There's unnerving yet fascinating movement on the Asian front: China is Coming
(still), and their plans seem to be crossing the line between everyday villainy and cartoonish supervillainy.
In 1998, an official People's Liberation Army publishing house brought out a treatise called "Unrestricted Warfare," written by two senior army colonels, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui. This book, which is available in English translation, is well known to the U.S. national security establishment but remains practically unheard of among the general public.
"Unrestricted Warfare" recognizes that it is practically impossible to challenge the U.S. on its own terms. No one else can afford to build mega-expensive weapons systems like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which will cost more than $200 billion to develop. "The way to extricate oneself from this predicament," the authors write, "is to develop a different approach."
Their different approaches include financial warfare (subverting banking systems and stock markets), drug warfare (attacking the fabric of society by flooding it with illicit drugs), psychological and media warfare (manipulating perceptions to break down enemy will), international law warfare (blocking enemy actions using multinational organizations), resource warfare (seizing control of vital natural resources), even ecological warfare (creating man-made earthquakes or other natural disasters). [...]
This isn't just loose talk. There are signs of this strategy being implemented. The anti-Japanese riots that swept China in April? That would be psychological warfare against a major Asian rival. The stage-managed protests in 1999, after the U.S. accidentally bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, fall into the same category.
The bid by the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Co., to acquire Unocal? Resource warfare. Attempts by China's spy apparatus to infiltrate U.S. high-tech firms and defense contractors? Technological warfare. China siding against the U.S. in the U.N. Security Council over the invasion of Iraq? International law warfare. Gen. Zhu's threat to nuke the U.S.? Media warfare.
So, basically, the PRC plans to mount nearly every improbably intricate secret plan ever devised by a James Bond supervillain or comic book Big Bad, but on concerted enough a national level (and performed not just by a couple of dozen uniformed henchmen, but millions) that a number of those attempts are bound to succeed. And many already have, looking at the pattern in retrospect.
I'm really starting to miss not living in interesting times; aren't you?
(I wonder when opinion leaders in the domestic business sector - like the Globe & Mail
, which put out a shamefully obsequious month-long series on the subject earlier this year- are going to regret all the cheerleading they've done for promoting Chinese state investment in Canadian industry, and vice versa, as alternatives to scaaaary
American investors and investment opportunities?)