AMAC MAGAZINE: Volume 18, Issue 1 - JAN/FEB 2024

The geopolitical disasters of the last three years are clear: surrender in Afghanistan, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and now war in the Middle East. But the connective tissue behind them is less so, and they lead to our greatest threat: Communist China. Let me explain. How to Beat America In 1999, two senior colonels of the Communist Chinese People’s Liber- ation Army published the work Unre- stricted Warfare . With this work, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui proposed that the context of conflict had drastically changed and that this change required a “new” type of war without limits.

In their work, the colonels focused first on the geostrategic and geopo- litical changes that necessitate “unre- stricted warfare.” This discussion included excursions on the topic of globalization, the waning power of the classic nation-state, the rise of “super-empowered” actors such as hackers and cyber warriors, and a lengthy discourse on the signifi- cance of the First Gulf War in demon- strating the new “omnidirectionality” of combat and an emphasis on the non-kinetic aspects of war, such as information warfare, economic warfare, and subversion. None of the principles listed was wholly new. In fact, several are as old as Sun Tsu’s The Art of War itself.

And others are simply good common sense. Likewise, the contextual factors that have led to these princi- ples being evinced are not new either, with scores of Western authors, such as Phillip Bobbitt and Martin van Crev- eld, having discussed them since the end of the Cold War. Nevertheless, we should not disre- gard their work  or rather, we should not conclude that there is nothing new about how China has been think- ing about and exercising its power in the post-9/11 world. Every nation  and even individual nonstate actors  has its own unique strategic culture. Contemporary China has been primarily shaped by

CHINA’S “NEW IMPERIALISM” INVESTMENT MAP Chinese One Belt One Road investments by world region in 2020 (in billion US dollars)

West Asia

17.6 East Asia





North America


Middle East & North Africa



Sub-Saharan Africa

South America

Sources: Green Belt and Road Initiative Center (Central University of Finance and Economics Beijing) | Statista

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