A recent report from the US Congressional Research Service outlines China’s 2.3 million member armed forces and sheds light on misconceptions from Western military analysts.
Simply put, the report challenges the idea that Westerners can understand China’s military and foreign policy decisions without first understanding their Chinese philosophy and culture of warfare.
Unlike the US, China has a media apparatus that is controlled by the state, so their military reports lack the transparency established by a free press.
China also has a fundamentally different understanding of aggression. For the Chinese, there is little difference between peacetime and wartime cyber espionage, and they have engaged in stealing military secrets from the US and others because they can.
The report, written by Ian E. Rinehart, a CRS analyst in Asian affairs, urges Congress and military leadership to examine a “Chinese way of war.”