In the modern era, a country doesn’t need to bomb Beijing to declare its hostile position and embark on a war against another state.
U.S. military leaders are sounding the alarm that China is already conducting war against the U.S., except this time it is by other means — including Espionage, sabotage, stealing intellectual property, exporting deadly drugs into America, cyberattacks, propaganda.
“National security leaders should look closely at what Chinese officials’ words and China’s military actions say about how the People’s Liberation Army might actually fight a war,” warns a U.S. military academy report.
China is already attacking the United States using cyber warfare, economic warfare, legal warfare, and propaganda. In this grey zone of conflict, war can be hard to define.
“Democracies’ fear of escalation is a significant deterrent against the use of violent military options in the grey zone, and that is exactly the fear that authoritarian states … wish to instill,” says British army colonel Richard Kemp.
The Chinese Communist Party is engaging in this “irregular” warfare in multiple spheres of the contest, including using a maritime militia and nominally civilian fishing boats to enforce imperialistic sovereignty claims in the East and South China Seas.
“Russia and China plan on winning the Great Power Competition by undermining the US, sowing discord, and continuing a secret war until the positions in the world order are reversed,” says US Navy analyst Derek Bernsen.
One wouldn’t be surprised to discover that Chinese social media accounts are amplifying the online content of the terrorist group Black Lives Matter or disseminating content that undermines Americans’ faith in their government.
The elements of psychological warfare, legal warfare, and cyberwarfare are central to the Communist Chinese Party’s approach.
In the ramp-up to any conflict, the Chinese Communist Party intends to use these forces, especially against U.S. ally nations or countries hosting U.S. forces, to attempt to divide and conquer and turn popular support against the U.S. government.
The communists are attacking U.S. allies in hopes that they will grind them down and break them. China continues to attack U.S. allies it shares proximity with including India, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. In many cases, military aircraft, naval warships, civilian fishing militias, and island-building through sand are all part of China’s warfare strategy.
“China’s never presenting any overt military threat with this, but it’s clearly steadily eating away at Taiwan’s military readiness and affecting the balance of power,” Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) analyst Greg Poling said.
“Beijing never really presents you with a clear deadline with a reason to use force. You just find yourselves worn down and slowly pushed back,” Mr. Poling continued.
Meanwhile, last year, India accused China of a cyber attack that cut power in New Delhi, the country’s biggest city.
In the online sphere, there is a burgeoning market of “influence-for-hire” service providers, which will disseminate communist China spin and influence campaigns while obscuring the driving forces behind the messaging.
In the U.S., we call these platforms that launder communist propaganda The Washington Post, CNN, and The New York Times.
You would think with all of the triumphant horn blowing and chest-beating out of China, that the Chinese Communist Party was invincible. This is one-hundred percent false. The Chinese Communist Party and China have glaring and crippling weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and dependencies that have been carefully and cleverly concealed by their propaganda to perpetuate their preferred “narrative.”
No shots have been fired, but nevertheless, the war rages on. The war is being fought with political and economic acts of aggression and sabotage, and it will not stop until China is punished.