In the way China made land grabs across the Himalayas in the 1950s by launching furtive encroachments, it is now waging stealth wars – without firing a single shot – to change the status quo in the South and East China seas, on the line of control with India, and on international-river flows.
Although China has risen from a poor state to a global economic powerhouse, the key elements in its statecraft and strategic doctrine have not changed.
Since the Mao Zedong era, China has adhered to ancient theorist Sun Tzu’s advice: “The ability to subdue the enemy without any battle is the ultimate reflection of the most supreme strategy.”
This approach involves taking an adversary by surprise by exploiting its weaknesses and seizing an opportunistic timing, as well as camouflaging offence as defence. As Sun Tzu said, “All warfare is based on deception.” Only when a war…
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