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On the Jan 12, 2000 Sightings radio show, ZetaTalk stated that China saber rattling was not serious, but a distraction. On Feb 22, 2000 the Washington Times confirmed no immediate plans for war.

Pentagon study finds China preparing for war with U.S.
The Washington Times, Feb 22, 2000

Strategic writings by China's military and party leaders show that China is making plans for war, according to a new Pentagon study. Some 600 translations of internal Chinese writings by 200 authors reveal China's strategy to defeat a superior foe, using both military and nonmilitary means, such as propaganda, deception and covert action. They also reveal the extreme distrust of the United States by China's military and party leaders. Chinese generals state that the United States intentionally bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, last May as part of a long-term strategy to prompt an arms race that will cause China's collapse. The Chinese statements from the mid-1990s through last year discuss issues normally couched in secrecy inside China.

They appear in the book "China Debates the Future Security Environment," published last month for the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment, the unit in charge of long-range planning. The translations were edited by Michael Pillsbury, a defense policy planner in the Reagan administration who is fluent in Chinese. The official Chinese views from Communist Party and military officials contradict other claims by the Beijing government that China poses no threat to the United States or other nations. Chinese strategists plan to use a combination of Marxist-Leninist doctrine and ancient Chinese tactics against the United States, which is compared in Chinese military writings as a "hegemon" on a par with Nazi Germany. Gen. Li Jijun, described as one of China's most distinguished military authors, states that the United States engineered the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait as a "strategic misdirection" or deception. Other Chinese authors state the United States is working covertly to "dismember" western China, namely Tibet and Xinjiang.

The report is a public document, but the Pentagon is limiting its distribution, presumably because of its stark disclosures of Chinese military thinking. According to the book, the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping set the current military strategy for dealing with the world's only superpower in the slogan "bide our time and build up our capabilities." A key debate among Chinese military and party writers is how rapidly the United States will decline, a view based on the Marxist ideas on the collapse of capitalism. The book quotes Gen. Xiong Guankai, the Chinese deputy chief of staff for intelligence, who finished three days of Pentagon meetings last week, as one of China's hard-line theorists. "Any efforts for seeking hegemony and world domination can only result in accumulating contradictions and fermenting war," Gen. Xiong was quoted as saying in a speech at Harvard University.

Chinese plans also discuss means of taking out U.S. aircraft-carrier battle groups. Chinese writer Ying Nan says the groups have numerous vulnerabilities. The United States sent two such groups to waters near Taiwan in 1996 in response to Chinese military exercises aimed at the island. Mr. Ying stated that weaker Chinese forces could defeat the huge carriers because the groups are hard to conceal from radar, are less effective in bad weather and are hampered by shallow water or when operating close to the coast. Carriers also are vulnerable to repeated attacks with precision weapons fired from unmanned aircraft and to electronic warfare from small ships, offshore islands and aerial balloons that can "create confusion in the electromagnetic environment," he stated. Carrier battle groups also can be defeated by advanced submarines and by attacks on their support ships because the carriers' anti-submarine capabilities are "relatively poor," Mr. Ying states. Mr. Ying also cited the carriers' elevators, catapult launchers and arrester wires as "extremely vulnerable" to precision strikes that would make the ships useless. Chinese military strategists also draw upon the 1991 Persian Gulf war. Chinese tactics - pre-emptive attacks before allied forces had massed, covert attacks inside Saudi Arabia and operations to split the U.S.-led coalition - could have won for Iraq, they wrote.

China now seeks to avoid head-on confrontation until around 2030, when the Chinese expect U.S. power to decline significantly. However, a war between China and the United States could erupt over Taiwan, according to the Chinese authors. Strategist Gao Hen wrote a U.S. defense of Taiwan would cause a major war of "global and historic implications." China also plans electronic attacks on computer networks. "We can make the enemy's command centers not work by changing their data system," wrote Maj. Gen. Pan Junfeng. "We can cause the enemy's headquarters to make incorrect judgments by sending disinformation."