This was the strategy outlined in 1999 by two Senior Colonels in a book published by PLA Press, the official publisher of the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA). One of the authors of that 17-year old book just wrote an op-ed calling for an attack on American finances, according to an article in the Epoch Times:
By Joshua Philipp, Epoch Times | February 16, 2016
A major general in the Chinese military is calling for China to contain the United States by attacking its finances.
“That’s the way to control America’s lifeblood,” writes Maj. Gen. Qiao Liang, a professor at the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) National Defense University, in an op-ed published in China Military Online, the official mouthpiece of the PLA.
“To effectively contain the United States, other countries shall think more about how to cut off the capital flow to the United States while formulating their strategies,” he writes.
Most Americans have never heard of Unrestricted Warfare. In fact, I personally introduced it to a former CIA Director (who had never seen the book) as well as numerous members of the IC (Intelligence Community), and various Senators and Congressmen. Most were horrified at the obvious plan to displace America. A few dismissed the concern, claiming the book was “not at all anti-American.”
One Amazon reviewer (in 2005) even attempted to dismiss the book as more a literary piece of creative writing than a strategic plan for war:
By the way, the two authors of the UNRESTRICTED WARFARE were not educated and trained as professional military men. Colonel Qiao Liang, for instance, received his B.A. degree in Chinese literature, and has published several notable novels. He is employed in the Creative Writing Department of the Air Force, a Chinese military tradition of believing the power of literature, and was promoted to the rank of colonel because of his literary accomplishment.
A similar opinion was also promoted by the senior China analyst at a major American defense/intelligence agency in Washington. I was told that I had completely misunderstood the book, that it was akin to a work of fiction, that China had no negative intentions for America, etc. We had a lively debate at a special briefing inside that intelligence agency. After the debate, the head of the agency shared that he was pleased that I had gotten the truth across. He said that he had to bring me in from Texas because so many in Washington had bought into the benign China propaganda.
Anyone who has bothered to read the Unrestricted Warfare book and fairly studied Chinese activity since 1999 knows better, as demonstrated in these quotes in Epoch Times:
The U.S. has been in a protracted economic war that includes information war and financial war—and it’s increasing. — Casey Fleming, CEO, BLACKOPS Partners Corporation
Proposed Chinese strategies such as this should be taken seriously, according to Casey Fleming, CEO of BLACKOPS Partners Corporation, which provides intelligence and cyber strategy to the Fortune 500.
“It’s extremely critical. It’s extremely serious,” said Fleming, noting that China is already waging a full-scale economic war on the United States using methods including cyberattacks, conventional espionage, and currency manipulation.
“The financial throttling is all part of economic warfare,” Fleming said. “The United States has been in a protracted economic war that includes information war and financial war—and it’s increasing.”
Unfortunately, China’s influence in Washington has created a willful blindness so that even very clear and obvious threats are ignored. In our last post, we listed three lies of socialism. The third lie is that “America is permanently rich.” Deceived policymakers assume that no one, not even China could hurt our finances which of course is ludicrous as we have continually demonstrated.
One honest China authority is Michael Pillsbury, author of The Hundred Year Marathon. I have met with and briefed Mr. Pillsbury on several occasions including inside the Pentagon. Consider this from a recent NY Post review of his book:
…Michael Pillsbury, an expert on China who has worked with every US president since Nixon and has, he writes, “arguably had more access to China’s military and intelligence establishment than any other Westerner,” …
In a sense, the new book “The Hundred-Year Marathon” is Pillsbury’s mea culpa. He readily admits that, as a key influencer of US government policy toward China for the past four decades, he had long been one of many in the federal government pushing the US toward full cooperation with China, including heavy financial and technological support, under the belief that the country was headed in a more democratic, free-market direction.
“Looking back, it was painful that I was so gullible,” he writes.
Pillsbury notes that he and many other China experts were taught early on to view China as “a helpless victim of Western imperialists” and that as such, assistance should be provided almost unquestioningly.
Now, he says, he has come to consider this view — which he now believes came about as a result of intentional deception and misdirection on the part of the Chinese — as “the most systemic, significant and dangerous intelligence failure in American history.”
“We believed that American aid to a fragile China whose leaders thought like us would help China become a democratic and peaceful power without ambitions of . . . global dominance,” he writes.
“We underestimated the influence of China’s hawks. Every one of the assumptions behind that belief was wrong — dangerously so.”
“For decades,” Pillsbury adds, “the US government has freely handed over sensitive information, technology, military know-how, intelligence and expert advice to the Chinese. Indeed, so much has been provided for so long that . . . there is no full accounting. And what we haven’t given the Chinese, they’ve stolen.”
That alone is damning for all those who have been coerced into a benign view of China.
We also know that a top China analyst inside the DIA was caught, admitted, and was convicted of passing Top Secret information to China. A senior official bluntly characterized him as a “spy for China.” That was just one conviction, however. Many others worry about the continuing influence of a group “called the Red Team by critics and … known to harshly criticize or discredit anyone who questions or criticizes China’s communist government and its activities.” The Red Team is described as “an influential group of China affairs specialists in the U.S. government and private sector who share similar benign views of China.”
The influence sadly did not diminish with the conviction of the Chinese spy. In fact, the convicted spy’s reported protegé, also a senior China analyst, was later reportedly reprimanded for supporting his now-convicted mentor. Yet, he remained in his very senior position, influencing American policy.
So, the dismissals inside Washington ring hollow. China is a threat and the Chinese have an Unrestricted Warfare playbook. This was made even more obvious recently, with the public call for China to attack American finances. That is an amazing thought as China has been struggling economically. But it clearly coordinates with the official policy to “de-Americanize” the world. It matches with efforts to create a complete alternative to the Western financial system that already has buy-in from most of the rest of the world including our allies. It is sort of like the poker game. If you don’t know who the sucker is at the table, it is probably you.It is increasingly apparent that America is the sucker at the global table.
If we imagine that Colonel Qiao Liang is simply a novelist, why has he been promoted to Major General and made a professor at the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) National Defense University? And, if he doesn’t speak for the PLA, why is he allowed to write an op-ed for China Military Online, the official mouthpiece of the PLA? And if the now Major General has no belligerence toward the United States, why does he praise the 9/11 attacks?
Qiao then praises the economic impact on the United States caused by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He states, “Apart from political and mental impact, a much heavier blow was that it drove more than US $300 billion out of the country within a month.”
The Epoch Times article does a good job of explaining the Unrestricted Warfare strategy. Here are some additional critical quotes from their 16 February article:
Qiao is one of the leading voices on China’s uses of economic warfare, and its broader military strategies using unconventional warfare.
In “Unrestricted Warfare,” Qiao and Wang promoted the use of terrorism, cyberattacks, legal warfare (also called “lawfare”), and economic warfare against the United States.
Qiao and Wang argued the U.S. military limits its view of military advancement to technology, and largely ignores unconventional warfighting environments—especially when it comes to economic attacks. They said the United States was vulnerable in this regard, and that China could target these vulnerabilities militarily.
While “Unrestricted Warfare” was published 17 years ago, many of the strategies it proposed can now be seen playing out. It has remained one of the main texts cited by experts on the Chinese regime’s use of cyberattacks and other forms of unconventional warfare.
Qiao’s recent op-ed plays with some similar concepts, but says the Chinese military should leverage geopolitics to attack the United States financially.
The Chinese have been promoting a narrative that Americans are attacking their economy. Last summer, there was a direct claim we had been crashing their stock market:
Last month’s stock market crash in China was without any doubt an economic war against China covertly waged by the United States, with the direct objective of subverting the ruling Communist Party, according to the most powerful leader of China’s massive state-owned corporate enterprises.
And anybody who doesn’t believe such a thing is definitely a traitor to the Chinese nation ready to betray the Chinese Communist Party, insisted Lin Zuoming, who made those claims in a July 17 interview with China Aviation News. The interview was subsequently carried by most of China’s major news outlets.
More recently, China has warned George Soros to not interfere with their currency. Remember that in 1999, the Unrestricted Warfare text basically called Soros a “financial terrorist” and alluded to the idea that he was acting on behalf of the American government and Federal Reserve. While many would find this latter notion laughable, this calling out of Soros could be laying the groundwork for justifying a retaliatory attack on the United States. And, the book Unrestricted Warfare explains that a “single, manmade stock market crash” is a new concept weapon. One of the books author’s, now a Major General in the PLA, has just called for that weapon’s deployment.
In this election season, we should demand that every candidate acknowledge this threat and provide a plan to address it. I have personally briefed many candidates at all levels, including a number of those vying for the White House. If you’d like me to brief your candidate or representative, send us a message through the Secret Weapon website. If you’d like to learn how to protect your finances, check out NSIC.org.