Will China become a superpower by 2049? China expert, Michael Pillsbury, thinks so. He believes China are currently engaged in a secret effort to topple the U.S. as the world’s superpower.
The New York Post reports:
Part of what Pillsbury sees as America’s naiveté on the issue derived from fundamental misunderstandings about the nature of Chinese culture.
Pillsbury now believes that since the time of Mao Zedong, China has been engaged in an effort to establish China as the world’s premier superpower by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the Communist Revolution.
The reason this has been so little known, he says, is that the Chinese consider physical battles just one minor aspect of warfare. China’s main weapon, he says, is deception — the constant appearance of achieving less than they really have and needing our help more than they actually do.
Pillsbury believes this philosophy’s origins derive from a book — the title of which translates to “The General Mirror for the Aid of Government” — that Mao brought with him on his long march in the 1930s. Described as “a statecraft manual with lessons from history that have no Western counterpart,” one section of the book “centers on stratagems of the Warring States period in China, and includes stories and maxims dating as far back as 4000 BC.”
Included in these are lessons on “how to use deception, how to avoid encirclement by opponents and how a rising power should induce complacency in the old hegemon until the right moment.”
Mao, it turned out, read this book many times while ruling China, as did subsequent leaders. Chinese students even use passages from it in their writing lessons.
Pillsbury believes that China’s actions since just after World War II are derived from this book and that they’re working just as intended.
“One of the biggest mistakes made by American experts on China was not taking this book seriously,” Pillsbury writes, noting that “it was never translated into English,” and that the US didn’t begin grasping its possible importance until the 1990s.
Pillsbury believes China has strategically positioned itself as a nation in great need of our help since the 1960s, noting that contrary to popular belief, President Richard Nixon’s opening to China in the ’70s was initiated by China, not the US.
During early meetings between Mao and Nixon, Mao pushed for the two countries to work together against the Soviet threat, with Mao urging the US to “create an anti-Soviet axis that would include Europe, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and Japan.”
“A counterencirclement of the Soviet hegemon was a classic Warring States approach,” Pillsbury writes. “What the Americans missed was that it was not a permanent Chinese policy preference, but only expedient cooperation among two Warring States.”
During visits to the country over the past three years, Pillsbury says he has seen a stark shift in China’s attitude toward the US. Chinese scholars he’s known for decades, he says, have long denied any sort of “Chinese-led world order.” Now, they are showing a sudden brash willingness to admit to what Pillsbury believes is China’s true intent. “The hard truth,” Pillsbury writes, “is that China’s leaders see America as an enemy in a global struggle they plan on winning.”