sábado, 5 de diciembre de 2015

Some of the instruments of political warfare are often cleverly disguised

Beware China’s Political Warfare Campaign Against US, Allies: Experts

By Prashanth Parameswaran
A recent conference surveyed Beijing’s efforts against Washington and its allies.

China is actively waging political warfare against the United States and its allies, a group of experts told a conference in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

While Chinese actions are usually viewed through a military lens, some have stressed that they should be examined as part of a broader effort to influence the thoughts and actions of foreign governments, groups and individuals in a manner favorable to Beijing’s own objectives – activities known as political warfare or influence operations.

“The objective here is to shape how things are perceived,” Dean Cheng, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, the co-host of the conference along with the Project 2049 Institute.

Chinese political warfare, said Mark Stokes, executive director of the Project 2049 Institute, is deeply rooted in Chinese history, with origins from both Chinese strategic thinkers like Sun Tzu as well as Marxist-Leninist influences. While the practice is not illegal and Beijing is hardly the only one employing it, Stokes argued that the degree to which Beijing has been distorting objective reality and the lengths to which it has been willing to go to do so has been particularly striking.

The practice also enjoys high-level bureaucratic support within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Political warfare – known euphemistically in China as “PLA military liaison work” – is supported by an elaborate organizational structure that includes elements of the PLA’s General Political Department as well as the CCP’s Central Propaganda Department.

The priority countries for Chinese political warfare, according to Stokes, are Taiwan, followed by Japan and then the United States.

With respect to the United States, Aaron Friedberg, now a professor at Princeton University, argued that Beijing has been using political warfare as an important part of its ongoing strategic competition with Washington. The goal, Friedberg said, is to persuade the United States to accept China as an equal (and eventually dominant) global power.

In recent years, Chinese political warfare in the United States, Friedberg said, has become broader and more complex such that it now seeks to influence three particular groups – “old friends” of China, who were rewarded with dialogues and business ventures; elites or “influentials” in business, diplomats and the military who were courted through visits, exchanges, and joint research projects; and “mass perceptions” swayed through mass media.

“It has become more sophisticated,” Friedberg said. “The focus is still at the top, but activity is now at all levels.”


Read more:

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario