinese military science requires assessment of weakness as well as strength.

The Chinese view is that the United States suffers from fundamental logistics weaknesses and several operational weaknesses. Chinese authors believe Saddam Hussein, using Chinese-style strategy, could have exploited these weaknesses in order to defeat the United States.

weaknesses in logistics

In order to denigrate the image of the United States as a superpower colossus, a number of Chinese articles focus on American logistics limitations. (210) Many Chinese analysts cite statistics and examples from the Gulf War in order to point out the problems the United States would face in a potential war in Asia. Other authors examine the evolution of U.S. military strategy, arguing that it illustrates the gradual weakening of U.S. power since World War II.

The United States is described as a country that "must cross the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans and go to Europe or Asia" before any serious war starts. From 1961 to 1968, Presidents Kennedy and Johnson incorporated a flexible response strategy for fighting two-and-a-half wars simultaneously. Chinese military authors refer to these as a war with the Soviet Union and Europe, a war with China and Asia, and half a war with a regional power in an area such as the Middle East. As America's overall national strength declined, however, from 1969 to 1980, Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter realized that "strength fell short of ambition" to fight two-and-a-half wars, so U.S. military strategy shifted to fighting one-and-a-half wars. Chinese called this "fighting the big war either in Europe or Asia, and at the same time a small war in some other region." (211)

The Chinese posit that American weakness can be seen from the U.S. definition that the Gulf War should have been a "half war," but in fact it required almost all America's conventional weapons, its reserves had to be called up, 6 months were needed for the United States to complete the deployment of troops in the Gulf, and it had to hire foreign ships to carry troops, equipment, and supplies. Chinese analysts point out that nearly 50 percent of the weapons and equipment for the Gulf War had to be carried by foreign ships and foreign aircraft because the United States lacked strategic airlift and sealift. After detailing the extent of U.S. dependency on foreign transportation, one author wrote, "Huge inputs were in order to guarantee one battlefield's requirements; if it had to simultaneously ensure the requirements of two battlefields, the current U.S. transportation capabilities clearly are insufficient." (212) More importantly, Chinese articles point out that in the Gulf War, oil, which accounts for 50 percent of the materials consumed by the U.S. Armed Forces, could basically be arranged in the region rather than having to rely on vulnerable lines of supply. One author asks, "If it were a long, drawnout war, with many casualties and losses, could the United States promptly replenish troops, equipment, and materials and maintain the troops' fighting ability?" (213)

They cite other U.S. advantages in the Gulf War, not to be repeated again, such as the cooperation of the 28 countries in the coalition and the role of 120 countries in imposing a blockade against Iraq. Chinese analysts also note that America's "strong dependency on allies" is a potential vulnerability in future multination joint combat operations because of problems inherent in alliances. One author writes that during the Gulf War, "Due to differences among the various allied countries' troops, in the areas of war interests, combat ideology, weaponry, culture, and language, numerous difficulties inevitably existed in command coordination. This could provide the opponent with a few opportunities it could exploit, including dividing and disintegrating the alliance politically, and destroying the countries militarily one by one." (214) In addition, Chinese military specialists also point out that in spite of all the advantages provided by the alliance, it took Iraq only several hours to capture Kuwait, but the allied forces took more than 30 days to recover Kuwait.

One important assessment concludes that if it was so difficult for the United States to win a "half war" against Iraq with so many advantages from its coalition forces, the United States would not do well fighting alone against China and Asia. A PLA author asserts that it would be "hard to predict the result" of a United States war with China and Asia:

If we have to predict, then the chance of its winning is only 30 percent, because the U.S. Forces have never fought a "whole" war overseas, while the "half wars" they have fought ended sometimes in victory and sometimes in defeat. The two sides fought to a draw in the Korean War; the Vietnam War was lost; and the Gulf War was a victory, but fought by 28 countries. (215)

Even looking back on World War II, the Chinese assessment is that, although the United States was in a "whole" war, it fought only "half of it" because of its limited participation, which began with Pearl Harbor. According to the Chinese assessment, "The relentless pressure of the Russians was driving the Germans farther and farther back, and the defeat of Germany was almost a certainty" before the United States opened the second front in Normandy. Even in the European theater, the United States was joined by both the Soviet Union and Britain, while in the Asian theater the United States enjoyed the combat cooperation of "China, Britain, and the Soviet Union." (216)

north korea can defeat america

Chinese military authors also appear to devalue the effectiveness of U.S. forces in a future Korean scenario. According to a colonel at AMS, several factors ensure U.S. defeat "if in the next few years a Korean War erupted." His main points are:

weaknesses in the gulf war

The Chinese perception of American strategic weakness based on logistics is further compounded by the assertions of many Chinese military authors that American operational weaknesses could one day make U.S. forces extremely vulnerable to a Chinese-style strategy. An overall assessment of the war comes from the Vice President of AMS, Li Jijun, who writes that during the Gulf War,

U.S. Armed Forces revealed many weak points. For example, the combat consumption was too great, and it could not last long. There was great reliance on the allied countries. The high-tech equipment was intensive and its key links were rather weak; once they were damaged, combat effectiveness was greatly reduced. Also if the adversary of the United States was not Iraq, if the battle was not fought on the flat desert, if the Iraq Armed Forces struck first during the phase when U.S. Armed Forces were still assembling, or if Iraq Armed Forces withdrew suddenly before the U.S. Armed Forces struck, then the outcome of the war might have been quite different. (218)

Several books published in the mid-1990s purport to analyze U.S. military weaknesses in detail. One published in May 1996 by Major General Li Zhiyun, Foreign Military Studies Director at the National Defense University, contains articles by 75 PLA authors who describe in detail an extended list of joint warfare weaknesses of the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force: (219)

These represent a common theme in PLA views of future warfare--America is proclaimed to be a declining power with but two or three decades of primacy left. U.S. military forces, while dangerous at present, are vulnerable and can be defeated by China with the right strategy. That strategy is "defeating the superior with the inferior" (yiruo shengqiang). Part of the recommended approach in some of this PLA writing is the requirement for "the inferior" to pre-emptively strike the "superior" in order to paralyze his nerve centers and block his logistics. Chinese military books and articles on U.S. weaknesses date back at least to the Gulf War in 1991 and continue to appear, drawing on analysis of that conflict. Ten strategies that could have been employed to exploit U.S. operational weaknesses during the Gulf War were cited by Chinese military analysts.

Fortify positions. One representative analyst states, "Nothing can better reflect an Army's fighting ability than combat involving attacks on fortified positions." The Chinese explain American success in attacking Iraqi fortifications as due to the terrain in Kuwait and Southern Iraq, which is "a flat desert" where it is "difficult to build long-term solid fortifications" because the sand layer is so thin. Even with this advantage of Iraqi weakness, "The United States took a long time to tackle them . . . in 38 days they flew 10,000 sorties, and eliminated only 40 percent of the Iraqi forces." To the Chinese, the important point about American weakness is that U.S. forces could not overcome the following defenses: cities and mountains deep in the hinterland, the underground command post, garrisoned tunnels, underground warehouses, and aircraft and strategic missile bunkers that, according to the Chinese analysis, were "relatively safe." Only a few civilian bunkers and "some hangars which were not solid enough" were destroyed. U.S. conventional munitions cannot destroy fortifications with walls greater than 10 meters thick or deep underground facilities, especially in mountainous areas. The Chinese analyst concludes, "If the Iraqi forces could have relied on mountainous areas and built tunnels with layers more than 10 meters or even dozens of meters thick, then even if the U.S. forces could have cut several meters away from the peak, they could not have hurt the Iraqi forces one little bit."

Using this measure of effectiveness, Chinese analysts belittle American capabilities to "penetrate or blow up a protective layer several meters thick" or the battleship Wisconsin's 1-ton shells that can destroy "a reinforced concrete protective layer as thick as 4 meters." (220) Chinese underground bunkers are portrayed as invulnerable to American attacks. If press reports are accurate, China has a series of underground tunnels in the mountainous area west of Beijing that protect a national underground command center. Chinese use of tunneling and mountainous areas for command centers and protection of army, navy, and air force equipment dates back to the Korean War and is often described with pride in Chinese historical accounts. It is therefore likely that Chinese military leaders take comfort in this American operational weakness.

Exploit weaknesses. Several Chinese articles criticized the Iraqi military commanders for not exploiting well-known American weaknesses. (221) The Vietcong and North Vietnamese knew how to play on American weaknesses, but the Iraqis did not learn from those lessons. For example, the Iraqis did not conduct harassment attacks behind American lines at bases in Saudi Arabia, unlike the Vietcong's extensive operations. The Iraqi officer corps was not sufficiently trained in technology to master the advanced equipment that it had purchased. (222)

One way to defeat U.S. Air Force and Naval air power is to strike at American-controlled airbases, according to former Chief of Staff of the PLA, General Su Yu: "However strong a combat capability, an Army unit does not have any combat capability before entering its position." According to past examples of local wars, the Israeli Air Force succeeded in launching surprise attacks in several wars because of its "strict training and meticulous planning and preparations" and because "the other party slackened their efforts, lowered their guard, had insufficient training, and issued inappropriate combat commands." (223) Another crucial area where Chinese analysts criticized Iraq for not making surprise attacks was pointed out by Gao Chunxiang. When discussing the complexities of logistics safeguards, he stated, "If the Iraqi military had made a surprise attack on the rear of the U.S. military and multination troops, then the end of the war could have been rewritten." (224)

Prevent specialized training. According to the Chinese, the Iraqis allowed the U.S. Armed Forces to conduct special training for several months before the war and to remain on a high state of alert. "This undoubtedly helped to win superiority and take the initiative." According to Chinese analysts, "Air power's relative strength is complicated. It includes the quality and quantity of weapons, the training level and fighting will of personnel, the logistics support capabilities, and combat operational concepts." These are referred to as "a balance of static forces" which Chinese analysts do not believe is as useful a measure of effectiveness as the "balance of dynamic forces." The dynamic balance "has a great deal to do with how both parties actually employ their power." (225)

Use special measures. A particular example of how one side in combat can greatly strengthen its superiority in a "balance of dynamic strength" is to adopt "special measures." Although the U.S.-led coalition had static balance superiority in terms of air power, if the Iraqis had followed a North Vietnamese example, during the Gulf War they could have released "smoke screens supplemented by the spray of water." The Vietnamese used these "screens" to "make it impossible for the laser-guided bombs dropped by the U.S. Air Force to hit the Hanoi electric power station." Some Iraqi special measures were effective, however. Quoting a U.S. Government source, Chinese analysts state, "Only a dozen or so of the 700 Iraqi aircraft were destroyed in the first 2 days of air raids," because of the effectiveness of air defense self-protective measures, camouflage, and "air defense exercises in cities." In the long run, Chinese analysts trust the use of protracted and guerilla warfare to wear down the invader. Harassing attacks can create confusion, cause losses, and damage the morale of the political system. (226)

Study high-tech weapon vulnerability. A series of Chinese articles describes how individual U.S. high-tech weapons systems each have their own particular weaknesses and flaws that must be studied and exploited. Even the U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile can be shot down by Chinese surface-to-air guided missiles. Chinese missiles have "on several occasions downed U.S.-made U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance planes, causing a great shock to the United States." The HQ-2 surface-to-air guided missile made by China is acclaimed to have a "killing probability" of "no less than 90 percent" when three missiles are launched simultaneously within the effective range of about 30 kilometers. (227)

Camouflage tanks. Another measure of effectiveness showing American military weakness involves Iraqi tanks and American efforts to destroy them. According to Zhai Zhigang, a military Research Fellow, in order to attack Iraqi troops successfully, U.S. troops would have had to achieve a three-to-one superiority in order to "insure a quick battle to force a quick decision." Zhai then listed the obstacles to American success. First, Iraqis had built antitank ditches filled with gasoline and with mines laid densely around them; thus, "even if the 2,200 U.S. tanks break through the many Iraqi tank positions and gallop to northern Kuwait, they will fight an engagement with nearly 1,000 T-72 tanks from five of the best Presidential Republican Guard divisions." According to Zhai, "A tank in a defilade can usually cope with two to three offensive tanks with similar capabilities." There were 4,000 Iraqi tanks in Kuwait that had been concealed in "solid defilades." Therefore, Zhai estimated, only 40 percent of a tank in a defilade was exposed, and camouflaging made it hard to discover or hit directly. (228)

What is the significance of these military calculations? Zhai's comments confirm the use of operations research by Chinese analysts. Trading off one tank vs. two to three tanks when the defending tank is in defilade is a good example. The suggestion that the 2,200 U.S. tanks that penetrated Northern Kuwait would not be able to successfully destroy 1,000 T-72 tanks contains a number of miscalculations, including the determination that a U.S.-crewed M-1 tank is roughly equivalent to an Iraqi-crewed, 20-year-old, Soviet-made T-72 tank and that even a 2.2-to-1 superiority is inadequate.

Destroy the nonlinear. U.S. combat theory for high-tech local wars was criticized by one Chinese analyst, who believes that the nonlinear form of combat, where "fairly large gaps can emerge between the flank and rear of one's own troops," means there is the potential for "annihilation." Li Qingshan writes, "During the Gulf War, the U.S. military frontal attack from the coast of the Persian Gulf . . . was approximately 300 kilometers. In this 150,000-square-kilometer combat area, the U.S. military deployed 17 divisions, and the average interval between each division was 94 kilometers. It is thus clear that the gaps exposed by the nonlinear form of combat can provide opportunities for the one side to be carved up, surrounded, and even destroyed by the other." (229)

Establish sound economic structure. A Chinese military Research Fellow, Han Ren, pointed out that Iraq had an important economic-based weakness. "Iraq's economic structure is irrational, and 80 percent of its food, 60 percent of its medicines, and the majority of its modern weapons are imported." Han described Iraq's overall military disadvantage by comparing the static totals. His comparisons are particularly interesting because Iraq's quantitative military indicators approach those of China. Han said that Iraq had 1.1 million troops, 5,500 tanks, 780 combat planes, and 40 to 50 naval vessels. U.S. and coalition forces counted 700,000 troops, 3,100 tanks, 2,200 planes, and some 200 naval vessels superior in quality and capability to Iraq. (230)

Establish a nuclear deterrent. The Chinese media (and interviews by the author) stress that Iraq did not have a nuclear deterrent and that the United States needed to make nuclear threats in order to achieve victory over Iraq. According to the Chinese, Saddam treated seriously a comment to the British Broadcasting Corporation by Vice President Dan Quayle, on February 1, 1991, that he "would not rule out using nuclear weapons in the war against Iraq." This assertion seems to suggest that the conventional forces alone of the U.S.-led coalition could not have defeated Iraq without a nuclear threat, which presumably would not be so successful in deterring China.

Assess air power. Chinese assessments of American air power also include specific measures of effectiveness and imply the use of operations research. U.S. airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) have "raised by more than 30 percent the probability of attacking aircraft hitting their targets." This would be effective even for old aircraft models. Chinese assessments of the Falklands War emphasized that "even though Argentina did not enjoy advanced air power, it achieved the glorious distinction of downing 18 British ships and won widespread notice in the international community." (231) Sun Hongwei points out that "even in the Gulf War, in which the largest amount of new weaponry was used, aircraft dating from the 1960s made up the biggest proportion of the total used by coalition forces." The point seems to be that by combining new and a majority of old fighter aircraft with the force multiplier of AWACS and others listed in the article (electronic jamming aircraft sometimes made up as much as 25 percent of each formation), superiority can be achieved.

This misperception allows an obsolete 30-year-old fighter aircraft (the majority of China's Air Force) to become effective by adding a few AWACS aircraft and electronic jamming aircraft, which China is in the process of acquiring. This is not a proper approach to assessing the balance of air power and could lead to a major miscalculation. If Chinese military leaders actually use such concepts, they would greatly underestimate the damage that advanced fighter aircraft can do to a nation defended by obsolete fighters.

u.s. aircraft carrier vulnerabilities

overall u.s. decline

The effect of U.S. military decline will reinforce the trend toward multipolarity and the end of America's superpower status, because, according to Chinese assessments, U.S. military weaknesses are just one part of the overall fall in U.S. CNP. In fact, Chinese analysts see U.S. decline in virtually any arena. For example, in a discussion about how the newest and highest skyscrapers in the world are all being built in Asia, and many in China, one author writes, "As the 20th century fades, the United States seems to be ceding skyscraper supremacy to the East. Does that imply that the coming century and the coming millennium will belong to the Orient?" (233) However, as was true of the debates on the period of transition to a multipolar world, Chinese authors do differ in their views on the extent and rate of U.S. decline. Some analysts focus on the concrete, specific aspects of American weaknesses, while others examine overall U.S. power and compare it with that of other nations. (234)

One of the authors of a major study on the changing world structure by the Shanghai Institute for International Studies (SIIS) asserts that U.S. decline is relative. He explains, "Position of strength is a relative concept; whether a country's position of strength is high or low, strong or weak, can be shown only through a comparison with other countries. In general, the relative decline of America's position of strength is the contrast between the power of the United States and that of other major nations." The author goes on to state that at present, no country will increase its strength quickly enough to surpass the United States before the early 21st century. The rise of Japan, Germany, and other major European and Asian countries "subjected America's position of strength to new challenges, but they still do not constitute a major threat to America's superpower status. This situation will be maintained at least until the beginning of the next century." (235) The former president of SIIS, Chen Qimao, points out that U.S. power can be declining compared to other countries even though its economy and science and technology are strong. "Overall, the U.S. position of strength will continue its relative decline, but in recent years, the U.S. economy has picked up, its economic structure has been adjusted, and, in areas such as the science and technology revolution that takes information as its core, it is at the forefront of the Western nations; therefore, the process of its relative decline will be convoluted, not direct."

He goes on to claim that "Certain far-sighted intelligent U.S. personages have already clearly pointed out that in the new century the U.S. will be transformed from a superpower to a common power (putong daguo)." (236) He Fang, at the State Council International Studies Center, also believes that the United States will be a common power in the future; however, he provides a possible exemption for U.S. military power. He writes, "The transition period will be America's evolution process from a superpower to a common power; its military force perhaps will not be included, but its military role is declining." (237)

Social issues are frequently cited by Chinese analysts as an area where the United States has serious troubles. Particularly when compared to other countries, the United States is depicted as leading the world in social problems. (238) For example, one author referred to America as the "Drug Superpower." (240) A book entitled American Social Diseases conveys the impression that pure economic decline would be the least of the problems Americans will face in the future. The author forecasts American weakness based on:

"Crisis of political confidence (lack of trust in the government and congress, disappointment and dissatisfaction with both parties, 'lost faith' in the current political mechanism)." (241)

The author concludes that U.S. decline is both relative and actual:

America's international position and influence continue to relatively weaken . . . due to the quickening development of the world's multipolar trend, so that internationally, the U.S. is subject to greater challenges and restrictions; on the other hand. . . . America's own deep social problems and crises are becoming more and more revealed to the world, so that U.S. international influence is naturally declining. (242)

loss of allies

What are the long-term consequences of the United States declining while others rise? Chinese authors assert that as Japan and Western European nations gain more and more power, they will seek influence in international affairs commensurate with their strength and demand equality in their relationships with the United States. In keeping with the world's transition toward multipolarity, the decreasing gap between the U.S. CNP and that of Japan and Europe means America's allies will be asserting themselves as poles, unwilling to remain the subordinate partners of the United States and submit to its "Unipolar World Strategy." (243)

An article by four analysts at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) states, "As a result of their economic growth, more and more countries now dare to say 'no' to the United States. Gone are the days when one or two powers could sit upon high and dominate." (244) Yuan Peng, also of CICIR, agrees, "It is proved in practice that, although the absolute strength of the United States has almost peaked, its international influences and its capability of dominating global affairs have not synchronously increased. On the contrary, they are noticeably not as good as in the past. The multipolar system proposed by China, Russia, France, and other countries has posed a direct challenge to the unipolar strategy of the United States. . . . Of more concern to the United States is the fact that its traditional European allies, Japan, etc., are also gradually drifting away and are hardly of one heart and one mind with the United States on major issues." (245)

For its part, the United States, with its "global domination mentality," is expected to fight to hold on to its position of world leadership and supremacy, leading to direct conflicts and struggles with Japan and Europe. (246) Although America will be able to maintain its alliances in the short term, Chinese analysts foresee that in the long run:

Jin Dexiang, a senior analyst at CICIR, believes, "Changes in the relative economic status of the United States, Japan, and Germany have exerted a far-reaching impact not only on their external and internal policies but also on world economics, world politics, and international relations." (247) Jin argues that while the U.S. economic growth rate and share of world trade declined greatly from its post-World War II levels, in large part to its arms race with the Soviet Union, the economies of Japan and Germany grew. Subsequently, Japan and Germany were no longer satisfied with economic power but desired influence in other realms as well. "Bulging money bags have whetted the appetite of both Tokyo and Bonn for a larger global role in the political arena." According to Jin, Japan therefore is "beefing up its military muscle" and "filling up the vacuum left behind by U.S.-Soviet military retrenchment" in the Asia-Pacific region. Germany, too, is seeking a major political role through several tactics. It is striving for a Bonn-centered European Economic Zone while "trying its best to overtake Japan and catch up with the United States in the 21st century." Jin believes, "The scramble for the political leading role already exists among America, Europe, and Japan," concluding that "rivalry and contention among the three economic power centers of America, Europe, and Japan promise to replace U.S.-Soviet contention and the arms race as an all-important world issue." (248)

While Jin argues that simply the economic power of Germany has provided it with the foundation to assert itself on the world stage, other authors point to the fact that the joint economic strength of the EU is even greater than that of the United States according to some indicators. When discussing the economic contention and friction that exist between the EU and United States, for example, Yang Dazhou of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) writes, "Europe already possesses the economic strength to contend with the United States; the GNP of the European Union nations already exceeds America's." (249)

In addition to economic considerations, another major factor cited by many authors that has contributed to the increasing rivalry between the United States and Japan and Europe is the disintegration of the former Soviet Union. To quote Jin Dexiang, the end of the Cold War resulted in the "removal of the glue cementing Western unity." (250) Sa Benwang, a Senior Researcher at the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), agrees. He believes "the demise of the 'common threat' and 'common enemy,' and the subsequent demise of the 'common target' of the U.S.-European-Japanese 'Cold War alliance'," reduced the possibility of coordination and compromise, so that "'west-west' contradictions between the United States and Europe and Japan will be on the rise." (251) Three CICIR analysts claim that the combination of "eroded alliance cohesion" and the growth of the EU means

a transformation process has been underway to turn the transatlantic partners into strategic rivals. . . . This results in transatlantic bickering and quarrels in political, security, economic and trade fields. Bilateral tensions grew over Bosnia, NATO, trade and other issues with never-ending disputes. Thus the demise of a common strategic goal had put the alliance built up in the Cold War in jeopardy and pushed it close to the verge of collapse. (252)

Several analysts at CICIR argue that the United States realizes its "leadership capacity and cohesive force" are weakening and therefore it has to "cotton up" to its allies by supporting Germany and Japan to become permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, allowing Europe to build a certain amount of self-defense strength and encouraging Japan to play a greater role in Asia. They explain that the United States does this "to achieve 'soft control' over these countries." (253) Most authors, however, believe that the United States will be more active in its efforts to maintain power. For example, Yang Shuheng at the Center for Peace and Development, argues that the United States intends to establish its dominant position. (254) According to Qi Deguang of CICIR, the United States "purposefully took an attitude of aloofness" toward the Bosnia crisis to "wait to see the fun when they failed." (255) After the European effort to reduce the crisis failed, the United States started to proclaim that it must play the leading role and bombed the Bosnian-Serb position to show that the United States was seizing overall control.

Another analyst suggests that a key factor causing the United States to enlarge NATO is that "the United States finds its national power weakened, . . . [and] it seeks to rely on NATO to continue its leading role in the world." (256) According to Chinese analysts, America's goal through the NATO eastward expansion is both to weaken and encircle Russia, and to provide itself with a means of consolidating and furthering its leadership position in Europe. Zhang Liangneng, an analyst at CICIR, states "NATO eastward expansion is a vital strategic step for the United States to control Europe and contain Russia." However, Zhang asserts that the United States may not be able to realize its aspirations where Europe is concerned, because

The Western European countries, particularly France and Germany, have already realized that the era when they had to rely purely on the United States to maintain regional security in Europe is gone. Only by promoting economic and political integration, enhancing military and defense cooperation, establishing united defense institutions and military forces and forging a solid "European pillar," can Europe's security and stability, as well as other interests, be truly protected. (257)

Zhang's argument is supported by another CICIR analyst, who believes that European nations not only intend to create a more unified military force independent of the United States, but also plan to utilize NATO to do so: "Although both the United States and Western Europe advocate NATO eastward expansion, they are not entirely the same in regard to the concrete objective, style and pace of the extension. While the United States attempts to make use of the NATO move to maintain its own leading position in European affairs, West Europe wants to build up its own 'defense pillar' through NATO expansion so as to get rid of American control." (258) A Senior Research Fellow at CIISS, Wang Naicheng, expects that this "U.S.-European contradiction of control and counter-control" will become more and more acute, because each side will intensify its efforts to establish its position. "Europe is striving to change its role during the Cold War period as the little partner utterly controlled by and dependent upon America. It is demanding that power be shared in order to establish an equal, true partnership with the United States, but the United States refuses to concede and instead is becoming even more domineering, trying vigorously to consolidate its position as the overlord in NATO." (259)

Europe is not the only place where Chinese authors predict a U.S.-EU struggle for leadership; they also foresee conflicts between the two Cold War allies around the globe as Europe moves to expand its influence. Asia in particular is pointed to by Chinese as an area where European nations are striving to establish closer ties. An article by three CICIR analysts states,

Euro-American contention will be even more fierce in areas beyond the transatlantic region, especially in the Asia-Pacific. The European Union has initiated an omnidirectional strategy for expanding its foreign relations through thrusting southward to the Mediterranean Sea and North Africa, advancing eastward to Eastern and Central Europe and Russia, and designating Asia as the key area for contention with the United States. (260)

The first Asia-Europe Summit Conference in Thailand (March 1996) was considered by the authors to be a symbol of greater closeness between the two regions, presaging further decline in U.S. global influence. They write that in addition to seeking "stability and equilibrium in world political and economic order," one of the main goals of the summit was to "further weaken U.S. dominance in the global economy and international relations and frustrate U.S. attempts to seek post-Cold War global hegemony." (261) Chen Feng, a Senior Research Fellow at CIISS, pointed out that the Asia-Europe summit meant that "for the first time the United States, as the only superpower in the world, was unable to take part in this significant international conference." (262)

As the desire to be independent poles grows among European nations and in Japan, Chinese analysts predict that they will work to improve their relations with China. Three CICIR analysts conclude that the result of the power struggles among the Cold War allies will be that America, Western Europe, and Japan will "attach more importance to the China factor in their foreign strategies" because of the "enhancement of China's Comprehensive National Power and the extension of China's international influence." (263) Li Zhongcheng, also at CICIR, agrees that China will become a new focus in international relations because of its increased strength, but argues that China's growing importance may actually be one of the factors that comes between the allies. "With the improvement of its political big power status, Japan will gain more independence in dealing with regional and international affairs. Therefore, even though more stress has been laid on keeping vigilance over China within the U.S.-Japanese alliance, it will be very difficult for Japan and the United States to act synchronously and speak in one voice on their China policy. Worse still, they could even become major rivals to each other in vying for economic dominance in the Asia-Pacific." (264) Gao Heng of CASS asserts that Japan is not only working on its relations with China, but is also focusing on Russia. "Under pressure from the United States, Japan accepted the new policy of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty. However, for its own interests (to serve as a world level power), Japan could not but try its best to improve its relations with Russia and China." (265)

According to Gao, Germany is also focusing on improving its relations with Russia in order to expand its influence, even though it is "America's 'leading partner' in Europe." (266) Gao, like other authors, mentions the developing closeness in German-French-Russian relations and the recent creation of a large triangular relationship among the three. Wu Guoqing of CASS explains that "political triangles" such as the German-French-Russian one "constitute new geopolitical centers" that alter Europe's geopolitical structure. (267) Hu Ning of the Center for Peace and Development argues that Germany, France, and other Western European nations are seeking to improve relations with Russia at the same time that NATO is pursuing its eastward expansion, because Russia can serve as a counter to the United States. Europe "needs to draw support from Russia's power to oppose the U.S. domination of European security affairs, with the aim of building a U.S.-Russian-Western European 'multipolar restrict and balance' situation." (268) Chinese authors quote Yeltsin as stating that if he had to choose, he would side with Europe over the United States: "President Yeltsin . . . said during the Denver Summit, 'If conflicts occur somewhere between Europe and the United States, Russia will favor the position of Europe, sharing weal and woe together.' " (269)

Despite the extensive writing by Chinese analysts about the trends of growing rivalries and conflicts between America and Japan and Europe, most expect the alliances to endure in the short term. Regarding the United States and Europe, for example, Wang Naicheng of CIISS writes that, although "their contradiction has intensified," he believes that "in the foreseeable future . . . coordination and cooperation will remain the central point in their relations." Because of Russia's existence as a common potential threat and Europe's continued, though decreasing, dependence on the United States in security affairs and economic interdependence, "it is difficult to change in a short time the feature of the relationship where the United States is the principal and Europe is the subordinate. . . . Nevertheless, the cohesive force linking America and Europe in NATO from the beginning of the post-Cold War era has weakened with each passing day, and the contradiction, quite intense at times, has been developing continuously." He believes that as EU integration continues, the pattern of the U.S.-EU relationship will change. "With the progress in EU political, economic and defense cooperation, certainly Western European countries will pose even graver challenges to U.S. hegemony." (270)

Wang's views are shared by Sa Benwang of CIIS, who sees the weakening of the alliances between America and Japan and Europe as inevitable but believes that they will not abruptly end: "The centrifugal trend of Europe and Japan away from the United States as head of the alliance will further increase, and the tendency of the alliance to weaken will be hard to stop. Of course, this will also be a tortuous and complex process; it is expected that alliance relations will be maintained up to 2015." (271) Views similar to those held by the above two analysts are presented more strongly by three CICIR analysts who predict that major U.S.-EU confrontations only await the growth of EU unified CNP:

There simply does not exist any room for fundamentally harmonizing such mutually contradictory strategic goals. This divergence can be covered up at a time when Europe still falls short of U.S. strength. However, once Western Europe succeeds in catching up in strength with the United States, serious conflicts will flare up between the two sides over their strategic goals. (272)

self-prophecy of decline

Chinese analysts quote American authors out of context to suggest that distinguished Americans agree with China's assessment. It is true that American authors frequently predict drastic decline for their country, but these warnings are always linked to a set of recommendations that, if followed, will save the day and avert the fall. Chinese authors omit these linked recommendations, thereby giving their readers the impression that many sage Americans predict their nations's own inevitable weakening. (273)

Henry Kissinger has been quoted as stating that America will now be only a "beggar policeman," because the United States sought coalition funding for the Gulf War. A glowing review of a book by Zbigniew Brzezinski, Out of Control, in China's most prestigious military journal subtly distorted a key point of the book. Brzezinski suggests that the United States will risk losing its global leadership role if it does not improve its materialistic values and present a more attractive model civilization than it does at present. According to Colonel Pan Jiabin of the Academy of Military Science, the book "is certainly representative of Western thought, especially that of high-level U.S. Government views." Pan then misquotes Brzezinski: "The U.S. position as a global power is in imminent danger." (274) Pan omits Brzezinski's recommendations, which, if followed, would assure America's superpower status. Colonel Zhang Zhaohong, of NDU, cites Samuel Huntington on American weaknesses. He writes, "This U.S. leadership group lacks the ability to sit in a tent and devise successful strategies. Huntington's latest book, The Lonely Superpower, includes some views with which I rather agree. The book points out that when the power of the sole superpower reaches a considerable degree, it has too much trust in its own strength, does not take a broad view of anything, and is prone to make many mistaken policy decisions." (275)

Paul Kennedy's book, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, is another example of American writing frequently cited by Chinese analysts. Kennedy argues that high military spending leads to the weakening of the U.S. and the Soviet Union, while low military spending allowed Germany and Japan to rise. CICIR analyst Jin Dexiang, quotes Kennedy on the link between large defense budgets and the decline of a country's economy and overall national power. "If . . . too large a proportion of the state's resources is diverted from wealth creation and allocated instead to military purposes, then that is likely to lead to a weakening of national power over the longer term. In the same way if a state overextends itself strategically . . . it runs the risk that the potential benefits from external expansion may be outweighed by the great expense of it all--a dilemma which becomes acute if the nation concerned has entered a period of relative economic decline." Jin then puts forward his own belief that the United States is already entrapped in the danger zone predicted by Kennedy. "As a matter of fact," he writes, "Washington today does not merely 'run the risk' of weakening national power, it is actually bogged down in the quagmire of relative decline. Relentless expansion of war industry has entailed . . . disastrous consequences on the long-term development of the U.S. economy." (276)

lord of the earth

Chinese authors have repeatedly pointed out that one important cause of America's future decline is its conscious choice of a mistaken foreign policy. After the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, the depiction of America's foreign policy in the official Communist Party newspaper became particularly vivid. For example, the United States was likened to Nazi Germany in eight specific ways in a long article that concluded that the pursuit of such Nazi-like policies would end in "complete failure." (277)

In lieu of excerpting many other articles that also describe U.S. foreign policy as a search for world domination, this one will be quoted in sufficient detail to reveal the Chinese assessment of American goals clearly. It begins by responding to the rhetorical question of how the United States today and Nazi Germany are alike:

Although this article is harsher in tone and more intemperate than others, it does not deviate much in substance from Chinese authors who also condemn the "hegemonic" goals of the United States. Some authors seem to hold out hope that Washington will someday change its foreign policy goals, but this debate is muted at present.


Differing only in their views of exactly how fast and in what ways America's powers will decline, Chinese analysts agree in asserting that the U.S. is losing economic, political, and military influence around the world, and therein, its status as a superpower. As evidence, they cite its failure to invest fully in the RMA, as well as what they term weak strategies and logistics as military vulnerabilities; they note its intractable domestic problems; and they point to its frequent inability to prevail diplomatically. Their main criticisms of U.S. weaknesses are outlined below. Chinese authors emphasize several problem areas that America faces in implementing the RMA and maintaining its leading position:

Several Chinese analysts suggest that China can exploit the above U.S. weaknesses and improve its own development of the RMA. Chinese military analysts also use examples from the Gulf War to illustrate U.S. weaknesses. Many state that the outcome of the Gulf War could have been different if Iraq had employed different tactics and exploited the following U.S. weaknesses:

In addition to Iraq's economic weakness and its lack of a nuclear deterrent, Chinese analysts criticize Iraq for:

It should be noted, however, that Chinese assessments do not treat the United States as "weak" in any absolute sense at the present time. They characterize the United States as a true hegemon in every way today. For example, a series of books on the U.S. Armed Forces asserts U.S. technological superiority in practically every field, despite U.S. reductions since 1991. (278) Nevertheless, they assert that the United States will fall behind in military innovation after 2010.

U.S. military vulnerabilities are only one contributing factor in the overall process of U.S. decline depicted by Chinese analysts. While some authors focus on specific areas where America is weakening, such as in military affairs or domestic social problems, other analysts argue that the country's decline is relative, that it is only declining compared to other nations whose power is increasing. One predicted outgrowth of this trend of falling national strength is that the U.S. is expected to lose its allies. As the power of Europe and Japan increases, and they no longer must depend upon America either militarily or economically, they are expected to come into greater conflict with the U.S. Consequently, rivalries and struggles are expected to gradually cause the alliances to weaken and fade. Moreover, at the same time that their relationships are deteriorating with the U.S., Chinese analysts predict that Japan and Europe will be striving to improve their ties to China.

After the Kosovo conflict, a number of Chinese authors debated the length of time that the United States would be able to sustain its "unipolar" hegemonic domination and hold back the global trend toward multipolarity. However, agreement about the central trend was not reversed. The debate was only about the length of time it will take for these tendencies and trends to unfold.

Chinese national security specialists have been describing America's role in the future security environment in the same way for a decade: dangerous but declining. In the picturesque terms of ancient Chinese statecraft, America is a decaying hegemon whose leaders are as yet unaware that their fate is unavoidable, so the U.S. leadership is pursuing several dangerous but doomed strategies, such as:

China's authors propose a number of countermeasures to these alleged American maneuvers. Deng Xiaoping's public proclamations were to "remain coolheaded" and to "taoguang-yanghui"--bide our time and build our capability--to avoid conflict with the United States during the decades it suffers inevitable decline. Other authors sound more stringent warnings. The Vice President of AMS urges vigilance, because the declining United States will attempt "strategic deception" of other major powers, including China, as it did the Soviet Union with the phony "Star Wars" threat, and as it did when it tricked Iraq into invading Kuwait so the United States could dismantle Iraq's growing power. The Director of the Foreign Policy Center at China's largest security research institute warns that the United States may form a coalition to "strangle" China if the proponents of the China Threat Theory become strong in the United States.

Other proposals are more defensive. For example, China's forecasted energy needs will be enormous in 2020, which could make China vulnerable to the United States. Therefore, one author urges that China's energy must be sought through pipelines to Russia and Central Asia, because China's relative military superiority in ground forces can better protect these energy assets, rather than through oil purchases from the Persian Gulf, which rely on sea lanes that America (and Japan) could threaten in the future. Perhaps the most aggressive advice about how China should deal with the declining American hegemon has been couched in specific analogies to ancient statecraft. A well-connected scholar proposes China help to form a global anti-U.S. coalition with any and all nations opposed to the United States. His colleagues criticize him for such alarmist proposals. Several analysts have written that it is already "too late" for the United States to contain China.


188. Robert S. Ross, "China Learns to Compromise: Change in U.S.--China Relations, 1982-1984," China Quarterly 28 (December 1991): 742-773.

189. For a discussion of the implementation of the RMA in Russia, Germany, France, England and Japan, see Li Qinggong, "1997 nian di guoji junshi anquan xingshi" (The international military security situation in 1997), Guoji zhanlue yanjiu (International Strategic Studies) 47, no. l (January 1998): 10-11.

190. Su Zhisong, Kua shiji de junshi xin guandian (New military points of view at the turn of the century)(Beijing: Junshi kexue chubanshe, 1997), 14.

191. Zhang Linhong, "U.S. Global Strategy Seeks World Domination," Zhenli de zhuiqiu, no. 9 (September 11,1997): 2-4, in FBIS-CHI-97-350, December 18, 1997.

192. See chapter 6 for a detailed discussion of Chinese views on the RMA.

193. Wang Pufeng, Xinxi zhanzheng yu junshi geming (Information warfare and the revolution in military affairs)(Beijing: Junshi kexue chubanshe, 1995); Li Qingshan, Xin junshi geming yu gao jishu zhanzheng (The new revolution in military affairs and high-technology warfare)(Beijing: Junshi kexue chubanshe, 1995); Gao Chunxiang, ed., Xin junshi geming lun (On the new revolution in military affairs)(Beijing: Junshi kexue chubanshe, 1996); Zhu Xiaoli and Zhao Xiaozhuo, Mei-E xin junshi geming (America, Russia, and the new revolution in military affairs) (Beijing: Junshi kexue chubanshe, 1996); Han Shengmin, ed., Zouxiang 21 shiji de waiguo jundui jianshe (Foreign military development toward the 21st century)(Beijing: Junshi kexue chubanshe, 1996).

194. Gao Chunxiang, ed., Xin junshi geming lun, 202.

195. Wang Pufeng, "Yingjie xinxi zhanzheng de tiaozhan" (The challenge of information warfare), Zhongguo junshi kexue (China Military Science) 30, no. 1 (Spring 1995): 8-18, in Michael Pillsbury, Chinese Views of Future Warfare (Washington: National Defense University Press), 317-326.

196. Han Shengmin, ed., Zouxiang 21 shiji de waiguo jundui jianshe, 47.

197. Ibid., 47.

198. Ibid., 47-48.

199. Ibid., 48.

200. Zhu Xiaoli and Zhao Xiaozhuo, Mei-E xin junshi geming, 41-45.

201. Wang Zhenxi, "The New Wave of the World Revolution in Military Affairs, International Strategic Studies 44, no. 2 (April 1997): 8-9.

202. Lu Dehong, "Meiguo xin 'si nian fangwu pinggu baogao' pouxi" (An analysis of the U.S. new report of the quadrennial defense review), Guoji zhanlue yanjiu (International Strategic Studies) 46, no. 4 (October 1997): 7-10.

203. Zhang Feng, "Historical Mission of Soldiers Straddling Twenty-First Century," Liberation Army Daily, January 2, 1996, 6.

204. General Pan Junfeng, "Dui xin junshi de jidian kanfa" (Several views on new military affairs), Zhongguo junshi kexue (China Military Science) 35, no. 2 (Summer 1996): 111. General Pan is Director of the Foreign Military Studies Department of AMS in Beijing. Similar proposals for how China can exploit U.S. weaknesses and improve its position in the RMA are offered in Gao Chunxiang, Xin junshi geming lun, 199-202, and Wang Pufeng, Xinxi zhanzheng yu junshi geming, 201-203.

205. Relevant books include: Chen Haihong, Meiguo junshi liliang de jueqi (The rise of American military strength)(Huhehaote: Nei Menggu daxue chubanshe, 1995); Cui Shizeng and Wang Yongnan, Meijun lianhe zuozhan (U.S. military joint operations)(Beijing: Guofang daxue chubanshe, 1995); Hu Siyuan and Chen Hu, Meijun hangtian zhan (U.S. military space warfare) (Beijing: Guofang daxue chubanshe, 1995); Pan Xiangting and Sun Zhanping, eds., Gao jishu tiaojian xia Meijun jubu zhanzheng (American military local warfare under high-technology conditions)(Beijing: Jiefangjun chubanshe, 1994); Wang Fang and others, Shiji chao ba--Meilijian (The century's ultra-tyrant--America)(Beijing: Shishi chubanshe, 1997); Wang Guoqiang, Meiguo youxian zhanzheng lilun yu shijian (U.S. limited warfare theory and practice)(Beijing: Guofang daxue chubanshe, 1995); Wang Zhuo, Xiandai Meijun houqin (Modern U.S. logistics)(Beijing: Guofang daxue chubanshe, 1995); Yin Chengkui, Gao Guixiu, Li Ligang and Su Yusheng, Meijun gao jishu wuqi zhuangbei yingyong yu fazhan (Use and development of U.S. high-technology weaponry)(Beijing: Guofang daxue chubanshe, 1995).

206. See the 10-book Modern U.S. Military Studies Series (Xiandai Meijun yanjiu congshu) published by authors from China's National Defense University in 1995. Hu Siyuan and Dai Jinyu, Xiandai Meiguo kongjun (The modern U.S. Air Force)(Beijing: Guofang daxue chubanshe, 1995), 1, state, "The U.S. Air Force is the most modern Air Force in the world today." Similarly, Wang Zhongchun, Zhao Ziyu, and Zhou Bailin, Xiandai Meiguo lujun (The modern U.S. Army) (Beijing: Guofang daxue chubanshe, 1995), write, "The U.S. Army is the army with the highest level of modernized equipment in the world today." Yin Gu, Li Jie, and Lei Xiangping, Xiandai Meiguo haijun (The modern U.S. Navy)(Beijing: Guofang daxue chubanshe, 1995), 1, state, "The United States is currently the world's only maritime superpower." Finally, Wang Baofu, Meiguo tezhong zuozhan budui yu tezhong zuozhan (U.S. Special forces and special warfare)(Beijing: Guofang daxue chubanshe, 1995), 1, states, "The U.S. Special Combat Units have the best equipment and the largest scope of any special combat force in the world."

207. In January 1998, a weekly column entitled "Future Warfare" began to appear in the Liberation Army Daily that included advice on how an "inferior" national force can defeat a "superior" force.

208. "Riben: Junshi jishu lingxian Meiguo" (Japan: leading the U.S. in military technology), Junshi wenchai (Military Digest) 4, no. 2 (1996): 18. This article asserts that Japan has modified its fighter aircraft to exceed the turn rate of U.S. fighters; that F-117 exteriors and 95 per cent of U.S. military electronics depend on Japan and that Japan could shift the Russian-American balance of power in missile accuracy if it sold the same electronics to Russia that it does to the United States.

209. Wu Chi, "Gulf War Reveals U.S. Weak Points," Hong Kong Ta Kung Pao, March 20, 1991, 3, in FBIS-CHI-91-058, March 26, 1991, 2.

210. For example, see Su Enze, "Haiwan zhanzheng Meijun 'Shipa' " ("Ten fears" of U.S. forces during the Gulf War), Junshi wenchai (Miliary Digest), no. 13 (1995): 24.

211. Wu Chi, "Gulf War Reveals U.S. Weak Points," 2.

212. Zhen Xi, Kelindun junshi zhanlue yu di er ci Chaoxian zhanzheng shexiang (Clinton's military strategy and the scenario of a second Korean war)(Beijing: Junshi kexue chubanshe, 1996), 69.

213. Wu Chi, "Gulf War Reveals U.S. Weak Points," 2.

214. Li Qingshan, Xin junshi geming yu gao jishu zhanzheng (The new revolution in military affairs and high-technology warfare)(Beijing: Junshi kexue chubanshe, 1995), 188-189.

215. Wu Chi, "Gulf War Reveals U.S. Weak Points," 2.

216. Ibid., 2.

217. Zhen Xi, Kelindun junshi zhanlue yu di er ci Chaoxian zhanzheng shexiang, 66-68.

218. Li Jijun, Junshi lilun yu zhanzheng shijian (Notes on military theory and military strategy)(Beijing: Junshi kexue chubanshe, 1994), in Pillsbury, 227.

219. Li Zhiyun, Meiguo lianhe zuozhan yanjiu (Studies on U.S. Joint operations theory)(Beijing: Guanfang daxue chubanshe, 1995).

220. Wu Chi, "Gulf War Reveals U.S. Weak Points," 2-3.

221. Ho Poshih, "The Chinese Military is Worried About Lagging Behind in Armament," Hong Kong Tang Tai, March 9, 1991,17-18, in FBIS-CHI-91-050, March 14, 1991, 30-32.

222. Song Xinzhi and Su Qingyi, "Reassessing Constraints on Air Power," Jiefangjun bao (Liberation Army Daily), January 25, 1991, 3, in FBIS-CHI-91-029, February 12, 1991, 39-40.

223. Ibid., 40.

224. Gao Chunxiang, Xin junshi geming lun, 201.

225. Song Xinzhi and Su Qingyi, "Reassessing Constraints on Air Power," 40.

226. Ibid., 40.

227. Ho Tawei, "Exclusive Report: China-Made Weapons Display Their Might in the Middle East," Hong Kong Tang Tai, January 26, 1991, 10, in FBIS-CHI-91-024, February 5, 1991, 25-26.

228. Zhang Chunting, "Chinese Military Research Fellows on the Gulf War," Liaoyang (overseas edition) 28 (January 1991): 7, 8, in FBIS-CHI-91-022, February 1, 1991, 6-7.

229. Li Qingshan, Xin junshi geming yu gao jishu zhanzheng, 189.

230. Zhang Chunting, "Chinese Military Research Fellows on the Gulf War," 6.

231. Sun Hongwei, "New Developments in the Use of Air Power," Jiefangjun bao (Liberation Army Daily), March 22, 1991, 3, in FBIS-CHI-91-072, April 15, 1991, 55-57.

232. Ying Nan, "Hangmu de biduan ji fan hangmu zuozhan" (Aircraft carrier defects and anti-aircraft carrier operations), Xiandai junshi (Contemporary Military Affairs) (January 1998): 13-15. See also Liu Xinghai, "Hangkong mujian bingfei zhan wu bu sheng" (Aircraft carriers are not invincible), Junshi shilin (Military History), no. 7 (1998): 28-30.

233. Li Haibo, "Heading for the 21st Century," Beijing Review 37, no. 39 (September 26-October 2, 1994): 9.

234. For a discussion on how the Kosovo crisis and the NATO bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in spring 1999 led to a re-evaluation of previous assessments of the pace of the U.S. decline, see chapter one, the section titled "Post-Kosovo Debate."

235. Ding Xinghao, "Shijie geju zhuanxing qi zhong de Meiguo" (The United States during the transformation of the world structure), in Kua shiji de shijie geju da zhuanhuan (Major changes in the world structure at the turn of the century), ed. Chen Qimao (Shanghai: Shanghai jiaoyu chubanshe, 1996), 118.

236. Chen Qimao, "Qianyan" (Introduction), in Kua shiji de shijie geju da zhuanhuan, 8.

237. He Fang, "Guodu shiqi de guoji xingshi" (The international situation during the transition period), in 2000: Shijie xiang hechu qu? (2000: where is the world going?), ed. Yang Zheng (Beijing: Zhongguo guangbo dianshi chubanshe, 1996), 319.

238. A comparison of how the United States stands up to the European Union (EU) in social issues, economics, science and technology, and military affairs comes from an SIIS study: "In the future world structure, Europe and Japan are the only forces that have the qualifications to struggle with the United States for the leading world position, as will be compared below. Europe has more advantageous conditions than Japan; Japan's weak points are Europe's strong points. . . . The population of the EU is more than half that of the United States, its GNP [gross national product] surpasses Japan's and is comparable to America's. The EU share of world trade has already exceeded America's. The European savings rate is equal to that of Japan and long ago greatly outstripped that of the United States. Europe's science and technology have very strong competitive power, based on Japanese statistics; in the world's 110 important technology areas, Europe is in the leading position in 34. Europe's reliance on the world is not as great as Japan's, it has comparatively vast territory, the trade among the countries of Europe is very vigorous, and natural resources can be obtained through many channels. . . . In Europe, on the basis of sovereign nations, each country already has suitable military force; if in the future after they establish a common military structure, if they further engage in arms expansion, it will not, like Japan, give rise to contrary political consequences. When comparing internal conditions, Europe surpasses the United States in numerous areas. The standard of living of the people in Western and Northern Europe is not poorer than in the United States and there are far fewer city evils than in the United States. There are not as many racial and national problems as in the United States. The slums often seen in the United States almost cannot be found in Western and Northern Europe. According to statistics, of American children, 22 percent live in poverty, but in Germany it is only 5 percent. The quality of Europe's middle and elementary school education is higher than America's, and the crime rate and number of drug users are less than in the United States. Western and Northern Europe, in the social welfare areas of medical insurance, old-age pensions and unemployment subsidies also are better than the United States." See, (239)

239. Wang Houkang, "Lengzhan hou Ouzhou geju de bianhua" [Post-Cold War Changes in Europe's Structure], in Kua shiji de shijie geju da zhuanhuan [Major Changes in the World Structure at the Turn of the Century], ed., Chen Qimao, [Shanghai: Shanghai jiaoyu chubanshe, 1996]: . " " - ' -

240. Yang Zheng, ed., 2000: Shijie xiang hechu qu?, 110.

241. Wan Guang, Meiguo de shehui bing (American social diseases)(Chengdu: Sichuan renmin chubanshe, 1997), 1-5.

242. Ibid., 311.

243. Wang Naicheng, "Beiyue dongkuo dui Mei-E-Ou guanxi de yingxiang" (The impact of NATO's eastward expansion on relations between the United States, Russia and Europe), Guoji zhanlue yanjiu (International Strategic Studies) 46, no. 4 (October 1997): 18.

244. Yan Xiangjun, Yang Bojiang, Chu Shulong and Dao Shulin, "A Survey of Current Asian Pacific Security," Contemporary International Relations 8, no. 7 (July 1994): 1, 2.

245. Yuan Peng, "An Arrogant and Lonely Superpower--The Tradition and History of Hegemony," Zhongguo Qingnian Bao, May 26, 1999, 3, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0609, June 10, 1999. Yuan is at CICIR.

246. Yan Tao, "U.S. Determination on Use of Force and Its 'Global Domination' Mentality," Beijing Xinhua Domestic Service, February 15, 1998, in FBIS-CHI-98-046, February 20, 1998.

247. Jin Dexiang, "America vs. Japan and Germany: Why are There Growth Imbalances? What is Next?," Contemporary International Relations 2, no. 5 (May 1992): 8; other quotes in this paragraph are from 10-12. When he wrote this article Jin was Vice President of CICIR.

248. Ibid.

249. Yang Dazhou, "1997 nian guoji zhengzhi xingshi de tedian" (The characteristics of the 1997 international political situation), Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi (World Politics and Economics) 209, no. 1 (January 1998): 6.

250. Jin Dexiang, "America vs. Japan and Germany, 12.

251. Sa Benwang, "Perspectives of International Strategic Patterns in the 21st Century," Liaowang, no. 37 (September 14, 1998): 41-42, in FBIS-CHI-98-268, September 29, 1998.

252. Yang Mingjie, Gan Ailan, and Cao Xia, "Groping for a New Trans-Atlantic Partnership," Contemporary International Relations 6, no. 4 (April 1996): 4. The authors are Assistant Research Professors at CICIR.

253. Xu Zhixian, Zhang Minqian, and Hong Jianjun, "On the Foreign Strategy and Trends of China Policy of the U.S., Western Europe and Japan at the Turn of the Century," Contemporary International Relations 8, no. 3 (March 1998): 12-14.

254. Yang Shuheng, "Ou, Mei, E zai Bohei de juezhu" (The rivalry among Europe, the United States, and Russia in Bosnia), Heping yu fazhan (Peace and Development) 49, no. 3 (August 1994): 29-32.

255. Qi Deguang, "The Bosnian Civil War: Retrospect and Prospect," Contemporary International Relations 4, no. 8 (August 1994): 10-11. Qi is an Associate Research Professor at CICIR.

256. Wan Shirong, "Shi ren zhumu de beiyue zuzhi dongkuo wenti" (NATO's eastward expansion, an issue attracting world attention), Guoji wenti yanjiu (International Studies) 59, no. 1 (January 1996): 12-17.

257. Zhang Liangneng, "Western Europe and NATO Enlargement," Contemporary International Relations 7, no. 5 (May 1997): 19. Zhang is an Associate Research Professor at CICIR.

258. Feng Yujun, "Moscow vs. NATO: Compromise Will Not Dispel Apprehensions," Contemporary International Relations 7, no. 5 (May 1997): 13. Feng is an Assistant Research Professor at CICIR.

259. Wang Naicheng, "Beiyue dongkuo dui Mei-E-Ou guanxi de yingxiang," 18, 20.

260. Yang Mingjie, Gan Ailan, and Cao Xia, "Groping for a New Transatlantic Partnership," 8.

261. Ibid., 8.

262. Cheng Feng, "Retrospects and Prospects of the International Strategic Situation," 12.

263. Xu Zhixian, Zhang Minqian, and Hong Jianjun, "On the Foreign Strategy and Trends of China Policy," 12-14.

264. Li Zhongcheng, "The Role of an Emerging China in World Politics," Contemporary International Relations 8, no. 2 (February 1998): 13. Li is a Research Professor in the Division for China and World Studies.

265. Gao Heng, "Shijie daguo guanxi de xin tedian" (New characteristics of the relations between the world's major nations), Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi (World Economics and Politics) 209, no. 1 (January 1998): 8.

266. Ibid., 8.

267. Wu Guoqing, "Xi Ou lianhe you you xin jinzhang, duli zizhu jinyibu zengqiang" (There is new progress in the unification of Western Europe, and its independence and initiative is further strengthened), Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi (World Economics and Politics) 209, no.1 (January 1998): 17.

268. Hu Ning, "Beiyue dongkuang xianxi" (A brief analysis of NATO eastward expansion), Heping yu fazhan (Peace and Development) 64, no. 2 (May 1998): 31.

269. Quoted in Wang Naicheng, "Beiyue dongkuo dui Mei-E-Ou guanxi de yingxiang," 20.

270. Ibid., 20.

271. Sa Benwang, "Perspectives of International Strategic Patterns in the 21st Century," 41-42.

272. Yang Mingjie, Gan Ailan, and Cao Xia, "Groping for a New Transatlantic Partnership," 6.

273. Chinese analysts do this for other countries, as well as for Taiwan. See Tai Baolin, Taiwan shehui qiwen daguan (The unheard of magnificent spectacle of Taiwan society)(Beijing: Hongqi chubanshe, 1992).

274. Pan Jiabin, " 'Shiqu kongzhi: 21 shiji qianye de quanqiu hunluan'--Burejisiji dui guoji geju yanbian de fenxi yu renshi" (Out of control: global turmoil on the eve of the 21st century--Brzezinski's analysis and understanding of the evolution of the international structure), Zhongguo junshi kexue (China Military Science) 30, no. 1 (Spring 1995): 158, 160. Pan is at the Foreign Military Studies Department of AMS.

275. Ma Ling, "The Attempt Behind the 'Bombing in Error'--Interview with Renowned Military Commentator Zhang Zhaozhong," Ta Kung Pao (Hong Kong), May 17, 1999, A4, in FBIS-CHI-1999-1518, May 19, 1999. Zhang is Director of the Science and Technology Teaching and Research Section of NDU.

276. Jin Dexiang, "America vs. Japan and Germany," 3.

277. Observer, "We Urge Hegemonism Today To Take a Look at the Mirror of History," People's Daily, June 22, 1999, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0622.

278. The United States has cut defense personnel by 40 percent, to the smallest level since 1950. Weapon purchases have declined nearly 70 percent. The 1999 defense budget will be about 40 percent below its 1985 level in real terms, with only 3.1 percent of gross domestic product for defense, the smallest share since 1940.