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China Strategic Perspectives № 6 April 2013

China Strategic Perspectives № 6 April 2013Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs
Institute for National Strategic Studies

China’s Forbearance Has Limits: Chinese Threat and Retaliation Signaling and Its Implications for a SinoAmerican Military Confrontation
by Paul H.B. GODWIN and Alice L. MILLER

Сдержанность Китая имеет границы: китайская риторика угроз и ответных шагов и ее последствия для китайско-американской военной конфронтации.

Although China’s military capabilities are continuing to improve and its standing and involvement in the world have changed quite dramatically, this study concludes that the traditional calculus of threat and retaliation statements remains a central tool in Beijing’s array of foreign policy and security instruments for responding to and managing tensions and disputes.


Executive Summary


The Record: Beijing’s Use of Military Force

China’s Crisis Decisionmaking Process and Crisis Management

Signaling the Intent to Employ Military Force — China’s Warnings Calculus

Signaling Case Studies — Taiwan

Analyzing Beijing’s Signals — Things to Consider

Conclusion — A Hypothetical South China Sea Signaling Scenario

Appendix 1. Chronology of the 1978–1979 Sino-Vietnamese Border Crisis

Appendix 2. Chronology of the 1961–1962 Sino-Indian Border Crisis

Appendix 3. PRC Signaling Over Taiwan: 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003–2004



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№6, 2013№5, 2012
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