Accession Number : ADA584671

Title :   China's Forbearance Has Limits: Chinese Threat and Retaliation Signaling and Its Implications for a Sino-American Military Confrontation

Corporate Author : NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV FORT MCNAIR DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES

Personal Author(s) : Godwin, Paul H ; Miller, Alice L

PDF Url : ADA584671

Report Date : Apr 2013

Pagination or Media Count : 121

Abstract : Since its founding in 1949, the People s Republic of China (PRC) has employed military force in defense of China s security and territorial integrity. In many such instances, Beijing implemented a calculus of threat and retaliation signals intended first to deter an adversary from taking actions contrary to Chinese interests by threatening the use of military force and, if deterrence failed, to explain and justify Beijing s resort to military force. This deterrence calculus was applied in each of the major instances in which Beijing has resorted to military force in Korea in 1950, in the Sino-Indian border dispute in 1961 1962, in the Sino-Soviet border dispute in 1968 1969, and in China s attack on northern Vietnam in 1979. It was also applied in instances in which Beijing s effort at deterrence apparently succeeded and China ultimately stopped short of using military force. Examples include China s responses to the intensifying American combat effort in Vietnam in 1965 1968 and to the 1991 debates in Taipei about delimiting the Republic of China s sovereignty claims. Beijing implements this deterrence calculus by a carefully calibrated hierarchy of official protests, authoritative press comment, and leadership statements. If the crisis persists and Beijing perceives its interests are not satisfactorily taken into account, its statements escalate in level and may include at first implicit and thereafter increasingly explicit warnings that it may use military force to achieve its goals. This approach has been employed consistently despite the sweeping changes in the PRC s place in the international order, the proliferation of foreign policy instruments at its disposal, the more complex crisis decisionmaking process and domestic political environment, and the dramatic evolution in the Chinese media over the decades.

Descriptors :   *CHINA, *GOVERNMENT(FOREIGN), *MILITARY CAPABILITIES, *MILITARY FORCES(FOREIGN), *MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES), CASE STUDIES, CRISIS MANAGEMENT, DECISION MAKING, DIPLOMACY, MILITARY HISTORY, SOUTH CHINA SEA, TAIWAN

Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
      Military Forces and Organizations
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE