The United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are on a trajectory toward conflict. Simply put, the PRC seeks to regain what it sees as China’s proper place in the world, and a major impediment to that aspiration is the United States’ activities in the Pacific, including its support for Taiwan.1 Several factors, to include Chinese history, culture, and military philosophy, guide the Chinese Communist Party’s (CPC’s) decision-making processes as it pertains to waging war. Juxtaposing China’s “Three Warfares” strategy with current events, it is clear that the opening salvos in China’s information war against the United States already are ongoing.2
1. James Griffiths, “From the Qing Empire to the People’s Republic, China’s Worries about Separatism Run Deep,” CNN, 29 June 2020, www.cnn.com/2020/06/29/asia/china-separatism-independence-intl-hnk/index.html.
2. Stefan Halper, China: The Three Warfares (Washington, DC: Office of the Secretary of Defense, 2013), 28.
3. Alison Kaufman, “Testimony before the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission; Hearing on ‘China’s Narratives Regarding National Security Policy,’” USCC.gov, 10 March 2011, www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/3.10.11Kaufman.pdf.
4. Griffiths, “From the Qing Empire.”
5. Halper, China: The Three Warfares, 27.
6. Office of the Secretary of Defense, Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China (Washington, DC : Department of Defense, 2011), 26, www.globalsecurity.org/jhtml/jframe.html#https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/2011/2011-prc-military-power.pdf.
7. Mark Dreyer, “China NBA: How One Tweet Derailed the NBA’s China Game Plan,” BBC, 10 October 2019, www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-49995985; and Peter Allen Clark, “What to Know about Blizzard, Hong Kong, and the Controversy Over Politics in Esports,” Time, 21 October 2019, https://time.com/5702971/blizzard-esports-hearthstone-hong-kong-protests-backlash-blitzchung/.
8. Lai Lin Thomala, “Number of Movie Theaters in China from 2012 to 2019,” Statista.com, 21 August 2020, www.statista.com/statistics/260284/number-of-movie-theaters-in-china/#:~:text=Number%20of%20movie%20theaters%20in%20China%202012%2D2019&text=The%20statistic%20shows%20the%20number,billion%20movie%20audience%20in%20China.
9. Martha Bayles, “Hollywood’s Great Leap Backward on Free Expression,” Atlantic, 15 September 2019, www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/09/hollywoods-great-leap-backward-free-expression/598045/.
10. Frank Langfitt, “How China’s Censors Influence Hollywood,” NPR, May 2012, www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/05/18/407619652/how-chinas-censors-influence-hollywood; Joanna Robinson, “Did You Catch All the Ways Hollywood Pandered to China This Year?” Vanity Fair, 5 August 2016, www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/08/did-you-catch-the-ways-hollywood-pandered-to-china-this-year; and Ben Fritz, “Reel China: Hollywood Tries to Stay on China’s Good Side,” Los Angeles Times, 16 March 2011, www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-china-red-dawn-20110316-story.html.
11. Halper, China: The Three Warfares, 12–13.
12. Zhang Yesui, “Note Verbale to the Secretary-General of the United Nations from the People’s Republic of China,” UN.org, 7 May 2009, www.un.org/depts/los/clcs_new/submissions_files/mysvnm33_09/chn_2009re_mys_vnm_e.pdf.
13. Jane Perlez, “Tribunal Rejects Beijing’s Claims in South China Sea,” New York TImes, 12 July 2016, www.nytimes.com/2016/07/13/world/asia/south-china-sea-hague-ruling-philippines.html.
14. Justin Nankivell, China’s Use of Lawfare in the South China Sea Dispute (Washington, DC: Office of the Secretary of Defense, 2013), 424–25.
15. Alexander Neill, “South China Sea: What’s China’s Plan for Its ‘Great Wall of Sand’?” BBC, 14 July 2020, www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-53344449; and “South China Sea: ‘Leave Immediately and Keep Far Off,” BBC News, 11 August 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=dodbqgKn8js.
16. Psychological Operations Proponent, Field Manual 3-05.301, Psychological Operations Process Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 2007), 58.