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Strategic Culture of the Modern Chinaand Way of War

Changhee Park 1

1국방대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This research deals with what strategic culture of modern China has been and how it has been reflected in contemporary wars. Firstly, I will review current debates on Chinese strategic culture and suggest some points to analyse Chinese strategic culture. Next, I will examine Mao Tse-dung's strategy and the Chinese Civil War to figure out the origin of modern China's strategy. Then, the Sino-Vietnamese War in 1979 which was the most recent war of China will be studied as a case to prove the validity of those hypotheses suggested. It would be undeniable that China has had the strategic culture of Confucian-Mencius Paradigm which was based on Confucianism. China has shown its tendency to limit the use of force and consider war as a last resort in the Korean War, the Sino-India War, and the Sino-Vietnamese War. And, China has regarded the use of force as a means to achieve political purpose. However, while those strategic behaviors are totally consistent with Confucian-Mencius Paradigm in appearance, they seem to have fundamentally different context with the strategic culture of the past Chinese empire. That is, the Modern China's Strategy has been the Weaker's Strategy to counter the stronger enemies like the US and the Soviet Union, not the Empire's Strategy to deal with the weak neighboring states. China's strategy, therefore, even though it has continuity of traditional strategic culture of Confucianism, can be best understood as mixed with the realistic Para-bellum Paradigm to overcome its vulnerability of weakness.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.