China’s Changing Approach to Military Strategy

In a recently published edited volume, China’s Evolving Military Strategy, I examine how Chinese thinking about military strategy is changing by comparing the 2013 edition of The Science of Military Strategy to the 2001 edition.

I reach two general conclusions:

  1. The 2013 edition represents an evolution of China’s approach to thinking about military strategy. It does not contain a description of a revolutionary new approach to China’s military strategy.  Instead, it examines changes in China’s security environment through traditional concepts that have underpinned the PLA’s approach to strategy, such as “active defense,” by modifying or adjusting these ideas based on new circumstances.
  2. China’s new and expanding interests overseas, along with worldwide advances in military technology and the posture of potential adversaries, are expanding the battlespace in which the PLA will need to operate and increasing the importance of greater strategic depth.  Much of the book can be interpreted as examining how the PLA should respond to these new conditions based on its traditional approach to strategy.

A preprint is available here.