Summaries of the Articles
Summaries of the Articles

Institute for National Strategic Studies

Chinese Views of Future Warfare

Summaries of the Articles

The articles in Parts One and Two are necessarily a bit more general and abstract because of their subject matter. Those in Parts Three and Four tend to be more specific and concrete.

Part One: Articles on Deng Xiaoping's Strategic Thought
The six authors in this part quote Deng's speeches extensively on future warfare, the future security environment and Deng's "Local War" concept. Western readers who do not subscribe to Marxist-Leninism may find these doctrinal articles peculiar. After all, what is important to Western observers is that Deng radically replaced the strategic thought of Chairman Mao. Yet what China's military authors must dutifully show is that Deng "modified" Mao's thought, and therefore Mao's strategic thought remains valid and relevant for future warfare. This formulation continues in the articles in Parts Two and Three, but is largely dropped from the articles in Part Four on the Revolution in Military Affairs.

Senior Colonel Peng Guangqian, author of "Deng Xiaoping's Strategic Thought," praises several features of Deng's thought:

In "Deng Xiaoping's Theory of Defense Modernization," General Zhao Nanqi, former President, Academy of Military Science, provides details on Deng's military recommendations for future warfare.

"Deng Xiaoping's Theory of War And Peace," by Colonel Hong Baoxiu, quotes extensively from Deng's writings, including the following "new points":

In his article "Deng Xiaoping's Perspective on National Interest," Colonel Hong Bin suggests that Deng's theory of national interest affected China's approach to the future by justifying short term losses: "We should be willing to pay the price and suffer some losses. It is certain that we will suffer some losses for the present. But we should not be afraid of that, so long as it is beneficial in the long run." In his article, "Adhere to Active Defense And Modern People's War," Senior Colonel Wang Naiming sums up Deng's modifications of Mao's views:

In "Defense Policy in the New Era," Colonel Fang Ning of the Department of military systems at the Academy of Military Science makes the following points:

Part Two: Articles on the Future Security Environment
The five articles in this part describe the future threat environment China will face. It is one of crises, better armed neighbors, religious wars, and the growing military threat of Japan. The first article is a speech given by Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotian at the National Defense University in Washington, DC, on December 10, 1996, which focuses on the United States.

Military Improvements by Major Powers
In "The International Military Situation in the 1990s," Major General Yu Qifen, now the Director of the Strategy Department of the Academy of Military Science, points out more than 30 features of the future security environment. A significant trend General Yu sees is the improvement of weapons and soldiers by the major powers:

China's Weapons: Inferior to Japan, Russia, USA, India, ASEAN, and Taiwan
One of China' best "connected" civilian analysts is Gao Heng, a research fellow at the Institute of World Economics and Politics of the Academy of Social Science in Beijing. Gao publishes frequently in a variety of Chinese journals on the subject of the future security environment. Among the many organizations with which he is affiliated, Gao was one of the organizers of the Institute for Grand Strategy which studies the future strategies of the major powers.

Gao writes, "After the Cold War, China faced a less severe military threat from the major powers. But, in the future, the gap between China and other major powers will be wider" because:

Another problem for China will be Japan. Gao writes, "Because of pressure from home and abroad, Japan dared not to voice publicly its goal of becoming a military superpower." Gao cites Japanese officials about the following points:

Future Asian Religious Conflicts
Senior Colonel Yao Youzhi and Colonel Liu Hongsong are analysts in the Strategy Department of the Academy of Military Science. Their article "Future Security Trends in the Asian-Pacific Region," asserts, "Compared to other regions in the world, the current security situation in the Asia-Pacific region is relatively stable." However, they anticipate that there will be conflicts in the region's future. One cause will be religion: "Religious issues have become an important factor in Asian-Pacific security and conflicts. The Asian-Pacific region is one of the three big birth-places for religion in the world, as well as the meeting place for all kinds of cultures. There exist big differences in religions and religious parties, and contradictions and conflicts that are hard to reconcile."

Managing Local War Crises
In his article, "Managing China's Future Security Crises," Zheng Jian, a research analyst in the Strategy Department of the Academy of Military Science provides a checklist of principles by which China should manage future "National Defense Security Crises" (NDSC). Crises could be caused by:

Zheng's many recommendations include:

Zheng concludes, "Actions should be controlled according to the stage of the crisis. The aim in doing so is to give an opponent enough time to exchange information with us, judge the state of affairs, take actions to contribute to the easing of the situation, and react to our suggestions." However, if an opponent tries to escalate the conflict, "we should strive to contain it ahead of time."

Part Three: Articles on Modernizing for Local War
These papers reflect China's current focus on near-term modernization. The focus is a term translated as "Local War." I selected Local War authors who have held some of the most important leadership positions in China's defense complex, including articles by the Chief of the General Staff, the Chairman of the coordinating commission for all of China's defense industries, the sole military member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, and four generals who were responsible (at the time they wrote) for armor, artillery, logistics, and the strategic rocket forces or Second Artillery. Two of these authors have served as the presidents of the Academy of Military Science, whose focus on future warfare is in the near term decade ahead, not the first three decades of the 21st century. They call for modernization of armor, artillery, logistics, and nuclear forces and more reliance on science and technology.

What is remarkable about the Local War school's writing is that the ideas contained in the articles on the Military Revolution are never explicitly criticized or even mentioned. For example, despite their high positions as Chief of the General Staff and Politburo Standing Committee member, neither General Fu Quanyou nor General Liu Huaqing has apparently never mentioned the "military revolution" or the kinds of future operations and future weapons that dominate the writing of the Military Revolution school of thought found in the articles in Part Four.

Deng's concept of Local War loses a great deal in translation. The Chinese ideograph for "local" (ju bu) can mean regional, partial, sectional or local, all at the same time. For clarity, I have translated it differently in this collection depending on the context. The definition of Local War refers mainly to the scale of a war rather than its location.

The Politburo's General Liu Huaqing on Local War and the Navy
General Liu Huaqing, who is over 80 years old, is China's highest ranking military officer as a member of the Politburo Standing Committee and Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission. His article commemorates the 100th anniversary of Sino-Japanese War by listing the military challenges China faces. General Liu does not want China to repeat this historical humiliation, so he advocates, "It is quite necessary to concentrate our efforts on the issue of how to enhance the building up of our country's coastal defense. History tells us that whether one has maritime sense and can pay attention to the building of coastal defense is supremely important to the rise or decline and the honor or disgrace of a nation." He adds, apparently to China's ground force officers, "Comrades in our army must have an even deeper understanding of the importance of enhancing our coastal defense."

The PLA Chief of Staff on Logistics and Local War
"Future Logistics Modernization," General Fu Quanyou's article, extensively quotes Deng Xiaoping about the great importance of logistics modernization for Local War. General Fu sees merit in using China's civilian economy. Fu writes, "We should use specially designated civilian enterprises to supply the set amount of military materials at agreed upon times, and let society shoulder more responsibility. We should have various and useful ties with the large and medium-size commercial enterprises and establish stable channels of supply."

Nuclear Weapons
In his article on the development of Chinese strategic nuclear weapons, Major General Yang Huan traces the history of China's strategic rocket forces or "second artillery" since 1958. He proposes that future work should focus on the following three areas:

In "Nuclear Shadows on High-Tech Warfare," Major General Wu Jianguo reports that "the possibility of using nuclear weapons cannot be ruled out." He suggests several scenarios.

In his article "Research and Development of Armor," Major General Chen Benchan states that the development of future Chinese armor takes place when "there is a new technological revolution going on." He warns, "We should go our own way and not follow the footsteps of others." He lays out five principles for the future development of tanks and armored vehicles:

General Chen concludes that armor weapons by the year 2000 must meet the requirements of future warfare which are "the ability to strike deep, react fast, and coordinate well with the air force." He advocates "priority to the development of new types of main battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, automatic battle command complexes, and antiaircraft vehicles."

COSTIND Director on Requirements for Local War
General Ding Henggao is China's highest ranking officer in charge of defense industry, as the Chairman of COSTIND, the Commission on Science, Technology and Industry. General Ding's article, "Reforming Defense Science, Technology, and Industry," is therefore authoritative. Like other members of the Local War school, however, he focuses narrowly on the near term future. General Ding writes, "in high-tech local war, we have to

General Ding points out that "defense science, technology and industry are important symbols of our comprehensive national power." He writes, "One of the reasons that we are not looked down upon in the world is that we have built a relatively complete defense industry, and we have been able to research and manufacture various types of conventional and strategic nuclear weapons. Deng Xiaoping said, 'If China did not have atom bombs and hydrogen bombs, and had not launched satellites since the 60s, then China would not be called an important, influential country and would not enjoy the international status that it does today'."

General Ding sees a need to use both foreign technology and China's growing civilian economy. He writes, "Defense and commercial products are becoming more and more compatible. While we emphasize the conversion of defense technology into commercial use, we must study defense-commercial dual-purpose technology and possible transfers from commercial technology to defense use."


"China's Artillery Development," by Major General Zi Wuzheng, emphasizes that "compared with the advanced level of foreign artillery, we face serious challenges." For future warfare, General Zi suggests, "I believe that in the development of artillery weapons it is preferable to have fewer but better products." He stresses that:


In his article, "Logistics Support for Regional Warfare," Major General Yang Chengyu focuses on "how to improve the logistic support ability of our army." Like General Fu Quanyou, General Yang stresses that advanced technology and "the extraordinary fierceness of the rear defense struggle" will "create the requirements for logistic support of our armed forces" in the following ways:

According to General Yang, "Our country is large and still undeveloped. With our supply and demand problems not well solved, how can we strengthen logistics development for preparedness against war and improve continuous support capability for war time?" He answers:

State Planning-Integrating Civil-Military Production
Shun Zhenhuan, a civilian analyst on the State Planning Commission in Beijing, has contributed an authoritative article, "Reform of China's Defense Industry." He admits, "China's defense industry system after 1949 was basically modeled on the plan in the former Soviet Union. It has been a highly centralized system since the first 5-year plan." In the future, he states, "The ultimate aim of restructuring our defense industry is to build an integrated system of defense/commerical production."

Shun suggests that civilian economic progress will be crucial because "A national industrial census indicates that advanced equipment makes up only 3 percent of all equipment in the military sector, whereas it is 12.9 percent in the commercial sector. About 40 percent of equipment used in some old military factories is over 20 years old, and some of it dates to World War II." Shun describes in detail how the State Planning Commission recommends that military and civilian industries be integrated in the future for their mutual benefit.

A Former Academy of Military Science President on "Military Science"
In a chapter from his book on Chinese military science, Lieutenant General Zheng Wenhan, a former President of the Academy of Military Science, defines Chinese military science to be "a system of knowledge about war, laws for guiding wars, and principles of war preparations and combat operations. Military science plays an important role in guiding force development, and provides theoretical methods of fighting and winning a war. The objects of the study of military science are wars and other activities of military practice," which include:

General Zheng writes that the main fields that form military science are military thought, military operational art, force development, military technology, military history, and military geography. "In 1959, the President of the Academy of Military Science, Marshall Ye Jianying said military science could be divided into three parts, namely military thought, military art and military technology."

Defeating a Superior Enemy by Surprise Air Attack
In "Dialectics of Defeating the Superior with the Inferior," Professor Shen Kuiguan of the Air Force Command Institute in Beijing provides a history of this concept and applies it to future warfare in a fashion which suggests the value of large, surprise air attack on a distracted or unsuspecting enemy, such as the Israeli attacks that destroyed the Egyptian air force in 1967. Shen begins by noting, AThe concept of defeating a powerful opponent with a weak force, or defeating the enemy even when outnumbered was continually been put forward by people from the Yin, Zhou, Ming, and Qing Dynasties. . . . "ltering the overall balance of combat factors between two belligerents is the practical foundation of defeating the superior with the inferior." The principle even applies to the outcome of the Gulf War, according to Professor Shen: "A comprehensive understanding and analysis of the Gulf War is needed in order to avoid the erroneous conclusion that it is impossible for a weak force to defeat the powerful opponent in a high-tech war."

One way "to defeat a powerful opponent with a weak force in a high-tech war is to bring the overall function of its operational system into full play [and] to persevere in defeating the superior with the inferior in crucial battles."

Shen outlines several ways to defeat a superior enemy. In one example, he writes, a "superior strategy is significant to defeating the powerful opponent with a weak force. In the Third Middle East War, Israel was obviously in a disadvantageous position in the prewar period, but its successful use of superior strategies led to Egypt's erroneous judgement in operational orientation. With Egypt's focus turned to the Gulf, Israel launched a surprise attack on Egypt and destroyed most of its air force."

General Li Jijun: Cherish Mao, But Use Statistics
Lieutenant General Li Jijun is well known in China for his experimental field work on the doctrine of Local Warfare in the 1980s while he served as Commander of the 38th Group Army. He then served as Director of the General Office of the powerful Central Military Commission, and since 1994 has been the Vice-President of the Academy of Military Science. In his article, "Notes on Military Theory and Military Strategy," he advises how to analyze future warfare.

Aside from knowing Mao's military thought, General Li suggests that analysis of future warfare should employ several different methods-cause-and-effect or historical analysis, statistical analysis, and systems analysis.

In "Chinese Modern Local War and U.S. Limited War," Chen Zhou cites American political scientists to suggest several differences between the practice of these two types of war, including his view that the Chinese approach has been more successful.

Part Four: Articles on the Revolution in Military Affairs
The "Military Revolution" authors advocate taking seriously a potential Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). These authors seem so focused on the implications for China of a revolution in military affairs that they often neglect to even mention the subject of modernization for Local War and People's War. One author approvingly quotes the views of Andrew W. Marshall on an RMA, and another states that Secretary William Perry established a senior steering group on the RMA in the Pentagon. Others mention Russian views of the RMA. Many of these "RMA authors" serve at the Academy of Military Science, an institution of more than 500 officers (with few students) modeled largely on the General Staff Academy in Moscow, which also has written about the future implications of a potential RMA.

China's interest in how the revolution in military affairs will develop seems destined to continue. For example, late in 1996, two young officers at the Academy of Military Science, Zhu Xiaoli and Zhao Xiaozhu, authored a book, America, Russia and the Revolution in Military Affairs (Academy Press). In their preface, Zhu and Zhao thank their mentors at the Academy, who include many authors featured in this volume such as Generals Li Jijun and Wang Pufeng. Zhu and Zhao trace the history of American and Russian military writing about the revolution in military affairs. They conclude with an interesting warning: "Those who believe that the current revolution in military affairs will be under the control of the United States or can develop only according to the speed and directions set by the United States are extremely wrong and quite dangerous." Zhu and Zhao assert four reasons why the United States will fall behind after a decade and yield leadership to others:

The articles in Part 1 on Deng Xiaoping's strategic thought asserted that the current world power structure in which the United States is the sole superpower will be transformed to a world of equal multipolar powers in two decades. The articles in Part 4 on the RMA similarly emphasize that some China's military authors doubt that the supremacy of U.S. military technology can be preserved in the early 21st century.

COSTIND'S Beijing Institute of Systems Engineering
In "Weapons of the 21st Century," Mr. Chang Mengxiong suggests that "we are in the midst of a new revolution in military technology" and that in the 21st century both weapons and military units will be "information-intensified." Chang describes these future weapons, then proposes that China's leaders use a new set of "measures of effectiveness" to support decisions to determine what future weapons to acquire.

Chang's former institute has no equivalent in the United States because Chinese defense industries are government owned and controlled through COSTIND on the model of the Defense Industries (VPK) in the former USSR. To find an equivalent to Chang, an American would have to imagine that the U.S. Defense Under Secretary for Acquisition actually owned and controlled the budgets and planning of all major defense corporations like Northrop-Grumman, Lockheed-Martin, and General Dynamics, as well as government defense plants, and further imagine that at the top of this structure a group of analysts like Chang Mengxiong provided long-term assessments about what weapons systems merit increased investment or cancellation.

How does Chang see the 21st century? He asserts that

Chang also discusses the potential for the robot troops about which there is much discussion both in China and abroad, which will include:

One of Chang's most vivid metaphors states, "Information-intensified combat methods are like a Chinese boxer with a knowledge of vital body points who can bring an opponent to his knees with a minimum of movement."

Chang discusses some specific new concepts for weapons:

Like nuclear deterrence, "information deterrence" will be vital, especially if "the power with a weaker information capability can deliver a crippling attack on the information system of the power with a stronger information system." In a very important point, Chang stresses, "Even if two adversaries are generally equal in hard weapons, unless the party with a weaker information capability is able effectively to weaken the information capability of the adversary, it has very little possibility of winning the war." Virtual reality technology will be used "for designing and producing prototype machines and manufacturing weapons; troop training and war preparations; drawing up joint combat doctrine; drafting emergency plans; post-mortem evaluations; and historical analysis." Virtual reality "will help create a relatively smooth transition from virtual (imaginary) weapons and virtual (imaginary) battlefields to real weapons and real battlefields, and thus have far- reaching effects on military activities." Chang believes that the measures of effectiveness and the criteria used to make weapons acquisition decisions will have to be changed to reflect the 21st century future warfare.

21st-Century Naval Warfare
In the first of two articles on "21st-Century Naval Warfare," Captain Shen Zhongchang and his coauthors from the Chinese Navy Research Institute suggest that "certain cutting-edge technologies [are] likely to be applied first to naval warfare." Direct attacks on naval battlefields will become possible from outer space, high altitudes and remote land bases because "naval battle space is going to expand unprecedentedly." They argue that the essential forms of future naval warfare will be:

Shen writes that the "mastery of outer space" will be a prerequisite "for naval victory with outer space becoming the new commanding elevation for naval combat." Ships at sea will carry out anti reconnaissance strikes against space satellites and other space systems. "The side with electromagnetic combat superiority will make full use of that invisible >killer mace' to win naval victory." With new technology, they believe:

Shen and his co-authors emphasize that future naval rivalry over "electromagnetic space" will be more important than land, sea, and air space. A foreign study weighed technology factors affecting combat capability. Eight criteria were examined. The conclusion was that electronic warfare technology had the most impact. Thus, "the'electromagnetic' advantage will become the focus of rivalry between opponents. Naval C3I systems "will be the 'nerve center' and 'force multiplier' in future naval warfare."

Dominant Role of Submarines
In their second article, "The Military Revolution in Naval Warfare," Captain Shen Zhongchang and his co-authors list new technologies in nuclear propulsion, space, shipbuilding, microelectronics, satellites, air cushion effects, surface effects, and materials as the "materials base for the new military revolution" which will also influence naval combat doctrine and operational concepts. They conclude that "There is no doubt that during the revolution, combat theory and concepts will be largely modified." They describe several points:

Quoting Alvin Toffler, Captain Shen describes the Gulf War as a "trial of strength" between Third Wave coalition forces and the Iraqis, who were reduced to a Second Wave force because of the destruction of their C3I system. Protection of C3I is now so important that "the U.S. Defense Department has invested $1 billion in establishing a network to safeguard its information system."

However, the opponent's system may not be so safe from attack. Captain Shen writes, "There are many ways to destroy information systems," such as:

Shen believes, "All nations" will give attention to developing submarine forces. "China's neighboring countries are already forcusing on purchasing and developing submarines-for instance, Korea will buy 11 submarines from Germany. Indonesia will increase the number of its submarines from 3 to 5, and Australia plans to build 6 submarines. Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand are also establishing submarine forces." Shen adds, "During the First World War, the dominant vessel was the battleship, and in the Second World War, it was the aircraft carrier. In future global wars, the most powerful weapon will be the submarine."

In conclusion, Captain Shen suggests that information warfare will be a naval requirement. Ships will have to be designed with this in mind. He explains, "During the development of modern vessels, soft systems, especially communication facilities, target determining installations, and electronic warfare systems" will have to "become compatible with the C3I system of the air and land forces."

Control of Outer Space
In his article "21st-Century Air Warfare," Colonel Ming Zengfu of the Air Force Command Institute argues that "the air battlefield will become decisively significant" in future warfare. He too stresses the growing significance of smart munition, intelligent operational platforms, and integrated automatic C3I systems. Colonel Ming predicts "more and more stealth planes will be rushing into the air battlefields of the 21st century, and stealth penetration bombing will be more commonly applied." He adds that an air force must be able to "take down" the enemy's operational system by "striking the seams and ripping the fabric."

Air Power: Trigger of the Revolution in Military Affairs
In "The Military Revolution in Air Power," Major General Zheng Shenxia and Senior Colonel Zhang Changzhi make a case that the Revolution in Military Affairs will strengthen aerospace forces more than any others. They emphasize the growing importance of precision strike, stealth, night vision, longer range attacks, lethality of smart munitions, increased C3I capability, and electronic warfare. They were deeply impressed by the U.S. capability in the Gulf War to capture "all the high frequency and ultrahigh frequency radio signals of the Iraqi army," store the information "gathered by the 34 reconnaissance satellites, 260 electronic reconnaissance planes and 40 warning aircraft" and then "destroy the Iraqi communication system." They conclude that "information is the key to victory."

According to General Zheng, however, after the Gulf War the United States "gradually increased research centered on information combat." U.S. Defense Secretary Perry "put forward the proposal of 'military revolution' in early 1994, which officially confirmed the existence of the revolution." General Zheng suggests that "The application of air power in Desert Storm" was "the 'trigger' of the new military revolution."

General Zheng believes that air power can "start and stop operations easily" which is "definitely what military decision makers want to apply in today's conflicts, in which no one wants to escalate the conflicts but everyone is eager to restrain the other." In future warfare, "the ultimate goal of the parties involved is not to occupy the other's territory but to check the enemy country and take initiative at the negotiation table. Because an air force can achieve such a goal without escalating the conflict, it has more opportunities to be employed."

Zheng concludes with a message to China's ground force officers: "a former U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff said before the Gulf War, the only way to avoid excessive blood-shedding by the army was to use the air force."

Finally, General Zheng states that the air force must be "linked" to space forces. He suggests that not only is it correct that "he who controls outer space controls the Earth," but also " to maintain air superiority one must control outer space."

21st-Century Army Operations
In their article, "21st Century Land Operations," Colonel Xiao Jingmin and Major Bao Bin, both of the Strategy Department, Academy of Military Science, forecast there will be "profound changes in the operational concept" in 21st-century land operations because of the military revolution. Xiao and Bao believe that:

Like other authors, Xiao and Bao use the term "informationize" to characterize the whole process of combat. For example, the "armed forces will use satellites, high altitude aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned flying equipment and sensors to collect and process information" and use "digital communication techniques to transmit computer data within the information network." Future warfare cannot be carried out by "a simple adjustment in the structure of the army" but will be "a network formed by the land, sea, air and space forces."

Xiao and Bao stress that a "network" among various units of the armed forces will be able to:

Information Warfare with Chinese Characteristics
In his article, "The Challenge of Information Warfare," Major General Wang Pufeng quotes Andrew W. Marshall of the U. S. Defense Department, with whom he agrees that "the information era will touch off a revolution in military affairs, just as the cannon in the 15th century and the machine in the past 150 years of the industrial era touched off revolutions." General Wang concludes, "Information warfare will control the form and future of war" and sees it "as a driving force in the modernization of China's military and combat readiness. . . . We have much work to do to shrink this gap."

He emphasizes three points.

General Wang raises the question of how China can use "our inferior position in information" and suggests four approaches.

General Wang advocates the basic warfare style that Mao Zedong taught, "you do your fighting and I'll do mine." He mentions specific ideas for Chinese forces such as to:

Almost poetically, General Wang concludes about the RMA that "those who perceive it first will swiftly rise to the top and have the advantage of the first opportunities. Those who perceive it late will unavoidably also be caught up in the vortex of this revolution. Every military will receive this baptism. This revolution is first a revolution in concepts."

"Informationized" Armies in 2040
In their article on information warfare, Wang Baocun and Li Fei state in the Liberation Army Daily in June 1995 that the essence of information warfare has not been defined authoritatively and the redefinitions are "imperfect and even somewhat biased." They themselves use a broad definition to include computer virus warfare, precision strike warfare and stealth warfare. Quoting U.S. Army experts they agree that while tanks were the major weapons of the 20th century, the computer will be the key weapon of the 21st century. Therefore, computer viruses to alter or destroy a computer's normal operating programs with "rapid contagion, long standing latency, and active and continuous encroachment" will be able to severely disrupt not only the C3I system and smart weapons but the entire combat potential of a nation.

America's military digitization will take several decades. In the first stage, the U.S. Army will digitize some units by installing "digitized communications equipment, second-generation, forward-looking infrared, radar, identification friend-or-foe equipment, and the global positioning system." In the second stage, after 2010 the army will be linked digitally to the navy and air force and write information war doctrine. This will require about three decades and be completed by 2040. One reason for the delays is that the weapons development cycle takes 15 years and the conversion of the military structure from one to another will take roughly two decades. Wang and Li conclude, "So it is obvious that by midcentury, the United States probably will have built the world's first completely smart military."

Wang and Li believe that some effects of information warfare can be forecast:

Wang and Li believe that weapons acquisition decisions will be affected in the future. The current trend is toward "more research and new technology and less production and arms purchases." They state that the United States, Germany, Japan, and France all aim to develop smart weapons, smart platforms, and C3I systems.

Innovation Through Doctrine Pushing or Technology Pushing?
In his article "Future Trends of Modern Operations," Major General Wu Guoqing, Director of the Department of Operations and Tactics, Academy of Military Science, describes the "profound reforms of concepts, modes, and tactics in modern operational doctrine." He lists:

In conclusion, General Wu suggests that peacetime military innovation will proceed to "shift from the traditional formula of 'technology pushing' tactics to that of 'doctrine pushing.'" This means that Athe progress of military technology and development of weapons will be guided by thingking about future operations."

Stealth Weapons with Chinese Characteristics
Cao Benyi writes in "Future Trends in Stealth Weapons" that "the great importance of stealth weaponry in modern warfare has gradually been realized by China's scientific and military experts." Therefore, "It is necessary for China to make every effort to develop stealth technology." Cao states that great progress has already been achieved since the 1980s and that tests have by now "been completed in the case of a number of entire aircraft and a large number of components. . . . For example, the Research Institute of the Beijing Iron and Steel Complex has developed a coating material of superfine metallic particles with radar wave absorptions properties." Cao advocates six steps:

. Cao emphasizes that "the appearance of such new technologies as sandwich-intertwined wave-absorbing materials and self-programming materials have opened up new roads for the development and manufacture of radar-indiscernible materials." But for China, "Costs of stealth weaponry must be reduced and production must be made economically more acceptable." Cao believes that China must "import from abroad advanced technologies and equipment, and establish as quickly as possible a research organization," but at the same time "research must also be undertaken in anti stealth technology." He says the U.S. Defense Department ranks stealth technology second among its seventeen technology projects of the highest importance, so he concludes that "this makes it very obvious that in future warfare stealth technology as well as antistealth technology will both be indispensable."

Mi Zhenyu on Weapons Development for the 21st Century
Many observers believe that Chinese concern with future warfare dates only from the Gulf War in 1991. However, one of China's most important studies of future warfare was published as early as 1988 by a team under the leadership of General Mi Zhenyu, a Vice President of the Academy of Military Science-China's National Defense Development Concepts, which suggests:

In a long discussion of technology, General Mi points out:

General Mi warns, "To rank within the world's family of nations, to live and survive in the 'global village' in this universe, each nation must come up with ideas for a 'grand strategy.'"

Tactical Experiments
In "Tactical Studies," Yang Wei observes that "the PLA enjoys a good reputation in the world after overcoming very strong enemies on several occasions," but he warns against "being intoxicated by the glories of the past." He offers an approach such as "in 1929 when the German military did not have any tanks [but] a young officer, Heinz Guderian, broke though the bondage of traditional thinking" and invented the blitzkrieg.

Six New Combat Concepts
The COSTIND journal Contemporary Military Affairs published an article in February 1996 by Ch'en Huan on "The Third Military Revolution" which Ch'en calls "the rapid development of information technology, stealth technology, and long-range precision strike technology." Ch'en predicts new operational concepts will appear in future wars.

"Because the efficacy of these new-concept weapons depends on the hard-shell support of a space platform, once the space platform is lost their efficacy will be weakened and they will even become powerless. In this way the two sides in a war will focus on offensive and defensive operations conducted from space platforms in outer space, and these operations will certainly become a new form in future wars. In the U.S. Armed Forces a new service-the Space Force-is being discussed, showing that the idea of outer space combat is close to moving from theory to actual combat."

Magic Weapons, Optical Parallax, No Consensus Yet
In his article, "Military Conflicts in the New Era," Zheng Qinsheng points out that the well-known scientist Qian Xuesen "laid bare the essence of the military revolution" to be information technology. Zheng, like Chang Mengxiong, advocates new measures of effectiveness. He writes, "Information and knowledge have changed the past practice by which military capacities were simply measured by numbers of armored divisions, wings of the air force, and aircraft carrier combat groups."

Today, Zheng writes, "We also need to count invisible strengths, including calculation capability, volume of telecommunications, reliability of information, and real-time reconnaissance ability."

In a rare remark that apparently criticizes Local War theorists, Zheng asks "Where shall we place the nucleus of high-tech development? Where shall we put the main emphasis of local high-tech wars?" Zheng reveals that "a consensus on these issues has yet to be reached throughout the army. People still tend to place greater emphasis on hardware instead of software, and on the present instead of the future. Such a transitional 'optical parallax' is hindering us from gaining a correct grasp of major contradictions."

Zheng concludes by recommending "a conscientious study of" the military revolution, new ideas on military development, and "'magic weapons' that can really serve our purpose."

A People's Information War?
In AInformation War: " New Form of People's War," Wei Jincheng suggests "the concept of people's war of the old days is bound to continue to be enriched" and proposes that it would be carried out "by hundreds of millions of people using open-type modern information systems." Wei sees the possiblity that "the enemy country can receive a paralyzing blow through the Internet."

Nanotechnology Weapons
Major General Sun Bailin's paper, "Nanotechnology Weapons on Future Battlefields," describes American and Japanese efforts in this field and concludes that "a variety of indications show that nanotechnological weapons could well bring about fundamental changes in many aspects of future military affairs. Nanotechnology will certainly become a crucial military technology in the 21st century!"

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