China’s Strategic Culture and Sino-US Military Relations: A Re-view

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  • July 2011

    China’s strategic culture professes both peace and aggression, but is also marked by ruse and deception. Military power is a necessary ingredient of great power status and China’s current rise includes hi-tech military modernisation that can challenge the only contender it has in the Asia-Pacific, the United States. Sino-US relations in the post-Cold War period have been marked by both peaceful economic cooperation and discord over various military and non-military issues, but given America’s economic enmeshment in China, a level of engagement even at the military-to-military level has been always maintained. However, China’s military growth is not transparent, and from what can be gauged its focus is on how to strike at American power without matching it quantitatively or qualitatively. Studying Sino-US military relations can therefore give an insight into China’s military power.

    “People who remember their oneness with each other and flow in peace and harmony do not contend with each other”. Confucius, The Analects, Book III, c. 551-479 B.C.

    “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him”.
    - Sun Tzu, The Art of War, c. 500 B.C.2

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