#hundredyearmarathon

China's Hundred Year Marathon

Summary

The Chinese government's secret plan to replace the US as the world's leading hegemonic power by 2049, 100 years after the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Assumptions

  1. US Engagement has not/will not bring complete cooperation.
  2. China is not on the road to democracy.
  3. China is not a fragile flower.
  4. China does not want to be like the US.
  5. Chinese hawks (鹰派) are strong, Chinese moderates are weak.

Theory/Model

The Chinese government has been actively employing the Warring States period 'Strategic lessons' to restore China to the top of the geopolitical hierarchy by 2049.

  1. Induce complacency to avoid alerting your opponent.
  2. Manipulate your opponent's advisers.
  3. Be patient - for decades, or longer - to achieve victory.
  4. Steal your opponent's ideas and technology for strategic purposes.
  5. Military might is not the critical factor for winning a long-term competition.
  6. Recognize that the hegemon will take extreme, even reckless action to retain its dominant position.
  7. Never lose sight of shi.
  8. Establish and employ metrics for measuring your status relative to other potential challengers.
  9. Always be vigilant to avoid being encircled or deceived by others.

Predictions

In 2049 China, with GDP 3x US, will dominate a unipolar world (or potentially a duel polar with US or tripolar with India and US).

  1. China will harmonize dissent on the internet.
  2. China will continue to oppose democratization.
  3. China will form alliances with America's adversaries.
  4. China will export the airpocalypse
  5. China's growth strategy involves significant pollution and contamination.
  6. Cancer Villages
  7. Cheater's win - China will unleash national champions.
  8. China will increasingly undermine the UN and WTO
  9. China will proliferate weapons for profit.

Evidence

 

Evaluation

US's counter to Hundred Year Marathon

Summary

The US's decline and China's rise can be thwarted only if US first recognizes what is really going on, that China is running its Hundred Year Marathon.

Assumptions

China is pursuing its Hundred Year Marathon

Model/Theory

Steps for America:

  1. Recognize the problem
  2. Keep track of your gifts (to China)
  3. Measure competitiveness
  4. Develop a competitiveness strategy
  5. Find common ground at home (against China)
  6. Build vertical coalitions of nations
  7. Protect political dissidents
  8. Stand up to anti-american competitive conduct.
  9. Identify and shame polluters
  10. Expose corruption and censorship.
  11. Support prodemocracy reformers
  12. Monitor and influence the debates between China's hawks and reformers.

US should be careful of three intellectual traps:

  1. Premature fear of China's rise.
  2. Fail to appreciate that China does plan to replace the US.
  3. US policymakers have historically helped China's hawks, so do not want to admit that was a mistake.

Predictions

Evidence

Evaluation

Chinese Mercantalism

Summary

Chinese economic strategy involves significant and planned government intervention, particularly as relates to SOEs and mercantilism rather than competitive markets and free trade.

Assumptions

  1. Peak Oil Theory that there will be a massive fight for resources as price increases.
    • Mercantalism = The theory and system of political economy prevailing in Europe after the decline of feudalism, based on nationalpolicies of accumulating bullion, establishing colonies and a merchant marine, and developing industry and mining to attain a favorable balance of trade.
  2. China has a grand strategy of economic growth rather than just 'muddling through'.

Theory/Model

Despite the narrative to the contrary, China has copied, what it deems was America's path to development:

  1. Protection of domestic market
  2. Financial subsidies of domestic companies
  3. Export promotion
  4. Stealing technology
  5. Enforcement of antitrust measures
  6. System of securities regulation
  7. Government led mergers.

And used the advice of the World Bank to focus on SOEs where 50 of the Global Fortune 500 and developing 'national champions' because:

  1. SOEs have helped China's strategy of mercantalism and undercutting Western competition.
  2. SOEs provide a role and justification for the political dominance of the Chinese Communist Party
  3. Major industries, important for China's economic and national security, need to be government controlled.
  4. SOEs encourage indigenous innovation reducing the reliance on foreign technologies.
  5. Avoid post-Soviet mistake of selling state industries for pennies on the dollar.
  6. SOEs selling abroad can disrupt foreign telecommunications, manufacturing, logistics etc.

Policy of 'going out' (走出去):

  1. Internationalization of RMB to replace US dollar as global reserve currency
  2. Bottom-fishing - buying foreign companies at low prices (funded by State banks with little need for ROI).

Predictions

Evidence

Evaluation

Assassin's Mace

Concept

Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night and when you move fall like a thunderbolt.
— Sun Tzu (孙子)

The Chinese version of David and Goliath involves the hero using an 'Assassin's Mace (杀手锏) which, despite being small and lightweight, could be used to surprise the enemy knocking him dead with a single blow to his Achilles' heel.

Application

China is focusing a disproprortionate amount of its resources on asymmetric capabilities such as cyber attacks, anti-satellite weapons, electromagnetic pulse weapons, ground-launch missiles to combat America's superior long-range bombers, ground forces and nuclear armed ICBM's.


Shi

Concept

The concept of shi (势) is at the heart of Chinese strategy and translate to 'alignment of forces' that involves not only taking advantage of the natural circumstances but also creating circumstances that naturally lead to the outcome you want.

Crucially shi, requires not only reading shi before your opponent, but also actively deceiving them into complacency.

Application

Mao cited China's fail to read shi in the 1950s and 60s, when the Soviets discovered China's plan to usurp the USSR's leadership in the Communist world, China lost opportunities to get FDI, trade opportunities, military technology, or political support.