An Emerging Consensus on the U.S. Threat? – The United States According to PLA Officers |

An Emerging Consensus on the U.S. Threat? - The United States According to PLA Officers


While Chinese and Western scholars are debating the successes and failures of Washington Consensus and Beijing Consensus, there seems to be an emerging consensus among many Chinese military thinkers that the United States is an ultimate threat to China and its national aspirations. When deliberating on and planning for national strategies, these PLA officers argue, Washington has to be seen as a foe bent on sabotaging, if not causing disintegration of, China.
It is very important to render a comprehensive and accurate description of the perception of the United States held by the PLA elite. First, although one of the cardinal doctrines of the Chinese Communist Party is that the military is always subject to the supreme leadership of the Party throughout its history the military has always played an important role in influencing Party decisions. Second, Chinese military writers and thinkers have long ago climbed out of walls of their secretive institutions and are making comments at television talk shows, writing blogs and publishing bestsellers. Their ideas are also shaping up the public view of the United States. With the so-called rise of China, a young generation of Chinese is becoming more nationalistic and hostile toward the West. The writings of these officers are stoking up their xenophobic fears. As China moves away from charismatic leadership to collective decision making at the top, public opinion is asserting increasing pressure on the decision making of the CCP.
There is no way to accomplish the daunting task of offering a definitive verdict of this group of PLA strategists in a short presentation. Dr Liu Yawei will try to identify the most influential PLA officers who are “obsessed” with the United States and whose writings are reaching out to millions of young and patriotic Chinese through popular journals, bestselling books and omnipotent blogs. He will then explore how these PLA officers see the United States, describe American strategic approach to China and project American behavior. Lastly, he will attempt to determine if these officers have reached a consensus among themselves on the United States and if this “consensus” has any tangible impact on the popular thinking of the United States in China.
Unlike the traditional thinking that ascribes these PLA officers/strategists to a united hawkish camp (often without identifying what “hawkish” means), Dr Liu will also try to shed some light on the underpinnings and discrepancies of their view of the United States.

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Dr. Liu Yawei, Director, The Carter Center's China Program

Thursday, 10 March 2011
5.15 p.m. - 6.30 p.m.

Seminar Room 3-1
Level 3, Manasseh Meyer
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
469C Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259772

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