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This important report, containing the testimony of ten noted experts on the Chinese military at a hearing on June 20, 2019, has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction.
Testimony from: 1. Christopher A. Ford * Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation, U.S. Department of State / 2. Mary Beth Morgan * Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia, U.S. Department of Defense / 3. Dean Cheng * Senior Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center * Heritage Foundation / 4. M. Taylor Fravel * Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology / 5. Phillip C. Saunders * Director of the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs, National Defense University / 6. Isaac B. Kardon * Assistant Professor, Strategic and Operational Research Department, U.S. Naval War College / 7. Christopher D. Yung * Donald Bren Chair of Non-Western Strategic Thought and Director of East Asian Studies, Marine Corps University / 8. David Santoro * Director and Senior Fellow for Nuclear Policy, Pacific Forum / 9. Thomas G. Mahnken * President and Chief Executive Officer, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments / 10. Abraham M. Denmark * Director, Asia Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
This compilation includes a reproduction of the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
The State Department witness, Christopher Ford, stated: Chinese leaders may once have been content - in Deng Xiaoping's famous formulation - to "bide their time and hide their capabilities," but such "biding" was inherently tactical, and its cautiousness was clearly understood to serve a broader purpose. (When you bide your time while hiding your capabilities, you are obviously waiting for some opportunity!) And indeed, as China's power has grown, they have been increasingly disinterested in such coy postures and more inclined to act out. Under Hu Jintao, officials in Beijing began to talk of creating a "harmonious world" explicitly modeled on China's own, Party-managed "harmonious society" at home. They even spoke for a while about aiming for China's "return," before apparently toning down that rhetoric for fear that it would too clearly signal Beijing's ambition to reacquire the position of global privilege and centrality vis-a-vis all other nations that gave the "Middle Kingdom" its ancient name. For his part, Xi has now raised the ante with his rhetoric of the "China Dream," the "Strong Military Dream," and geopolitical rejuvenation - and he seems uninterested in toning down his rhetoric just because it is beginning to alarm people who see it for what it is. Today, China is working to export its model of authoritarianism through its "Community of Common Destiny" to reshape global governance, utilizing the power of the Chinese economy to coerce and to corrupt governments around the world that are already suffering from underdeveloped or unstable democracies and taking advantage of countries suffering from financial instability to push them toward the desired end state. Ultimately, China seems to think that it really can reorder the world. As a Chinese ambassador exclaimed some years ago during negotiations over China's accession to the World Trade Organization, China expects eventually to dictate the rules for the world system: "We know we have to play the game your way now, but in ten years we will set the rules!" His timing may have been a bit off, but it seems very clear what he had in mind.