China's Use of Military Force: Beyond the Great Wall and the by Andrew Scobell

By Andrew Scobell

Andrew Scobell examines using chinese language army strength overseas as in Korea (1950), Vietnam (1979), and the Taiwan Strait (1995-1996) and locally, as throughout the Cultural Revolution of the overdue Sixties and within the 1989 army crackdown in Tiananmen sq.. Scobell warns "Cult of Defense" disposes chinese language leaders to rationalize all army deployment as protecting. even though, adjustments within the People's Liberation Army's doctrine and services during the last 20 years recommend that China's twenty first Century leaders might use army strength extra without problems than their predecessors.

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While enduring, strategic culture can evolve over time and/or undergo dramatic transformation as a result of major disruptions, such as defeat in war, invasion or occupation, and the emergence of a radically new political system, leader, or philosophical outlook. Such was the case with Japan and Germany after defeat in World War II and also with the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s after accession to power of Mikhail S. ). 9 The change seems to be more one of perception rather than reality. Why then was the change in the thrust of scholarship in the 1990s significantly different from that of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s?

Nor did core American beliefs in the fundamental rights of man prevent the United States government from oppressing African Americans, through slavery and later segregation, and rolling westward to conquer native Americans. While the leaders of most countries tend to believe they use military power in a strictly defensive manner,70 this cluster of beliefs seems to be particularly inviolable among the Chinese. In the broad realm of security policy (both internal and external), two guiding principles counter the fundamental tenets noted previously: (1) a strong reverence for national unification, and (2) a heightened sense of threat perception.

This kind of defense, however, ought not be passive defense; instead, it should 34 P1: GCO CY236-04 0 52181979 2 June 14, 2003 15:41 The Chinese Cult of Defense be guided by the strategic principle of active defense. . 120 According to Deng “ . . active defense is not merely defense per se, but includes defensive offensives. ”121 Senior Colonel Wang Naiming explains: [active defense] . . emphasizes that the nature of our military strategy is defensive, but also active in requirements. 123 In a real sense, then, the line between offense and defense is blurred.

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