US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States
On August 3rd 2016, in response to the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling against Chinas South China Sea claims, China warned the international community of its preparations for a peoples war at sea. Such recent statements underscore the significance of this study and emphasize the importance of a thorough examination of Chinas employment of Peoples War Theory. This monograph uses a structured focused approach to answer six research questions. The first is, what does a peoples war at sea look like The second, what elements of peoples war theory are present within Chinas military strategy The third, what is the relationship between Chinas military limitations and its pursuit of peoples war theory in the South China Sea The fourth, how does peoples war theory achieve military effects in the South China Sea The fifth, what is the relationship between international condemnation and Chinas use of peoples war theory in the South China Sea The sixth, what social, political, or economic triggers drive Chinas use of peoples war theory This study argues through the employment of Maos peoples war theory in the South China Sea, China promotes nationalism which distracts from internal struggles, provides time for its military to grow, and circumvents international laws and countries which challenge their territorial claims in the South China Sea.