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Listening for Echoes from the Past: Chinese Operational Design of the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895)

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Technical Report,26 Jun 2017,24 May 2018

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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As the United States recognizes a revisionist China, there has been much speculation about inevitable conflict. Political commentators concede that conflict is predetermined, but their predictions are based on sensationalism. Whether these pundits are correct is still unknown, but contemporary US leaders and military planners may examine key historical events as a part of understanding a potential adversary. The case of the Sino-Japanese War and the events leading up to it is an example of how the Chinese government and military leadership developed capability in response to Western imperialism. This response, known as the self-strengthening movement, coupled with existing cultural views and biases translated into how the Chinese executed the war against Japan. At the very least the study of such a critical event in Chinese history may allow current leaders to understand the relationship between worldview, military capability, and operational approach.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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