BEIJING – There’s a Chinese saying that stems from the philosophy in Sun Tzu’s ancient text “The Art of War”: You can kill 1,000 enemies, but you would also lose 800 soldiers.
Centuries later, the proverb is suddenly apt again, being mentioned frequently in discussions around Beijing. Now, it highlights the potential damage U.S. President-elect Donald Trump could inflict if he makes good on his threat to start a trade war with China, the world’s second-biggest economy.
Having backed off some other campaign pledges, it’s unclear if Trump will end up slapping punitive tariffs on China — and Beijing has signaled some optimism he will be more pragmatic in office. Still, the message from China is that any move to tax Chinese imports would bring retaliation: The U.S. economy would take a hit and America would damage its long-standing ties with Asia. Continue reading
In Sun Tzu’s The Art of War present Chinese military strategy in the South China Sea comes into focus. Tzu argued that the best war is one not waged, one in which the cleverest leader wins without fighting.
The Chinese declaration over its perimeter zone incorporates a number of islands claimed by other regional nations, e.g. Japan and the Philippines. With the construction of reefs that can accommodate air force assets, the government is sending a message: the so-called contested islands are part of the Chinese Middle Kingdom. Continue reading
Update: Previous link mistakenly led to another story. The link is now fixed and brings you to the article source.
Because the Chinese have been studying the cycles. From generational theorists William Strauss and Neil Howe, they have learned that political/cultural cycles last only 65 years, and then they collapse, cycles first observed by Taoist monks and Roman philosophers. And China is exactly 66 years advanced since the Chinese Communist Revolution of 1949. In terms of generational cycles, China is on the eve of destruction. (In terms of the Strauss/Howe theory, so are we.)
The Chinese have been studying Western theories and economic cycles like the Elliott Wave, which suggests that the life cycle of a dominant currency has its limitations, and the American dollar cycle has ended. They have been studying economist Harry Dent, investment gurus Jim Rogers, Marc Faber and libertarian Ron Paul, seen often here only in the shadows, and understand that America is at a full economic transition, potentially a catastrophic cultural turning.
They have been reading Nicholson Baker’s day-by-day account, Human Smoke: The beginnings of WWII, the End of Civilization. They understand fully without Western sentimentality or illusion what comes next at the end of the economic cycle: Total war. Continue reading
The best warfare strategy is to attack the enemy’s plans, next is to attack alliances. – Sun Tzu, The Art of War
A growing chorus of nations is decrying Washington’s unrestrained cyber espionage. However, there is only one country with both the means and motivation for using mounting international resentment to challenge American hegemony. The NSA surveillance of America’s allies has opened up two vital fronts in which China can erode American global dominance. Continue reading
As you read the selected passage, bear in mind this book was written roughly around 500 BC. Now fast-forward to 2012. Do you see any parallels?
Sun Tzu — The Art of War; Chapter Two: Doing Battle
A nation can be impoverished by the army when it has to supply the army at great distances.
When provisions are transported at great distances, the citizens will be impoverished.
Those in proximity to the army will sell goods at high prices.
When goods are expensive, the citizens’ wealth will be exhausted.
When their wealth is exhausted, the peasantry will be afflicted with increased taxes.
When all strength has been exhausted and resources depleted, all houses in the central plains utterly impoverished, seven-tenths of the citizens’ wealth dissipated,
the government’s expenses from damaged chariots, worn-out horses, armor, helmets, arrows and crossbows, halberds and shields, draft oxen, and heavy supply wagons,
will be six-tenths of its reserves.
Therefore, a wise general will strive to feed off the enemy.