Home > Asia-Pacific, Conflict & Security > Strategic Deception and the Chinese Military Space Program

Strategic Deception and the Chinese Military Space Program

Nader Elhefnawy writes in The Space Review:

In May the Pentagon issued its “Annual Report to Congress on the Military Power of the People’s Republic of China.” The absence of an explicit overarching Chinese “grand strategy,” the ambiguity of China’s “no first use” policy on nuclear weapons, its red lines regarding intervention in Taiwan, and the vagueness of its definition of what would constitute an attack on its sovereignty or territory are all highlighted in the report. The same goes for the possibility that much of this is due not only to “uncertainties, disagreements, and debates that China’s leaders themselves have about their own long-term goals and strategies,” but “a deliberate effort to conceal strategic planning,” consistent with “the traditional roles that stratagem and deception have played in Chinese statecraft. Recent decades have witnessed within the [People’s Liberation Army] a resurgence of the study of classic Chinese military figures Sun-tzu, Sun Pin, Wu Ch’i, and Shang Yang and their writings, all of which contain precepts on the use of deception.”

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