The Mystery of China’s Military Doctrine

In war, the subjection of the enemy is the end, and the destruction of his fighting forces the means.


Roger Cliff is the author of a recent study on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), titled China’s Military Power: Assessing Current and Future Capabilities. Cliff says that modern wars are decided by strategy and doctrine. He also says China hides its military doctrine behind disinformation and secrecy.

It should come as no surprise that Beijing keeps its military doctrine hidden. The reason is simple. The Chinese rulers have two faces: (1) a communist face; (2) a capitalist face. Shall we guess which is their true face?

The regime in Beijing is Marxist-Leninist. It is totalitarian and criminal. It actively suppresses dissent, murders political activists, operates reeducation labor camps, and persecutes religious believers. Add to this China’s military buildup and threatening behavior toward Australia, India and Taiwan. What sense does it make to think the Chinese leaders are capitalists who merely pretend to be communists?

According to Roger Cliff, China’s military objectives are determined by the ruling Communist Party. This party subscribes to Leninist revolutionary theory — a theory that seeks to engineer the downfall of capitalism. Translation: Beijing is trying to defeat the United States.

On this last point Washington and the Pentagon are confused. Occasionally they see what China is up to. But then everyone in Washington reverts back to Panda-hugging. One might ask: Why do we trade with China when Beijing uses so many unfair trade practices? Why do we tolerate their ongoing intellectual theft and political subversion?

Here we find that American policymakers also have two faces. They have a face that is indignant at Beijing’s crimes, and a face that wants to do business with Beijing. Which is the true face of the American policymakers? Shall we guess?

It is time to say the truth. America’s policy of trading with China is dangerous. It has to stop. We should not be sharing technology with the People’s Liberation Army. We should not give Chinese communists access to our financial system. President Xi Jinping is a thug who sits atop a murderous regime, rife with corruption and primed for military aggression. Close collaboration with such a regime will get us a knife in the back.

It is only a question of when the Chinese communists decide to knife us. After all, America is the enemy the Communist Party has sworn to destroy. In Roger Cliff’s book, there are several clues to China’s military strategy for defeating the United States. We know that Chinese strategy emphasizes preemption, surprise and a desire for “rapid decision.” Chinese texts say, “take the initiative as soon as you can.” Consistent with ancient Chinese practice, these texts also emphasize avoiding a “direct engagement with enemy military forces” together with “precision strikes” and “unified leadership under centralized command.”

In terms of China’s military doctrine, here are the taglines for China’s secret “Campaign Guidance” documents: (1) “integrated joint operations” (suggests an amphibious invasion); (2) “new domains of struggle (suggests the amphibious operation will aim at objectives outside China’s sphere of influence); (3) “expansion of the scope of operations.” (suggests an entirely new theater of operations). If we take the three “Campaign Guidance” concepts together, it seems the Chinese envision some kind of naval/amphibious invasion involving “new domains” by expanding the “scope of [military] operations.”

More recently the PLA has issued a fourth “Campaign Guidance” concept in support of the first three: namely, “counter-terrorist operations.” The Chinese apparently expect to occupy someone’s territory, with attending civilian resistance (i.e., “terrorism”). Thus, “counter-terror” is required, possibly along the lines of Gen. Chi Haotian’s references (in his secret speech) to the killing of “women, children and prisoners of war.”

Might the PLA’s “Campaign Guidance” documents refer to a direct attack on U.S. territory following the collapse of the U.S. economy in a civil war scenario?

When asked by the author whether an invasion of North America had ever been contemplated by Russian or Chinese strategists, Col. Stanislav Lunev (a Russian defector) referred to Operation Weserübung — the German invasion of Norway in 1940. He then made special mention of German infiltration troops. The role of such troops, in a Russian/Chinese invasion scenario, could be greatly enlarged for operations in North America. Troops could be infiltrated into the U.S. as tourists, students, or illegal aliens. Once inside the United States, they could pick up uniforms and weapons at secret arms caches. They could then secure key points of entry (like airfields and ports). Invading forces need not come directly from China or Russia. Lunev noted that ideas presented in the Zimmerman Telegram, during World War I, were ahead of their time. In that telegram, the German Foreign Office proposed a military alliance between Mexico and Imperial Germany. Mexico, under the right circumstances, could be an important ally for an invading power. (Though Germany at that time was in no position to invade the United States or position troops in Mexico.)


Roger Cliff, China’s Military PowerAssessing Current and Future Capabilities

Viktor Suvorov, Spetsnaz: The Inside Story of Soviet Special Forces

Huffington Post, “Putting China on Our Border”

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