Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Revising China's Strategic Culture: Contemporary Cherry-Picking of Ancient Strategic Thought

  • Andrea Ghiselli (a1)
Abstract

This article looks at the influence of ancient military thinkers, especially Sunzi, in Chinese strategic culture today to shed light on a critical aspect of Alastair Iain Johnston's work on strategic culture: the relationship between the foreign policy elites and the cultural artefacts and symbols at the origin of strategic culture. The empirical analysis revolves around a large number of articles published by Chinese military scholars and officers between 1992 and early 2016 in the PLA Academy of Military Science's journal, China Military Science. The conclusion is that some elements of Chinese ancient military thought are readily apparent in China's military doctrine and operations today. These elements clearly call for a realist vision of the world, especially within the PLA. Yet, the analysis also prompts reflection on how to positively engage China on non-traditional security issues.

本文梳理了中国古代军事思想家学说,特别是孙子的军事学说在当今中国战略文化中的影响力,以此对江忆恩关于战略文化的观点进行批判,即战略文化起源之初,外交政策精英与文化艺术符号的关系。实证分析围绕1992年至2016年中国军事学者和军官在解放军军事科学院《中国军事科学》上发表的大量文章。结论是,中国古代军事思想的一些要素在今天的中国军事理论和行动中是显而易见的。这些要素有着明确的现实主义世界观诉求,尤其是在解放军内部。同时,本文也对如何积极地同中国在非传统安全事务领域进行合作作出了论述。

Copyright
References
Hide All
Bi, Canggeng. 2003. “Shixi xiandai zhanzheng ruan shahai” (On the soft casualty in modern wars). Zhongguo junshi kexue 5, 122–26.
Burles, Mark, and Shulsky, Abram N.. 2000. Patterns in China's Use of Force. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.
Chai, Yuqiu. 2009. “Junshi moulüe sixiang lishi jiexi yu shidai fazhan” (Historical analysis and current development of military strategic thought). Zhongguo junshi kexue 1, 7380.
Chinese Academy of Military Science (Strategic Studies Department). 2013. Zhanlüexue (The Science of Military Strategy) . Beijing: Military Science Press.
Costello, John. 2015. “Chinese views on the information ‘center of gravity’: space, cyber and electronic warfare.” China Brief 15(8), 1013.
Erickson, Andrew S., and Kennedy, Conor M.. 2016. “China's maritime militia,” CNA Corporation, 7 March, https://www.cna.org/cna_files/pdf/Chinas-Maritime-Militia.pdf. Accessed 31 October 2016.
Feng, Huiyun. 2007. Chinese Strategic Culture and Foreign Policy Decision-Making. London: Routledge.
Gao, Lei. 2014. “Jiexi ‘Xi Jinping zhizheng fengge’ zhiyi: zhimian wenti de qianglie yaohuan” (Explaining an element of “Xi Jinping's style of government”: the extreme hardship of facing straight problems), CPC News, 29 December, http://cpc.people.com.cn/xuexi/n/2014/1229/c385474-26290572.html. Accessed 30 October 2016
Ghiselli, Andrea. 2016. “Growing overlap between counter-terrorism and overseas interest protection acts as new driver of Chinese strategy.” China Brief 16(9), 1518.
Giles, Lionel. 1910. Sun Tzu, The Art of War. London: Luzac and Company.
Gill, Bates. 2001. “Two steps forward, one step back: the dynamics of Chinese nonproliferation and arms control policy-making in an era of reform.” In Lampton, David M. (ed.), The Making of Chinese Foreign and Security Policy in the Era of Reform, 1978–2000. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 257288.
Goldstein, Lyle J. 2016. “Can China offer the world ‘public goods’?” The National Interest, 16 October, http://nationalinterest.org/feature/can-china-offer-the-world-public-goods-18060?page=show. Accessed 31 October 2016.
Gray, Colin S. 2013. Perspectives on Strategy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hartnett, Daniel M. 2012. “Looking good on paper: PLA participation in the Peace Mission 2010 multilateral military exercise.” In Kamphausen, Roy D., Lai, David and Tanner, Travis (eds.), Learning by Doing: The PLA Trains at Home and Abroad. Carlisle Barracks, PA: US Army War College Press, 213258.
Huang, Pumin. 1997. “Rujia junshi sixiang yu Zhongguo gudai junshi wenhua chuantong” (Confucian military thinking and military cultural tradition of ancient China). Zhongguo junshi kexue 4, 7277.
Jing, Sun. 2016. “Growing diplomacy, retreating diplomats.” Journal of Contemporary China 25(103), 115.
Johnston, Alastair Iain. 1995. Cultural Realism: Strategic Culture and Grand Strategy in Chinese History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Johnston, Alastair Iain. 1996. “Cultural realism and strategy in Maoist China.” In Katzenstein, Peter J. (ed.), The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics. New York: Columbia University Press, 216270.
Johnston, Alastair Iain. 2008. Social States: China in International Institutions 1980–2000. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Kai, He. 2016. China's Crisis Behavior: Political Survival and Foreign Policy after the End of the Cold War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kang, Hengzhen. 2001. “Xiansheng, quansheng, zhansheng: weihu guojia anquan de zhanlüe yunchou” (Preparing for war, victory without war, and winning the war: maintaining national security strategy). Zhongguo junshi kexue 3, 8589.
Kania, Elsa. 2016. “The PLA's latest strategic thinking on the three warfares.” China Brief 16(13), 1013.
Katzenstein, Peter J. 2012. “China's rise: rupture, return or recombination?” In Katzenstein, Peter J. (ed.), Sinicization and the Rise of China. London: Routledge.
Klein, Bradley S. 1988. “Hegemony and strategic culture: American power projection and alliance defense politics.” Review of International Studies 14(2), 133148.
Li, Hongkai. 2015. “‘Sunzi bingfa yanjiu xianzhuang yu fazhan’ xueshu yanjiuhui guandian zongshu” (A summary of the academic symposium on “The status quo and development of research on Sun Tzu's Art of War”). Zhongguo junshi kexue 6, 142–47.
Lin, Dong. 2015. “Guanyu zhanlüexue chuangxin fazhan de sikao” (On the innovative development of the science of strategy). Zhongguo junshi kexue 4, 7883.
Liu, Chunzhi. 2004. “Sunzi zhanlüe sixiang de lilun jiagou jiqi xianshi yiyi” (The theoretical structure and actual significance of Sun Zi's strategic thought). Zhongguo junshi kexue 6, 1721.
Liu, Huamian. 2003. “Jiaru WTO hou Zhongguo junshi jingji anquan duice yanjiu” (Research on Chinese military economic safety countermeasures following accession to the WTO). Junshi jingji yanjiu 2, 59.
Liu, Zhenhuan. 1997. “Guanyu ‘lianheguo haiyang fa gongyue’ ji Zhongguo xin shiqi haifang jianshe de sikao” (Thoughts on the UN Convention of Law of the Sea and construction of coastal defence in the new era). Zhongguo junshi kexue 2, 9399.
Lu, Junping. 2016. “Xiandai zhanzheng zhengyi lunxi” (An analysis of justice in modern warfare). Zhongguo junshi kexue 1, 5364.
McCauley, Mary. 1984. “Political culture and communist politics: one step forward, two steps back.” In Brown, Archie (ed.), Political Culture and Communist Studies. London: Palgrave, 1339.
Mearsheimer, John J. 2001. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. New York: W.W. Norton and Co.
Peng, Guangqian, and Shen, Fangwu. 2000. “‘Rendao zhuyi ganshe’ lun dui dangdai guoji anquan de tiaozhan” (“Humanitarian intervention” – a challenge to contemporary international security). Zhongguo junshi kexue 4, 123–29.
Posen, Barry R. 2009. “The sources of military doctrine.” In Art, Robert J. and Waltz, Kenneth N. (eds.), The Use of Force: Military Power and International Politics. Plymouth: Rowman and Littlefield, 2344.
Scobell, Andrew. 2003. China's Use of Military Force: Beyond the Great Wall and the Long March. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Shambaugh, David, and Ren, Xiao. 2012. “China: the conflicted power.” In Nau, Henry R. and Ollapally, Deepa M. (eds.), Worldviews of Aspiring Powers. New York: Oxford University Press, ebook position 7671459.
Shan, Xiufa. 2008. “Lun dangdai zhanzheng baoli de xin bianhua” (On the new changes in war). Zhongguo junshi kexue 2, 106114.
Shimko, Keith L. 1992. “Realism, neorealism, and American liberalism.Review of Politics 54(2), 281301.
Stuart, Reginald C. 1982. War and American Thought: From the Revolution to the Monroe Doctrine. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press.
Swaine, Michael D. 2012. “China's assertive behaviour, part four: the role of the military in foreign crises,” China Leadership Monitor, 4 September, http://www.hoover.org/sites/default/files/uploads/documents/CLM37MS.pdf. Accessed 31 October 2016.
Tang, Fuquan, Ye, Xinrong and Wang, Daowei. 2006. “Zhongguo haiyang weiquan zhanlüe chutan” (On the strategy for defending Chinese sea rights). Zhongguo junshi kexue 6, 5667.
Tang, Shiping. 2008. “From offensive to defensive realism.” In Ross, Robert S. and Feng, Zhu (eds.), China's Ascent: Power, Security, and the Future of International Politics. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Wang, Guosheng. 2006. “‘Sunzi bingfa’ yu xiandai bianfang jianshe” (“Sun Zi's Art of War” and building a modern frontier defence). Zhongguo junshi kexue 5, 2225.
Wang, Haiping, and Wu, Weili. 2014. “Junshi mubiao: zhanzhengfa yu zuozhan xingdong zhijian de boyi” (Military objectives: a game between the laws of war and military operations). Zhongguo junshi kexue 2, 139153.
Wang, Xixin. 2014. “Zai lun kongzhizhan” (Further discussion on war of control). Zhongguo junshi kexue 4, 5866.
Wang, Yuan-kang. 2011. Harmony and War. New York: Columbia University Press.
Wu, Jieming, and Liu, Zhifu. 2014. Yulunzhan xinlizhan falüzhan gainian (An Introduction to Public Opinion Warfare, Psychological Warfare). Beijing: National Defense University Press.
Xu, Sailu, Gu, Xiangguang and Xu, Xiangmin. 2000. “Shixi jiaru WTO hou Zhongguo junshi jingji mianlin de jiyu yu tiaozhan” (Analysis of the opportunities and challenges facing China's military economy after joining the WTO). Zhongguo junshi kexue 2, 6673.
Xue, Guoan. 2010. “Zhongguo chuantong zhanlüe sixiang de tedian” (Characteristics of China's traditional strategic thought). Zhongguo junshi kexue 3, 116122.
Xue, Guoan, and Chen, Xiangling. 2005. “Xinxi shidai ‘sunzi bingfa’ yanjiu yu yunyong xueshu yanlunhui zongshu” (Summary of symposium of the study and application of Sunzi's Art of War in the information age). Zhongguo junshi kexue 1, 152–56.
Yang, Weihua. 2014. “Ejun zuozhan sixiang xin fazhan zongping” (Review of new developments in the Russian military's operations thinking). Zhongguo junshi kexue 5, 135141.
Yao, Youzhi. 2005. “‘Sunzi bingfa’ yunhan de jiben kexue jingshen” (Fundamental scientific spirit contained in Sun Zi's Art of War). Zhongguo junshi kexue 5, 7984.
Yao, Youzhi, and Ma, Debao. 2004. “‘Sunzi bingfa’ yu dangdai Zhongguo zhuliu zhanzheng lilun” (“Sun Zi's Art of War” and mainstream contemporary Chinese theories of war). Zhongguo junshi kexue 6, 913.
Yao, Youzhi, and Mao, Zhenfa. 1994. “Gu changcheng de guofang jiazhi zai pinggu” (Reassessment of the national defence value of the ancient Great Wall). Zhongguo junshi kexue 4, 140–47.
Yi, Shifu, Han, Xiaolin and Zhang, Qingbin. 1999. “Lun ‘sunzi’ guojia anquan zhanlüe yu woguo de guojia anquan zhanlüe” (On the concept of national strategy in The Art of War and China's national security). Zhongguo junshi kexue 2, 4649.
Yoshihara, Toshi. 2004. “Chinese Strategic Culture and Military Innovation: From the Nuclear to the Information Age.” PhD diss., Tufts University.
Yoshihara, Toshi, and Holmes, James R.. 2008. Chinese Naval Strategy in the 21st Century: The Turn to Mahan. London: Routledge.
Yu, Rubo. 2004. “Ying cong zhengti shang lijie ‘sunzi bingfa’ junshi sixiang” (On a comprehensive understanding of the military thinking of Sun Zi's Art of War). Zhongguo junshi kexue 6, 3134.
Yu, Xingwei. 2015. “Zhongguo chuantong junshi wenhua jiqi jishi” (China's traditional military culture and its implications). Zhongguo junshi kexue 1, 101111.
Yu, Zhengshan. 2000. “Zai junshi douzheng zhong yunyong guojifa de ji dian tantao” (Views on applying international law to military struggle). Zhongguo junshi kexue 4, 109114.
Zhang, Junbo. 1995. “Guanyu kaizhan zhongxi junshi zhexue bijiao yanjiu de ji ge wenti” (Some issues of the comparative research on Chinese and Western military philosophy). Zhongguo junshi kexue 3, 101–04.
Zhang, Junguo. 2011. “Xifang guojia yunyong jingji shouduan yingdui diqu junshi weiji yanjiu” (A study on Western countries’ use of economic instruments to resolve regional military crises). Zhongguo junshi kexue 6, 126134.
Zhang, Xuefeng. 2014. “Lun bu da tangtang zhizhen” (On refraining from attacking an army and drawn up in calm and confident array). Zhongguo junshi kexue 5, 97104.
Zhang, Yu, Liu, Sihai and Xia, Chengxiao. 2010. “Lun xinxihua zhanzheng de zhanju kongzhi yishu” (On the art of controlling war situations in informatized warfare). Zhongguo junshi kexue 2, 2431.
Zhao, Wanxu. 2003. “Yetan zhanzheng shengfu de jueding yinsu” (On the decisive factors in war outcomes). Zhongguo junshi kexue 2, 134140.
Zheng, Guoliang, and Zheng, Ming. 2009. “Wangluozhan de guojifa wenti yanjiu” (A study of network warfare in terms of the international law). Zhongguo junshi kexue 5, 130–35.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The China Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0305-7410
  • EISSN: 1468-2648
  • URL: /core/journals/china-quarterly
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 36
Total number of PDF views: 258 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1425 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 26th March 2018 - 15th August 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.