A new book “Political Warfare: Strategies for Combating China’s Plan to Win without Fighting” [pdf] by Kerry K. Gershaneck reveals the nefarious designs the Chinese Communist Party(CCP) is up to against India. The book states that India is the prime target of CCP’s wicked political warfare and the attack against New Delhi would keep continuing if China perceives India as a contender to its regional dominance in the Indo-Pacific region and poses a threat to its supply chains.
The book sheds light on the “all-encompassing, unrestricted warfare” unleashed by China against the countries it deems are working against its interests. The CCP will employ, the book states, all its might in weakening India, from funding the foreign NGOs working against the Indian interests to funding mobs to create anarchy in the country such as stirring an insurrection at the Taiwanese manufacturing plant in Bengaluru.
CCP employs a host of warfare strategies to undermine its opponents
CCP employs an array of political warfare strategies such as economic warfare, biological and chemical warfare, cyberattacks, terrorism, public opinion/media warfare, psychological warfare, espionage, bribery, censorship, deception, subversion, blackmail, “enforced disappearances”, street violence, assassination, use of proxy forces, public diplomacy, and other hybrid warfare.
The book describes China as a “coercive, expansionist, hyper-nationalistic, militarily powerful, brutally repressive, fascist, and totalitarian state”, and gives an insight into the functioning of the Communist Party of China and its devious tactics to pressurise its opponents. One of the elements that CCP extensively uses is to get people to exercise self-censorship by instilling the fear of offending a “billion” Chinese.
The book draws on a wide range of sources and interviews and describes in-depth how the political warfare of China is pervasive, highly structured, and intricately complex. Large budgets are being allocated by the CCP to carry out political warfare operations. In 2015, the budget for influence operations alone was estimated at $10 billion, which has only increased since then. According to a report published by the FDD, Stanford University has reportedly received $32,244,826 in monetary gifts from China during the last six years, and Harvard had received $55,065,261 through a combination of contracts and monetary gifts.
Political warfare traits exhibited by CCP
Besides, it also explains in detail the traits of political warfare used by the People’s Republic of China to achieve its ends. China, apparently, has a powerful central command that overlooks the political warfare operations. A clear, cogent and unambiguous strategy and vision are laid down for the employment of the political warfare operations. Both, overt and covert means to persuade, dissuade, intimidate, divide, and subvert are used, to force rival countries into acquiescence or compliance.
What aids China in carrying out political warfare against countries it perceives as its enemies is a tight control over its own domestic populace. By having a firm grip on the local population, the CCP uses the propaganda to engender patriotic sentiment and discredit the opponents. China’s uses of warfare against the rival countries is not scattershot or arbitrarily carried out. They use a comprehensive array of political warfare tools to a serious degree of coordination. And lastly, China is also acutely aware and well-prepared to accept the high-level of risks resulting from the exposure to political warfare activities.
Measures countries need to undertake to counter China’s all-encompassing political warfare
In order to save itself from the vile machinations of the CCP, and the complex warfare it has put into practice, Gershaneck has recommended India to set up an Asian political warfare centre of excellence to develop a common understanding of PRC political warfare threats and promote the development of a comprehensive, whole-of-government response at national levels in countering PRC and other political warfare threats.
This includes: “Discussions among like-minded nations, investigate political warfare operations directed at democracies, training and scenario exercises, research and analysis into countering PRC political warfare, etc, Typical participants would be practitioners, scholars, policymakers, [parliamentary] staff, journalists, strategists, campaign planners, legal specialists, and selected civil servants as well as foreign service, military, intelligence, and law enforcement officers.”
The author of the book warns that China is facing little resistance to its political warfare and its aim of winning the fight without fighting. If the world is to stop China in its tracks, the book argues, then countries who are the target of Beijing’s multiple warfare campaign such as India, the United States and others, need to develop a national strategy to counter political warfare, establish national institutes to counter China’s propaganda war, be forthright about threats emanating from PRC and have better analytical, investigative, and legal training for those with these responsibilities to screen, track, and expose political warfare activities.