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This article was originally submitted by Asim Khan
Over the years we have seen many strategic planners with their strategies whether there are military, diplomatic or geo-political. Every country in today’s globalized world is seeking her own national interests.
Same is the case with the People’s Republic of China. But what the modern history has observed over the years is that the military, diplomatic and geopolitical strategies of China are all synchronized and well-aligned with each other and there is no divide within the republic itself, unlike other countries. This unique quality has compelled the Chinese strategies to be far more efficient, compatible, durable and reliable compared to the strategies proposed by America, India and Pakistan. Keeping in mind that the Chinese strategies are much more farsighted and long term compared to the countries I mentioned above. The Chinese planners meticulously analyze the on-ground geo-political situation and environment and with precise care and precision, plan such a flawless strategic design that would benefit the Republic of China in the long term coming years if not today.
Another quality of Chinese strategists is that first they independently observe and see the big picture.
Then after the complete exploration of the big picture they carefully take operational decisions with respect to the on-ground geopolitical situation. They take into consideration every possible strategic step and possibility. Then on the right time at the right moment, they would use a well-articulated tactic to achieve that big picture; keeping in mind the Chinese strategies may also include the tactics of backing off or stepping back, and adopting; a high moral ground, to obtain this big picture and long term benefit.
The Chinese strategies are beyond their emotions, they do not seek short term victories rather think for the bright future. This tells us how important the big picture for the Chinese strategists is. Another important quality of Chinese strategies is that it has the capability of being cooperative and combative at the same time. This strategy makes China’s counterparts uncertain of her next step giving China an upper hand of the element of surprise.
Let’s discuss a few past events how Chinese strategic planning manipulated and countered her counterparts; psychologically and on the battleground itself. In the year 2015, the geopolitical situation in the South China Sea was very intense; and in the same year, the annual sixth Xiangshan Forum was held in Beijing. Moreover, in this forum, the Vice Chairman of China’s central military commission; General Fan Changlong, addressed and stated that “China has always advocated handling disputes by peaceful means”.
In simple words, the Chinese diplomatic strategy took a 360-degree turn and it was suddenly all about peace and harmony; contrary to what she stood for in the past years.
This is the example of stepping one step back or adopting a high moral ground to ease the intense situation. Within a month the President of China Chi Ji Ping paid official visits to Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and discussions were held with the defence ministers of ASEAN member states and several investment deals were made.
By 2016 the annual bilateral trade between China and ASEAN member states were about 600 billion US dollars. In the same year, the Chinese military started the militarization of the South China Sea. China constructed runways for air crafts and installed anti-aircraft weapons. By this time the Americans, Japanese or the Taiwanese couldn’t do anything because it was too late to do anything.
This was the brilliant strategy that China adopted to influence the South China Sea. As a result, China changed and manipulated the whole geopolitical scenario of the whole region; by promoting peace, trade and development. And at the same time took over the South Asia Sea silently; like a sharp swift knife cutting a soft throat.