The Market and the Militarists

A June 27 Washington Times headline reads, “Inside China: PLA says war with U.S. imminent.” Incredibly, PLA Maj. Gen. Peng Guangqian has made a speech in which he complained that the United States was “exhausting all its resources to establish a strategic containment” of China.  Using Communist terminology, Gen. Peng said that the “contradictions” between China and America were structural and not amenable to change by any individual – whether George W. Bush or Barack Obama. When speaking of contradictions, Marxist theory (including Chinese Communist theory) holds that the central contradiction is class struggle. When Gen. Peng says the “contradictions” between America and China cannot be resolved by a single individual, he is referring to the inevitable outcome of class struggle. That outcome, by Marxian historical necessity, can only signify defeat of the world bourgeoisie; and America is the embodiment of the world bourgeoisie. Therefore, since the Chinese Communists embody the cause of the workers and peasants of the world, today’s compromise with American capitalism should be viewed by the Communist Party of China as temporary. From the beginning of his reforms, Deng Xiaoping said that it “was a mistake to lose faith in socialism.” Deng underscored the fact that China was engaging the West to get technical and financial support. (Of course, Nixon and Kissinger believed that Chinese Communism would be softened by trade and peaceful exchanges.)

The statements of Gen. Peng and Adm. Zaozhong suggest there is a split between the civilian leadership of China and certain military officers. As if to reinforce the credibility of this scenario, the PLA Daily has complained of the marginal loyalty of certain military cadres. Last February, Lt. Gen. Gu Junshan was purged in the midst of a leadership shakeup within the PLA. Communist China’s leader, Hu Jintao, has vigorously asserted his authority over the military. Supposedly, there is a massive power-realignment taking place in China.

Foreign observers should be wary of reported disunity in China. It may be true, of course, that Nixon’s opening to China has had the desired effect of softening the Communist leadership. There is also the possibility, on the other hand, that China’s leaders are following the advice of their ancient mentor, Sun Tzu, who once wrote: “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe that we are away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.”

Only time will tell which is feigned disorder, and which is real; whether the market has prevailed, or the militarists.

Full article: The Market and the Militarists (JR Nyquist)