Risks & Trends

1 | 'Wolf Warriors Killed China’s Grand Strategy—and We'll All Come to Miss It'

Foreign Policy

Sulmaan Wasif Khan | The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomcy, Tufts University and the author of Haunted by Chaos: China’s Grand Strategy from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping
1 | 'Wolf Warriors Killed China’s Grand Strategy—and We'll All Come to Miss It'
1 | 'Wolf Warriors Killed China’s Grand Strategy—and We'll All Come to Miss It'
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China's Grand Strategy

1

June 3, 2021
BIG IDEA | ‘The predominant feature of Chinese conduct today is not grand strategy but a belligerent, defensive nationalism that lashes out without heed of consequences.’ Sometime in 2020, China came unmoored from its grand strategy.

‘Sometime in 2020, China came unmoored from its grand strategy.’

  • ‘Until then, Beijing’s diplomatic, military, and economic efforts were all directed toward national security.’

‘Of late, however, China has lost that purposefulness—one of the hallmarks of grand strategy.’

  • ‘The predominant feature of Chinese conduct today is not grand strategy but a belligerent, defensive nationalism that lashes out without heed of consequences.’

‘Just why that breakdown has occurred is uncertain.’

  • ‘But it is clear that the change has put both China and the world in jeopardy.’

‘China risks undoing all it has gained—at considerable cost—since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) came to power.’

  • ‘And the rest of the world, particularly the United States, finds itself confronted not with the hard task of managing a rising, reasonably predictable power but the infinitely harder job of managing a flailing one.’

‘In China’s case, a grand strategy has defined the Communist Party’s conduct for most of its time in power.’

  • ‘From Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping, China has sought to secure the state by weaving together diplomatic, economic, and military power.’
  • ‘Diplomatically, the country sought a balance of power that left it, inasmuch as possible, closer to other powers in the world than those powers were to one another.’
  • ‘For an insecure country, having friends wherever possible made sense—and that meant continuing to talk even in the face of disagreements.’
  • ‘China strove for a productive economy, which served multiple purposes: It allowed for aid to foreign countries that could be friends in times of need, it kept the citizenry on the CCP’s side, and it paid for military modernization.’

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