This is the book I talked about at my presentation at the IMPACT Conference in Chantilly, VA:
UPDATE: Nothing like this has ever happened before — I tried every which way but Facebook security censors wouldn’t let me cross-post this blog on FB until I took out the name of the book in the update. No link, no book name. LinkedIn blocked the image and the blog title and text. And people say China doesn’t run our country. Twitter and Google+ were normal, though, and apparently still value freedom of speech. I guess China’s takeover is happening faster than we thought.
One of the U.S. government’s leading China experts reveals the hidden strategy fueling that country’s rise – and how Americans have been seduced into helping China overtake us as the world’s leading superpower.
For more than forty years, the United States has played an indispensable role helping the Chinese government build a booming economy, develop its scientific and military capabilities, and take its place on the world stage, in the belief that China’s rise will bring us cooperation, diplomacy, and free trade. But what if the “China Dream” is to replace us, just as America replaced the British Empire, without firing a shot?
Based on interviews with Chinese defectors and newly declassified, previously undisclosed national security documents, The Hundred-Year Marathon reveals China’s secret strategy to supplant the United States as the world’s dominant power, and to do so by 2049, the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.
Michael Pillsbury, a fluent Mandarin speaker who has served in senior national security positions in the U.S. government since the days of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, draws on his decades of contact with the “hawks” in China’s military and intelligence agencies and translates their documents, speeches, and books to show how the teachings of traditional Chinese statecraft underpin their actions. He offers an inside look at how the Chinese really view America and its leaders – as barbarians who will be the architects of their own demise.
Pillsbury also explains how the U.S. government has helped – sometimes unwittingly and sometimes deliberately – to make this “China Dream” come true, and he calls for the United States to implement a new, more competitive strategy toward China as it really is, and not as we might wish it to be.
The Hundred-Year Marathon is a wake-up call as we face the greatest national security challenge of the twenty-first century.
Serving in various senior national security positions in the United States government, Michael Pillsbury has been meeting for decades with Chinese military planners and civilian strategists in an effort to figure out what they think.
In the process, Pillsbury says he’s detected a long-term Chinese strategy: First, to acquire Western technology, then to develop a powerful economy, and finally – three to four decades from now – to replace the United States as the world’s superpower. And if Chinese planners get their way, Pillsbury says, China may achieve its ultimate goal without firing a shot. . . . (read more)
Panda Hugger Turned Slugger (Wall Street Journal)
During the first half of his long career in defense and intelligence, Michael Pillsbury was what he now calls a “panda hugger.” He took a consistently positive view of China’s future and of the payoff awaiting the United States for assisting in its emergence—an outlook that fit comfortably within the longtime Washington consensus. He writes in “The Hundred-Year Marathon”: “We believed that American aid to a fragile China whose leaders thought like us would help China become a democratic and peaceful power without ambitions of regional or even global dominance.”
No longer. “Looking back,” Mr. Pillsbury concludes, “it is painful that I was so gullible.” . . . . . What’s shocking for Mr. Pillsbury is the discovery that China’s ambition to become the world’s dominant power has been there all along, virtually burned into the country’s cultural DNA and hiding, as he says, in plain sight. . . (read more)
Book Review: The Hundred-Year Marathon (Defense News)
. . . . Pillsbury looks to the Warring States Period of Chinese history as the template for today’s hawks in Beijing. The nine principle elements of Chinese strategy include the following:
1. Induce complacency to avoid alerting your opponent.
2. Manipulate your opponent’s advisers. “Such efforts have been a hallmark of China’s relations with the United States.”
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. “This partly explains why China has not devoted more resources to developing larger, more powerful military forces. Rather than relying on a brute accumulation of strength, Chinese strategy advocates targeting an enemy’s weak points and biding one’s time.”
6. Recognize that the hegemon will take extreme, even reckless action to retain its dominant position. Pillsbury writes that in today’s context – “the United States will not go quietly into the night as its power declines relative to others.”
7. Never lose sight of shi. Pillsbury writes that the two elements of shi are critical components of Chinese strategy: “deceiving others into doing your bidding for you, and waiting for the point of maximum opportunity to strike.”
8. Establish and employ metrics for measuring your status relative to other potential challengers. “Chinese strategy places a high premium on assessing China’s relative power, during peacetime and in the event of war, across a plethora of dimensions beyond just military considerations. The United States, by contrast, has never attempted to do this.”
9. Always be vigilant to avoid being encircled or deceived by others. “In what could be characterized as a deeply ingrained sense of paranoia, China’s leaders believe that because all other potential rivals are out to deceive them, China must respond with its own duplicity.”
To further emphasis his points that the hawks are dangerous, Pillsbury said that while studying Mandarin as a young man, “we memorized a well-known proverb intended to sum up Chinese history: wai ru, nei fa (on the outside, be benevolent; on the inside, be ruthless).” . . .(read more)