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Hostile Coexistence: The Chinese Challenge to the United States

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Master's thesis

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In 1949, for the first time in more than 100 years, all of China was effectively centralized by a Communist government. This Communist government has always been hostile to the United States, and, as Chinese power has grown, the seriousness of the confrontation has increased. This thesis takes the Chinese point of view and formulates objectives and policies for dealing with the threat to Chinese security posed by the United States superior power. A review of Chinese history reveals that China has good reason to hate and fear the United States. The United States has ringed China with military bases, and U.S. sea and air forces, armed with nuclear weapons, present a serious military threat to China. In addition, the United States has used every means short of actual war -- political, economic, and psychological -- to attempt to bring down Chinas Communist government. For more than 16 years China has been vilifying the United States in an effort to convince the Chinese people that the United States is their mortal enemy. The Chinese aspire to great power status. Other long-range objectives such as economic development, military power, the regaining of lost territories, and world communist leadership are subordinate to, but directly support, their basic xenophobic nationalism. The Chinese look at the world from a long-term viewpoint and are quite willing to suffer short-term reverses to achieve their ultimate goal. This thesis develops the strategy of hostile coexistence as a means for China to confront the United States. It is an indirect approach to dealing with superior U.S. power through the exploitation of American vulnerabilities. Hostile coexistence includes peoples war, penetration of developing nations, formation of an anti-U.S. united front, alienation of the United States from its allies, direct subversion, and nuclear blackmail. The challenge presented by China is serious and the United States must counter it.

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  • Government and Political Science

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