Leaked Chinese Memo Warns Of "Thucydides Trap" With US, "War Is Unavoidable"

A series of leaked internal documents reveal that China's military reforms are aimed at allowing Beijing to "manage a crisis, contain a conflict, win a war" and overtake the United States in military strength, according to the Express.

The leaked documents were published by the Central Military Commission in February for the purpose of spreading President Xi Jinping’s “thought on strengthening the armed forces”.

If the reforms go ahead, they will lead to heightened tensions with China’s neighbouring countries, including Japan, in the East and South China Seas and the US. -Express

“As we open up and expand our national interests beyond borders, we desperately need a comprehensive protection of our own security around the globe,” read the leaked documents, which adds that a strong military is the best way to "escape the obsession that war is unavoidable between an emerging power and a ruling hegemony".

It's worth noting that in March Beijing rolled out their largest defense budget in three years.

According to the leaked documents, China's rapid military expansion will allow them to “more effectively create a situation, manage a crisis, contain a conflict, win a war, defend the expansion of our country’s strategic interests in an all-round fashion and realize the goals set by the party and Chairman Xi”.

The Japan Times reports that the authors of the documents argue that "strong military might is important for a country to grow from being big to being strong," and that the US, Russia and Japan are examples of this, and would avoid the "Thucydides Trap" - a deadly competition between superpowers first identified by anicient Greek historian Thucydides who explained: "It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable."

China believes that Military reforms, therefore, are a significant "turning point" for any given emerging country to "overtake a slower vehicle on a curve," says the document - referring to the United States is in decline. 

Citing the examples of the collapse of the Soviet Union and political unrest in some East European countries, one chapter said that it is important to control the military in a bid to ensure the Chinese Communist Party’s long-term ruling status.

History proves that as long as the party keeps a tight grip on the military, it can withstand rigorous challenges both at home and abroad, it said.

It also criticized the “antagonistic blocs of the Western world” for plotting to instigate separatists in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong to pursue independence as well as Falun Gong practitioners to stage protests and individuals to carry out terrorist attacks. -Japan Times

China has built up a significant presence in the disputed South China Sea - installing air bases, radar systems and other defense capabilities. Meanwhile, Beijing is supposedly testing advanced features on its military craft - outfitting aircrafts, destroyers, tanks and submarines with stealth technology.

As we reported in February, Beijing's rapid military modernization is "remarkable" according to Dr. John Chipman, Director of UK based Internaional Institute for Strategic Studies, in their annual report. 

China’s emerging weapons developments and broader defence-technological progress mean that it has become a global defence innovator” says Chipman. 

In particular, he points out that China's Chengdu J-20 low-observable combat aircraft is set to challenge America's "monopoly on operational stealthy combat aircraft." As we reported yesterday, the J-20 is rumored to have already been deployed to the South China Sea along with several of China's Su-35s, to take part in a joint combat patrol over the region, according to the Chinese Ministry of Defense whose release did not mention the J-20.

The IISS report also notes that China's expanding array of advanced guided-weapons projects, such as the PL-15 extended range air-to-air missile which could enter service this year. "This weapon appears to be equipped with an active electronically scanned array radar, indicating that China has joined the few nations able to integrate this capability on an air-to-air missile," reports Chipman.

In March, Chipman said “China’s emerging weapons developments and broader defense-technological progress mean that it has become a global defense innovator."

“[While] a great power war is not inevitable, states are systematically preparing for the possibility of conflict,” he said, adding that China’s “land and naval forces are modernizing and progress in defense aerospace remains remarkable.”

According to Bank of America's Mike Hartnett, the "trade war" of 2018 should be recognized for what it really is: the first stage of a new arms race between the US & China to reach national superiority in technology over the longer-term via Quantum Computing, Artificial  Intelligence, Hypersonic Warplanes, Electronic Vehicles, Robotics, and Cyber-Security.

This is hardly a secret, as the China strategy is laid out in its “Made in China 2025” blueprint: It aims to transform “China’s industrial base” into a “smart manufacturing” powerhouse via increase competitiveness and eroding of tech leadership of industrial trading  rivals, e.g. Germany, USA, South Korea; this is precisely what Peter Navarro has been raging against and hoping to intercept China's ascent early on when it's still feasible.

The China First strategy will be met head-on by an America First strategy.  Hence the “arms race” in tech spending which in both countries is intimately linked with defense spending. Note military spending by the US and China is forecast by the IMF to rise substantially in coming decades, but the stunner is that by 2050, China is set to overtake the US, spending $4tn on its military while the US is $1 trillion less, or $3tn.

This means that some time around 2038, roughly two decades from now, China will surpass the US in military spending, and become the world's dominant superpower not only in population and economic growth - China is set to overtake the US economy by no later than 2032  - but in military strength and global influence as well.

And, as Thucydides Trap clearly lays out, that kind of unprecedented superpower transition - one in which the world's reserve currency moves from state A to state B - always takes place in the context of a war.

Which explains BofA's long-term strategic recommendation: "We believe investors should thus own global defense, tech & cybersecurity stocks, particularly companies seen as “national security champions” over the next 10-years."

And in April, an unclassified 50-page transcript on Advance Policy Questions warned that Beijing has the capability and capacity to control the South China Sea “in all scenarios short of war with the United States.”

In written testimony to the US Senate Armed Services Committee, Adm. Davidson said China is seeking “a long-term strategy to reduce the U.S. access and influence in the region,” which he claims the U.S. must maintain its critical military assets in the area. He views China as “no longer a rising power,” but rather a “great power and peer competitor to the United States in the region.” Adm. Davidson agreed with President Trump’s recent assessment on China, calling the country a “rival.”

In response to questions about how the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea should handle the increased military presence in the region. Adm. Davidson advocated for a sustained U.S. military approach, with the increased investment in new high-tech weaponry.

“US operations in the South China Sea—to include freedom of navigation operations—must remain regular and routine. In my view, any decrease in air or maritime presence would likely reinvigorate PRC expansion.”

And in regards to the type of weapons, Adm. Davidson outlined some critical technologies for immediate investment:

A more effective Joint Force requires sustained investment in the following critical areas: undersea warfare, critical munitions stockpiles, standoff weapons (Air-Air, Air-Surface, Surface-Surface, Anti-Ship), intermediate range cruise missiles, low cost / high capacity cruise missile defense, hypersonic weapons, air and surface lift capacity, cyber capabilities, air-air refueling capacity, and resilient communication and navigation systems.

Adm. Davidson’s testimony to the US Senate Armed Services Committee, provided us with the much-needed knowledge that American exceptionalism is quickly deteriorating in the South China Sea after more than seventy years of control. The transcript reveals how America’s military will continue to drain the taxpayers, as it will need an increasing amount of investments and military assets in the Eastern Hemisphere to protect whatever control it has left. The clash of exceptionalism between Beijing and Washington is well underway, will war come next?


any_mouse gigadeath Fri, 07/06/2018 - 16:50 Permalink

The "War" will be staged when the "Hidden Hand" wants/needs the "war".

China has been Owned since the phony Boxer Rebellion.

The civil war between the two sons of ultra wealthy Chinese families ended up in a "communist" government.

The other side was allowed to have Taiwan. The Brits kept Hong Kong.

Does it make sense to spend 19 billion USD in 2019 to contain the nation that supplies the USA with consumer goods? That offshores labor and pollution from CONUS?

It's all about Business and Profits for Them. Not for You or Me. Not for "Freedom" or "Democracy".

In reply to by gigadeath

Deep Snorkeler any_mouse Fri, 07/06/2018 - 16:53 Permalink

The US Intelligence Community

is made up of 16 federal agencies that work separately from one another.

I am overwhelmed with a sense of pride and well being.  

With NASA, they work hard uncovering the contours of reality.

Taxpayer money well spent.

In reply to by any_mouse

Harry Lightning peopledontwanttruth Fri, 07/06/2018 - 17:17 Permalink

I am waiting for the typical response from the anti Jew ZH crowd, to the effect that there won't be a wart in China until Jews want authentic Chinese food on Sunday nights rather than the American Chinese food.

More to the point, this article is informative but looks at the trees without considering the forest. China has a number of problems ahead in the not too distant future that will sink their battleships and ruin their plans for an expanded military that can fight wars.

First of all, they are in the early stages of seeing their export empire get scaled back considerably. First the tariffs will take a bite out of their income, then the inevitable global recession, which will be as deep if not deeper than in 2009 and last longer as Central Banks don't have the bullets this time to save the financial system. On top of that, production costs inside China have been rising so much that their huge price advantage over developed countries is shrinking to the point where outsourcing to China does not return an adequate enough amount of profit to justify the outsourcing. In addition, China has some very large debts to the external world, and the accruing interest over time will take a progressively larger bite out of Chinese profits in the future.

And then, in the final analysis, China's size precludes it from getting involved in a war. Because of their huge population, the only way to defeat the Chinese at war is to nuke the rice out of them. As there are so many delivery systems that can deliver nuclear payloads today, the Chinese will not be able to defend against such an attack, and the results would be horrific. 

The Chinese are practical people who have little history as war mongers. Its totally out of their character to be acting in such a militaristic way. They are doing it to play the part of the up and coming global power who uses its economic might to project a military strength. Its all for show. The Chinese do not want a large scale military war with a significant world power, and they will not cause such to happen. The best course for China is to take its export profits and start developing the interior of its country.

In reply to by peopledontwanttruth

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Harry Lightning Fri, 07/06/2018 - 17:25 Permalink

I agree, this article doesn't discuss the increasing fragility of the Chinese market. A great deal of fraud and government manipulation underlies the Chinese economy, including debts which are much greater than those of the US. Throw in leverage that is based, oftentimes, on nothing.

And there is always the Mandate of Heaven. Empires rise and fall based on that and no Chinese leader, not even the commies, ignore that.

In reply to by Harry Lightning

inosent Jim in MN Fri, 07/06/2018 - 17:59 Permalink

From a purely military and strategic point of view, the USA is extremely vulnerable. It doesn't matter how much money Trump flushes down the toilet to the mega corp war machine, what is missing is a unified nation, under God (let's call it the Highest Good that each person seeks in all good faith on a daily basis). This nation is badly divided, and considerably weakened by the third world invasion. The niggas, la raza, antifa, the luciferians, the asians, they won't show up to fight, nor will the fairies and all their homosexual behaviorist sympathizers. And neither will the feminists and social justice warriors, and nor will the rank and file of the demonrat party. And neither will the hollyscum freaks, and all their sycophantic off shoots.

Did I miss anybody?

This nation has no soul. It is a place inhabited by narcissists, nihilists, the decadent and self indulgent, the immoral, and blasphemous, lovers of self and disloyal to everything and everyone except their carnal appetite.

The nation is overrun by the psychologically insane (definitely from a foreign power's point of view, whose mouths are drooling at the prospect of taking the nation for their own), and a government that promotes the insanity.

The only ppl left that might fight will be the handful of hired mercenaries already on the payroll, but they are only a few in number compared to the 2 billion Chinese. What's left of who else might fight are ppl who hate the government because it is a satanic institution riddled with jews who control it and wish for its total annihilation.

You can't save a country like this from an external attack.

And the US has no allies. Push come to shove, all those 'allies' will just step away and watch the destruction of the USA from afar. The jew can find another 'New York' to infest, or, like they did in Poland, made nice with Hitler once they saw Hitler was the man of the hour - the jew will do the same with the Chinese.

In a country where its own declaration of independence is determined to be 'hate speech' by an American corporation, where the nation is so weak as to not obliterate this corporation (fakebook), you tell me, exactly where is the core strength of the nation to defend itself?

I don't see it.

Don't be surprised to wake up one day to nukes and other sorts of bombs and missiles. Hated by all, totally divided within, controlled by lucifer, the USA is ripe for the picking - low lying fruit. 


In reply to by Jim in MN

Tarzan Manthong Fri, 07/06/2018 - 21:43 Permalink

Which explains BofA's long-term strategic recommendation: "We believe investors should thus own global defense, tech & cybersecurity stocks, particularly companies seen as “national security champions” over the next 10-years."


The Bankers recommend you send them your money, so you can pay for their war.  Isn't that nice of them. 

In reply to by Manthong

FBaggins Klassenfeind Sat, 07/07/2018 - 11:28 Permalink

You guys will "Yawn" yourselves into the grave. China has been controlled by the West for the past few hundred years. However, since about 1972 zillions have been invested with our capital, machinery, jobs, know-how, and science for lure of low low labor costs and raking it in for a privileged few, without any planning for the long-term effects of huge trade imbalances, and a dramatic shifting of industrial power. Despite the fact that many in the West have become enormously richer and more powerful at the expense of such parasites bleeding their own nations dry of capital, jobs and industry, they have awoken a huge godless, racially exclusive dragon, which has a voracious appetite for resources everywhere. 

The West and especially the US  is exceedingly divided internally. No soul. No unifying principle based on the divine. The means we use to attain our ends internationally and even domestically are entirely devoid of any Christian principles, and now in dealing with an emerging China what we have to remember is that what goes around comes around. China if not now will eventually be able to match the West in the technological destructiveness of modern warfare. However, when it comes to actual boots on the ground to occupy and control turf, you will see more and more Chinese troops and migrants doing just that everywhere it matters, and we cannot match them.  

The Zio-led Anglo Axis has been running the world since the beginning of the last century and in their self-interest we have had nothing but major wars and unrest to serve their ends. They have now created the communist monster of an emerging and increasingly aggressive China. They have really fucked things up big time in their greed and exclusiveness and if you look at what they have done in the Middle East, the only conclusion you can come to is that they have abused their wealth and their power to the extent that the only hope for Western civilization is to take it away from them.  


In reply to by Klassenfeind

geno-econ Withdrawn Sanction Sat, 07/07/2018 - 09:24 Permalink

Just remember everyone---- Henry Kissinger started all this as part of his theory of Realpolitik to spite Russian Detente by opening trade with China as a counterbalance,  Now, 35 years later, China is an Economic Superpower. and Russia is still a Nuclear Superpower.  So much for Realpolitik.   One could argue we have had the benefit of cheaper consumer products from China , but at a huge cost of astronomical deficits which obviously benefited China's modernization.  Question is where do we go from here  ?

In reply to by Withdrawn Sanction

emersonreturn geno-econ Sat, 07/07/2018 - 10:59 Permalink

good point. i expect the dumpster to follow his old friend's advice (why is kissinger still alive?) & attempt to play china & russia against each other by tossing russia a few bones in hopes of driving a wedge between china & russia. it's difficult for some to believe things change & what worked so well in the past mayn't any longer, but the old adage once a sucker always a sucker may continue to draw.

In reply to by geno-econ

edotabin Manthong Sat, 07/07/2018 - 06:43 Permalink

Yes. No doubt.This really makes one think about the "hidden hand" in all of this. The question is: Why?  To what end?

ZH has many positives but some negatives as well. Apart from the Russia, Russia, China, China and nothing the US ever did was right angle, it is also hard to have an actual discussion.

Those that support globalization usually make the argument that it helps everyone etc. It probably does help everyone but it usually helps just a few a lot more than it helps everyone else. Why would the US push so aggressively to develop China so quickly to its own detriment? There is really no logical answer other than someone behind the scenes wanted this to happen.

Down the road, assuming that China hasn't been pumped up completely artificially, it makes sense that their economy can and will be larger and that they may become a very dominant force in the world. It is simply a matter of numbers. If consumer spending is 70% of the economy, think about garages in the US and now multiply that number by 4 or 5. That's a lot of junk. 

It would be nice to hear some balanced comments as to how, why and how they see all this playing out.

In reply to by Manthong

MoreFreedom spanish inquisition Fri, 07/06/2018 - 21:35 Permalink

Historically Japan is China's rival.  The US spends about 2.8X more on the military, but it's being wasted meddling in oppressive countries civil wars.  Our economy (if Chinese numbers are believable) is about 60% bigger than China's.  And as others have said, there's a lot of corruption and debt in China.   They also have their MIC.  But most importantly, I don't believe Xi wants to get into a war, especially with the US.  It's too destructive, and they prefer to win in the economic marketplace.

In reply to by spanish inquisition

Best Satan in Town MoreFreedom Sat, 07/07/2018 - 00:00 Permalink

Maybe the US's military spending is completely wasteful, but maybe it isn't. What if the reason for our invasion of middle eastern countries served a vital national interest (at least, in the empire's eyes) such that they were able to shore up support for the current global monetary paradigm (the petrodollar) and also do the bidding of Israel in the Middle East? I mean, we must remember back in the early aughts when Saddam threatened to stop accepting dollars and instead accept euros and also gold I believe. This was back when the US was much more feared and respected. We did this to ourselves to some degree, but also it is the cycle of empire. Nothing is the same forever. 

As bad as we may think the US's global leadership is (and I'm not making any apologies for it) imagine when China assumes this position how they would act? The world under Chinese global governance would probably be much more authoritarian and much less free. The US is trying to continue the last vestiges of it's republican heritage at home while practicing Empire abroad. Hoping to keep the current global system intact. History shows us that this is a losing battle. I believe that the US will always be a great power if it's constituted the same as it is now. Maybe after the mantle of world hegemony is passed, the US will revert back to how it was pre-WW2. By all accounts, economically, socially, in terms of technological innovation, we were the envy of the world and everybody wanted to be part of it. I would love to see us return back to that state. 

In reply to by MoreFreedom

yvhmer Rapunzal Sat, 07/07/2018 - 06:32 Permalink

I think you are misinterpreting the fall of the Roman Empire.  Your view is quite western European centric on a quick scan. 

A closer look is this. 

In the East the Roman Empire stayed on. Until 1453. 

In the years 400-600, although there were competing claims to the western Roman imperial throne, the institutions, the law, the money remained in place. 

The Franks consolidated the areas and competing claims. Yet,Roman law, trade, money, etc remained predominantly in place. 

And the sequences of dispute about the claims to the imperial throne are never complete if one does not take into account the pontifex maximus position and it's role. 

A one on one comparison between us and European history. ...it's causes and consequences... . May be enlightening but can hardly be used to fit as a glove.  

In reply to by Rapunzal

chestergimli Rapunzal Sat, 07/07/2018 - 08:50 Permalink

I really wonder if the(((bankers and elite))) ever really wanted a NWO.  Maybe it was just a money making venture to get all the smarty goys on board to push for it as the idea put money in their coffers.  So now that they have almost taken one world power (the western Basically Christian Nations) down, its time to move east and suck out of them.  I think the Chinese see them coming though.

In reply to by Rapunzal

Superlat Best Satan in Town Sat, 07/07/2018 - 07:20 Permalink

I think the war in Iraq was the stupidest the US ever fought, mostly because of how we completely blew rebuilding that country properly. We could have been real heros. Saddam had already shown a penchant for big armaments, and would've happily gotten a nuke. We couldn't really allow that. We really should have had a serious attempt to bribe him again. Tell him he was dead meat, but play ball our way and we would rebuild his country. I bet we could have done it, but there's always that ziowasp superiority trip that had to lay on our vassals, like Saddam and Noriega. Doesn't exactly create recruits does it? We don't treat out own mafia like that. We protect the sellouts at all costs.

Anyway, since modernity has failed in the Mideast, Islam is back with a vengeance, most notably in Turkey. Modernity is failing in the West as well. People seem to sense the future is crud and aren't taking education, infrastructure, etc very seriously. People don't really want to work. Our leaders have encouraged zoning out to the worst grade of entertainment.

Dunno how it goes off the rails, but when you feel crap on the way, it generally arrives.

In reply to by Best Satan in Town

Golden Showers MoreFreedom Sat, 07/07/2018 - 02:39 Permalink

China is a repressive top-down oligarchy that whores itself to Apple and other multi-national corporations. China represses it's rich history and archaeology. China rewrites history, rewrites culture. China is China's rival. Much like the US deep state y'all talk about infests and destroys the US from within; that's China. China dams the Yangtze.

China truly does not give a fuck about China. Same could be said for the US. Empty hollow vessels of military power symbolize nothing. China will do anything to destabilize East Asia at the same time it exports all that shit you buy stateside. All those people in factories pumping out units of garbage. Watch all those workers go back home (if there is any home) at new year. All those proles hopping trains out of the garment factories and plastic hello kitty and iPhone factories for a couple days of fresh air.

When China has military bases on half the countries in the world and stays there taking a big steaming shit on everyone like the US has, that's when I'll have any concern about China. China is just a player. Don't hate the player. Hate the game.

In reply to by MoreFreedom

mc888 Golden Showers Sat, 07/07/2018 - 08:03 Permalink

China represses it's rich history and archaeology. China rewrites history, rewrites culture. China is China's rival.

China truly does not give a fuck about China. Same could be said for the US.

Communism represses China's rich history and archaeology. Communism rewrites history, rewrites culture.

Communism truly does not give a fuck about China. Same could be said for the US.


In reply to by Golden Showers

BarkingCat The_Juggernaut Sat, 07/07/2018 - 12:07 Permalink

China is in a lot better position than the US when it comes to a conflict in the South China Sea.

They only need defensive weapons to win control over their neighborhood. 

If they have the capability to sink ships then they have won the war.

China does not have the military might to conquer the US, but they probably have the capability to defeat the US near China and clear out the US military from their neighborhood. 

There will not be a military confrontation until China decides it does not need the US export markets. Not one that is started by China.


In reply to by The_Juggernaut

Boonster laser Fri, 07/06/2018 - 21:12 Permalink

Absurd. I lived there for years and truly understood the meaning of "Chinese Fire Drill". They can't do anything as well as America except for steal ideas and make copies. If you want to see the real China, you have to go to Taiwan. Mao ruined China at least for a century.

In reply to by laser

caconhma UmbilicalMosqu… Fri, 07/06/2018 - 23:46 Permalink

Julius Caesar has also cared for himself and the Rome glory. The Rome was super-powerful since their God was Rome and they were united in this one. Nazi Germany was so powerful because it was united but Hitler was an illiterate preacher without any understanding of geopolitic.

Zionism has destroyed the USA. The country is divided. It has very little in common. Like the mighty Rome before it fell. 

China has very many problems but they have a real desire to move forward as one nation

In reply to by UmbilicalMosqu…